A number of support services are available including Auslan support, school psychology, educational audiology and production services.
- support for visiting teachers who have educational interpreters and notetakers supporting their students;
- professional learning for educational interpreters and notetakers working in schools;
- acts as a resource team for these support staff working for the Department;
- provides continually updated policy so the best outcomes are met for Deafblind, Deaf and hard of hearing students;
- assists schools in sourcing appropriately qualified staff (Interpreters/Notetakers) for Deaf students in schools;
- advocates through the department to ensure ongoing recognition of the needs of Deaf students and their support staff; and
- liaises with outside organisations including the WA Deaf Society, Catholic Education, Universities, Deaf Children Australia, Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA), TAFE etc with the ultimate goal of benefiting deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind students and their families.
School Psychology Service
The school psychologist provides support for children with a hearing loss and/or vision impairment, their families and schools. This includes identification of cognitive ability and developmental levels; behavioural and social-emotional needs to provide information to assist with individual educational planning and program development, as well as family support.
An educational audiology service is available to students from the age of diagnosis through to completion of high school. Services are provided to determine the educational significance of the hearing loss. This will help ensure that the student has access to the curriculum and that the learning potential is being maximised throughout the student’s school years.
A resources production team is available to produce curriculum materials in alternative formats such as braille texts, tactile graphics, large print books and captioned videos for schools to use with students who have a hearing loss and/or vision impairment.
Vision Education provides reading and learning materials for children who are blind or have low vision and are eligible for our service in the following alternative formats;
- large print
- tactile books, tactile graphics
Requests for these materials are made through consultation with the visiting teacher, parents, classroom teacher and student.
The Sensory Captioning Service assists schools in locating captioned resources and/or captions items for mainstream teachers (where copyright allows).
Captions are the on-screen, text version of a video soundtrack, including dialogue, sounds and music, on TV programs, DVDs, online videos and at the cinema or theatre. Similar to subtitles for foreign language films, captions generally appear at the bottom of a screen.
Captions are essential for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those with hearing devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. The use of captions in the classroom teaches the deaf and hard of hearing students that it is their right to equal access, making them more likely to seek the use of captions in other environments (home, workplace) when used as the norm throughout their education.
- promote independence and reduce feelings of isolation by providing immediate contextual information (students don’t have to ask peers for clarification); and
- are helpful when viewing content in a noisy environment.
In addition to being required by law for deaf and hard of hearing students, captions have educational benefits for all students including:
- those who have English as a Second Language (ESL) or an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D);
- students with language delay; and
- students with auditory processing and learning difficulties.
Youth Engagement Days
Youth Engagement Days support secondary students with sensory loss. The program is designed to explicitly teach and develop leadership qualities and skills. It provides students with the opportunity to learn and develop their own leadership skills in a supportive environment. There are also opportunities to make new friends and interact with like-minded students who strive to achieve their best in all areas of their educational and social lives. Participation in the program also facilitates the development of social and emotional skills, enhancing feelings of connectedness, belonging and wellbeing.