Graduates to make a difference to those with hearing loss

14/06/17
Melina receives her commemorative certificate from RIDBC Renwick Centre Director, Professor Greg Leigh.Melina receives her commemorative certificate from RIDBC Renwick Centre Director, Professor Greg Leigh.
Cooranbong resident, Melina Williams, is one of 45 trained graduates to be recognised at a ceremony at Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) for completing their postgraduate qualifications in sensory impairment.
Melina has completed her Masters in Special Education (Hearing Impairment) through RIDBC Renwick Centre, the largest provider of postgraduate education programs in the field of the education of children with a sensory disability in Australia. The program that Melina completed was provided in affiliation with the University of Newcastle, with her degree being awarded by the university. 
 
“I chose to study at RIDBC Renwick Centre because I wanted to become a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and the subjects on offer were relevant to Deaf Education,” said Melina.  
 
Melina has been teaching at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School – a school which offers a bilingual educational program for deaf students up to Year 10 who use Auslan and English – for five years. 
 
“Both my parents were born profoundly Deaf and Auslan is my first language. I love teaching and working with Deaf children is very special, which is why I wanted to become a qualified Teacher of the Deaf,” said Melina. 
 
Melina believes it is critical that children with hearing loss continue to receive specialist support from trained teachers of the deaf.
 
“Specialist teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to obtain the best possible outcomes with the very special children they work with. They understand how they learn, speak their language and can connect with them in a unique way,” said Melina.
 
Through RIDBC Renwick Centre, RIDBC and the University have reversed a trend of diminishing professional specialisation in the field of educating children with a sensory disability. More than 900 graduates from the centre are now working to improve the educational opportunities available to children with sensory impairment around the country and the world. 
  
More information about RIDBC teacher training, professional development and research is available at www.ridbc.org.au/renwick
 
RIDBC is a charity and Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with vision or hearing loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year. 
 
RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.