Education Ministry strengthens support for deaf students

Twenty members of the Student Support Services Division participated in a two-week training exercise—Introduction to Sign Language last month as part of a wider initiative aimed at increasing the Sign Language proficiency of officers at the Ministry of Education. This training coincides with the Ministry’s thrust to improve its servicing of the nation’s special needs students.

Special Education Teachers and providers have been engaged in various training exercises during the school vacation as part of the Ministry’s commitment to continuous development and teacher training. Ten Special Education teachers recently participated in the Certificate in Teacher Orientation and Professional Development for Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners offered by the University of the West Indies in collaboration with Gallaudet University. The programme took place from July 9- 14, 2018 at the Cascade School for the Deaf courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Association for the Hearing Impaired.

Training of Special Education teachers and providers further supports the work of the Ministry at the level of the school. The Ministry, through its School Supervision and Management Division, oversees the Cascade School for the Deaf and the Audrey Jeffers School for Deaf in Marabella.

Additionally, deaf and hard of hearing students in mainstream schools benefit from the provision of Teachers of the Deaf and Interpreter Assistants at the El Dorado West and East Secondary Schools, South East Port of Spain, and Marabella South Secondary. Applications are currently being short-listed for the employment of additional Interpreter Assistants in preparation for the new Academic Year.

The Ministry of Education acknowledges its responsibility to improve the educational opportunities available to all learners including those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and remains committed to engaging stakeholders in the dialogue and provision of services to this sector.

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