Glenmore Park Public School donate braille boards to RIDBC

A Glenmore Park Public School student showing the braille boards to a preschooler from RIDBC

Thirty-three Year Five students from Glenmore Park Public School have created and donated alphabet braille boards to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Nepean Preschool.

The braille boards spell out each letter of the alphabet using tactile print, braille, and large print. They are ideal for the students with vision loss supported by RIDBC.

One of the Glenmore Park Public School students who created the braille boards is Mikayla Kumar, who has vision loss and once attended RIDBC Nepean Preschool herself.

“I first started working with Mikayla when she was still at RIDBC,” said Mikayla’s Itinerant Support Teacher Vision, Denise Bradley. “I was there to help her transition into a mainstream school and ever since then I have been working with her to ensure she gets full access to the curriculum.

“A few years ago I began teaching braille at the school and we established a weekly braille lesson. The students love learning braille - we even have three braillers in the classroom for them to practice on! The process has supported Mikayla by increasing awareness of vision loss in the school community. The class now sees braille as a normal, positive part of the school curriculum.”

RIDBC Nepean Preschool is a reverse integration preschool purpose built to cater for the needs of children with vision or hearing loss. Children from the community also attend and are excellent language and learning models for their peers

“Children with hearing or vision loss require intensive education and support to develop speech and language. For our children, the visit from the Year Five students provided an excellent opportunity to learn language in context and to develop confidence speaking in a social setting,” said RIDBC Nepean Preschool Director, Melissa Sangalang.

“As a reverse integration preschool we understand how important it is for students with vision or hearing loss to access language and learning models from the community. This was a great experience for the pre-schoolers, who took the opportunity to talk with the older students about their braille project – they even sang the older students a song! It has been a great confidence building exercise.”

RIDBC assists over 3000 children with significant hearing or vision loss, and their families, 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.