End of year party for children with vision loss

Liam, who has vision loss, receives a gift from Santa at RIDBC

The festive season kicked off early at Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) with an end of year party for children who are blind or have significant vision loss.

29 families attended RIDBC Early Learning Program’s celebration, including parents, siblings, grandparents and friends.

“The party provided opportunities for families to meet one another and share their experiences of having a child with vision loss,” said RIDBC Manager, VisionEd, Harzita Hashim.  “The day also enabled families to have a photo of their child with Santa in a supportive environment.

“Many of our families might not otherwise have the opportunity to have that traditional Santa photo. Here, staff could assist with preparing the children to meet Santa. For some of the children this meant giving them the time to feel his boots and beard before being placed on his lap, and for others with more physical disabilities, it was about giving tips to Santa on how best to position the children on his lap.

“The party was a fantastic success and a wonderful time was had by all.”

A range of reptiles were also on hand for all to explore, including; snakes, frogs, crocodiles, stick insects and turtles. 

“The support of the community really made the party the great success that it was. Capital Investment Group donated Creature Features Entertainment for the day, providing a sensory, hands on, interactive experience for the children with vision loss,” said Harzita.

“There were also number of other volunteers who donated their time and talents, including; Colonial Mutual staff who assisted with catering, members of West Pennant Hills Community Church who provided wonderful musical entertainment, a fairy face painter and, of course, Santa and our official Santa photographer!”

RIDBC Early Learning Program (Vision Impairment) works with families of children with significant vision loss, from birth to five years of age.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest provider of services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives.  In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.