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November 4, 2004

Department to fill vacant visiting teacher post for Galway's deaf children

From: Galway Advertiser, Ireland - Nov 4, 2004

Children with hearing impairment throughout Galway city and county could have a new visiting teacher shortly following the announcement by Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin that a vacancy left empty since June could be filled shortly.

Some 90 deaf and hearing impaired children have been left without the vital support of a visiting teacher since the retirement of the previous teacher last June. The post was not filled following his retirement due to a review by the Department of support services for children with special educational needs.

The visiting teacher generally visits children regularly from their initial diagnosis right up to the completion of their third level education, and gives vital support to students and their families. Galway families have come together in recent weeks to form the pressure group the Galway Association of Parents with Deaf Children to lobby for the immediate filling of the Galway vacancy.

Minister Hanafin announced yesterday that six vacancies in the visiting teacher service will be filled as soon as possible. She said that students with sensory impairment who had come to rely on the visiting teacher service should not be left without this support while the current review of services is being conducted.

The vacant posts, which include the Galway vacancy, will be filled shortly with interim appointments of three years' duration.

© 2004 Galway Advertiser