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SETA funding extends hope for Deaf adults

- Wits University

SETA funds Deaf adults for a six month Deaf Mentor Training course through the HI HOPES Early Intervention Programme.

The Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) has extended hope to 50 deaf adults through the HI HOPES Early Intervention Programme. SETA generously funded the adults for a six month Deaf Mentor Training Programme.

The ground-breaking training programme, the first of its kind, is run by the HI HOPES Early Intervention Programme and the Wits Centre for Deaf Studies. The first recruits to the six month course started in April and successfully graduated on 12 November 2016.

The Deaf Mentor (DM) Programme, offered as an NQF 5 qualification, can maximise the skills set and increase employability of the mentors in the field of Early Childhood Development. Previously, the DM training was offered over a period of four days. Through funding from SETA, the training can now be offered over six months.

Kelly Naude, National Coordinator of Deaf Mentors, said: “Being able to have the longer course for our newest recruits has truly enabled the HI HOPES team to bond and grow together. We were able to address many issues and questions with the extension of the programme. The deaf adults will be able to contribute in a meaningful way to this very needed and special programme.”

The Deaf Mentor Programme, which is run alongside the Home Interventionist Programme, aims to train and equip deaf adults to become language educators who can support the holistic development of the infant or young child with hearing loss by interacting, bonding and communicating with the child.

The trained DMs will be allocated families to mentor, when families in their area of residence become available. The allocation of families will depend on the language of choice, as well as the cultural and religious aspects of the family concerned. The DMs are there to provide support and information, thereby empowering the family to make informed decisions about life with their unique child.

The HI HOPES Early Intervention Programme, which in 2016 celebrates 10 years of service and dedication to deaf and hard of hearing babies, will continue to provide in-service training for the DMS annually.

HI HOPES will offer three new courses next year in collaboration with SETA. The courses are:

  1. Training for Maths teachers of the deaf
  2. Training for English and Literacy teachers of the deaf
  1. 3. Workshop for Deaf Teaching Assistants in schools for the deaf in Gauteng

Professor Claudine Storbeck, Director of HI HOPES says she is grateful for the SETA’s support and looks forward to training more people in the field of Early Childhood Development.

“The training that the Centre for Deaf Studies provided to 50 deaf adults was possible only through the funding from SETA. With the in-depth practical and theoretical training on how to work with families of deaf and hard of hearing children, we have equipped these deaf adults with the skills they need to become more employable within the field of Early Childhood.”