We are grateful to the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited for their sponsorship of the project “A New Milestone for Educating Deaf and Hearing Students: Sign Bilingualism and Co-enrolment”.
The project aims to address the perennial difficulty faced by deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children raised and educated under the misconceived “oral-only” approach in Hong Kong, and to explore how best to benefit both DHH and hearing children within the system of inclusive education. It further builds the groundwork developed since 2006 through the experimental “Sign Bilingualism and Co-enrolment in Deaf Education (SLCO) Programme” established in a kindergarten and a primary school. The SLCO approach is characterized by co-enrolling DHH and hearing children in the same classroom with support from both oral and sign language as the medium of instruction. By removing the barriers of communication, this approach cultivates an effective learning as well as inclusive classroom/school environment, benefiting both DHH and hearing children linguistically, socially and academically. The support from Fu Tak Iam Foundation will enable CSLDS to continue to consolidate this groundbreaking approach to educating DHH and hearing children at the partner schools, and to set an innovative model for deaf education practices for other schools in Hong Kong or other countries to follow, ultimately benefitting both the deaf and hearing communities in the society. The project has started in August 2014.