This week, the University of Cambridge announced that they would be discontinuing face to face classes.  Opting instead for remote online lectures until the end of Summer 2021.

They are the first University to set our measures for this coming Academic year.  In the news reports, it has been stated that “they recognise that it is “likely” that social distancing will be continue.”

At the end of March, we ran an online training session for Universities.  This was to advise them on how to support deaf students through this challenging time.

We had a section at the end called ‘The Future’.  Here we discussed some of the things that may need to be considered for this coming Academic year.

Although we still do not know what will encounter in September/October.  We do know for sure that returning to University this Academic year will not be the same.

As University of Cambridge have, I know that other Universities will be carefully considering their next steps.  Thinking about how to provide remote online lectures in order to continue educating students, safely.

Here are a few things you can do to support deaf students:

Keep communicating

During this Pandemic, the deaf community have had limited access to information.  So, keep communicating with deaf students in an accessible format.  This will help deaf students know what to expect this coming year.

If you are putting together any videos, ensuring that you have captioning available.

This is something that we provide – send an email to hello@terptree.co.uk or call us on 01635 886 264 and our team are on hand to help.

Different approach per year group

You will want to communicate differently depending on which year group the deaf student is in.

If they are going into their first year at University, this will be a whole new experience for them.
You will want to explain:

  • The structures at the University
  • Who they go to for what?
  • Where to go if they have any questions

They will also want to know how they will access the Curriculum in this new medium.

For an existing student, they will be more interested in understanding the change that is likely to happen and how it will affect them.

Understand remote interpreting and how this will work for a deaf student

We cannot cover everything you will need in just a paragraph!  But we will be sending out regular content covering this in greater detail.  This will help you prepare for the most likely outcome, of delivering lectures online.

A good first step is discussing with the deaf student how they feel about remote support.  If they have already had some sessions online during the current Academic year.  Allow these experiences to inform how you can make things work moving forward.

Summary

We are entering a whole new way of doing things.  This will involve a lot of change.

Our emails will be covering a number of topics.  All aimed at helping you best support deaf students.

If there are any topics that you would like us to cover, just hit reply to this email and let us know, we are here to help.