Tuesday June 27, 2017
17
Jan

The Tragedy Unfolding To Our Children With Hearing Impairment


Written by Tina Worland and Heidi Dredge
Hits: 2845

The Tragedy Unfolding To Our Chilren With Hearing Impairment

As Tina Worland And Heidi Dredge Report, The Newman Government Continues To Perpetrate Ableism With Its Unjust Termination Of Funding For Disability Services To Private and Independent Queensland Schools

One day soon each of our children will graduate from the Hear & Say program and will enter the big, wide world of school.  Much of the security, the pastoral care and the camaraderie that we have experienced through being part of the Hear & Say family will come to an end as we each move on to different schools around the state where hearing loss may not be a common occurrence among other students or something that teaching staff have never encountered. This is when the true value of Advisory Visiting Teachers (Hearing Loss) [AVT(HI)] comes through.

AVT's have been a wonderful resource for many graduated Hear & Say families over the years.  AVTs  are trained teachers of the deaf and act as an advocate for children with hearing loss in schools. Their involvement can be high level – such as weekly sit-ins with the child in the classroom through to simply speaking to parents over the phone a few times a year.  They act as a go-between with parents and teachers, often acting as a back up to requests by parents for teachers to persist in wearing the child’s FM, a little radio device which picks up the teachers voice and allows it to come through louder than all the background noise in a classroom. This is very helpful for the hearing impaired student so they don't miss all the little words in our language and instructions from teachers.  If other children are giving talks they too can wear it so their voice comes through louder.

AVT's also help develop appropriate education plans and goals for the child. They often become the professional hearing loss support we as parents need, once we’re no longer enjoying the comfort of regular therapy sessions with our beloved Hear & Say experts.

Disappointingly, the Queensland Government recently announced that funding for AVTs in Independent and non-government schools across the state will end December 2013.  This is a huge blow to families with children currently at those schools or enrolled with those schools and may signal further cuts to funding for AVTs in state schools as well.  With the AVT program due to end next year, many of us will be left with no dedicated hearing-loss support for our children by the time they reach school.

As Hear & Say parents we are committed to preparing our children for mainstream schooling. We believe this is the where they will have the most opportunities to reach their full potential. Don’t let the government take away the wonderful support of AVTs(HI) who can assist our children in achieving this goal.

However, the Newman Government's approach is a fragmented one. If your child attends a Catholic school in the Brisbane Archdiocese, then Catholic Education has its own AVT (HI) team who provide great support to your child. This diocese extends from Maryborough, in to the Kingaroy area and down the coast to the Gold Coast and west to Beaudesert and Gatton (but not Toowoomba and west). So if your child is in a Catholic school in the Brisbane Archdiocese, then your support will continue to be provided by Catholic Education.

As Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights Of Persons With A Disability, we must provide equality in all regions of the state regardless of a child's ability.

Heidi Dredge is a current parent of a child with a hearing impairment while Tina Worland is a past parent of the school.

The time to act is now. What can you do to help?

ArticleAdvisoryVisitingTeachersEar Sign the Queensland Parliamentary petition here: Objection to removal of funding for AVT support teaching staff from Education Queensland to non-state and independent schools
ArticleAdvisoryVisitingTeachersEar If you have a child in the same situation, write your own letter or email detailing your story, opinions, feelings, anger, anxiety. Send your letter to all the email addresses:

 

Minister for Education Honourable Mr John-Paul Langbroek MP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Minister for Disability Services Honourable Ms Tracy Davis MP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Treasurer Honourable Mr Tim Nicholls MP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Opposition Education Annastacia Palaszczuk This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Opposition Disability Services Desley Scott This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Opposition Treasury Curtis Pitt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Related Links:
Convention On The Rights Of Persons With DisabilitiesUN Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities
Newman’s numbers don’t add up on NDISServices Provided to Independent Schools by the Disability Services Support Unit Will Cease January 2013
Newman’s numbers don’t add up on NDISHear And Say

Get Jealous - Rob Robert Groothuis

The Consumer Cube

Joey Thomas

A Chat With Australian Actress Jo Christiaans

S5 Box