Interview with Penny McDonald, Head of Services in Plymouth
by Viewtalk Current Affairs

Viewtalk reporter Sannah interviewed Penny McDonald on the 16th May at Eggbuckland Community College, who is in charge of the Services for Children and Young People specialising in sensory support in Plymouth. We spoke to her about the services, what it provides for deaf locals, views on technology and the issues that young deaf people are are faced with in society.

1 - 8 of 8 Entries

  • Introduction, Role and Getting Involved
  • Aims
  • Being a unique service
  • Views and importance of Deaf Schools/Provisions
  • Key Issues Faced by Young Deaf People
  • Importance of Technology
  • About Viewtalk
  • Contact Details

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Introduction, Role and Getting Involved

Created: 5/17/11

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SG: Hello, my name is Sannah and I’m here today reporting for Viewtalk. I’m here at Eggbuckland Community College in Eggbuckland to talk to Penny MacDonald. I’m here to talk to her about her involvement in services in education in Plymouth today. Hello.

PM: Hello.

SG: Can you tell me what your role is and how you got involved in deaf education and services?

PM: Ok, I’m head of service here in Plymouth, for sensory services so that means that deafness and blindness is included. Obviously we’re talking about deafness today so we’re responsible for all deaf children here in Plymouth. There are 3 different ways that deaf children are educated here. So maybe you go to a special school – that’s Exeter School. Or, the second, that’s here - Eggbuckland. It’s a support base here with teachers of the deaf, TA’s, who have special qualifications to support them. The third one is mainstream. A lot of deaf children here in Plymouth are in mainstream education. Some are by themselves and other placements have 2 or 3 deaf children.
How did I become involved, well that’s going back a very long way. When I was 13 I went to youth club and I met my friend’s brother, who was deaf. At that time I knew nothing about deafness. It’s interesting, but you know when you have the school holidays, well he was away at a boarding school for the deaf and he would come home for his holidays in Manchester. This meant he was always by himself, which he didn’t like, but he would try to communicate but he signed and I couldn’t sign at that time. But what interested me the most was that I wanted to be a teacher and it made me think about finding out about teaching deaf children. That was years ago but I’ve been working for thirty-five years and I’m still teaching deaf children.

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