Why transitioning is important for deaf children and young people?
If you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a NDCS Gear Up event in Cardiff. Click here to find out all about it: ‘NDCS Weekend’.
One afternoon on the course, two ladies from the NDCS Welsh Campaigns team came in to talk to us. One group chat that we had was about transitions in education for deaf children and young people. The team are planning on starting a campaign about transitioning, so I thought I would use this blog to express my thoughts towards the situation.
We all had to think of some situations that could be difficult for deaf children or young people when they are transitioning through education. This would either be a transition into mainstream or a deaf school, or even stages like from GCSE’s to higher education such as A Levels or college. Or, the transitioning could be from higher education to further education such as University or even employment.
My statements were the following:
- Schools should provide a wide range of information for the deaf young person- ensuring that the information is not biased or misleading
- Schools should help the deaf child/young person to reach the career they want to achieve
- Ensure the opinions of the young person are listened to and not just the parents
- Keep an open mind about subjects i.e. foreign languages, music – deaf people are capable of achieving anything given the right support
- Make sure the young person isn’t pressurised into doing something they don’t want to
- Assist them with any application processes i.e. explaining it in simple English, or BSL
- Ensure adequate (learning) support is provided or continued into the next stage of education
- Most importantly making sure they know that University is NOT for everyone! (I’m just saying that from personal experience, as I was adamant I didn’t want to go to University, because of the debts, I didn’t want to study full time and I didn’t want that lifestyle. Apprenticeships appealed to me and I’m glad I followed my gut instinct.)
Certain memories stick in my mind from various transitions and I’d like to share some with you…
In Year 7, my parents were concerned that I would be studying three foreign languages and the time and effort spent on three subjects, they considered would be better used to concentrate on less subjects. The Head of Year at school convinced us to ‘give it a go’ and review the situation at a later stage. Fast forward to the end of Year 13, I had just passed my German A Level!
Another situation was where my school was trying to get me to apply for Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge). My first reaction… *laughing* – “me?! I’d never pass the interview stage!” It was totally unrealistic and only for the best of the best!
And finally there was a time where I was once told by my A Level Media Studies teacher that I shouldn’t be studying Media as I’m deaf! You can read about this here:
Have you had any similar experiences? Please comment them below!
Love E x