Vaalvosai School for the Deaf is a school that strives to provide education to deaf children. Many deaf children wish to learn and study like other children. The deaf school aims to make this wish come true and provide educational opportunities for the children that are not easily available elsewhere. The School was started in May 1999 with only three teachers and eleven children in a rented building. Since then it has grown to include ten teachers and sixty-nine children. At present the hostel accommodates 30 students from distant places. The organization would like to expand its facilities for many more deaf children of their villages who are in need of such education.
The school is unique in its facilities and services to children with different levels of hearing disabilities and backgrounds. Students include orphans, children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with learning disabilities. The students are taught to learn sign language and lip-reading based on the national curriculum. They are also taught extra circular activities such as planting seeds as well as learning how to use a computer, helping them become computer literate. We have teachers specially trained in verbal and communication therapy. These teachers give verbal training to students, which has improved the student’s speech. This has helped many children feel more comfortable with themselves and increased their confidence.
Students are also given the opportunity to participate in district and national sports and cultural events. The students love such events and have a great time. Some deaf children have low confidence due to their disability. They miss out on a range of fun activities and events, however, the school attempts to increase the children’s confidence and independence. Outside events often allow the children to have fun and brings them out of their shell. Some children have even won awards, and they will never forget these moments.
Most other deaf schools do not provide the level of care as this school does and so there is high demand for the taking of more students. In the school, a method of “Total Communication” is used. This method combines oral and manual techniques. These techniques include; spoken language, drawing, writing, finger-alphabet and lip-reading. A wide range of communication techniques ensures that students can choose the technique they are most comfortable with as well as being able to use a different method if one method cannot be used for some reason. All the deaf pupils of the school wear hearing aids donated by the school. The students receive speech therapy from a trained therapist. These speech therapy sessions are vital for improving a student’s confidence and are very well received by the students.
The facilities and opportunities in the school have helped change many lives. We encourage people to donate, please donate generously as your contributions help improve the lives of many children. Donations help run the school and the school would not be able to make the same difference to the children’s lives without them.
Copyright YMCA Batticaloa 2018