Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

Article Title

Access all areas : breaking the sound barrier


The author tells a personal narrative of his experiences as a child born into a deaf family with Auslan as his mother language. Although his childhood was a happy one he came to realise that his exclusion from the hearing world had not served him well. He did not want his own children to suffer the same frustrating lack of opportunities he had endured by not being able to speak. His parents had placed him straight into a deaf school, but the route he and his wife chose for their children required a lot more perseverance and commitment. Their greatest challenge has been to find a school in Sydney that will enable the children to develop both Auslan and spoken English. He argues that it is obvious that attitudes need to change vis-à-vis the bilingual approach to deafness in the educational sector and in the wider community. It is clear that the government needs to commit more money to support deaf children in mainstream schools. [Author abstract, ed]