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.
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.