Student with hearing loss succeeds with specialised support

14/06/17
RIDBC has recognised Cindy for her academic achievement in the HSC. RIDBC has recognised Cindy for her academic achievement in the HSC.
Wentworthville resident, Cindy Zhi, has been awarded two medals of excellence by Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) for her academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate (HSC).
 
Cindy, who is 18 years old and has hearing loss, received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 90.6. She attended MLC School in Burwood and received in-school support from RIDBC School Support Service, which brings RIDBC specialist teachers into schools to provide students with vision or hearing loss with in-class assistance and strategies for accessing the curriculum.
 
“I was first diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears when I was two years of age. I have mild hearing loss in my left ear and profound hearing loss in my right,” said Cindy. “I received my first hearing aid when I was in Year 6 and also experience Tinnitus.”
 
RIDBC worked with Cindy to ensure she had full access to the curriculum.  
 
“I started accessing RIDBC School Support Services when I was in Year 7,” said Cindy. “My RIDBC specialist teacher, Sue Denman, always ensured my teachers understood my needs and supported me during my exams. Her support has been vital throughout my schooling and I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I hadn’t received her support.”
 
Cindy is now enrolled in her first year of a digital media art course at the University of New South Wales. 
 
“I’ve always loved drawing and aspire to become a concept artist or animator one day. I studied Multimedia and Visual Arts for the HSC and approached these subjects eagerly as art has always been a hobby of mine from a very young age. 
 
“To be honest I didn’t expect such a high ATAR and two years ago, I wouldn’t have expected to be where I am today. I owe everything to my family and friends, especially Sue, who put up with me for six years and encouraged me to do my best.”
 
RIDBC specialist teacher, Sue Denman, said Cindy was a conscientious student who never allowed her hearing impairment to prevent her from achieving and being involved in all aspects of her school life. 
 
“Cindy was a dedicated student who worked hard to achieve her results. She was fortunate to have a close group of friends to assist her wherever they could, and always welcomed advice or suggestions. Cindy was always involved in school sports and is a talented artist, with a keen interest in painting and drawing birds,” said Sue. 
 
With skilled specialist teaching and early intervention, children with vision or hearing loss can access the same opportunities as all Australian children and reach their full potential. 
 
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. To donate go to: www.ridbc.org.au/donate