Deaf Festival at Parramatta

As part of National Week of Deaf People, commencing with the Deaf Festival on Saturday October 21st on the north side of Parramatta River, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) will host a stall at the Festival where you can find out about its full range of programs and services.

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John Berryman with a student

The not for profit industry employs 8% of the Australian workforce and is an ever expanding and challenging sector as the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s (RIDBC) CEO, John Berryman, understands well. Starting at RIDBC as Manager of Computerised Braille Production in 1978, Berryman’s first achievement was to successfully establish the Southern Hemisphere’s first Computerised Braille Production Unit.


Students at Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) VisionEd Preschool recently enjoyed a wonderful introduction to backyard bugs, when Rangers on the Run paid a visit.

“This interactive educational show was a wonderful tactile experience for our students,” said Kathryn Bowie, Director, VisionEd Preschool.

“The children were encouraged to hold and to touch each of the different bugs while learning about where they live, how they survive, and the important role they play in the environment.

Anna's journey with RIDBC

Anna, who is 40 years old, was born with profound hearing loss. Supported by RIDBC during her schooling, Anna went on to study her masters through RIDBC Renwick Centre. Her first son, Alexander, also has profound hearing loss and is supported by RIDBC.

Anna was diagnosed with hearing loss when she was two years of age.

"The loss of language over those early years greatly impacted my life," said Anna. "That is a critical time for a child to develop their listening and language skills. I had to rely on lip reading, gestures, and body language."

Shirley achieves her goals with support from RIDBC

Three years after Min and Steven immigrated to Australia from China their daughter, Shirley, was born. Diagnosed as profoundly deaf when she was a month old, the family began receiving support from RIDBC. Now 24, Shirley is a university graduate who was recently selected to be the Australian Youth Representative at the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section.

Shirley’s hearing loss was unexpected news to her parents, and the cause of the hearing loss remains unknown.

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has officially launched a new app to help children with vision loss and additional needs develop the sign language they need to communicate.

The 'Adapting Signs' app, developed by a team of vision loss and technology specialists at RIDBC, helps children with vision loss and significant developmental or intellectual impairments, to develop the key signs they need to communicate with their families or carers.

“RIDBC is committed to using mainstream technology such as the iPad to improve access for children with vision or hearing loss,” said app developer and RIDBC Speech Pathologist, Annette Clarke.