Grants

Above: Three students with teachers from RIDBC's VisionEd program enroute to NASA Space Camp, at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama

Grants

Grant funding from private Trusts, Foundations and Funds in 2016 provided support for programs and services across the organisation.

Grant funding contributed to the purchase of audiological equipment that will ensure precision hearing assessments to be undertaken in the new RIDBC Canberra and Port Macquarie sites; provided portable devices and resources for the RIDBC Student Support Services team who travel between mainstream schools supporting students with vision and hearing loss; and gross motor and positioning kits for students with a vision impairment and additional physical disabilities.  

Seed funding for special projects and program development was also secured from private grants.

Funding was sought for a one-year project to develop the processes, establish the measurement criteria and reporting format for an Acoustics Assessment Program for mainstream preschools to foster the enrolment of children with hearing loss. 

A grant enabled document translations for the Australian Children’s Vision Impairment Register to ensure families from CALD backgrounds would be included in a database that RIDBC is establishing to record where children with vision loss are located and the types of services they will require in the coming years.

RIDBC is grateful to all the Trustees for their consideration of RIDBC’s funding submissions in 2016. Grant funding is often the catalyst for the development of innovative programs that in the long term enable great outcomes.

We greatly appreciate every contribution received and would welcome the opportunity to provide details of project and program funding needs for 2017 and beyond. If this would be of interest, please contact RIDBC’s Grant Program Manager on (02) 9872 0249

Space Camp - The Dick and Pip Smith Foundation

The Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS) is held in NASA annually. SCIVIS is a 6 day/night educational adventure involving curriculum in space science, aviation, teamwork, and simulated space and aviation missions.

Thanks to the generosity of the Dick and Pip Smith Foundation, three RIDBC VisionEd students and two teachers attended the Space Camp in September 2016. 

The SCIVIS program uses space to excite and educate students in the fields of math, science, and technology. Among the many benefits associated with attending SCIVIS: teamwork, self-confidence, and communication skills are taught through state-of-the-art simulations, missions, rocket building, robotics, and conducting experiments on the International Space Station.

The 2016 program highlights included presentations by blind NASA professionals on career choices and working in the space industry. The week was coordinated by teachers of the visually impaired from all over the United States. Special considerations were extended during the week to put the students at ease including braille, large print format, electronic magnification and attention to mobility hazards.

The travel to and from Space Camp was a huge experience in itself. Students encountered all facets of international travel from boarding their first plane, picking up their luggage at the baggage claim, riding over to orientation at NASA and being away from their protective families.

For the students it was an unforgettable and confidence building experience, learning to cooperate with their peers whilst working on projects, how to lead a group and unearth skills they do not normally have the opportunity to explore. 

Activities included flying 10,000 feet in the air without oxygen, being lowered into the water from a helicopter and flying in a flight simulator. They explored how space helps development of innovative technology – how much of the vision assistive technology they use every day has been created through the NASA program. Some more pictures of the adventure can be found below.