As a parent, finding the right school for your deaf or hard of hearing child can be a challenge. Knowing what your child needs – whether they need a school with a deaf unit, or whether they would be better serviced by a deaf school, is all important.
There are a range of different schooling options on offer for families of deaf and hard of hearing children, and common ones can include:
- Mainstream school
Your child could go to a typical local primary or high school and attend lessons with their peers. You could arrange extra support if needed, such as from a visiting teacher of the deaf. Government, Catholic and independent schools can all support children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Mainstream school with a specialist unit
Some mainstream schools have a specialist unit or classroom that has been adapted for teaching deaf and hard of hearing children. Your child may be taught just in this unit, or attend some mainstream classes and some in the specialist unit.
- Schools for children who are deaf or hard of hearing
These schools take a bilingual-bicultural approach in which children usually learn Auslan as their first language and English as their second. The aim is for children to achieve proficiency in both languages and to foster socialisation among both the deaf and hearing communities.
- Specialist schools for children who are deaf or hard of hearing
These schools have specialist staff, equipment and teaching strategies to support children who are deaf and have a disability or other educational needs
- Mainstream school
In the end, it’s important to remember the right school for your child is the one where you feel included and safe – where you feel most supported. Remember, you know your child better than anyone else. Being a great role model – helping your child to embrace their deafness – can help your child to feel more confident at school.
Take a look at the “Choosing a School” resource on our Flying Colours website to help you with exploring your options and making a decision that is best for your child’s needs.
Other useful resources
Locate the schools nearest to you
How to transition your child between stages of their schooling through to post-school