In January 2018, the Anne Sullivan Centre was awarded a grant from the Teaching Council of Ireland to carry out research examining the impact of training in specific communication strategies on teacher’s ability to support children who have any level of hearing and vision loss. Consequently, The ASC is hoping to facilitate short intensive training sessions with teachers, SNA’s and resource teachers with the aim of teaching participants 8-10 communication strategies that can be used with the children they support.
The aim of this study is threefold: firstly, it seeks to support teachers and SNA’s ongoing professional development; secondly it aims to support children who are deafblind in a school setting and thirdly it aims to highlight the impact of the collaborative processes involved.
Eight schools agreed to take part, providing forty-seven participants in total. Four separate training sessions were facilitated by the Anne Sullivan Centre Deafblind Specialist Consultant either during school hours or after-school hours. Training was provided face-to-face either in schools or in local Education Centres. The content focused on an overview of deafblindness, causes, implications, assessments and methods of alternative and augmentative communication. The intervention provided participants with insights into eight specific strategies that have been found to be of benefit when implemented with children who are deafblind.
The quantitative data is currently under analysis and the final report is due for completion in September 2018. We will publish the results on our website so check back in with us for more details in the coming months.