Graduates to make a difference to those with vision or hearing loss

14/06/17
Carla receives her commemorative certificate from RIDBC Renwick Centre Director, Professor Greg Leigh.Carla receives her commemorative certificate from RIDBC Renwick Centre Director, Professor Greg Leigh.
Westmead resident, Carla Hankinson, 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.
Carla has completed her Masters in Special Education (Vision 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 she completed was provided in affiliation with the University of Newcastle, with her degree being awarded by the University. 
 
Working in an area she loved, Carla decided to pursue further training in special education through RIDBC Renwick Centre. 
 
“I chose this degree after working for a term as an Itinerant Vision Support Teacher on a temporary contract basis. I really enjoyed the experience and realised I wanted to specialise in this field and started to look into retraining options,” said Carla.
 
“I studied part-time while working full-time as an Itinerant Vision Support Teacher with the NSW Department of Education Bass Hill Vision Team and completed the degree over 18 months.”
 
Carla has a passion for inclusive education. 
 
"Specialist vision teachers are important because they work closely with the student’s whole educational team to ensure the necessary adjustments are in place for them to access all areas of school life on the same basis as their sighted peers. The outcome of independence is always at the forefront of a specialist vision teacher's mind when working with the student,” said Carla. 
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.