What is Irish Deaf Kids?
Irish Deaf Kids (IDK) is an award-winning, for-impact venture geared to supporting inclusive mainstream education for deaf children in Ireland. IDK is a limited company (CRO 462323) with charitable status (CHY 18589).
In the US, 80% of parents teach their deaf children to listen and speak, with under 20% choosing sign-language (NY Times, 7/2011). Ireland’s ratio is similar, meaning children at mainstream schools need a mix of supports.
IDK received Ireland’s eGovernment (Education) award in 2010 for achieving cross-sector collaboration, cost-savings and efficiencies through its service. For parents, educators, deaf people and others, irishdeafkids.ie is an online resource for guidance and discussion on good practice.
The IDK Facebook page is a place to ask questions, share information and talk with parents & educators of deaf children, or deaf people themselves.
If you are involved with, or interested in mainstream education for deaf children in Ireland, this website is for you.
* Two infants per week are born deaf in Ireland (about 100 per year)
* Over 3,300 deaf children in Ireland (90%) are mainstream-educated, with under 4% of this total using sign language (#NCSE, 2011)
* These children learn in English, supported by the Visiting Teacher Service
* 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents
* All babies can lip-read at about 6 months, as a way to acquire language
* Every deaf child is unique, with different needs
* Deafness does not affect a person’s intellectual capacity or ability to learn
* Deaf children can be mainstream educated if the right support is provided
* Early intervention & language acquisition are crucial for deaf children
* Deaf children can, with the right support, live full, healthy and happy lives
* Deaf education is in the mainstream in Ireland, and support is needed
Over 3,300 deaf children currently attend mainstream schools in Ireland in a reversal of previous policy (#statistics: NCSE and Dept. of Education).
Parents and teachers have to take more responsibility for the childrens’ education, and need a way to network, share ideas or ask questions.
Early intervention and language acquisition are crucial for a deaf child’s mainstream education but parents & teachers lack critical reference points.
Every deaf child is unique, with different needs, so individual education plans with adequate supports must be properly used for their schooling.
If parents of deaf children have all the information to make life choices on behalf of their child, the right decisions are more likely to be made.
Technology (hearing-aids and cochlear implants for example) is a huge factor in intervention and it’s the parents’ choice if these are to be used.