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Now hear trial project
This program aims to improve teacher and system capacity to provide effective learning opportunities to the large number of Indigenous students with Conductive Hearing Loss (CHL) in order to improve these students' learning outcomes. The Now hear trial project targets six focus schools in order to improve conditions for learning for Indigenous students with CHL through acoustic modifications to existing infrastructure, the introduction of amplification technologies, ear health programs and pedagogical practice.
The schools are Ntaria, Haasts Bluff, Mt Liebig, Yirrkala CEC, Milikapiti and MacFarlane Primary. Five Education Advisors-Hearing will support the implementation of the project in these schools.
The Education Advisors-Hearing will take the necessary steps to:
- Measure and report to teachers/principals the acoustic classroom levels and develop practical modifications with schools to address acoustics issues.
- Provide training to school staff on the maintenance of acoustic amplification equipment to assist students (such as hearing aids, FMs, Sound Field Systems).
- Provide systematised professional development to school staff to improve their capacity to effectively teach students with hearing loss.
- Gather student performance data including attendance and literacy and numeracy outcomes measured against the NT Curriculum Framework.
- Support policy changes implemented by health services for the provision of screening, audiological testing and treatment of CHL.
- Use of the Now Hear continuum (Attachment 2) as a means of monitoring and assessing schools' and teachers' capacity to meet the needs of students with CHL.
Anticipated project outcomes in the focus schools are:
- Improved educational outcomes for students with CHL.
- Increased capacity for schools to address the needs of learners with CHL.
- Increased numbers of schools with acoustic improvements to classrooms (acoustic modifications for two classrooms in each of the chosen schools).
- Improved uptake and sustainability of sound field amplification systems (soundfield amplification systems for one classroom in each of the pilot schools).
- Increased interagency involvement and support.
- Improved Conductive Hearing Program accountability, quality assurance systems and quality improvement processes through: the monitoring of improvements in the effectiveness of learning for students with CHL; the ongoing development of the continuum as the key tool to measure school and teacher capacity to meet the needs of students with CHL; and the establishment of procedures for developing service agreements with schools and DHCS on a range of professional development and advisory services.
The project is funded by the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Programme (IESIP).
Sara Jane Adams