Support at school for hearing loss

​If your child is deaf or hard of hearing, they can get extra support at school.

Our site also has general information for children with additional needs at school.

Primary school

There are 3 primary school options:

Your designated neighbourhood mainstream government school

Your child has the right to enrol in their designated neighbourhood mainstream government school, on the same basis as students without disability.

Schools are required to make reasonable adjustments. These will depend on your child’s needs.

Reasonable adjustments may include:  

A primary school with a deaf facility

There are eight primary schools and three prep to year 12 schools that have a deaf facility. These schools employ a specialist Teacher of the Deaf for every four students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Your child may be supported in:

  • regular classes with extra support
  • small groups with other deaf or hard of hearing children
  • individual support sessions with a specialist Teacher of the Deaf or support staff.

A specialist school for the Deaf 

There are three specialist schools for the Deaf that provide Auslan-English bilingual programs:

  • Aurora School – early intervention, 3 and 4 year-old preschool and prep
  • Furlong Park for Deaf Children – 3 and 4 year-old preschool and prep to year 6
  • Victorian College for the Deaf – prep to year 12. 

Class sizes in specialist schools for the Deaf are generally about one-third the size of regular classrooms. This means teachers and support staff can give intensive language support in programs suited to the needs of your child.

Your child will follow the Victorian curriculum in all primary school options.

For more information about primary school options, visit the Victorian Deaf Education Network (VDEN) website.

For more information about the transition to primary school, visit the Victorian Deaf Education Institute website.

Secondary school

There are 3 secondary school options:

Your designated neighbourhood mainstream government school

Your child has the right to enrol in their designated neighbourhood mainstream government school, on the same basis as students without disability.

Schools are required to make reasonable adjustments. These will depend on your child’s needs.

Reasonable adjustments may include: 

A secondary school with a deaf facility

There are five secondary schools and three prep to year 12 schools that have a deaf facility. They have a specialist Teacher of the Deaf for every six students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Your child may be supported in:

  • regular classes with extra support
  • small groups with other deaf or hard of hearing children 
  • individual support sessions with a specialist Teacher of the Deaf or support staff.

A specialist school for the Deaf

The Victorian College for the Deaf is a prep to year 12 school that provides Auslan-English bilingual programs for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Your child will follow the Victorian curriculum in all secondary school options. 

Visit the Victorian Deaf Education Institute website for information on the transition to secondary school.

Reasonable adjustments

If your child is deaf or hard of hearing, their school will work with you to decide what reasonable adjustments can help their learning, based on their individual needs.

Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • modifying teaching styles – for example, using visuals
  • using specialist equipment such as personal wireless and soundfield systems to reduce background noise
  • giving regular breaks from concentration or watching an interpreter
  • using captions for videos shown in class 
  • seating arrangements so your child can see the teacher, other students and important visual information
  • special arrangements when doing assignments or assessments – for example, extra reading time or captioned and Auslan translated videos. 

Visiting teachers

If your child is deaf or hard of hearing, visiting teachers can:

  • work with teachers and support staff to address your child’s learning needs
  • help the school create an individual education plan for your child
  • provide documents such as reports for funding applications
  • advise teachers on your child’s progress
  • work on  effective teaching strategies for teachers and support staff.

Professional development for teachers

Schools provide regular professional development opportunities for teachers and other staff. This helps make sure they can meet the needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

For example, teachers can take part in the Inclusion Online Understanding Hearing Loss course to learn more about the impact of deafness on learning.

The Victorian Deaf Education Institute also provides professional learning events for teachers who support students who are deaf or hard of hearing.​