Letter: Don’t put barriers between any student and learning
- February 12, 2018
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- Category: Latest News
Recently, the Newfoundland Coordinating Council on Deafness (NCCD) had a meeting. In attendance were parents of school-age children who have a hearing loss and are receiving some services from the Department of Education. These services are inadequate and do not permit their children to fully participate in the classroom.
When many of these parents found out their child had a hearing loss, they were informed by audiologists at the Janeway that learning American Sign Language (ASL) was not necessary. Why would parents be told this myth about ASL? Research has shown that ASL, used with both hearing children and children with a hearing loss, allows children as young as four months to communicate with their parents.
Jane R. Madell, PhD, has said, “The educational audiologist is responsible for managing audiological issues for children in schools.”
Ms. Madell is a pediatric audiologist, speech-language pathologist, listening and spoken language specialist and auditory verbal therapist. She suggests that an educational audiologist should monitor all audiological evaluations of school-age children and then help school staff understand the effects of hearing loss on academics.
Prior to the Newfoundland School for the Deaf (NSD) closing, there was a full-time educational audiologist responsible for testing and fitting the students with appropriate assistive devices in NSD, other schools around the province and pre-school age children. She would travel to the homes of these children along with NSD’s home-parent teacher and help educate them about their children’s hearing loss. She followed these students from then on to their post-secondary experiences. If they left the province to go to Gallaudet University or another institution that provided appropriate services to deaf students, she would follow up when they returned for a visit. Should they go to Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic or another local post-secondary institution, she would provide audiological services until they graduated.