Importance of good listening environments

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) has produced a series of resources 

to set out the simple steps that can be taken to improve the listening environment in schools, nurseries and other education settings. They give advice and information to education professionals, head teachers, Local Authorities and parents, which includes videos and a sound simulation.



Acoustics - Feedback and Impact

Please use the form below to provide feedback, comments about the guide.


BATOD Foundation Conference proceedings

BATOD Foundation held two study days - the 2011 one was sponsored by the Suppliers of Soundfield Systems and the 2012 study day celebrated the Ewing Foundation 60th birthday. Each event was open to all professionals working in deaf education; SENCOs and teachers in mainstream schools; architects and planners working with new and old buildings especially where hearing-impaired children and young people are educated.


Case studies

This column provides the first of what will be a growing number of examples of direct evidence of the impact of interventions, drawn from classroom-based research, that help exemplify the research presented in this guide. It includes a case study showing the benefits of installing acoustic materials and soundfield systems.

The authors would welcome further small-scale case studies in the field of acoustics and speech intelligibility, to include in this guide. Please submit these to


Managing Noise: some sound advice

Do you find yourself as a teacher witnessing that at least some of your pupils are not attaining the standards of which they are capable? Is it at least in part due to the difficulty they experience daily of not hearing clearly what is said to them by you or any other person addressing the class? Then you need to take action.



This column provides information on how to manage noise and the interventions available to improve acoustics and speech intelligibility.

It details recent research on the variety of materials and technologies that can be introduced into learning spaces and the impact they can have on the quality of teaching and learning.



This column provides information on the characteristics of the transmission of voice, what is considered to be a good acoustic environment, and information on speech intelligibility.

In order to appreciate the problems associated with poor acoustics, it is necessary to understand the human and physical components of the acoustic environment. It also sets out the soundscape in which we all work and the acoustic standards that have been determined to ensure teachers and pupils can work effectively in the education environment.



This column provides a brief history of acoustics in schools. It draws together evidence that has been collected over a number of years encompassing the impact of historical neglect in providing good acoustics in schools, the impact of poor acoustics on teaching and learning and what changes can be made to improve the experience of teachers and pupils.



This column provides a brief introduction to why good acoustics are important and provides links to some of the key publications and research available.

Whilst research into the impact on learning of improved acoustics and speech intelligibility has been, and continues to be, carried out, the evidence is somewhat more anecdotal than proven by statistics. We have endeavoured to list below those sources which we feel you will find the most helpful when visiting the various sections of this Acoustics Guide.


Editors' comments

Deafness affects children's access to education all over the world.

We welcome case studies of what works elsewhere. Please send these to



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