Australia Visits Cahir to Witness Literacy Programme for Adults with Down Syndrome

March 15, 2023

The Latch-On group in Cahir welcomed a distinguished range of visitors on Tuesday March 7 from Down Syndrome Ireland as well as from Australia, where the Latch-On programme was originally designed.

Sinéad Flynn and John Condon from Down Syndrome Ireland were joined by Anne Jobling and Jan Lloyd, who travelled from Queensland, Australia, to see their Latch-On programme in action in Cahir, as well as in other centres around the country.

Practical Literacy & Technology (Latch-On) is a 2-year literacy programme for adults with Down syndrome. The programme provides opportunities for adults with Down syndrome to commence and continue their literacy development.

Latch-On was developed at the University of Queensland, Australia. The Latch-On course is taught 2 days a week over 2 years. The course content is designed to allow the students opportunities to access literacy in all its forms, from viewing through to reading and writing.

The visit started with each student getting some time to introduce themselves and talk about their experience of Latch-On so far. Students showcased their artwork, their book reviews and their computer work.

Then Anne and Jan sat in ‘the hot seat’ to answer questions from the students. “Tell us about Latch-On in Australia”, “how long does it take to get to Ireland” and “what is your favourite thing about Latch-On” were some of the questions posed.

Afterwards the students and visitors had a tea break and a chat together with rugby and Australian soaps being popular topics of conversation.

The students all enjoyed the morning spent with the Australian visitors who were very impressed by all the hard work done by our Latch-On students and tutors.

“I liked hearing all about Australia and the other Latch-On groups there”.

“It was good to show what we are working on, especially the computers, they’re my favourite”.

I liked showing the visitors my own locker and artwork and talking about Ireland rugby”.

“I liked doing the book review and the new words that we learned when reading the book”.


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