Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has visited sign language classes at Jordanstown School.
The classes, which
are funded by DCAL, are for parents of Deaf children. The courses offer the
parents the opportunity to study British Sign Language (BSL) Levels 1 and 2.
The Minister said: “As
90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, I am delighted that my
Department has been able to assist with providing these vital classes.
“It is widely
accepted that the key years for language acquisition for all children is 0-2
years and early intervention to teach sign language in this time span is
fundamental to improving educational prospects.
“After meeting with
Emma Rogers, whose son is Deaf, I felt it was necessary to help these parents
to be able to communicate with their children.”
previously raised concerns that, aside from costs of classes, Further Education
Sign Language classes are not always appropriate as they preclude parents from
attending due to the difficulties with childcare.
The Minister added: “The
DCAL funding also helps to provide crèche facilities for all of the parents’
children to enable both parents, where applicable, to attend the classes. The
crèche includes specialist one-to-one care where their Deaf child has other
“I hope all the
parents completing these courses have enjoyed them and have no doubt that they
will benefit immensely from them.”
Anne Magee, School
Principal said: " I am delighted that Jordanstown has been able to host
these DCAL funded Sign Language classes for parents. I should particularly like
to thank the Minister for her personal interest and support. It is so important
that parents are equipped to communicate with their deaf child from as early an
age as possible. I am also proud that both qualified deaf tutors of the Level 1
and 2 classes are former pupils of this school. They are a source of
inspiration to our current pupils."
Notes to Editors:
should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure,
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