New improvements for College Oaks. - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New improvements for College Oaks.

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Hearing Impaired program at College Oaks Elementary has been around for almost 30 years.

But as technology improves over the years, so does equipment for the hearing impaired.

"They have great minds and they are brilliant kids," says Josie McGee, a teacher at Hearing Impaired teacher at College Oaks Elementary School. "Their only barrier is communication."

School officials say the school has seen an increase of hearing impaired children in enrollment over the last few years.

Because of this increase, officials felt it was time to step it up on hearing impairment technology.

"This school year we are going to look at what the real needs of our students are and what types of advanced technology we can use to provide for those needs," says Pauline Hal, Program Facilitator for the Hearing Impaired.

One technological advancement in recent years is the use of cochlear implants.

"These children were born profoundly deaf," says Hal. "Cochlear implants have the potential to assist a child in developing their listening and spoken language."

Kaleigh Henry is one impaired student with a cochlear implant.

Her teachers feel it has really improved her verbal skills.

"If Kaleigh were without the cochlear implant, there's a possibility she never would have been able to voice the words that she can read," says Hal.

The school has also invested in Red Cat listening devices.

Through using the new Red Cat listening device, teachers can talk to their students by using microphones.

These microphones transmit sounds directly to the students ears.

The school plans to continue advancing in hearing impairment technology.

"This will ensure that they are appropriately main streamed into general settings where they will have access to the general curriculum," says Hal.

In addition to the improvements in technology, the school is also making preparations for a sign language class.

The class will be offered to parents and teachers in the community.

College Oaks Elementary is looking at offering these classes by early October.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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