Deputy Chief Minister Lambley Opens Critical New Service for Deaf Children in NT

05/11/12
RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn & a family that will benefit from the Darwin centre opening.RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn & a family that will benefit from the Darwin centre opening.

On Wednesday 7 November, Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister, The Hon Robyn Lambley will officially open the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Darwin Centre to provide local services for children with vision or hearing loss.

While RIDBC has been successfully delivering remote services into the Northern Territory via RIDBC Teleschool for many years, the RIDBC Darwin Centre will enhance the support available for families in the Top End.

“Children with hearing or vision loss require consistent, quality, early intervention to achieve the best outcomes. Through regional centres such as Darwin, we seek to continue to expand the suite of RIDBC services provided to families through a blend of regular videoconference and face to face support for intervention and assessment,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn.

“A physical presence in Darwin also allows RIDBC to form partnerships with local service providers to further explore the needs of local families, including Indigenous Australians.”

For Aaron and Jo Pethick, who live in Humpty Doo, RIDBC Teleschool has already provided much-needed support for their six year old, Logan, who has hearing loss and is learning to listen and  speak with the aid of a cochlear implant.

“My wife and Logan stayed in Sydney for almost three months through cochlear implantation and habilitation,” said Mr Pethick. “Without the ongoing support and expertise of RIDBC Teleschool in our own home, we would have moved the family to Sydney.”

“With the new Darwin Centre we are delighted to be able to have face-to-face sessions in addition to our weekly videoconference and meet with other families who share similar challenges. Logan now has age appropriate language and attends our local school – I’m so grateful for the support RIDBC has given my family.”

RIDBC is Australia’s largest provider of services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia.  As Australia’s premier provider of training and education for professionals in the field of sensory disability, RIDBC also ensures that services delivered throughout government and non-government organisations remain cutting-edge.

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.