The Alba Centre
The Alba Centre, for pupils who are deafblind or who have multisensory impairment (MSI), was opened in September 2012 by Jan Van Dijk - a pioneer, expert practitioner, researcher and advocate in the education of deafblind children. The Centre offers three class spaces, a kitchen and a highly specialised audiology room with an observation room for focused listening work and assessments.
The classrooms are soundproofed to minimise reverberation and background noise and the excellent accoustic enables pupils to concentrate. The Alba Centre classrooms have a calm and quiet atmosphere; good lighting and limited visual distraction and clutter also help pupils to focus without having to filter extraneous stimuli.
Each pupil has their own designated area of the classroom (their workstation), with clear boundaries in the form of walls or screens. These spaces reduce the distraction of other things happening in the classroom and also provide a safe space to retreat to. Pupils use specialist individualised calendar systems and choice boards and the workstations also help pupils to orientate themselves within the classroom.
Deafblind Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about deafblindness, this year it runs from Friday 24th June to Thursday 30th June 2016.