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Closure of vital service for deaf students

Media Release
23 November 2009


Protest against closure of vital service for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Tertiary Students

The Advance Centre was established in 2004 to assist with the provision of services to deaf students attending tertiary institutions throughout Auckland. The Tertiary Education Commission funded the Advance Centre though a Special Supplementary Grant of $100,000 (incl GST) per annum.

The Advance Centre reduces the barriers to accessing tertiary education by Deaf and hearing impaired students, in collaboration with the Tertiary Education Institutions’ (TEI) disability coordinators. Support services include ensuring that students have access to appropriate resources such as notetakers, NZ Sign Language interpreters and equipment and providing information to students and Deaf people already in the workforce about the transition to tertiary education.

In June 2009 the Tertiary Education Commission advised the Advance Centre that they did not meet the criteria for the Special Supplementary Grant and that the Centre would cease to be funded as of 31 December 2009. Furthermore the Tertiary Education Commission advised the Centre that they never met the criteria in previous years and hence the Centre should not have been receiving the funding.

A group has been formed with the aim of stopping the Advance Centre's funding from being cut. The group believes that the Advance Centre provides a vital service to Deaf and Hearing-Impaired tertiary students in the Auckland region.

They are organising a protest to be held at Prime Minister John Key's Helensville electorate office to raise awareness of the need for this service. The protest will be held between 10am to 12pm on 5 December 2009 at 365 Main Road, Kumeu, Auckland.

ENDS

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