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Peer Observation of Teaching-Guide | Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Peer Observation of Teaching program (the Program) is organised by the Victorian Deaf Education Institute. The Program provides an opportunity for five Victorian teachers of the deaf to be placed in an interstate deaf education setting where they undertake unobtrusive and reflective classroom observation in consultation with the teachers concerned. The placement period is for five days in Term Two.

Peer Observation of Teaching - Guide (PDF)

VDEI partners with Deaf Children Australia for Positive Role Model program | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

VDEI funded Deaf Children Australia to conduct a literature review and needs analysis to develop and pilot a mentoring program for primary school aged deaf and hard of hearing students. 

A total of 34 students across 4 Victorian schools took part in the pilot with 4 mentors over 8 weeks of Term 4 2012. Participating schools were Eastwood Primary, St Albans East Primary, Willmot Park Primary and Rosanna Golf Links Primary.  The program, which was well received by the children, their parents and educators, has now been evaluated and a final report, delivered.
Read more 

The student workshops focused on a range of topics identified in the needs analysis, including dealing with issues of identity, peer acceptance, bullying and building resilience.  The workshops were aimed at children in Grade 4-6 levels, who either use Auslan or are oral communicators and who are educated within a deaf school or deaf facility environment. 


VDEI partners with teen mentoring organisation, Hear for You | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

VDEI is currently sponsoring the mentoring organisation, Hear For You, to deliver both an oral and an Auslan mentoring program for Years 7 to 12 deaf and hard of hearing students.  Nineteen oral deaf students have taken part in the oral mentoring workshops, which are being delivered between 24 March and 23 June.  Eighteen deaf students will be participating in the Auslan program, being run between 26 May and 21 July 2013.

The overall aim of the program is to equip young deaf people with enduring skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. It aims to motivate them to achieve in their education and employment as they learn methods to cope with everyday situations, and help them understand that they have much to contribute to their society and the nation at large.

The mentoring programs comprise group workshops over two school terms, e­mentoring using online communication and a parent information session.  The Hear For You mentors are successful young men and women who have experienced and overcome the challenges of deafness during their school years and beyond.

Please email if you are interested in taking part in the workshops. 


VDEI supports new online training program for deaf teens | Tuesday, July 9, 2013

VDEI is assisting with a new research project called 'Hear Me Out!', an online training program for deaf teens that focusses on attaining skills and language appropriate for succeeding in a job interview. 

Mentoring organisation Hear For You, who will be managing the online program in partnership with The University of Melbourne, are calling for teenagers from Years 7 to 12 in Victoria, NSW and QLD to participate in the project. 

Deaf mentors and vocal trainers will be sharing stories of how they succeeded in job interviews.  They will also provide valuable insights and advice for those wanting to gain a part-time job while at school. 

The program will run every week in August for 45 minutes a session.  On 8 September, a live workshop will be held in Melbourne so that participants may practise for job interviews. 

The program has been sponsored by The Victorian Deaf Education Institute, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, The University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts, the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES), the Australian Communication Exchange.  

If you wish to participate in the program, please email Sophie Li at by 19 July 2013.

Hear For You mentor program | Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Hear For You mentoring program for adolescents (supported by VDEI) will be commencing in April 2013. We are currently looking for Auslan mentees to sign up for the program so please share with your networks and email Meg Aumann at

Meet Alice Ewing, one of the Hear For You mentors | Saturday, April 13, 2013

​Alice Ewing currently works as an ecological consultant - primarily as a zoologist, at a private consulting company based in Preston. Alice had a passion to work with wildlife for as long as she can remember, and this has seen her from dreaming to be a vet to a park ranger then back to vet, and eventually, a zoologist. Alice says she has been lucky enough to achieve this dream, and through a variety of experiences, both paid and voluntary, she has seen and done so many things. Her experiences range from volunteering at Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Museum, and PhD students with all kinds of animals, to working on research ships in the Antarctic and in the North Pacific Ocean, and watching hundreds of thousands of shorebirds in remote North-western Australia as part of her further studies. Alice would love to share her experiences with you and help you on your path to achieving your own dreams too.

Alice realises that while you are still at school you don’t always get the opportunity to start on your own pathways to your desired career, but sometimes all it needs is a couple of contacts and a chance to network and get yourself out there to develop new skills and gain experience outside school. 

Alice knows from her own experience that it is sometimes harder to do this as a young deaf person setting out into the big “hearing” world, but she wants to tell you it’s not that scary and most people are happy to involve people who are keen! Alice is more than happy to help in any way she can, even if only to give encouragement or be there if you have any questions.

Mentoring program for ES staff who interpret in classrooms | Friday, April 12, 2013

The mentoring program for educational support staff who interpret in classrooms will begin in Term 2.  Twenty three ES staff from eleven different settings will participate in this program over the next three terms.  This program is a collaboration between VDEI and ASLIA Victoria.

The course provides both class teachers and teachers of the deaf valuable insights into the learning needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.   For the first time in term 2, participants will be treated to a completely revised course which has been put into an Australian context.  This course is not to be missed!

ASLIA VDEI workshop series - third workshop for educational staff who interpret using Auslan in classrooms | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

‘Once upon a time’ is the third in the series of workshops specifically designed for educational staff (ES) who interpret using Auslan in classrooms.  It was run in partnership between VDEI and ASLIA (Vic) on Friday 7 September 2012 at the Bendigo Deaf Facility and on Saturday 8 September 2012 at the VDEI Learning Centre in Melbourne.  Presented by Chevoy Sweeney and Alex Jones, it received excellent feedback from participants.
How does one convey a VCE prescribed novel compared to a primary school picture book? How do you accurately represent the array of characters that come in a story?  How do you make it clear which of these characters you are portraying?  The workshop covered storytelling, role-shifting, tactics to read fingerspelling and interpreting idioms such as ‘two birds with one stone’ and ‘the grass is greener on the other side’.
Chevoy Sweeney works full time as a professional level interpreter in Sydney and has extensive experience working in a wide variety of interpreting contexts. Chevoy also teaches the Auslan/Interpreting programs at TAFE and Macquarie University, works as a mentor at the Deaf Society of NSW and is the president of ASLIA NSW.
Alex Jones is the co-founder and brand ambassador of AI Media. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Alex was recruited to Australia in 1997 by the Australian Theatre of the Deaf and has continued to extend his theatre, film and TV credits while also starting and developing two businesses. Alex was the Director of the critically acclaimed 2005 Deaflympic Games Cultural Festival in Melbourne – the first in the world – and toured Australia with Heads Up! – a theatre-in-education program. Alex has served as an ambassador for the NSW Government’s International Day of People with Disability campaign. Don’t DIS my ABILITY, every year since 2004. He was formerly the Chairperson of the Deafness Forum of Australia over a five-year period.

Partnership - mentoring children and young people with hearing loss in schools | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VDEI has been working with Hear for You and Deaf Children Australia to fund and promote brand new mentoring programs for primary and secondary school students. The overall aim of the program is to arm young people with enduring skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. It aims to motivate them to achieve their educational and employment ambitions, as they strengthen their identity and learn resilience to cope with everyday situations. Ultimately young participants will be supported to understand their potential for significant contribution to the community. Helen Harrington-Johnson is working with Nick Doyle and Meg Aumann (Hear for You) and Sue Izard (Deaf Children Australia) on programs. For more information please contact Helen 

Mentoring program for educational support staff who work with signing deaf children | Thursday, June 21, 2012

​One of the initiatives that will be available for ES staff in 2012 is a mentoring program. This will be facilitated from a number of deaf education settings in 2012.

The mentoring program, which will be run by ASLIA Vic staff, will include the following components:

  • Fortnightly contact between the allocated mentor and ES staff at each facility. This may be in person or via a video link.  It is anticipated this will occur outside of school hours.
  • Filming each educational support staff member while interpreting.
  • Analysis of the video recording by the mentor.
  • The mentor guiding the developing of  an action plan for each staff member involved in the program focussing on strategies for improvement
  • The mentor development and implementing a professional learning program based on the needs identified during video analysis.  This should occur during fortnightly contact time.
  • Re-filming analysis skills and celebrating success.
  • At the completion of the course, participation in a feedback process to aid with future planning.

For further information please contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at  or call (03) 9032 6400

Download: mentoringprogramstaffflyer.pdf

Educational interpreting workshop | Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Victorian Deaf Education Institute is committed to providing professional learning programs for educational support (ES) staff who provide Auslan interpretation in classrooms.  This program will be delivered in partnership with the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA VIC).

The second in the four part series of these workshops is entitled Educational Interpreting: The Art of Tightrope Walking.  It will be delivered by Karen Bontempo at the VDEI Learning Centre in Melbourne on 22 June 2012 and at the Bendigo Deaf Facility on 23 June 2012.

Educational support staff are faced with the considerable challenge of trying to reconcile their role as an interpreter with their responsibilities as an adult working in an educational setting. In order to function effectively as part of the school community, the interpreter is often expected to be more than 'a pair of hands' in a classroom, but how do educational interpreters balance competing demands and remain 'ethical', as defined by the rhetoric of the interpreting profession?

This PD session will address boundary management issues in classrooms, in addition to raising awareness of protective behaviours and self-care strategies for educational support staff.  To conclude the session, an overview of the NAATI test process and format will be outlined from an examiner’s perspective, for those considering direct NAATI testing.

Karen Bontempo is a practising Auslan/English interpreter with over 20 years’ experience in the field across a range of settings. She works full time as a teacher at Shenton College Deaf Education Centre.

Places are limited. To register, see: ASLIA Vic PD & Events

Improving classroom support - mentoring initiative | Thursday, March 1, 2012

​The new year has heralded a new era for professional learning for educational support staff. In 2012, VDEI, in partnership with ASLIA Victoria, is piloting a mentoring program for this group of staff. In response to expressions of interests lodged with VDEI, seven mentoring groups have been formed across both regional and metropolitan areas.
Each of the seven groups - consisting of 6 - 8 mentees - has fortnightly contact with their nominated mentor. The aims of the program are for each individual to:
  • receive regular and individual support and feedback in relation to classroom Auslan interpreting and communication activities
  • develop and improve their Auslan skills
  • try new strategies and approaches to classroom interpreting; and
  • gain confidence in their interpreting role and interaction with students and classroom teachers
For further information please contact Victorian Deaf Education Institute at
For more information, see: Educational interpreter mentor program