In­clu­sive in­fra­struc­ture en­sures Ter­ri­tory kids find a voice

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - RAPHAELLA SAROUKOS Ed­u­ca­tion re­porter

TER­RI­TORY class­rooms are be­com­ing more in­clu­sive with new spe­cial­ist in­fra­struc­ture set to help stu­dents with ad­di­tional needs reach their full po­ten­tial. The new build­ing for in­clu­sive ini­tia­tive will see $5.2m worth of in­fra­struc­ture in­stalled at se­lect schools across the NT.

This in­cludes upgrades to spe­cial an­nexes and autism units at se­lected schools, acous­tics upgrades to more than 20 class­rooms and mod­i­fi­ca­tions to ex­ist­ing school in­fra­struc­ture.

Lud­milla Pri­mary School had hear­ing loops in­stalled in all of its class­rooms a year ago.

The sound sys­tem al­lows teach­ers to talk into a re­ceiver, which is picked up by stu­dents wear­ing head­sets or with hear­ing aids.

Prin­ci­pal Carol Pu­tica said the upgrades made a vast im­prove­ment to learn­ing.

“The hear­ing loop has filled a real need in this school,” she said. “In­ter­mit­tent hear­ing loss and chil­dren that have hear­ing loss that some­times goes un­de­tected is a ma­jor im­ped­i­ment for learn­ing.”

Ms Pu­tica said the upgrades also helped re­store con­fi­dence to stu­dents.

“Now that lit­tle softly spo­ken per­son gets the mi­cro­phone and fi­nally peo­ple are hear­ing their con­tri­bu­tion to the dis­cus­sion.”

Teacher Kris­ten King finds the hear­ing loop es­pe­cially help­ful for small­group learn­ing.

Pic­ture: GLENN CAMP­BELL

Teacher Kris­ten King with stu­dent Lucy Brown, 5, with the new hear­ing-in­clu­sive equip­ment at Lud­milla Pri­mary School

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