DeafHear Regional News

Regional News

Parents secure sign language support
in school for 7 year old Deaf son

Posted: 2nd February 2016


Recently we reported on Andrew Geary’s trip to Geneva as part of a Children’s Rights Alliance delegation to the UN. Andrew is the father of a profoundly deaf child, Calum aged 7. Shortly after Andrew’s return home the Geary family received excellent news regarding communication support in Irish Sign Language (ISL) for Calum in his school. The news was reported in the Irish Examiner, where Andrew welcomed the decision after a “long battle”. Story of the Month November Baby Blake’s Story

The family of schoolboy Calum Geary has received a boost after it was confirmed money will be provided for an ISL professional at his primary school. The family have been engaged in a long-running campaign and have argued that seven-year-old Calum, from Ballyhooly near Fermoy, Co Cork, was one of just 10 to 20 children in the country who requires the in–class supports.

In 2012, Calum underwent pioneering surgery in the UK to improve his hearing, but unfortunately the surgery did not work as anticipated and so his family switched their attention to securing top-level signing supports for Calum and others with similar hearing issues. His father Andrew said Calum was two–and–a–half years old when his lack of an auditory nerve was diagnosed. Andrew Geary pictured with Ms Amal Salman Aloseri, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’ 2016 Andrew Geary pictured with
Ms Amal Salman Aloseri,
UN Committee
on the Rights of the Child’


Calum attends the special class for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in St Columba’s Girls’ National School in Douglas, Cork, and Andrew praised the efforts of those at the school for all they have done for Calum. But he said it was essential that top–level ISL be provided for Calum so it could “act as a bridge to English”. “This bridge is through a fluent ISL person,” he said.

Mr Geary, who was part of the recent Irish NGO delegation which appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child during its review of Ireland’s performance, said government–commissioned reports had also stressed the importance of ISL for children with profound hearing difficulties.

The family had been seeking the ISL professional for Calum over recent years in what Mr Geary described as “a long battle”, with the news only emerging this week that their efforts had proved successful. “Calum is a bright boy who believes he can do anything, he wants the same from life as his twin brother, the same love, wants, needs care, and education,” he said.

DeafHear congratulates the Geary family on securing the appropriate communication supports for their son. Time and again research has shown that Deaf and Hard of Hearing children have extremely poor educational outcomes compared to their hearing peers, and a critical factor in this is a lack of access to communication. We wish Calum every success in his education and congratulate his parents on achieving an important decision which will enable Calum to pursue his education on an equal basis with his peers. Line Break Image


Related to this story…

International Spotlight on Ireland’s Treatment of Children.
Posted: January 2016

DeafHearThe UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a group of 18 independent experts elected by Members of the UN meets on Thursday January 14th in Geneva to review Ireland’s children’ rights record. Read On… Numbers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students at Third Level declines.

Deaf children continue to lag behind hearing peers in schools.
Posted: January 2016

In the same week when Andrew Geary, the parent of a Deaf child, was raising the issue of the education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Ireland at the UN… Read On… Andrew Geary pictured with Ms Amal Salman Aloseri, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child? 2016


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