Centre helps deaf kids in Northern NSW

14/12/11
Cassandra SchubertRIDBC Speech Therapist, Cassandra Schubert will join SCIC Audiologist, Jacqui Wilson in the Lismore Centre

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has joined the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre (SCIC) in providing vital services to children who have hearing impairment on the Northern Coast of NSW.

RIDBC will join the Centre established by SCIC in Lismore. This will provide an integrated service for families who have children with hearing loss and are learning to listen and speak through cochlear implants or hearing aids.

For children with hearing loss, developing language requires specialist education and therapy. The Centre will ensure families can access a seamless service from cochlear implantation, habilitation, therapy and early intervention.

“RIDBC provides specialist early intervention therapy and education to thousands of children across Australia, often from their first weeks of life, to ensure they get the best possible start. Together with SCIC, this Centre will give families in Northern NSW the opportunity to access complementary expertise and fulfill a need in the community,” said Chris Rehn, RIDBC Chief Executive.

SCIC is a world leader in providing the “gift of sound” to deaf children and adults through the use of cochlear implant and related technologies, progressive clinical practice, lifetime support and ongoing research.

SCIC has assisted over 3,500 people since its establishment by founder and Director Professor Bill Gibson AM.

“We know that early intervention provides the best possible outcomes for children. Building on a successful partnership with RIDBC we look forward to this Centre meeting the needs of hundreds of children and their families in Northern NSW,” said Rob McLeod, SCIC General Manager.

Bringing together the expertise of SCIC and RIDBC, the Centre aims to help families by giving them access to an integrated service.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children provides vital support to over 1000 children with significant hearing and/or vision impairment and their families across Australia. As well, RIDBC provides vision and hearing screening to around 2000 babies and children each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives. In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.