People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett on foot of representations from parents and teachers submitted a parliamentary question asking for reassurances from Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, that there will be no cuts to the visiting teacher service for children with hearing and/or visual impairment (VTHVI).
Richard Boyd Barrett TD called on the Minister for Education to heed the calls of parents of children with special needs and their teachers to maintain the visiting teacher service which has been put under review by the government. Currently there are 43 posts nationally in the VTHVI service catering for over 2000 children (29 for deaf/hard of hearing, 14 for blind/visually impaired).
Deputy Boyd Barrett was contacted by parents and teachers concerned about the possible impact of the review the VTHVI and is supporting the campaign. He submitted the parliamentary question last week seeking details of possible adverse effects on the visiting teacher service arising from the review.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that children with sensory deprivation already suffer discrimination with a far lower percentage of those children advancing to third level Education than their counterparts.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “I’m really appealing to the Minister to leave this service alone. These children should not suffer any further discrimination within teh Education system that will affect them for their whole lives”
“Children with sensory disabilities are just as intellectually capable as any other child but need extra resources and supports to fulfill their potential. The Visiting Teacher service is a success story in that it provides the support needed and it must not be touched as part of this review. I welcome any reassurances the Minister can give on this issue”.