Attending secondary school can be challenging for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in developing countries. Teachers are not equipped to teach deaf children, learning materials prove to be inaccessible or the classroom's layout is a barrier to the student’s learning process. School dropout can be prevented when educators have the tools to create an inclusive educational environment.
Understanding abstract concepts
Just as literacy acquirement works differently for deaf learners, this also applies to conceptual and abstract thinking. Hearing children are taught through textbooks and can rely on their literacy skills. They have also been more exposed to moments of incidental learning, at home or in the community. Deaf children have a less developed vocabulary and often they have been isolated, both in terms of language and communication. For these children, visualization and other teaching methods are key to understanding abstract topics. On top of that, any barriers should be eliminated, ranging from nonoptimal classrooms to social complications such as misconceptions about deafness. Kentalis International Foundation offers expertise on how to create an inclusive secondary school environment for deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils in the age group of 12 – 18 years old.
We focus on:
- Providing expertise to educators, through teacher training colleges and universities, on how to visually teach abstract concepts to deaf learners.
- Improving knowledge about the socio-emotional development of a deaf child and tracking progress with educational diagnostics.
- Stimulating engagement with Deaf role models as well as highlighting the role of teachers as bridge-builders for deaf learners.