VDEI interviewed Kathy Galea, Deaf Facility Manager from Charles La Trobe College in relation to having students' resources captioned by the VDEI Caption Centre.
VDEI: Thanks for agreeing to talk to VDEI, Kathy! What has been the benefit to the students at Charles La Trobe Secondary College of having their resources captioned through the VDEI Caption Centre? Have you noticed a difference in your students, for example, in the level of student engagement and so on?
Kathy Galea: The Facility students from Charles La Trobe College have benefitted from having material captioned. It has allowed them to have equal access to DVDs and material used by teachers as part of their curriculum.
DVDs have been captioned from all subject areas including Technology (Food and Wood), Visual Communication, Science, Media, Humanities, Health and Wellbeing, Legal Studies, Careers as well as English and English as an Additional Language (EAL).
In the past, interpreters would have interpreted the material, necessitating the student to look from the DVD to the interpreter and back again or the students would have managed with what they could hear and see. Now students are fully engaged with the material and both hearing and deaf students have the advantage of the captions using them to clarify their understanding. They are able to access the material at the same time as their classmates.
Captions enable the material to be borrowed and reviewed at a later date if needed. A further benefit is that captions are in the language of the resource, giving students exposure to written English, which supports their literacy.
At Charles La Trobe College it is expected that all material presented in class will be captioned so that all students benefit equally from what is being presented. This is possible through the VDEI Captions Centre in Bendigo.
VDEI interviewed Marg Tope from the Bendigo Deaf Facility about the Auslan readers they are developing in collaboration with VDEI.
VDEI: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, Marg! Please tell us how you identified the need for this project?
Marg Tope: Yes, certainly! The Auslan Reader project as I titled it for the application I wrote, came about from observing inconsistent and often inaccurate translation of an English text into Auslan with regard to the take home reader we ask children to read with an adult each night. The intent behind the Auslan Reader project is to provide a model for naive signers to learn from and to provide consistency for the child who may also be acquiring sign skills.
VDEI: Can you tell us how you went about starting the process with the books?
Marg Tope: The process involved:
- Forming partnerships with the publishers of the readers
- Forming partnerships with ‘experts’ in Auslan
- Forming partnerships with a film maker
VDEI: Has the material been trialled?
The material is currently being trialled in a primary setting with deaf children and also as a resource for an Auslan LOTE program.
VDEI: How is the material going to be available?
Marg Tope: The intent is to make the material created to be available to those who see an application for a resource such as this. The nuts and bolts of the process of access is yet to be refined.
VDEI: Have you noticed any change in students reading skills or enthusiasm after using the signed version of the take home reading material? Have you had any feedback from parents about how this material has impacted on their children?
Marg Tope: Feedback from the one school currently trialling the material has come from staff and has been enthusiastic for having another resource to draw on and for the intent of the Auslan Reader project itself.
VDEI: Thanks for your time Marg. Good luck with the project!
In May 2011 VDEI called for expressions of interest to undertake innovative resource development projects that would lead to knowledge sharing across the deaf education workforce and/or develop teaching and learning resources for students with a hearing loss.
It has been very exciting to be involved in the wide variety of projects which have been undertaken by various groups in the sector. There will be a presentation day for these projects in April 2013. All professionals working in the sector are invited to attend.
To ensure the provision of high quality educational services and access for deaf and hard of hearing students, VDEI sought expressions of interest to undertake innovative resource development projects in April 2011.
Across the sector, individual resource development packages continue to be developed, trialled and implemented. While some packages have been signed, sealed and delivered, many continue to be developed over the course of 2012. We look forward to showcasing these projects at a soon to be confirmed professional learning day in November, which you can then put in your diary.