First families get NDIS funding at RIDBC Hunter

RIDBC Speech Pathologist, Karen Atkinson, with the first RIDBC family to receive their NDIS funding

The first Hunter families have received National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding for vision or hearing loss therapy through RIDBC Hunter.

RIDBC Hunter currently provides individualised therapy and education programs to more than 60 families of children with vision or hearing loss in the Hunter region.

“Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children is dedicated to ensuring the very best outcomes for children with vision or hearing loss, and their families through expert therapy and education programs,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn. “We are committed to working within the new framework to continue provide relevant and flexible services for families in the region.”

RIDBC welcomes the introduction of the scheme which will provide the means for people with a disability to receive appropriate levels of support to assist them to face the challenges that are often associated with living with a disability.

“Almost 10 families at RIDBC Hunter have already begun NDIS funded therapy sessions or are currently in the process of securing funding which is an excellent start to the scheme introduced only a few months ago,” said Mr Rehn.

Less than 30% of RIDBC revenue is government funded. As the scheme is rolled out, individual NDIS funding will replace a portion of this funding.

“RIDBC will still rely significantly on the generosity of the greater Hunter Region in order to continue our important work. At RIDBC, we pride ourselves on delivering family-centred, individual programs for children with vision or hearing loss and we have been working for some time reviewing and enhancing our programs in readiness for the new person-centred funding model,” said Mr Rehn.

“We have worked with the Government from the start to ensure that we are prepared for the roll-out of the scheme and that the scheme will deliver the necessary benefits for people with a disability.”

It is expected that 10,000 people in the Local Government Areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland will be able to access support during the launch program. The scheme will be progressively rolled out across NSW and the rest of Australia in coming years. The region will join four other sites around the country, revolutionising the way in which we support Australians with a disability.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and diagnostic services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia.