IDK held an information session on mainstream education on March 4th, in Dublin. The event, for parents and educators seeking insights to educational options for deaf and hard of hearing children, was both informative and reassuring. In particular, no attempt was made to enforce a specific opinion and opportunities existed for different opinions to be heard.
With a theme of, “Choice, Options, Possibilities“, the event reinforced that every deaf or hard of hearing child is different and has varied educational needs and opportunities even if their hearing patterns are similar.
Presenters And Presentations
The accessible seminar had nine presentations, with two ‘question & answer’ sessions. Presenters included parents, visiting teachers, students and professionals supporting deaf students for insights to mainstream education.
The ﬁrst presentation was made by IDK’s Caroline Carswell, who recounted how her experiences in mainstream education and competitive workplaces inspired her to set up Irish Deaf Kids as a social enterprise.
The difﬁculties for a child who is mainstreamed were perfectly captured by two student presenters on the theme of ‘Journeying Through Mainstream Education’, who also expressed their overall contentment with the system.
Difﬁculties do face deaf or hard of hearing children and their parents, who struggle with decisions about their child’s education. Parents were encouraged to explore all their child’s options, with contacts and information.
Preschool To Third-Level
College and university options and access to third-level education for deaf or hard of hearing students was touched on by some speakers, with UCC’s Student Advisor, Darrelle Keegan, presenting via Skype. Preschool options were similarly considered and discussed during this very well-rounded day.
The over-riding message of this event is that deaf and hard of hearing children have endless possibilities and opportunities, with no standard right or wrong choice, or decision to be made as every child is different.
(compiled by Nicola Fox)