Thursday, 2 March 1989
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Gregory: asked the Minister for Education if, as suggested in a report (details supplied), her Department have plans to make more adequate provision for peripatetic teachers in the ordinary schools.
Mr. Gregory: asked the Minister for Education if, in light of a report (details supplied) she plans to develop a policy of integration of visually impaired students with children of ordinary schools; and if she will allocate resources accordingly.
The position is that all aspects of primary education, including the provision for the disabled, are currently being considered by the Primary Education Review Board. Any policy development in relation to the visually impaired will arise following consideration of the review body's report when it becomes available.
Mr. Gregory: asked the Minister  for Education if, in light of a report (details supplied), specific provisions will be made for the deaf/blind persons who are able to enter mainstream second level education.
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): It is estimated that there are not more than 35 children nationally, in the age range of 5-16 years, who are both deaf and blind. These are scattered over a very wide area of the country. Where these children are in a position to benefit from education, they are catered for in existing special educational facilities. I am not aware of any individual deaf/blind child who would be capable of benefiting from entry into mainstream second level education. However, should a situation arise at a future date where it is considered that a pupil with such disabilities would benefit from a mainstream post-primary educational setting, my Department would be prepared to facilitate the necessary arrangements.
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