Report launched following first study of its kind in 30 years

Reading and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Pupils in Mainstream Education in Ireland (2018)

Dr. Elizabeth S. Mathews Dr. Margaret O’Donnell

Dr. Elizabeth S. Mathews and Dr. Margaret O’Donnell have launched a research report that examines reading among deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) pupils in Ireland.  This is the first large study on this topic in Ireland since the early 1990s.  This study was underpinned by evidence from international research on literacy and DHH pupils which points to the gap between reading levels of DHH pupils and their age equivalent peers and to evidence that as pupils get older, the gap between them and their hearing peers increases. Some more recent international studies have had more promising results, in particular for pupils who receive early identification and intervention. 

The research was funded by Chime, CIDP and the IDS. Chime’s Head of Advocacy, Brendan Lennon, welcomed the report saying “This is the first piece of research into how children with hearing loss are faring in our schools for many years. We need more information on the educational outcomes for Deaf and hard of hearing children in our schools, and the National Council for Special Education and the Department of Education and Skills should be publishing such information on an annual basis as their counterparts do in the UK.”.

One of the main findings of the report was that DHH primary school pupils had similar general reading scores as their hearing peers. However, they had lower scores on the sub-skill of comprehension, which is increasingly important as a child progresses through the education system. This could explain the increasing gap between DHH pupils and their hearing peers as they get older.

Another finding was that teachers want additional training to support DHH pupils effectively in their classrooms.

The full report is available here.

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