Deaf Facility

About the Facility

The Deaf Facility at Forest Hill College provides deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students with the opportunity to gain a high quality education within a supportive and challenging environment. The College employs specialist Teachers of the Deaf and Auslan educational interpreters to support DHH students in their learning. Following contemporary research into how DHH students acquire, organise and understand new knowledge our specialist staff use cutting edge technologies and teaching strategies. Forest Hill College is committed to enabling all students to participate actively in the college curriculum alongside their hearing peers.

The Deaf Facility at Forest Hill College provides a high level of support sets high expectations and has a proven record of achieving best possible educational outcome for individual students.

Educational Support for all Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Students

Specialist Program

Teachers of the Deaf work closely with families and students and collaboratively with subject teachers to provide optimal, differentiated teaching instruction. Teachers of the Deaf at Forest Hill College are highly skilled in either Auslan/Bi-lingual education or developing spoken language through listening and speech. Individual Learning Plans are developed to maximise each student’s academic potential and engagement in College life. Small specialist intervention classes are offered through the Facility to ensure access to learning with a focus on:

  • Language Enhancement – Building a strong first language which is the foundation on which all learning occurs.
  • Literacy Development – Scaffolding, ‘chaining’, chunking and cultivating associations between signs, sounds and words.
  • Personal Learning and social skills – Careers, using resources and identity.

Notetaking

Even students with exceptional listening ability can experience ‘holes’ in the information received in class for various reasons. Students watching interpreters may experience these holes when they avert their eyes to the board or their workbook. Notes, including visual prompts to scaffold learning, are taken in classes and are readily available through Evernote for students to review.

Captioning

Our whole school captioning policy ensures all digital and DVD media is made available to DHH students with captions. This policy and the dedication shown to captioning by the College resulted in Forest Hill College winning the Deafness Forum – Organisational Commitment to Captions Award in 2013.

Hard-of-Hearing Students

Acoustic Modifications

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The learning environments at Forest Hill College have been developed with the needs of hard-of-hearing students in mind. This means that 90% of the learning spaces are fitted with sound field systems, wall pilots and FM personal listening devices, enabling smooth and effortless transitions between learning spaces. All listening devices are compatible with Roger technology. Acoustic treatment to our main learning spaces and large area transmitter in the Theatre and Gymnasium provide users of cochlea implants and hearing aids access to both in-class and at extra-curricular events. 

Speech & Language

Our Speech-Language Pathologist is available one day per week and has specialist knowledge in providing support to DHH students. Speech-Language therapy (SLT) aims to support teachers in meeting the educational needs of these students.

Deaf Students

Auslan Educational Interpreters

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Any class with a student who requires even supplementary information through Auslan is provided with a NAATI qualified interpreter.

All Auslan Educational Interpreters have continual involvement in professional development and mentoring ensuring a high standard of practice in all classes.

Auslan as a LOTE

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Forest Hill College provides all students with the opportunity to study AUSLAN as a Language in Years 7 through to 12.  This highly successful subject is being offered to students who use AUSLAN as a first language and to those who have never signed previously.

Our compulsory language ‘taster’ program at year 7 ensures all students enrolled at Forest Hill College have at least basic Auslan communication skills, creating a socially inclusive environment for our Deaf students.

Student Wellbeing

For students who identify as being part of the Deaf Community, our connectedness program of activities allows them to meet and share experiences with others with whom they can identify. Activities include Theatre of the Deaf, Deaf Secondary Schools Sports Days, Secondary Schools with Deaf Facilities camps and workshops through Deaf Sports Australia. We also have a Deaf chaplain and Deaf counsellor visit the College each Friday providing welfare support and counselling for any students who wish to utilise this opportunity.

Entry to the Facility

To be eligibility for the Deaf Facility, students need to have a bilateral sensori-neural moderate, severe or profound hearing loss. Students enrolled in the Deaf Facility are students of Forest Hill College and participate in all school life activities and subjects.

If you would like more information regarding this program please contact:

Staff Member Melissa Lucy
Role Acting Leading Teacher – Deaf Facility
Phone 9814 9444
Email m.lucy@fhc.vic.edu.au