RIDBC Support for Children with Sensory Impairment attending Western Sydney Region Mainstream Schools
CASH DONATION – $6,095
Children who have vision or healing loss need skilled education and therapy to develop language and socials skills. When the right technology is combined with early diagnosis, quality intervention and dedicated teachers, children who are blind or deaf can have the same opportunities as their sighted and hearing peers.
RIDBC’s Early Intervention and Education Services are primarily focused on preparing children with sensory loss to enter their local mainstream school on an equal footing with their neighbourhood friends then providing on-going support once they are attending regular school as required. RIDBC commences working with children from the Liverpool LGA from their first weeks of life at the RIDBC Liverpool Centre. This support continues for as long as needed, which may be right through their teenage years, providing therapy, education and specialised assistance to them and their families.
RIDBC Student Support Services assist the children in mainstream schools with their classroom work, accessing learning resources and ensuring the assistive technology they are using is working at optimum levels. The aim of this program is to build the capacity of mainstream schools to best support the children in their local school with guidance from the RIDBC specialist team. RIDBC ensures that families are able to access community services through consultative support and works with mainstream services such as schools to enhance their program to meet the needs of individual children to attain an inclusive learning environment.
For a child with low vision, this may involve recommending that a teacher provide high contrast colour for craft materials so the child can participate independently in classroom activities. Braille and tactile books and learning materials are developed and provided by RIDBC’s Alternative Format Publications unit so they can actively participate in activities such as story time.
Further support includes the provision of in-services to teaching staff regarding the specific needs of individual children to ensure that sensory disability is well understood, recognised and accommodated.