By admin | September 15, 2011
The teaching of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing has altered as a result of technologies such as cochlear implants and speech-to-text tools, according to a recent report from Project Forum, at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, in the United States (see summary).
Notable findings in the report include:
- greater acceptance of deaf/hoh children by mainstream class teachers
- a trend toward classroom accommodations, not specialised teaching
- a decrease in the number of specialist schools for deaf children
- a decline in the use of sign-language
- an increased need for speech & language teachers for deaf children
Remaining challenges to address include:
- Service delivery in rural areas (see IDK’s Telepractice posts)
- Directed training for teachers and professional development
- Shrinking budgets for supporting deaf/hard of hearing students
- Need to improve relationships within the deaf/hoh community
The trends noted in this report are evident in Ireland, where mainstreaming for pupils who are deaf or hard-of-hearing was sanctioned in the 1994 Salamanca Statement (which Ireland ratified) and in the 2004 EPSEN Act.