One of VDEI's aims is to improve educational outcomes and curriculum access for rural and regional students and families. On the 24 June 2011 Minister Dixon announced the roll out of 300 video conferencing units to primary and secondary schools across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.
DEECD and VDEI identified a number of metropolitan schools, rural and regional schools for their support and curriculum delivery to deaf children requiring Auslan.
These video conferencing units will allow schools to look at developing outreach programs and services in a variety of ways including: using the units to promote and provide Auslan classes to student/parents and/or communities; developing student networks with rural and isolated areas; providing team teaching sessions with Visiting Teachers and students; presenting professional development sessions with teachers in remote areas; deaf role model programs with students; and providing access to some curriculum sessions or subjects with interpreted support.
VDEI Virtual Learning Manager, Sally Martin is in the process of completing visits to schools to discuss ways of making this the most of this exciting opportunity. Each site is looking at at least one program using the video conferencing units in 2012. Currently schools are trialling the equipment by calling through to other sites and facilities with staff and students.