Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children
Annual Report 2016

Build Centres of Excellence to Develop, Deliver and Demonstrate Best Practice Services and Support for People with Vision or Hearing Loss

Throughout 2016, we began recalibrating and realigning our programs and services - developing, delivering and demonstrating a total service offering that will comprise the RIDBC Centres of Excellence and ultimately define the world-class experience delivered at all RIDBC sites across Australia.

Delivering World-Class Services

In 2016, RIDBC provided more services for more people than in any other year on record, with over 8,000 people supported through our clinical and educational services, postgraduate, research and professional education programs. Over 1,100 children were supported through RIDBC early intervention services and schools.

Suzie’s cochlear
implant has proved to
be life-changing

Caption: Suzie’s cochlear implant has proved to be life-changing

Early Intervention, Preschool and School Services

RIDBC’s Early Learning Programs, which are tailored according to the individual needs of each child or family, supported 462 children in 2016.

One hundred and sixteen children were supported through our five specialist RIDBC preschools and a further 100 children attended one of our three schools:


RIDBC Teleschool provided education and therapy services to 274 children with vision or hearing loss living in regional and remote areas across Australia in 2016, including individual and group classes, parent networking and education programs, support to develop a range of communication options, braille tuition and vision loss support.

Specialist Audiological Services

In 2016, RIDBC Jim Patrick Audiology Centre conducted 2,673 audiology consultations, including audiological assessments for children across all RIDBC programs, as well as diagnostic assessments as part of the NSW Statewide Infant Screening - Hearing (SWISH) Program.

Allied Health Services

RIDBC Allied Health continued to provide a range of high quality therapy and assessment services to children and adults who have vision or hearing loss. In 2016, the Allied Health team delivered 190 assessments and 580 therapy sessions.

SCIC Cochlear Implant Program

RIDBC’s SCIC Cochlear Implant Program continued to achieve world-class outcomes for people with severe to profound hearing loss in 2016. The program provided ongoing support to 3,088 children and adults living with hearing loss and performed 391 cochlear implant surgeries, with 220 adults and 63 children receiving their very first implant.

Outstanding Student Wins Award

RIDBC recognised Olivia’s outstanding academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Olivia was awarded two medals of excellence
by RIDBC in 2016 for her academic

Caption: Olivia was awarded two medals of excellence by RIDBC in 2016 for her academic achievement

Olivia, who is 18 years old and has both hearing and vision loss, received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 97.5. She attended Pacific Hills Christian School and received assistance from RIDBC School Support Service, which brings RIDBC support 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 profound hearing loss in both ears when I was three months of age and received my first cochlear implant at 11 months,” said Olivia. “When I was five years old I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which impacts my peripheral vision and dark/night vision.”

RIDBC worked with Olivia to ensure she was able to access the curriculum alongside her peers.

“My RIDBC specialist teacher, Jo-Anne ensured that my teachers understood my needs and provided me with the necessary provisions for events such as exams and excursions,” said Olivia.

Olivia is now enrolled in her first year of a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University.