Building resilience in Deaf and hearing impaired students

Monday, 24 May 2010 16:14pm

EDSA (Educators of Deaf Students Association) and the Deafness Centre, Children's Hospital Westmead, hosted a conference last week entitled ‘Building resilience in students and teachers’ at Rydges Hotel, Parramatta. Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf (ITODs) and other teachers working with Deaf and hearing impaired students were in attendance. The keynote speaker was Professor John Luckner, Visiting Fellow and expert in the field of deaf education from the School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado, USA.

The focus on resilience for both students and teachers was of keen interest to the conference. The development of resilience in students who are Deaf or have hearing impairment has many positive and lifelong benefits. The conference presentations looked at these issues from several angles.

The conference was made accessible to all attendees by the use of real-time captioning of the proceedings and Auslan interpreters. For more information about the Deafness Centre, see the Children’s Hospital Westmead website.

From an accessible media point of view, resilient Deaf students are more able to suggest and advocate for their own access needs in a school setting. These needs also include access to captioned curriculum support material. Hands and Voices, a not-for- profit organisation in the USA, has developed an ‘Informal Inventory of Independence and Self Advocacy Skills for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students’. This tool can be used by professionals, in conjunction with students and parents, to set goals for student resilience and independence. Several goals involve the students’ use of captions in education and using technology to access captioning in the community setting as well.

MAA can assist teachers and students locate captioned educational material via its Accessible Education Database.


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