Ball in HSE’s court to provide specialist therapist for School for the Deaf

Senator Marie Sherlock
21 March 2021

Labour Senator Marie Sherlock has welcomed the commitment from Minister Rabbitte to permanently retain a specialist speech and language therapist for Cabra School for the Deaf, however has reiterated that the fight is not fully won until the HSE commit to same. Senator Sherlock said that the ball is now in the HSE’s court to deliver a permanent service that adequately provides for the need of the pupils in the school.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Despite a sustained campaign by parents, the school, the board and the community, we were disappointed to see the HSE offer an “interim solution” that would last just six months with a non specialist speech and language therapist. This reflected no understanding of just how vital it is to have an on- site specialist service for the pupils in the school.

“The specialist SLT service is critical to the delivery of education in the school and to the development of its pupils and it has been a vital part of the school for over 10 years. Currently over 70 pupils in the school depend on the specialise service on an on going basis.

“Engaging with Minister Rabbitte again this morning, it is clear that she too agrees that a permanent solution is required, and I welcome her commitment today to ensuring that a permanent speech and language service will be provided to the School. I now call on the HSE to clarify its position for the School.

“The ball is now in the HSE’s court to provide this fundamental and essential service to the children. Ultimately there is a broader failure here to recognise deaf services as a specialised need within health services in this country. This service is absolutely crucial for the pupils’ development and education. This must be recognised by the HSE as it has been by the Minister. Parents, the school, the board and the community have campaigned tirelessly on this issue to retain this vital service for the children. I look forward to the HSE making its commitment to these pupils too.”

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