5.3 Educational resources for deaf inmigrant people
A growing number of immigrant families who come to Spain and face more difficulties than the rest of families with deaf members:
- Have difficulties in accessing the official language of the Country and the co-official language of their Autonomous Community. When we talk about deaf minors, the problem is bigger.
- They come to Spain without linguistic competence experience, not in sign language or oral language.
- With lack of economic and social resources, they spend the best part of their time working outside the home and trying to become legal, there are even cases where members of the same family have been separated for years.
- Due to the latter, they do not have enough time to dedicate to their daughters and sons and this leads to a harmed family interaction.
- In their cultures of origin, having a deaf member may be interpreted in a different way, sometimes with shame, others with the hope there may be a medical or educational solution here.
- A careful approach is needed without setting models which are sometimes misunderstood and considered an invasion and personal disqualification.
The whole deaf immigrant student body needs a useful Integration Plan which eases integration in the new environment providing them useful information about the Plan and providing them a peace of mind.
100% of the deaf immigrant student body requires actions apart from welcoming. These are mainly linguistic actions (to learn Spanish or Catalan sign language and Spanish or the co-official language of their Autonomous Community) and curriculum support actions. The focused on immigrant student body is included in all communities in the Annual Plan of Compensatory Education or in the Annual Plan of Attention to Diversity which must be prepared by the centers every year inside the Annual Plan of the Center or in the Annual General Program.
In relation to deaf immigrant minors and youngsters, according to LOMCE in chapter II “Compensación de las desigualdades en educación” (Compensation of inequalities in education) article 80, point 2 says that “Compensatory education policies will reinforce the action of the educational system to avoid inequalities resulting from social, economic, cultural, geographic, ethnic or any other factors”. For students with special disadvantaged educational or cultural needs, the named Compensatory Education arises in the Royal Decree 299/1996 of the 28th of February, which plan actions address to compensate inequalities in education. Article 3 of such a Decree states as a potential recipient the “student body belonging to ethnic or cultural minorities, in disadvantaged social situations, with difficulties of access, continuity or promotion in the educational system”. Attention actions suitable to real needs of the immigrant student body must be created. These actions should be external, apart from compensatory education and the presence of specialized professionals must be promoted to assist the requirements of this group of people.