All enrolled Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) students participate in regular classes within the school. The Hearing Unit team comprises Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs), who are trained teachers with additional specialist qualifications in the area of language learning intervention. These teachers plan and work collaboratively with the respective grade level classroom teachers, to ensure the students access the learning environment and can reach their potential.
ToDs are continually upskilling by attending professional development and liaising with colleagues in the field, to ensure current best practice. DHH students all have ‘buddies’ who are role-models and play an important part in development of identity. Social interaction is important in developing a positive sense of connection.
The level of support accessed by students is determined by each student’s individual needs. This may include individual targeted intervention sessions, partner or small group sessions as well as support within the classroom. Each student’s individual program is reflected in their Individual Education Plan and is designed to maximize the student’s full potential with a focus on language development, audition and speech skills as well as self-advocacy and social skills.
The Individual Education Plans are developed each term and reviewed at regular Student Support Group meetings. In order to provide an optimal listening environment for DHH students, workspaces are acoustically panelled and all class and specialist teachers use the Phonak ROGER Touchscreen microphone, synched to a Soundfield system.
The Hearing Unit is supported by a wide range of professionals. This includes staff from the Cochlear Implant Clinic and educational psychologists.
Our students have weekly or fortnightly sessions with a Speech Pathologist onsite to address their speech and language needs. Sessions are NDIS – funded and follow-up notes to parents and ToDs ensure that intervention is consolidated by all stakeholders. Consistency is vital and the ToD and Speech Pathologist consult to address the students’ learning goals and to ensure targeted intervention.
Hearing Australia Audiologists provide regular audiological and technical services to ensure our students’ auditory input is maximized. To ensure smooth transitions, contact is made with the Early Intervention clinicians as well as Kinder educators prior to enrolment and then again with the Senior school educators and wellbeing staff, when the students move to Secondary schools.
Students participate in a range of activities to broaden their experiences and connect with students outside their regular classroom.