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NZSL Sector Advisory Group - March Update

Topics for this update: NZSL@School, AoDC, Deaf Aotearoa, NZSL NCEA Achievement Standards and General

Hi there everyone, 

Sorry this has come in a bit late, but with all the chaos of a new job, kiddies and life in general, it took a back seat. But now the school holidays have rolled around, I'm trudging through my exceedingly long 'To Do' list, so here's the update from the last SAG meeting. 

NZSL@School update 

  • NZSL project priority areas have now been included in the Deaf Education Centers' combined Board Strategic Plan. Priorities have been identified and the DEC capability and capacity will be monitored. 
  • The 2016 NZSL budget allows for up to 8- students to be provided with support in 2016. There are currently 68 students on the program (33 in the Van Asch region and 35 in the KDEC region) with another 9 being considered. There is huge interest in the program from families with children who don't meet the criteria. There is a goal to make sure that these kids have access to NZSL Tutors for short term. 
  • Van Asch has created a NZSL@School Support Team who's role is to work with specialist teachers, tutors and the staff working with NZSL@School kids. The DEC's are still looking for people to fill some NZSL Tutor positions in various areas. 
  • The concept of Hubs are being considered in areas where the numbers warrant them. The idea is to have kids learning together and meeting each other in a specialist teaching environment, probably within a mainstream school. Lots more work to come on that. 
  • There will be two NZSL immersion Hui's planned for August this year for secondary school students. One for years 9 and 10, and one for years 11 - 13. 

AoDC (Adviser on Deaf Children) Update

  • As we have talked about in the past, and as went out in a newsletter last year, the Adviser on Deaf Children role has changed to an 'early years' focus. The AoDC's will be working with kids from birth to Year 3. Kids from Year 4 upwards who aren't ORS verified (who have 'moderate learning and communication needs') will move across to the ASSIST program run by the Deaf Education Centers.
  • There was a trial undertaken in the central North region to put together a mix of date on language and communication levels for deaf and hard of hearing kids prior to school entry. (at 4 and a half years old). The goal was to see if the identification at NB Hearing Screening level had made any difference to the kids outcomes. It showed a positive trend. 77% of kids at 4 and a half who were identified deaf or hard of hearing at NB screening (with no additional disabilities) were within the age range of appropriate language and communication. 

Deaf Aotearoa Update

  • The World Federation for the Deaf will be in New Zealand for NZSL Week and will attend the SAG meeting then. 

NZSL NCEA Achievement Standards Update

  • Assessment resources for Level 1 and 2 NCEA are now live on TKI. Schools can choose NZSL as an NCEA subject option for their students.  
  • Level 3 assessment tasks are being drawn up now and should be in place by June 2016. 

General Update

  • Lots going on within the various service providers, and much of it is very positive. Work between the DEC's, Deaf Aotearoa, the CI Programmes, the Ministry of Ed, the NZ Federation for Deaf Children and more is continuing, which is UTTERLY ESSENTIAL for our kids to have full access to services. Let's hope the channels of communication continue to open up!
  • Development of a Map for families to see the steps on their journeys continues and we expect to see the final in September/October 2016.

All a bit dry, I know, but if anyone has any further questions about the above, please flick me an email at kate@deafchildren.org.nz.

I'm happy to explain where I can.