Sign off: Is our education system deaf to the needs of vulnerable young pupils?
Many deaf children are deprived of access to quality sign language and risk never reaching their full potential
Calum Geary, who is deaf, and his twin brother Donnacha, who has regular hearing. Their father Andrew says Calum has benefited hugely from having an interpreter in his class since last year. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision
Teacher Sinead O’ Mahony and student Maya Ambrus at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22
Students Marlena O’Brien, Macy O’Sullivan Begley, Phoebe O’Mahony, Lexi O’Shea, Conor Scanlon and Bentley Ryan at the Mid-West School for the Deaf in Limerick. Photo: Brian Gavin/Press 22
Soon after Calum Geary was born, doctors realised there was a problem: he didn’t have the vital auditory nerves that transmit sound information from his middle ear to his brain.
It made him one of a handful of deaf children in Ireland who cannot benefit from any kind of hearing aid technology.