Speech & Language Therapy

The purpose of Speech and Language Therapy is to assess and support communication, language or speech development. At the Deaf Academy this also includes British Sign Language (BSL) when supporting language for our Deaf learners.

Communication can happen through signing, speaking, facial expression, body language, gesture, using pictures and writing. Most of the time we are using more than one strategy at a time, or may switch quickly from one to the other. When there are barriers to being able to communicate and use language meaningfully, speech and language therapy can help.

Our Speech and Language Therapist Rachel Evans works with young people alongside their families and education/care team, to make sure they are able to communicate in the best and most successful way; everyone works together to see the best outcomes. Rachel is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and has BSL Level 3.

After assessment (which can be informal or formal), advice or therapy may be offered to provide students with tailored learning and language experiences both in BSL and English.

Therapy advice and programmes may include specific work on:

  • Understanding language – BSL or English
  • Using language – putting words or signs together in the right order (grammar, vocabulary)
  • Speech sound work to improve intelligibility (if appropriate)
  • Supporting listening skills
  • Thinking socially (pragmatic language)
  • Theory of mind (understanding others’ thoughts, actions and behaviour, including understanding motive and the perspective of others)
  • Overcoming communication barriers and practicing these skills within structured and safe learning environments, before having a go in the community
  • Supporting access to English through literacy

At the Academy, we aim to empower those supporting students through Speech and Language therapy, so they may implement programmes and understand individual language and communication needs across both languages – English and BSL.