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12,000 hearing impaired children and adolescents are being provided with schooling in France today.

Article publié le Thursday 6 December 2007.
traduction : fr es


12,000 hearing impaired children and adolescents are being provided with schooling in France today....

The figure above can only be a rough estimate as we are using incomplete statistics without official validation. Collection of reliable statistics is difficult because in some cases pupils are counted in duplicate as both the National Education Authority (Education Nationale) and the Social-Medical Department (Secteur Médico-Social) provide information for the same pupils.

The Social Medical Department reports:
-   600 children under 3 years old are in the care of a family program.
-   5800 children are in individual integration, 1100 in partial integration.
-   6000 children schooled in specialised classes.

The National Education Department estimates that the distribution of hearing impaired children in either individual or partial integration is as follows:
-   3500 are in Ecole Primaire (Primary school)
-   2400 are in Collège (Middle school)
-   1200 are in Lycée (High School)

Sources : Health Department (Research on hearing impaired population, October 2000) ; Handicap in numbers ( February 2004 - CTNERHI-DREES-DAS) ; Les Cahiers de L’Actif - Number 348/349 (Article by Andre Guiheneuf) ; Various documents from Education Department, private associations and UNAPEDA Services.

University students : 500 deaf university students have been identified but it is reasonable to assume that many hearing-impaired (partially deaf) students have not.

Integration: 30 years of progressive evolution

Historically, education of the deaf was exclusively in the care of specialised institutions, but over the last 30 years increased parental involvement has changed this situation. With help from laws introduced in 1975, a process of integration was intoduced and enforced by the French medical and social departments. Later, in the 1980’s and 90’s the Legislature’s plan of action called for a social evolution towards even greater integration. In 1988 a new regulation gave a legal right to the organization representing hearing impaired children, the “ Service de Soutien à l’Education Familiale et à l’Intégration " (SSEFIS). Health care was still provided by specialised services, but now included independent health services created by parents. Following this, relationships between the Medical Social Department and local schools were established. Finally, the law of February 11, 2005 requires that the provision of education for handicapped children with must be provided, in full, at their local school.This law recognises that for the education an development of such children it is crucial they be in an ordinary environment - in turn providing social benefits for all.

The law of February 2005 requires that:

-  A child must attend, wherever possible, their neighborhood school.
-  Parents must be involved in any decisions regarding curriculum and all steps in the personalised education of any child.
-  A program adapted to the need and abilities of the child must be guaranteed.
-  The guarantee of equal opportunity for all students by accommodating any legal requests for examinations.

Elie MARTIN

Translator : Michel CAM (California,USA), with the help of Janice Butcher (England), Hélène Lesourd and Geoffrey Stubbs (England), Des Power (Australia)


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