Our centres

We are the Consortium of Higher Education Support Services with Deaf Students (CHESS). Our mission is to increase choice, access and quality of provision for deaf and hard of hearing students entering and studying in Higher Education.

About us

CHESS is a voluntary organisation of Higher Education professionals working with and supporting deaf and hard of hearing students. Anyone is welcome to join: members are affiliated via CHESSFORUM email discussion list, where issues and questions are raised regarding the support of deaf students. This allows members to exchange knowledge and ideas promptly and effectively in a mutually discursive environment.

Our aims:

  • To promote and disseminate good practice in supporting deaf and hard of hearing students.
  • To support all Higher Education Institutions in developing good practice.


We have put together a collection of useful information and guidelines that we have gathered from a number of universities that support deaf students. While some of these resources are tailored to individual institutions, you should be able to find common themes, information and advice which you can use within your own particular institution.

For access to resources related to:

  • Assessment and exams
  • English as a second langue
  • Support for deaf students
  • Guidance for assessors
  • Guidance for teachers and tutors
  • Roles and job descriptions
  • Work placements 

For access to the resources, please email Lynne Barnes 


Membership of CHESS is open to everyone – especially if you have an interest in supporting deaf students within Higher Education. If you are interested in getting involved, you can join CHESSFORUM, a discussion list for those supporting our aims and with an interest in this area of work.

To join CHESSFORUM, visit the Jisc mailing list website and click ‘subscribe’. You will need to provide a valid email address, and set a password. Once you are subscribed, you will receive any emails that are sent between members of the forum.

Planning group

Our planning group is made up of a small number of volunteers from various organisations around the country. We meet on a quarterly basis to discuss issues which might need addressing on a national level, to organise national events, to generate questions and answers for CHESSFORUM and to feedback on new policy and practice which will be shared with the wider membership. In summary, we:

  • Organise meetings and plan the content.
  • Act as a focal point for communication with outside agencies.
  • Provide representation on other groups if requested.
  • Oversee and encourage furthering of the CHESS principles.