RIDBC welcomes students from Reunion Island

16/05/11
Reunion Island studentsThe group from the Reunion Islands at RIDBC, ready to explore Sydney

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has welcomed students from Reunion Island, a small French island in the Indian Ocean.

12 high school students who are deaf or blind will spend two weeks in Sydney on a cultural exchange, learning from other students at RIDBC and discovering Sydney.

“Two years ago the director of our school came to RIDBC to visit and an invitation was extended at that time,” said Annie-Claude Benard, a teacher of the deaf at the school. “We are so excited that we‘ve finally made it to Sydney.”

The Centre De La Ressource from Irsam is the only specialist school on the small island of 800 000 inhabitants delivering vital teaching and support for children with a vision or hearing impairment and their families.

“Because we are the only one on the island, it is very important for us to deliver the best services possible for our 300 students. Coming to RIDBC, which has such wonderful programs, allows us to share information and learn about the latest technology available for our students.”

Jan North, the Director of Children‘s services at RIDBC, explains that the exchange is mutually beneficial.

“It has been excellent for our students to meet those from the Reunion Islands,” said Ms North. “They have been able to meet and find common interests and common challenges, even though they live in such vastly different places in the world.”

“It has been a great learning opportunity for the children and staff in RIDBC schools and we hope that they will enjoy their stay in Sydney.”

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children provides vital support to over 970 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.