VDEI interviewed Marg Tope, Deaf Facility Coordinator at Bendigo Deaf Facility.
Hi Marg! Are you able to share with us stories from one or two of VCE students who did particularly well at VCE and what they have gone on to do? Please share with us what strategies both the student and the school implemented to ensure such excellent results!
Marg Tope: Sure. I have two great stories from last year to share with you!
Blake Mewburn (pictured above) is profoundly deaf and uses Auslan as his primary mode of communication. His long-held ambition was to be a cabinet maker. He did the VCE year over three years and used an Auslan interpreter in all classes. To ensure his success, he started work experience at Jimmy Possum in Year 10 and was meticulous about his portfolio. The school did several things to ensure that Blake was ready to step into a job. We rehearsed the types of questions he would get in job interviews. We worked with MIPs in conjunction with Bendigo Senior Secondary College. We also struck up a partnership with employment agency CRS. Between the three agencies, we worked to have Blake interview ready. He is now working full time at Jimmy Possum and loving his time there.
Dechlan Birt (pictured above) has a severe hearing loss and uses Spoken English as his primary communication. To pursue his dream of being an architect, Dechlan did two years of VCE. The school enrolled him in the VVL Network which conducts online courses, so he did his Physics and Maths Methods in a virtual classroom. We also transcribed all the video content so Dechlan was able to pace himself and could go back and replay concepts at his own rate of learning. Dechlan later decided that he wanted to be an engineer. Together we did an application through VTAC and encouraged him to apply for a scholarship. After securing a $25,000 VicRoads scholarship, he is now studying a 4 year engineering degree at La Trobe University in Bendigo. He is doing very well.
Both students’ achievements can be attributed to hard work and determination. Both students were extremely focused on being successful and weren’t afraid of hard work. They took advantage of opportunities as they arose. Three quarters of their success can be attributed to having a goal and knowing what they wanted to do. They were diligent about attending the deaf facility; they never skipped class and they never wasted their study time!