Wheelchair swing launched at RIDBC

Diane and Max Denton of the Denton Family Trust, RIDBC chief executive Chris Rehn and RIDBC Alice Betteridge School principal Julie Kirkness with a student using the swing

Thanks to the generous support of the community, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's (RIDBC) Alice Betteridge School recently launched its new wheelchair swing.

RIDBC Alice Betteridge School caters for students with significant vision or hearing loss as well as a level of intellectual impairment. Many of these students also have a physical disability. For those students, for the first time, the Liberty Swing will allow them to take part in the same activity as their peers.

The Swing Project was set up by RIDBC Ambassador, Reuben Mourad, who had been volunteering with RIDBC Alice Betteridge School for six years.

"When I was nominated to take part in the 2013 Cleo Bachelor of the Year competition, I wanted to use the opportunity to create a fundraising campaign for RIDBC – The Swing Project," said Reuben.

"During my time at the school I noticed the students loved using the school's playground at recess, but that those who were in wheelchairs were sometimes missing out. Wheelchair swings are a huge investment, and RIDBC is a charity, but the kids at the school were just so excited at the possibility of getting a swing.

"To be completely honest, a swing is one of the simplest childhood memories for so many people. It's a brief moment of letting go of any worries, and just enjoying sailing through the air. But it's a moment that not enough of these students get to experience, and to be able to bring them such a moment through the overwhelming generosity of the community is truly amazing."

As a charity, RIDBC relies greatly on support from the community to continue to provide support to children and adults with vision or hearing loss.

"The Liberty Swing was made possible because of the many generous donors and community supporters that underpin the work of RIDBC," said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn.

"Thank you to Reuben for getting this project off the ground and also to the Denton Family Trust - which donated an incredible $60,000 to help us realise the project, WRI Insurance Brokers, and American Golf Supplies."

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.