About Helen Robinshaw
The Approach
Services for Families
Services for Colleagues
News and Views

Useful links

Site map

View contact details
Tel: 07528630896
Email Helen

Logo: Dr Helen Robinshaw | Supporting Familie with Deaf Infants and their Professionals

Useful links

This page is currently being updated March 2012

 -some of the links may blip!


Useful Links

  • Parent to Parent

  • New Baby

  • Audiology and Technology

    • Independent Assessment 
    • DSP Hearing Aids
    • Cochlear Implants
      • Support Groups 
      • Manufacturers
      • Paediatric Programmes 
    • Personal FM and Class Soundfield Systems 
  • Different Communication Approaches

    • Informed Choice 
    • Auditory-Verbal / Auditory-Oral 
    • Visual - Sign 
  • Books and Websites

  • Special Educational Needs: Education and Law 

  • Additional SEN

  • Financial Support

  • Family Things


Parent to Parent

The Elizabeth Foundation

for Preschool Deaf Children and their Families   


The Elizabeth Foundation provides family centred services in Hampshire and West Yorkshire, for deaf babies, pre-school children and their families. The Elizabeth Foundation began 25 years ago by parents of deaf children for parents of deaf children.  It has grown into perhaps the best model of family centred early years practice for deaf children in the UK.  Services include: hosting newborn hearing screening and paediatric audiology, parent counselling, baby and toddler groups, parent guidance, preschool nursery education, a help line and correspondence courses.  The Elizabeth Foundation believes that it is the right of every deaf child to be given the opportunity to develop good listening skills and spoken languae.  The Elizabeth Foundation was originally modelled on services provided by The John Tracy Clinic in California.


The John Tracy Clinic 


John Tracy is a private, non-profit education centre founded by Louise Treadwell in 1942 and basedin Los Angeles.  Its mission is to offer hope, guidance and encouragement to families of infants and reschool children with hearing losses by providing free, parent-centred services worldwide.  The Clinic has over 60 years of expertise in the spoken language option.

Parent Distance Education / Correspondence Courses and Summer Sessions are available for familie of young deaf children ages birth to 5 years.  A special course is available for parents of preschool deaf-blind children.

The Elizabeth Foundation in the UK was modelled on the John Tracy Clinic.


Cochlear Implant Children's Support Group 


Founded by parents whose children have cochlear implants, the CICS Group was formed to help others whose children already have implants and those who are thinking about an implant for their child.  Established in 1993 and registered as a charity in May 2003, CICS is an entirely voluntary group run by parents who recognise that there is no one approach that will suit all children.  The CICS newsletter is packed with useful snippets and practical guidance for parents.


The National Deaf Children's Society: Parent Place  www.ndcs.org.uk/applications/discussion/


'Parent Place' is facilitated by the National Deaf Children's Society and includes topic boards where parents can bullet information, questions, requests for advise from each other.  Contact details do not need to be shared openly.





Face 2 Face is a network of trained volunteer befrienders who can help parents make positive adjustments to the news that their child has a disability.  Every Face 2 Face befriender is a parent too - someone whose own child has a disability.  They know what it's like to cope with a new diagnosis and can offer support parent-to-parent. 

Face 2 Face is free and confidential.  It is a project supported by SCOPE.



New Baby

Midwives On Line 

Health Visitors . Com 

Newborn Hearing Screening 

The new hearing screening tests use sophisticated technology, can be carried out almost immediately after birth, are entirely safe and comfortable for babies and are much better at identifying the possibility of hearing impairment.

Click here for the text from the parent information booklet is reproduced on this page without any additional images to make it easier to view and/or print.  Your baby's hearing screening test


Audiology and Technology


Independent Services

Children's Hearing Evaluation and Amplification Resource: CHEARs 


Chear is an independent centre that offers a range of services including the assessment of children's hearing; provision and evaluation of appropriate technology. Chear enables parents to obtain fast access to accurate hearing definition and consideration of management options. 

Services at CHEAR are directed by Josephine Marriage PhD, Clinical Scientist in Audiology and Registered Hearing AId Dispense, who is particularly skilled at working with very young infants, busy toddlers and school age children.

These assessments are the first steps in the process of using the remaining hearing effectively to support the development of hearing, listening and, ultimately, talking.



NDCS Technical Helpline

Call the NDCS Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text). 

Alternatively you can email them at helpline@ndcs.org.uk


NDCS The Blue Peter Loan Service  


The Blue Peter Loan Service was set up in 1986 following a successful television appeal by the popular children's programme of the same name.  The service offers deaf children and their families throughout the UK the opportunity to borrow radio aids (personal FM systems) and other equipment

to assess in the comfort of their own homes and at school. 


Modernising Children's Hearing Aid Services 


Modernising Children's Hearing Aid Services (MCHAS) was the title of the research and training programme which introduced digital signal processing hearing aid technology into the NHS. The programme ran from 2000- 2005 and during this time all Audiology departments in England, received training and children are now routinely fitted with digital hearing aids. Alongside the introduction of new hearing aid technology, new fitting procedures and working practices were introduced. Guidelines covering these procedures were written and are now accepted by the profession as standard quality practice.


Hearing Aid Manufacturers



Phonak is a leading manufacturer of digital signal processing hearing aids (DSP HA). 

Follow the Consumer - Hearing path to learn more about hearing and your child's audiogram. 

Follow the Consumer - Product path to learn more about Naida DSP and Inspiro FM

or go direct to www.naida.phonak.com


Oticon   www.oticon.com

As well as manufacturing hearing aids, Oticon produce a useful DVD and booklet called Oticon : Paediatrics: Counselling as part of their "Child friendly hearing' range.  The DVD is a helpful guide to parents and educators alike when discussing the early stages of identification, tests for hearing and amplification


Other Manufacturers - click on icon




Cochlear Implants

Support Groups

Cochlear Implant Children's Support Group 


Founded by parents whose children have cochlear implants, the CICS Group was formed to help others whose children already have implants and those who are thinking about an implant for their child.  Established in 1993 and registered as a charity in May 2003, CICS is an entirely voluntary group run by parents who recognise that there is no one approach that will suit all children.  The CICS newsletter is packed with useful snippets and practical guidance for parents.


2 Ears 2 Hear 


2ears2hear is a resource for everyone with an interest in bilateral cochlear implants and the importance of securing NHS funding.

The site was created by two parents with children that were refused NHS funding for sequential bilateral CI operations but self-funded the operations.

They aim to make the website an authoritative and independent source of information about binaural hearing, bilateral CIs and NHS funding. It is a purely voluntary initiative without any funding or links with cochlear implant manufacturers or other sponsors.


The National Cochlear Implant Users Association www.nciua.org.uk

The NCIUA mission is to offer help to everyone who might benefit from a cochlear implant; 
to campaign for them to have the opportunity to do so; 
and to represent the ongoing interests of cochlear implant users.



The European Association of Cochlear Implant Users represents on a European level the interests fo deaf or hearing impaired people who have regained hearing perceptions through a cochlear implant.


Cochlear Implants - Maufacturers 


Established in 1981 Cochlear is the global leader in innovative, implantable hearing solutions.  The Nucleus® cochlear implants and bone conduction implant provide solutions for different types of hearing loss.

The Nucleus® Freedom™ cochlear implant can benefit people who have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. It differs from traditional hearing aids that simply amplify sound. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the ear and sends sound directly to the hearing nerve providing a clearer

understanding of sound and speech.

Cochlear are committed to providing the best hearing results for our recipients today and for the future through conitinuous technology innovation, reliability, hearing performance and customer support.
Cochlear’s promise – Hear now. And always embodies this commitment.


Advanced Bionics 


Advanced Bionics is a global leader in developing and manufacturing cochlear implants. 

Harmony is the only cochlear implant with HiResolution Sound.  HiRes® Sound has been developed to provide a richer and more acccurate representation of sound than previous implant technology could deliver. HiResolution Sound is intended to make speech easier to understand particularly in difficult environments and music more enjoyable.




MED-EL's PULSARci implant offers innovative sound replication capabilities for more accurate and detailed hearing perceptions than previously possible.


Cochlear Implants - Paediatric Centres in the South of England


South of England Cochlear Implant Centre  www.isvr.soton.ac.uk/soecic

Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Phone: 023 8059 2923
Heads of Service (Joint)- Julie Brinton; email- jcb@isvr.soton.ac.uk
& Julie Eyles; email- je@isvr.soton.ac.uk
Paediatric Coordinator: Elizabeth Wood; email - ejw@isvr.soton.ac.uk


West of England Cochlear Implant Programme   www.uhbristol.nhs.uk/your-hospitals/bristol-royal-hospital-for-children/what-we-do/paediatric-audiology.html

Southmead Hospital, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS10 5NB
Phone: (0117)-959 5151
Paediatric Coordinator : Jenny Maddocks ; email- jennefer.maddocks@UHBristol.nhs.uk

Cambridge Cochlear Implant Programme 

Emmeline Centre, Box 163, Addenbrooke's NHS Trust,

Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ
Phone: (01223) 217589
Coordinator : Marjan Adlington ; email- marjan.adlington@addenbrookes.nhs.uk


London - Great Ormond Street Cochlear Implant Programme 

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JH
Phone: 020 7813 8316
Coordinator : Dr Kaukab Raiput ; email- RajpuK@gosh.nhs.uk


London - Portland Hospital Cochlear Implant  Programme (Non NHS)  

234 Great Portland Street, London, W1N 6AH
Phone: (020) 7390 8333
Web Site: www.theportlandhospital.com

Coordinator : Christina Troccoli ; email- Cristina.Troccoli@HCAHealthcare.co.uk


London - Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hopsital   www.royalfree.nhs.uk

RNTNE Cochlear Implant Programme
Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital, 330-332 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8EE
Phone: 0207 915 1301
Coordinator : Wanda Alesky ; email- Wanda.Aleksy@royalfree.nhs.uk


London - St Thomas's Hospital Cochlear Implant Programme  

ENT Department, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7EH
Phone: 0207 188 7188 
Paediatric Coordinator : Sandra Titley ; email- Sandra.Titley@gstt.nhs.uk

London - St George's Hospital Cochlear Implant Programme 

St Georges Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London SW17 0QT
Phone: 0208 725 2493
Website: www.stgeorges.nhs.uk
Coordinator : Eleanor McKendrick ; email- Eleanor.McKendrick@stgeorges.nhs.uk


Oxford Cochlear Implant Programme 

The John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford  OX3 9DU
Phone: 01865 224445
Coordinator : Jane Jones ; email- Jane.Jones@orh.nhs.uk


Personal FM Systems & Class Soundfield Systems



Connevans specialises in the supply of equipment to  meet the needs of people who are deaf or hearing impaired.  Connevans have worked together with Education Professionals to help students hear more effectively in school. A current example is the design and manufacture of an extensive range of Soundfield systems for Classrooms and Halls.  They also supply a range of personal FM systems.

www.DeafEquipment.co.uk - is the online shopping website from Connevans Limited
The UK's most comprehensive online shop for deaf and hard of hearing people.

PC Werth 


PC Werth are the UK's leaders in Soundfield with over 10,000 classrooms benefitting from their leading technology that amplifies a teachers voice whilst also enhancing speech frequencies, broadcasting it from carefully placed speakers to the whole class.

• The whole class can hear easily and clearly
• Teaching effectiveness and academic results improve
• Classroom management is improved
• Voice strain and physical strain is reduced
• Ambient noise and distractions are defeated
• Simple, intuitive and outstandingly effective from day one!

Soundfield systems are t he single most cost-effective teaching enhancement available in the UK today.



Different Communication Approaches


Informed Choice

Early Support Materials 


'Helping you choose: Making informed choices for

you and your child'. Early Support (2006) Ref: ES47

Making informed choices is about much more than choosing a communication approach as this little booklet will inform you.  The Department for Children, Schools and Families (formally DfES) has produced a wide range of materials to support families and professionals supporting very young children with disabilities.  This booklet guides you through some of the information you should be able to find out from your local services and the type of information that should be made available to you.


Auditory Verbal - Auditory Oral

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf 


The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG  Bell) is a lifelong resource, support network and advocate for listening, learning, talking and living independently with hearing loss.  Through publications, outreach, training, scholarships and financial aid, AG Bell promotes theuse of spoken language andhearing technology. Withits headquaters in Washington DC, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking!


AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language 

www.agbellacademy.org/        Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf          The A

The AG Bell Academy is the certification body of AG Bellwhich seeks to advance listening and talking through standards of excellence andinternational certification of professionals.  The AG Bell Academy regulates and awards the international Certification in Auditory-Verbal Therapy/ Auditory-Verbal Education.


Auditory Verbal UK


Auditory Verbal UK is a national charity committed to the Auditory Verbal approach to helping hearing-impaired children acquire

listening and spoken language skills.


Deaf Education Through Listening and Talking (DELTA)


DELTA is a nationwide support group of teachers and parents of deaf children.  DLETA provides support, information and advice to guide parents in helping their children develop normal speech and to live independently within a hearing society.  There are regional branches that hold regular meetiings and conferences.  DELTA also runs courses for parents and families including summer schools for parents

with hearing impaired children.


Visual SIgns / British Sign Language

SIgn Community: British Deaf Association


The BDA represents the Sign Language community, which is united by shared experiences, history and by British Sign Language (BSL).


Cued Speech Association


A national charity that provides information, advice, courses and learning materials on Cued Speech.  Cued Speech gives a visual representation of spoken language, which allows deaf children to develop their inner language and improve literacy and lipreading through vision rather than listening.  It clarifies the ambiguouslip-shapes of normal speech with eight hand shapes in positions near the mouth.



Books and Websites


Early Support


Early Support is the central government mechanism to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of services for young disabled childen and their families across England.  The Early Support Family Pack (Ref:ESPP1) is for families with young children with additional support needs associated with disability.  Print copies are available free of charge to parents or carers with a baby or toddler in England - and all the contents can be viewed online.  Families are normally introduced to the pack by someone whois already working with them.  Booklets, on amongst other issues, 'Making Informed Choices' (Ref: ES47) and 'Information for Parents: Deafness' (ESPP11) are also available free of charge.


Early Support Library 


The library was launched in 2003 with a grant from the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) and the Department of Education and Skills.  The library aims to make information available to parents and families of deaf children living in London.  They have information on all sorts of topics, for example: parenting, communication and child development.  The library is part of the Early Support programme, a UK government-funded programme to support the development of support services for disabled children under two and their families.


Deaf 24/7 


Deaf 24/7 is an internet resource for a wide range of information on deafness

and British Sign Lanugage.


Forest Bookshop


Specialists in books, CDs and videos on deafness and deaf issues.


National Deaf Children's Society 


The NDCS is an organisation of families, parents and carers, providing emotional and practical support through a Freephone Helpline, a network of trained support workers, and a wide range of other serives, publications and website.  It provides impartial information and indivdual advocacy on every aspect of childhood deafness.  The NDCS can help also with welfare rights and benefit claims, making education choices, advising on health and audiology and technology, or simply as someone to talk to.


Royal National Institute for Deaf People


The RNID aims to achieve a better quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing people.  It does this by campaigning, lobbying, raising awareness of deafness, by providing services and through social, medical and technical research.


RNID Library


A co-operative venture between the RNID and University College London.  It cover all aspects of hearing, speech and language and specialises in literature on deafness - from academic journals to children's books.  The RNID library is open to everyone.  You do not have to become a member to use the services - just visit or phone durng opening hours, or send them an email or fax.



DeafSign.com is a publisher of British Sign Language resource materials.  It is a free information service website which is approved by the National Grid for Learning.  The website includes a schools' section, games, fingerspelling keyboard, news, notice board and guest book with personal replies and online resource ordering.


Special Educational Needs: Education and Law

Currently being updated March 2009


Additional Challenges


Currently being updated March 2009



Financial Support

Disability Living Allowance    www.direct.gov.uk

                Then search 'Disability Living Allowance'

Disability Living Allowance - sometimes referred to as DLA - is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled.

The NDCS also provide guidance and examples as to how to complete the forms:  www.ndcs.org.uk


Family Fund 


The Family Fund helps families with severely disabled children to have choices and the opportunity to enjoy ordinary life.  They give grants for things that make life easier and more enjoyable for the disabled child and their family, such as washing machines, driving lessons, hospital visiting costs, computers and holidays.


Family Action



Family Action supports over 45,000 families every year. They tackle some of the most complex and difficult issues facing families today – including domestic abuse, mental health problems, learning disabilities and severe financial hardship. They work with whole families to help them find solutions to problems, no matter how difficult, so that they become safer, stronger and more optimistic about their future.



Family Things

Sibs for brothers and sisters of people with special needs  

Sibs is the UK charity for people who grow up with a disabled brother or sister. They support siblings who are growing up with or who have grown up with a brother or sister with any disability, long term chronic illness, or life limiting condition. There are over half a million young siblings and over a million adult siblings in the UK. Siblings have specific needs that require attention at different stages of their lives, including relief of isolation, information, and strategies for coping with the situations they find themselves in. Their aim is to enhance the lives of siblings by providing them with information and support, and by influencing service provision for siblings throughout the UK.


Twins and Multiple Births Assocation 

Tamba is a nationwide UK charity providing information and mutual support networks for families of twins, triplets and more.