RIDBC Liverpool launched to support Sydney's South West

25/07/14
The Hon John Ajaka MLC officially launched RIDBC Liverpool

The Hon John Ajaka MLC, Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services, officially launched Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Liverpool, Friday 25 July.

This important new centre provides much needed specialist vision and hearing services to children, families and adults in Sydney’s South-West.

“For people with vision or hearing loss, early intervention and ongoing access to specialised support services are critical. That is why RIDBC is committed providing relevant services to this community,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn.

“With a number of families already accessing RIDBC’s services in the area, we know what this new centre means to the people of South-West Sydney.”

The centre offers a transdisciplinary, integrated approach, giving clients access to a range of programs, including vision and hearing assessment services; early intervention programs; individualised allied health sessions, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy; and cochlear implantation assessment and rehabilitation services.  

Christine and Sarkis Sole, jumped at the chance to begin accessing services at RIDBC Liverpool to support their daughter, Azayliah, who is one year old and has both vision and hearing loss.

“We’d wanted to access RIDBC’s services but hesitated because they weren’t in our local area. I work during the day and am the only one who drives as Christine has epilepsy,” said Sarkis. “RIDBC Liverpool changed everything. It’s so close to home and they are so flexible – which when your child has a disability is so important, you are juggling so many appointments.”

Sarkis says the team of specialists at RIDBC Liverpool work together to streamline Azayliah’s therapy.

“For us as parents we want a team of professionals to work together to meet Azayliah’s needs and at RIDBC Liverpool that’s how they work. It means Azayliah’s therapy planning is coordinated and you get a level of detail and simplicity that is such a help. It’s also great for Azayliah, seeing familiar faces all the time.

“I actually have hearing loss too and when I was growing up there weren’t really any services. That’s why early intervention is such a big thing for us. With early intervention the response we are getting from Azayliah is amazing – only the other day she said ‘mumma’ for the first time. I didn’t learn to speak until I was three years old. You just cannot put a price on what RIDBC provides.”

The acquisition and development of RIDBC Liverpool was made possible with the support of three generous donors who together provided the funds required to secure the site at 106B Moore Street, Liverpool.

RIDBC assists over 3,000 children with significant hearing or vision loss and their families across Australia.

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.