30 OCTOBER 2020, ONSLOW WA – Telethon Speech & Hearing is proud to announce the Onslow Education Initiative alongside Chevron Australia and the Department of Education and Training, designed to help build louder, clearer, and stronger health and education outcomes for children in regional Western Australia.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today launched the initiative at Onslow School, alongside School Principal, Jacqueline Barry, Telethon Speech & Hearing’s Head of Marketing, Belinda Leksas and Chevron Australia Wheatstone Plant Manager, Deanne Renting.
Under a 12-month pilot program, Telethon Speech & Hearing will screen all Onslow School children aged four to eight years by our visiting speech pathologists, audiologists and occupational therapists to identify students not meeting their age appropriate speech, language, fine and gross motor developmental milestones.
Intensive support will be provided to those students who are not achieving their age appropriate developmental milestones, with regular individual or small group therapy through visiting clinics, in-class activities, and tele-health therapy.
Onslow School teachers will also receive classroom resources and ongoing mentorship from Telethon Speech & Hearing’s allied health team, to build capacity in speech and language techniques and learning methods to help build student literacy and numeracy skills.
“Hearing loss, speech difficulties and developmental delay in childhood can have substantial impacts on education outcomes, often leading to potentially devastating learning and behavioural difficulties later in life,” said Telethon Speech & Hearing’s Chief Executive, Mark Fitzpatrick.
“This co-designed initiative will help prevent prolonged concerns by giving families in rural communities greater access to essential educational and health resources early on, so children can have the best start to school and reach their full potential. We look forward to seeing the outcome of this program and how it can be rolled out to other schools throughout Western Australia.”
Today’s announcement builds on Chevron Australia and Telethon Speech & Hearing’s existing partnership which has provided ear health education and services to help prevent middle ear disease and improve child health, learning and developmental outcomes in remote regions of Western Australia since 2011.