New deal for deaf high school students
new.jpg Br Laurie Needham, Lynne Paul, students Dean Eggleton and Gerard Fernandez, Robert Wilson (principal of Gilroy College) and Dr Michael Bezzina at the launch of the learning support centre at Castle Hill
By Damir Govorcin
St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired Children at Castle Hill and the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta, have combined to offer a new program next year for deaf high school students.
The establishment and operation of a learning support centre for secondary students with hearing impairment will take place at Gilroy College, Castle Hill.
The centre will operate according to inclusive educational practices to provide access to a full secondary program to students with hearing impairment.
It will be staffed by a full-time teacher and a teacher’s aide, providing instructional programs within the centre and supporting students when they are included in mainstream classes.
Hearing impaired students will also participate in an intensive language, listening, speech and literacy instruction. Some programs will also be modified to meet the individual need of the students.
“This program is the first of its kind for students with hearing impairment in the Catholic sector of NSW,” said Lynne Paul, principal of St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired Children.
“We stand ready to commence the task of learning together on how best to provide a full secondary curriculum for hearing impaired students in a setting that includes them in the mainstream.
“A setting that gives them every opportunity to join their hearing peers in the classroom, on the sporting field, in social interactions; at the same time the centre will give the students enough support so that they are set up to succeed in their endeavours.”
Priority will be given to students assessed as most in need who are currently enrolled at St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired Children or in a school operated by the Parramatta Catholic Education Office.
Students enrolled in the centre will have dual status – while enrolled as students of St Gabriel’s they will have equal access to facilities, activities and privileges as other students enrolled at Gilroy College.