Ritchies Testimonials

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)

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The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) is Australia's major special educator of deaf and blind children. RIDBC's primary purpose is to provide high quality educational services to minimise the impact of blindness and deafness so that children with these impairments become able to participate fully in all aspects of life.

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Funds received through the Ritchies Stores Community Benefit Program support RIDBC Teleschool. The service is for families in regional, rural and remote areas from the time their baby or toddler is diagnosed with a hearing or vision loss, until school age entry. Services are also provided to school age children with a hearing impairment.

RIDBC Teleschool meets the needs of hearing and vision impaired children in places where appropriate specialised teaching resources are not available. Language development is a priority of the program, with activities that focus on listening, speaking, and reading. With early and intensive intervention, many of the very young children who access RIDBC Teleschool go on to attend their local "big" school when they reach primary school age and achieve on a par with their hearing and sighted classmates.

The program enables families to remain in their home town where their support networks are established, whilst jobs, education, sporting and social activities for the parents and siblings can continue rather than having to relocate to a major city. At appropriate stages in the child's development, families are encouraged to travel to our North Rocks campus where they can access sophisticated testing and therapy facilities, participate in group activities with other children and families, engage in intensive one on one educational activities with their teacher/therapist over several days and consult with specialised medical and paramedical services nearby. RIDBC provides some financial support for travel to Sydney and overnight accommodation is provided on site.

RIDBC Teleschool assists families with information and support about hearing and vision impairment and how it may impact on their child's development. RIDBC specialist staff also help families to understand the unique needs of their child and develop skills that will support the child.

For additional information about the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and RIDBC Teleschool in particular please ring 1300 131 923 or visit our website www.ridbc.org.au

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) is Australia's largest independent special educator. Founded in 1860, it is also one of Australia's oldest charities.

RIDBC provides a wide range of innovative educational programs for children with hearing and/or vision impairment, including services for children with additional disabilities.

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As well as conducting centres at several locations in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast in NSW, RIDBC provides support services in mainstream schools across Sydney and a remote service, RIDBC Teleschool, for families in regional areas across Australia.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's Renwick Centre conducts research and professional studies in the field of education of children with sensory impairment. The Renwick Centre offers a range of postgraduate degrees and diplomas as well as conferences, seminars, and workshops for teachers, therapists and professionals who work in this field.

RIDBC regularly assists more than 800 children, and their families, and provides hearing or vision screening for thousands more. It relies heavily on fundraising and community support to continue to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Through education, RIDBC seeks to close the gap between the life experiences of children with hearing and/or vision impairment, and those without.

For more information about the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, please visit www.ridbc.org.au

If you would like to nominate the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, their CB No is: 91241.