This unit was opened in 1965, when Mrs. Isabel Coyne moved from Rossburgh with her six pupils.
The Stellawood Partially Hearing Unit developed from this small beginning to the unit of today thanks to the calibre and dedication of its many teachers over the years, rescuing unhappy, floundering children in our safe, secure, caring environment.
We Who Can Hear Should Remember…
Helen Keller wrote, “I who am blind can give one hint to those who see, make full use of the gift of sight; use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object you want to touch as if your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you would never smell or taste again.”
So What’s the DPS Partially Hearing Unit All About?
Helen Keller mentions all five senses and at DPS we are concerned about one of these senses, that of hearing.
We live in a world of meaningful sounds and these sounds are our guides to understanding, to knowledge to life. Sounds which, from the moment of birth, we take for granted – to be born into the world without these guides – or if, during infancy, the apparatus for receiving these sounds becomes impaired – then these factors will “impose psychological penalties that extend far beyond the scope of casual imagination” (Levine.)
A child with normal hearing generally acquires mastery of language forms easily and naturally as a result of hearing and countless repetitions of the spoken words. He learns very early in life much of what is being said and the development of his language lends considerable impetus to the development of his other cognitive functions.
The child whose hearing is impaired, for whatever reason, misses the unique opportunity of developing his speech and language naturally. Thus, the hearing impaired child’s ability to understand, to read, to write and to think logically will depend on his use and mastery of words.
So What Happens Next?
This, then, is our task in the Partially Hearing Unit – to give the child the opportunity to acquire that language, to enable him to overcome any other scholastic difficulties which may have developed as a result of his hearing impairment and to remove all stress and anxiety resulting from his struggling on in a regular large and noisy classroom.
Today we have 2 classes catering for Junior Primary and Senior Primary children.