Student with vision loss succeeds with specialised support

14/06/17
RIDBC has recognised Kayla for her academic achievement in the HSC. RIDBC has recognised Kayla for her academic achievement in the HSC.
Coogee resident, Kayla, has been awarded a medal of excellence by Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) for her academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate (HSC).
 
Kayla, who is 18 years old and has vision loss, received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 72.6. She attended SCEGGS in Darlinghurst and received assistance 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 diagnosed with congenital motor nystagmus when I was born, which is a condition that causes involuntary eye movements,” said Kayla. “My vision loss has never held me back – at just three years of age I began dance classes and I really enjoy sport and playing netball.”
 
RIDBC worked with Kayla to ensure she had full access to the curriculum. 
 
“Since Kindergarten and throughout my schooling I’ve had the support of RIDBC,” said Kayla. “I’ve always benefitted from their support – I was provided with visual aids such as binoculars and monoculars to assist me to read text, and was always given guidance from professional experts at RIDBC when I needed it.
 
“I approached the HSC in a logical and unbiased manner, and continued studying as normal. I’m proud of what I have achieved and that I got the result that I needed.”
 
RIDBC specialist teacher, Pranitha Moodley, said; “From the very start Kayla proved that her vision impairment would not impede her school experience. She took responsibility for her disability and certainly demonstrated this by having a determined attitude to both academic and social life at school. 
 
“Her strength of character, independence and pure grit in face of her many challenges served her well in her senior years of high school. Her positive and optimistic approach to school life culminated in her receiving at the end of year 12, one of the most prestigious and respected awards at SCEGGS – the Jordana Goodman prize for Courage and Compassion in the face of Challenge.”
 
Kayla is now enrolled in a Communications degree at the University of Technology Sydney. 
 
“When I did work experience at Channel 7’s Sunrise, I became more and more interested in media and communications. I have always wanted to be involved in media events so studying a communications degree seemed like the best way to achieve my dream,” said Kayla.  
 
With skilled specialist education 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 children's lives. To donate go to: www.ridbc.org.au/donate