Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation helps RIDBC launch blended services

RIDBC Gosford thanks Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for their support of families in the region

New technology introduced by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children will help connect children with hearing or vision loss on the Central Coast and Northern Rivers Regions with critical educational support services like never before.

The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation provided a $250,000 grant to install state-of-the-art remote videoconferencing in the RIDBC Gosford, Hunter and Lismore centres, marking one of the organisation’s largest ever one-off philanthropic donations.

The funding enables RIDBC to provide enhanced educational and therapy services to young children with hearing or vision loss who live in the more remote areas of the Hunter, Central Coast and Northern Rivers regions.

Charitable Foundation Chairman Michael Slater said the grant would provide long-term benefits to many hundreds of children with hearing or vision loss, over many years.

“By improving the technology and resources in RIDBC’s regional locations, the Charitable Foundation will prevent hundreds of families based in regional locations having to travel to Sydney for face-to-face specialist sessions,” Mr Slater said.

“The Charitable Foundation is very pleased to be able to support a community project which will make a real and tangible difference in the lives of so many regional families,” he said.

RIDBC provides expert therapy and education services to children with hearing or vision loss from the time of diagnosis, which may be from just a few weeks of age. The new service will allow families to access consistent early intervention either in RIDBC’s Gosford centre or in their home using videoconferencing.

Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, said, “Without the grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, RIDBC would not be able to provide this vital service for children with hearing or vision loss in the region,” he said.

“Children who are deaf or blind require consistent, expert early intervention to achieve the best outcomes – particularly through the critical early years of speech and language development. This technology will enable families to have both in-home education and therapy, complemented by visits to RIDBC Hunter when possible.”

The Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million annually to local not-for-profit organisations in the Hunter, New England, Central Coast, Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast. Since its establishment in 2003, the Charitable Foundation has provided over $10 million for more than 250 community projects.