Wendy worked for many years in deaf education as a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and Educational Audiologist. She has worked in schools for the deaf, resource bases for deaf children and young people in mainstream education and as peripatetic teacher of the deaf. Wendy wrote a book with a Deaf parent of one of the deaf children she worked with “ Deafability not Disability”. She also worked for the RNID/Red Cross in Romania training staff in schools for the deaf. She joined Manchester University as a lecturer and worked on and further developed the training programme for those wishing to teach deaf children. She has edited and contributed to a number of books and written journal articles. She has worked as a consultant in deaf education in Vietnam, Rwanda, Myanmar, Meghalaya in India and Ireland and lectured across Europe, Australia and New Zealand. She became the first female Professor of Deaf Education and won a national Teaching Fellowship prior to retiring in 2018. She is currently a co-opted member of a Government Think tank considering how to assess the audiological needs of children with complex learning needs.
Wendy’s work in Myanmar has been primarily as a teacher of the deaf, offering training to school staff. “Teachers” in Myanmar are trained as Social Care staff and schools are required to follow the National Curriculum which leads to rote learning. So, the children develop great writing skills but little understanding of what they are writing. The team which goes to Myanmar has focused on training staff and parents, demonstrating what can be achieved practically. Hearing aid test kits have been given to schools and families as well as training to ensure aids are working and used. As a trained Educational Audiologist Wendy has been able to retest children where test results do not match classroom observations or where children are new to the school. Parents have been delighted with the hearing aid care kits and most surprised when Auditory Training Units are used. These are special hardwire sets with headphones and a microphone. They can provide high levels of sound. Some parents saw their deaf child use their voice for the first time. The team have been able to train staff on how to use them and leave three sets in the school.