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A review of the 6 Centres for Hearing Impaired (CHI) in the Adelaide metropolitan area was released for consultation in March 2016. Following an additional consultation period, the review’s recommendations were approved for a staged implementation in September 2016.
The recommendations include the consolidation of the centres into 4 locations. The centres at Elizabeth Park and Hillcrest primary schools will close at the end of 2016. The 4 locations staying open are:
- Klemzig Primary School
- Brighton Primary School
- Windsor Gardens Secondary College
- Adelaide High School.
Centres will be supported to provide an improved service with an increased investment in resources. Students will have options about their pathways, plus additional support is being provided for centre students and families affected by the changes.
The new model will create centres where students with significant hearing impairment can be supported to be their best through a combination of best practice approaches and the specialist skills of staff. This new model reflects international research, where a teacher of the deaf and a school support officer or interpreter will be provided within the inclusive mainstream classes.
Most of the recommended changes relate to improved teaching practice, including the inclusive practice of learning in mainstream classes. This makes sure students are exposed to age-appropriate curriculum and the expectations that their hearing peers experience.
Families with students currently enrolled at the Elizabeth Park and Hillcrest centres can either have their children included in a mainstream school with a high level of support, or to be enrolled at another centre in 2017.
If you have questions about the review please contact Disability Policy and Programs unit on 8226 1769 or via email Education.SpecialEducation@sa.gov.au.