Student with hearing loss succeeds with specialised support

RIDBC has recognised Holly for academic achievement in the HSC.RIDBC has recognised Holly for academic achievement in the HSC.

Mosman resident, Holly, has been awarded a medal of excellence by Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) for her academic achievement in the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Holly, who is 18 years old and has hearing loss, received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 91.8. She attended Queenwood School for Girls and received in-school support from RIDBC School Support Service, which brings RIDBC support teachers into schools to provide students with vision or hearing loss with in-class assistance and strategies for accessing the curriculum.

“I was first diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears when I was six years old,” said Holly. “However, it is assumed that I was hearing impaired from birth as a consequence of being a premature baby. Since receiving the diagnosis I have worn two hearing aids to help me hear.

“RIDBC has provided immense support since kindergarten, but particularly in my last three years of school. In my senior years, my RIDBC Consultant, Heather Farmer, would visit me weekly so that we could work on my literacy skills.

“Without the help of my RIDBC consultant, Heather Farmer, I would not have been able to get through the HSC, let alone be able to achieve the ATAR mark I received!”

RIDBC worked with Holly to ensure she was able to access the curriculum alongside her hearing peers.

“Heather not only helped oversee that special provisions for exams were in place at school, but also acted as a mentor throughout my senior years," said Holly. "She gave me advice on my hearing difficulties and encouraged me in all my subjects, particularly English. She was a marvel!”

Holly is now enrolled in her first year of a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws with a major in criminology.

“I hope to become a practising lawyer one day in the near future,” said Holly.

RIDBC specialist teacher, Heather Farmer, said building Holly’s confidence was critical.

“Building Holly’s confidence in her ideas and ability was crucial during the HSC,” said Heather. “It has been a joy to witness her becoming such an articulate young woman. Holly goes out into the world standing tall and believing in herself, wanting to make a difference.”

With skilled special education and early intervention, children with vision or hearing loss can access the same opportunities as all Australian children and reach their full potential.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest provider of services for children and adults with vision or hearing loss, assisting thousands of people each year across Australia.  As Australia’s premier provider of training and education for professionals in the field of sensory disability, RIDBC also ensures that services delivered throughout government and non-government organisations remain cutting-edge.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives. To donate go to: