School staff members’ and parents’ experiences of the inclusion of deaf children in Malaysian mainstream schools

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Abstract

Educational services for deaf children are relatively well developed in Malaysia, especially in urban areas, and include special schools and separate classrooms in mainstream schools. Increasing numbers of deaf children have cochlear implants and are educated in mainstream classrooms. A study was conducted in three primary schools, involving interviews with seven parents, five school leaders, five mainstream teachers, five specialist teachers and three teaching assistants in Selangor State, the most developed in Malaysia, and answered the following research question: ‘What are stakeholders’ experiences of the inclusion of deaf children in mainstream schools?’. Findings revealed that the small number of qualified teachers of deaf children teach through the medium of signed communication, yet parents are encouraged by health professionals to teach their children to speak, with amplification. Although school leaders and mainstream teachers are not trained to support deaf children and did not have the necessary expertise to check and maintain hearings aids and cochlear implants, there was evidence of promising practice emerging in relation to positive attitudes and innovation within the rigid curriculum. We discuss some of the implications of this study for parents who are not able to make informed choices about their children's communication options and educational placements.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalEducation 3-13
Volume48
Issue number3
Early online date18 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020