The Rosanna Golf Links Deaf Facility was established in 1996 to give children who are deaf or hearing-impaired the best possible access to an inclusive mainstream education. The Deaf Facility provides experienced, trained Teachers of the Deaf (ToD) who work closely with mainstream teachers to support deaf and hearing-impaired students. The ToDs adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of individual students as required and may pre-teach, re-teach and consolidate concepts taught in class.
To provide deaf and hearing-impaired children with support and access to programs that meet their individual needs and allow them to achieve educational success and independence within an inclusive setting.
SUPPORT WITH LEARNING
The level of support is matched to the needs of each student and includes the following:
- language and speech sessions with an emphasis on developing speaking and listening skills;
- support for learning and communication using AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) in English word order where needed;
- withdrawal groups and individual sessions in a variety of curriculum areas as needed;
- ToD support within the mainstream classroom;
- access to the school-based Deaf Studies Program (P – 6) and programs such as SAFE from DCA;
- participation in Deaf cultural experiences, such as performances by the Australian Theatre of the Deaf or AusOpera, Deaf Tennis events, the annual state-wide Primary Deaf Sports Day and interaction with visiting deaf adults;
- support to participate in extra-curricular activities, such as learning a musical instrument, joining one of the bands or Chess Club.
Maintaining fully-functioning hearing equipment is a priority of the Facility. An audiologist from Australian Hearing visits the Facility once a month to ensure equipment is functioning as it should.
- All staff have an understanding of FM systems and wear transmitters in the classroom and in specialist subjects.
- All students in the Facility wear an FM Microlink with either their hearing aid or speech processor.
- Wall Pilots are operational in every classroom and in each of the specialist areas. When students change rooms, the Microlink frequency is automatically changed as they enter the room, allowing the students easy and direct access to the teacher’s voice. RGLPS was the first school in Australia to be fitted with Wall Pilots.
- The school is equipped with eleven Sound Field Systems to assist children who may have difficulties with learning in ways other than through hearing. The FM systems are compatible and linked in with these systems in a number of classrooms, specialist areas and in OSHC.
- Students use computers, iPads, netbooks, videoconferencing, interactive whiteboards and have access to captioning.
Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for Literacy are set up for every deaf or hearing-impaired student. These are based on current speech and language assessments. ILPs may be set up for other curriculum areas depending on need.
Student Support Group meetings are held twice a year with the parents, ToD, ancillary staff (if needed) and the class teacher to assess progress and set new learning, language and communication goals.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE
Teachers in the Facility liaise closely with Australian Hearing Services and the Cochlear Implant Clinic to ensure that each student has the latest hearing equipment and that all equipment is expertly maintained.
- A Paediatric Audiologist from Australian Hearing visits monthly.
- Speech Pathologists from private providers are accommodated within school hours to see students and a DEECD Speech pathologist visits weekly to work with prioritised students in the facility on a needs basis.
- Support is offered to the family through Deaf Children Australia (DCA), “Fun Up North’ (FUN) network and other agencies.
- A number of our parents run a coffee morning and offer support to other parents in the Facility.
Thoughts about us from our stakeholders
“Our daughter is in Grade 2 at Rosanna Golf Links Primary School and is profoundly deaf. To assist her to hear, she wears a Cochlear Implant (with a Microlink) in one ear and a hearing aid in the other.
We are thrilled that she can attend a mainstream primary school which incorporates a deaf facility unit. This unit provides additional support with a ToD in the classroom and then in small group sessions which are held in the Deaf Facility. The ToD provides tuition which is specifically designed to meet the needs of each child because, as we know, they all differ. My daughter loves her time in the Deaf Unit and has built strong relationships with the other children and teachers from the unit.
We value the support that she and we as her family, are continually shown at RGLPS. The teachers’ doors are always open and time is always made for us when we need to discuss anything.My daughter is doing extremely well at school and is very happy to go every day – which is reflection on the wonderful teachers and her fellow students, who don’t treat her any differently because of her hearing loss. She is just ‘one of the kids’.”
(Parent of a Grade Two student).