Families of deaf and hard of hearing children and professionals working in the deaf sector attended the official launch of the Transition into Primary School Kit at the Victorian Deaf Education Institute on Saturday 22 March 2014.
The Transition into Primary School Kit is designed to support families and those working with the family in transitioning a child who is deaf or hard of hearing into primary school. It aims to inform those involved with the transition process to ensure a positive transition experience for the child and the family. The kit aims to highlight important dates within the transition timeline and to encourage strong communication links between the family, school and local community. Partnerships are fostered between these groups, setting the scene for ongoing positive relationships throughout the primary school years.
At the launch, families of deaf and hard of hearing children had opportunities to chat with teachers from deaf facilities and schools for the deaf, visiting teachers and staff from Australian Hearing, the Cochlear Implant Clinic and Deaf Children Australia to find out information about the range of educational settings and options available in Victoria.
The Primary School Kit includes documents for use by families, early intervention workers, visiting teachers and schools. It contains a professional learning PowerPoint presentation CD for use by teachers of the deaf with mainstream school staff. In addition, there is a storybook entitled Blue Bear gets ready for school. This delightful story follows Blue Bear who is deaf/hard of hearing in preparing for his first day at school. A web application that follows Blue Bear into his first day at school is currently in development.
Highlights of the day included a special appearance from Blue Bear, an Auslan interpreted story time reading of ‘Blue Bear gets ready for school’, and the formal launch of the Transition into Primary School Kit by Clem Newton-Brown, MLA Member for Prahran and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Education and Mark Tainsh, Director of Disability and Inclusion from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The Transition into Primary School (TIPS) project at VDEI has been made possible through funding from the More Support for Students with Disabilities National Partnership and VDEI’s partnership with Taralye Early Invention Centre and Aurora School. In 2014 the transition team will be developing resources for students who are deaf and hard of hearing transitioning from primary to secondary school.