As part of the GDA member charities publicity campaign for the Disability Strategy update, Leonie Burrows, Treasurer of the Guernsey Deaf Childrens Society, gave an interview on Channel Television on hearing impairment issues within Education. Here is a copy of Leonie’s story:
Following the disappointing news on the delay of the disability strategy, I agreed to be interviewed by CITV. During the interview I stressed that equipment, support and training is needed for our hearing impaired children. I was contacted almost immediately after my interview was aired by Nick Hynes, Director of Learning Performance and Intervention at the Education department, and arranged a meeting. I had already previously invited parents of hearing impaired children to share examples of where they think Education has failed for the forthcoming inclusion strategy meeting, so I had many worrying examples to share with Nick. I expressed that my main concern is the lack of support that the children and teachers get in the classrooms. Having recently contacted Nick again to see if any progress have been made I am delighted to report some really positive news.
- The service will now be ‘line managed’ through Lee Collier deputy head teacher of Le Murier School who has a wealth of experience and good understanding of children with sensory impairment.
- The hearing support service has had a run of bad luck with staff illness. They have now been given the go ahead by Nick to backfill these posts. Once they are backfilled there will be a greater ability for the service to touch base regularly with hearing impaired children.
- The hearing support service has invited an experienced off island person to work alongside them to offer support and advice, a good opportunity to gather the expert opinion of another person who works within the same field.
I feel really encouraged by Nicks prompt actions, and hope these changes will soon filter through and make a positive difference for hearing impaired children and their schooling.