Save the date – 13th September 2022

We are planning a Speech and Language Therapist and Deaf Language Specialist network event on 13/9/22. We’re currently working out the details but hope to include theoretical presentations about BSL development and assessment, as well as practical examples of co-working. Any DLS and SLT colleagues who would like to develop their co-working can email for more information about the event.

The course is now available

The DOTDeaf course ‘Introduction to Language Therapy in BSL’ is now available at

Module 1 (Introduction) and module 2 (Typical language development) can be viewed from today, the next four modules will be available over the coming fortnight.

The course aims to support Speech and Language Therapists and Deaf Language Specialists to learn and work together supporting children who struggle with BSL.

The course is free to access, just register for a guest account if you are not a member of RCSLT.

Thanks to everyone who has enabled us to share this learning resource. Please share the link with others who are interested in this topic.

A Spanish/LSE version is also available at

See Hear – Deaf, little, and loud

Have you seen this BBC programme about deaf children communicating and learning together in BSL? It touches on many of the topics included in the DOTDeaf course – communication partners, opportunity for language use, everyday language learning with peers. Here’s the link to the BBC website – See Hear 

DOTDeaf – where next?

The DOTDeaf funded project has finished and we hope the UK course will soon be available on the RCSLT CPD website. The Spanish course is live and attracting many learners. In the UK we are meeting with key stakeholders to discuss future plans.

People have asked about career pathways, qualifications, modules for parents, modules on more specialist topics e.g. autism, physical sign difficulties.

We hope to support co-working through talks at Clinical Excellence Networks and other events. Perhaps this blog could be used to share intervention ideas?

If you have any ideas or suggestions for ‘next steps’, please let us know by commenting on this post.

RCSLT Sternberg Clinical Innovation Award

I am honoured to have been given this award for work on the DOTDeaf project.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists will help share information about DOTDeaf with a wider audience of Speech and Language Therapists.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the initial research for the project, developing and reviewing the training modules, giving feedback, or attending DOTDeaf events. The project has been a fantastic example of co-working and co-production.

BATOD magazine article

We are pleased to have an article in this month’s BATOD magazine.

We hope this will help Deaf Language Specialists, Speech and Language Therapists, and teachers discuss their individual skills and opportunities for co-working with children who need support to develop their BSL.

Update on DOTDeaf

We have been working hard to share our work with colleages in North America and across Europe. Earlier this week, we presented at two events with very different audiences. One audience was people working with children who use a sign language, the other group were early stage researchers. We hope our coproduction of resources and diverse project teams can influence future work in research and practice.

We are waiting for final confirmation of the course ‘go live’ date. We hope the course will be available from January 2022. It will be free to access by anyone. We are excited about the learning platform the DOTDeaf course will be linked to. More information will be posted here as it is available!

Our webpages have been updated. Take a look at Web page –

A DOTDeaf reading suggestion

The interplay between early social interaction, language and executive function development in deaf and hearing infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 64(August 2021), 101591.

Morgan, G., Curtin, M., & Botting, N. (2021).

This paper tells us about social interaction, language and executive function (EF). These are skills that develop early in a child’s life. Skill development is supported by people interacting with the young child. This paper tells us that early social interaction helps language and EF develop, then language and EF skills support each other (see fig. 1 p3). It outlines some challenges deaf children and their families may have.

Section 5 tells us about some clinical intervention studies. The studies give some ideas about skills to focus on (p 7) ‘skills in responsiveness, in waiting and observing their child’s play, commenting using contingent talk, and maintaining connected turns’. These ideas may help us help deaf children and families.

It’s a paper with lots of interesting technical terms. Do you use these words and phrases in your work? If you do, how do you sign them?

  • Executive functions – response shifting, inhibitory control, and attention flexibility
  • Social interaction
  • Intersubjectivity – how children develop thinking skills that help them share each other’s intentions and ideas (See section 2)

Discussing these terms with your team will help everyone have a shared understanding of the words and signs.



DOTDeaf reading suggestion

Using Gesture To Identify and Address Early Concerns About Language and Pragmatics by Susan Goldin-Meadow

This paper describes how using gesture can help children develop language. It gives information about how gestures (actions) link to words and signs. Looking at children’s gestures can help us notice how a child’s communication, thinking, and language are developing.

There are ideas about using gesture on pages S281 and S282. The suggestions are in two parts;

1. looking at the child’s gesture to help you understand their development and thinking,

2. using gestures in intervention

You can download the paper from here


Goldin-Meadow, S. (2020). Using gesture to identify and address early concerns about language and pragmatics. Pediatrics, 146(November).

Some questions

Are reading suggestions helpful? Should we post more?

Would this summary be better with a BSL version?

DOTDeaf UK workshop – feedback

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the UK workshop. Here is some feedback from the day.

Over 100 people attended the event.

Polls and feedback form

Poll 1 – 78 people completed the poll at the start of the day.

For their workplace, 19 people told us Deaf Language Specialists and Speech and Language Therapists worked together often, 32 told us they sometimes worked together, and 29 told us DLSs and SLTs never worked together.

Poll 2 – 80 people completed the ‘training’ poll. 62/80 people had not had any training in language therapy in BSL.

Feedback form – 60 people completed feedback forms 58/60 wanted to complete the course when it is available.

How do we share ideas about language therapy in BSL? Please comment with ideas of how to build a network!