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This blog post is taken from the ‘Coaching Awareness: People with Hearing Impairments’ factsheet, produced by sports coach UK in partnership with UK Deaf Sport and National Deaf Childrens Society.
The following information has been written by those with a great deal of experience in this area. The information is provided as guidance only, allowing you to be more informed in your approach to being a more inclusive coach. No two people are the same; as such, please ensure your first step is always to speak to the person – understand their abilities and goals, and never assume.
People with hearing impairments may not necessarily have any other physical impairment. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing will have varying levels of hearing and may or may not choose to wear their hearing aid during your coaching session. Please remember that wearing a hearing aid neither corrects language nor restores perfect hearing.
Coaching people with a hearing impairment is essentially down to your communication skills as a coach. As with all new participants, speak to them before the start of their first session to establish a mutually acceptable method of communication. There are a variety of ways to communicate, and the person will tell you what works best for them. To get things started, try communicating through basic gestures or use a pen and notepad.
Including People with Hearing Impairments in Your Coaching Sessions
Involve the Team
It will be useful to discuss the guidance described above with squad members, parents/carers and/or assistants prior to, or shortly after, the deaf participant joining the team. The coach can also educate umpires about what can be done to assist the participant.
Combine clapping with a double-handed wave to congratulate or praise. When we see something good, the natural reaction is to clap. The deaf community will use a raised double-handed wave to show the same appreciation, so use both methods for a mixed group.
This blog post is taken from the ‘People with Hearing Impairments’ factsheet, produced by sports coach UK in partnership with UK Deaf Sport and National Deaf Children Society.
Download the factsheet.
For further information and support, visit:
UK Deaf Sport
Follow us on Twitter @deafsport
Join us on Facebook at facebook/ukdeafsport
sports coach UK also has a number of workshops you can attend to help you become more inclusive in your coaching. Visit the sports coach UK website to find out more about these workshops.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with your fellow coaches? Leave a comment below.
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