The Secondary Deaf Facility is fully integrated within our secondary school setting at Charles La Trobe College. Our Facility began in 1984 at Heidelberg High School and was the first mainstream school in Victoria with an integrated Deaf Facility. Providing a Deaf Facility within a mainstream school setting benefits our deaf and hard of hearing students as they can access additional support during their secondary schooling and transition into tertiary education or other career pathways.
Our staff consist of Teachers of the Deaf, Auslan interpreters and Education Support staff all who work closely with mainstream teachers and other support staff in classrooms to support the learning of our students. By upholding the school REAL values of Respect, Excellence, Acceptance and Leadership our Deaf Facility provides an environment which supports students to achieve their best.
Our Deaf Facility caters for all deaf/hard of hearing students across Years 7 – 12. Students with a bilateral, sensory-neural moderate to profound hearing loss come to us from all over Melbourne, although they are predominately from the northern suburbs. Students living more than 5km from the school receive a transport concession for travel to the College.
Our Facility offers state of the art technology, fully integrated classrooms, classroom support, Auslan interpreters and Auslan is taught as our mainstream LOTE across Years 7 – 12.
Facility students participate in all aspects of the College program; for example the Student Leadership program where past students have been elected as School Captains, SRC representatives, sports teams, school concerts and productions and all camps and excursions.
A Teacher of the Deaf is allocated to each year level and acts as a mentor to the Facility students at that level. Students attend timetabled classes with their Teacher of the Deaf each week where mainstream work is clarified and supported. Teachers of the Deaf also support language development and other goals identified in the student’s Individual Learning Plan. Teachers of the Deaf meet with each of their students and their family each term during a Student Support Group (SSG) meeting to review progress on the learning goals identified and set new goals as part of the student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Progress on each student’s ILP goals is reported on each semester. ILP goals are shared with the student’s mainstream teachers so they are aware of how they can also support the student to achieve their goals.
Supportive Technology & Equipment
Current supportive technologies available at the school include Front Row Juno and Soundfield systems, In-house video captioning service and Soundproof Rooms. All students are expected to have their own computer to support learning in classes.
Student Wellbeing Support
We have a Deaf Facility Student Wellbeing coordinator. They are also part of the College Wellbeing Team and can provide support and guidance to students and their families where needed.
Additional Services and Support
The Facility works closely with outside agencies as the need arises. These include, but are not limited to:
Australian Hearing Services: Regular visits from AHS enable student to have their hearing aids checked and ear mould impressions taken.
Speech Therapy: The school can support families with arranging and/or accommodating speech therapy sessions.
Deaf Children Australia: Students are supported to access a number of the programs and supports offered through DCA.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support: Our school employs a youth worker as well as a number of wellbeing staff to support all students. Facility students are able to access this support when needed. Access to external wellbeing support is also available.
Deaf Role Models: The school provides access to a range of deaf/hard of hearing role models through visits from Deaf Chef Ross, Youth in Bloom, past students and current staff. Role models and mentors provide students with support and encouragement in developing and pursuing their goals.