Farm visit helps children with a sensory disability

Boy with baby chickenFarm visit helps children with a sensory disability

On Monday 28 March, the children at The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in the Hunter welcomed the Kindifarm to the preschool.

A variety of farm animals provided a special language learning opportunity for the children with a vision or hearing impairment who attend the preschool.

RIDBC Hunter Director, Tracey Johnston said the children love to see the animals and to pat and feed them in a way that is non-threatening or overwhelming.

“For children who have a vision or hearing impairment, language must be taught explicitly,” said Tracey. “Providing real life experiences such as the Kindifarm, we are able to use the children’s interest in animals as a springboard for further language development. We can also consolidate and refine the language they have already acquired.”

“The teachers will be using lots of animal stories, songs, rhymes, craft activities and games in the classroom. After the event, the preschool teachers will also follow the children's leads to create other learning opportunities within the room.”

RIDBC Hunter, based at Floraville, provides education and support to 43 local children with hearing or vision impairment and their families through its preschool, early learning program, parent support groups and early learning groups.

“The preschool is a reverse integration preschool,” said Tracey. “Children from the local area who do not have a disability are also enrolled. These children are able to act as language and play models for their peers.”

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children provides vital support to over 970 children with significant hearing and/or vision impairment and their families across Australia.