The teaching of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing has altered with technologies like cochlear implants and speech-to-text tools, according to a recent report from Project Forum, at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, in the US.
Notable findings in the report include:
- Greater acceptance of deaf/hoh children by mainstream class teachers
- Trend toward classroom accommodations, not specialised teaching
- Decrease in the number of specialist schools for deaf children
- Decline in the use of sign-language
- Increased need for speech and language teachers for deaf children
Remaining challenges to address include:
- Service delivery in rural areas (see IDK’s Telepractice posts)
- Directed training for teachers and professional development
- Shrinking budgets for supporting deaf/hard of hearing students
- Need to improve relationships within the deaf/hoh community
The trends noted in this report are evident in Ireland, where mainstreaming for pupils who are deaf or hard-of-hearing was sanctioned in the 1994 Salamanca Statement (which Ireland ratified) and in the 2004 EPSEN Act.
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