Jemma’s studies have given her a sense of personal achievement and a lifelong professional network

Jemma Graduate of the Master of Disability Studies, specialising in Education: Vision Impairment
Recent graduate, Jemma, is looking forward to supporting students with a vision impairment to achieve their goals
While on maternity leave from primary school teaching, Jemma was offered a new opportunity.  “There was an unfilled vacancy as an itinerant teacher for vision impaired students. I had taught one of these student before, and it seemed like an interesting opportunity.”
Three years on, Jemma found herself really enjoying her role and wanting to make it a career, but she was missing one vital piece. "I had learnt a huge amount on the job, but in order to go permanent, I needed qualifications as well as experience," she explained. 
Living in Woolgoolga, a beachside hamlet on the mid-North Coast of NSW, Jemma was looking for a program that would offer her a mix of face-to-face and online coursework, where she could network with other professionals from around the country. 
Jemma commenced her Master of Disability Studies (Education: Vision Impairment) with RIDBC Renwick Centre/Macquarie University in mid-2017. As a working parent of two young children, she was initially concerned "I was apprehensive at first, about juggling my family and work commitments with study, but actually I found a lot of people in the course were in the same boat and we were really able to help and support each other," she said.
"The digital platform was really easy for me to use, and I found the lecturers really supportive and responsive" she said. "The online forums were great too. As part of the coursework, we had to upload our assignments and give and receive feedback from the class. Before I had done this, it seemed a bit daunting, but actually it was great, and a really helpful part of the course for me." 
Jemma also attended three courses with face-to-face intensive conferences, held onsite at Renwick Centre in Sydney, which she says, offered her the chance to meet other students.  
In fact, Jemma rates her interactions and friendships formed with other students as one of the highlights.  "Living in a regional area, you don't get too many opportunities to build a network or share experiences with other professionals in the vision space, so working with others on the course was just fantastic."
Having recently graduated, Jemma is looking forward to a long career helping students with vision impairments to reach their goals. 

Become a teacher of students with vision impairment


Need more information?

Download the RIDBC/ Macquarie University Student Handbook:


Need to speak with someone?

Claire Farrington 
Manager, Graduate Education, RIDBC Renwick Centre
(02) 9872-0811