Tanya Plibersek presents donation to RIDBC on behalf of Australian Hearing

Mark Butler, Chris Rehn and Tanya PlibersekCheque presentation to RIDBC on behalf of Australian Hearing (-r) Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, and Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion,Tanya Plibersek

To mark the launch of Hearing Awareness Week 2011, the Hon Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion, today presented a cheque for $12 000 to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children on behalf of Australian Hearing.

The donation from Australian Hearing will help fund RIDBC’s early intervention services for children who are hearing impaired.

“On behalf of Australian Hearing, I am delighted this donation will go toward RIDBC’s early intervention services for children,” said Ms Plibersek.

“Studies show that the earlier children are treated for their hearing impairment, the easier it is for them to learn and communicate.”

RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, thanked Australian Hearing for the donation and said the $12 000 was a great contribution to the work of RIDBC.

“As a charity, RIDBC relies significantly on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives through provision of innovative and quality programs,” said Rehn.

The money will help children like Alexander Barrett from Canberra who was diagnosed at birth with profound hearing loss. He and his family work with specialist teachers and therapists through RIDBC Teleschool.

“We have had weekly lessons delivered via videoconferencing from RIDBC’s Sydney studios into our home since Alexander was 14 months old,” said Lorraine Cormack, Alexander’s mum.

“He had just received his second cochlear implant and we knew Alexander needed help to learn to listen with the cochlear implants and develop speech. From the beginning, RIDBC has been a reliable source of expertise for our family.”

“We’ve been so impressed with how far Alexander has come with the support of RIDBC. While he missed over a year of listening, he has caught up so quickly. He is now three and has age appropriate language,” said Lorraine.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children provides vital support to over 1000 children with significant hearing or vision impairment and their families across Australia. As well, RIDBC provides vision and hearing screening to around 2000 babies and children each year. www.ridbc.org.au

Australian Hearing is one of the largest providers of hearing services for children, young adults, pensioners, veterans and indigenous people in the community. Contact Australian Hearing on 131 797, or visit www.hearing.com.au