Supporting parents, supporting public schools

Deaf Education

Proposer

Mosman Park Primary School P&C Association Inc.

Preamble

Deaf education in WA includes one specialist primary and two high school based Deaf education centres. The majority of Deaf students are placed in mainstream schools where they may be the only Deaf/Hard of Hearing student. The role that an Educational Interpreter (EI) plays is critical to each student’s access to curriculum content as well as development of their natural language Auslan in both specialist and mainstream schools.

Currently, there is no minimum qualification in Auslan proficiency required for EI’s in Western Australian classrooms. Schools are the only State Government authority settings where interpreters are employed without holding a formal qualification from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators Interpreters (NAATI). EIs in WA schools should be required to hold this qualification and existing EIs should be supported to work towards the NAATI qualification to ensure all Deaf children in WA have access to a quality education.

Motion

That WACSSO, in accordance with the principle of equitable access to a quality education for all students:

  1. Communicate with the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (WA) to support their campaign for NAATI accredited EIs;
  2. Write to both the Minister for Education and the Director General of Education to highlight the need for minimum qualifications for Education Interpreters and our concern for the outcomes of Deaf students under the current job requirements;
  3. Seek commitment from the Minister and Director General to change the Job Description Form for Education Assistant (Auslan) to require NAATI accreditation, and implement a program for upskilling of existing unqualified staff to NAATI standards within 2 years.

Correspondence 

  • Letter to the Minister for Education regarding EI standards. CC: Sharyn O’Neill, Director General of the Department of Education WA; Sue Ellery, Shadow Education Minister and Simon Birmingham, Federal Education Minister. Click here
  • WACSSO Submission to the Inquiry into Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia. Click here