Adlington backs new Deaf-Friendly swimming course

Summarized by Rachel Cain, staff writer

Swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington is supporting a new Deaf-Friendly Swimming i-Learn course. The online course is designed to help swimming teachers and coaches learn how to better include deaf children and youth in their lessons. This accredited course, which is completely free of charge, was jointly created by the National Deaf Children’s Society and the Amateur Swimming Association. The course has eight modules. These modules include topics such as “Understanding Deafness” and “Swimming and Technology.” The course encourages coaches to make simple changes to their teaching styles, such as incorporating more hand gestures or visual aids in their directions. Oftentimes, deaf children face challenges in swimming classes because they have to remove hearing assistive technology before they enter the water, which makes it difficult for them to hear the instructor.

Adlington says, “Swimming is a brilliant sport for children and young people to get involved in. It’s hard to imagine not being able to learn to swim and become confident in the water, yet this is the reality for many deaf children. The Deaf-Friendly Swimming i-Learn course is fantastic. It ensures teachers feel confident communicating with deaf children and young people and that they are able to take part. As a swimming teacher myself I will definitely be spreading the word!”

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