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September 5, 2004

Grundtvig project for hearing-impaired

From: Valletta Times, Malta - Sept 5, 2004


The Gozo Association for the Deaf, in collaboration with the Helen Keller School, Qrendi, has completed a one-year project entitled "Enhancing Guidance and Counselling Services delivered to Parents/Careers of Hearing Impared Children/Students".

This project was funded by the European Community's Grundtvig Action of the Socrates Programme. The partner organisations were the Sensory Inclusion Service, Telford, Shropshire, UK and Tullangsskolan, an upper secondary school in Orebro, Sweden.

Parents of deaf children aged 15-25 in Malta and Gozo received a questionnaire on the types of support they receive from the peripatetic service for the deaf. Parents and care givers in the partner countries responded to the same questionnaire. Each country held a national conference for parents and care givers of hearing impaired students as well as teachers, counsellors and professionals from other agencies that provide them with services. The results of the questionnaire were read out and discussed.

The Malta conference, which was held at Helen Keller School, was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Youth and Employment, Dr Louis Galea. Carmen Cascun, head of Helen Keller School, talked about the services provided by the school through the Special Education Needs Section of the Education Division.

The project co-ordinators from each country, namely Carmen Grech, secretary of the Gozo Association for the Deaf, Andrew Broughton, head of the Sensory Inclusion Service and Asa Andersson, vocational counsellor at Tullangskolan, presented the respective findings from the questionnaire.

Mr Broughton, then briefly compared these findings and pointed out the similarities and differences. The conference ended with an animated discussion that clearly showed the interest and enthusiasm of the audience.

Ms Cascun and Terry Pace, teacher of the hearing-impaired, attended the English national conference while Angela Grixti and Josephine Mamo, also teachers of the hearing impaired, attended the Swedish National Conference.

During their visits abroad they all visited various schools where older hearing impaired students attended.

The Gozo Association for the Deaf would like to thank the Ministry of Education, Helen Keller School and the European Union Programmes Unit for their continuous support throughout this Grundtvig project.

© Allied Newspapers Ltd