Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance has today launched a new comprehensive service for children with hearing impairment, following the successful integration of the Hear the Children service to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) at Rouse Hill.
The new service will support children with hearing impairment up to six years of age, and aims to improve their listening and speaking skills so they can prosper in mainstream schools.
“A service like this is critical because without structured and consistent early intervention, a child with hearing impairment is unlikely to develop age appropriate spoken language, which severely hinders their ability to interact with people later in life,” Mr Constance said.
“By getting in early, we can ensure children with hearing impairment have the skills necessary to fully participate in their communities and attend mainstream schools.”
The NSW Government supported the transition of Hear the Children to the RIDBC, with the service relocating from Kellyville to the Rouse Hill Town Centre.
RIDBC receives recurrent funding of $4.7 million, and in 2012 the organisation supported 3,985 children and students across NSW.
The Minister was joined by MPs Dominic Perrottet, Ray Williams and David Elliott at today’s launch.
Mr Perrottet said Hear the Children and the RIDBC have a proud history of supporting families in the local community.
“We’ve seen some fantastic results for children with hearing impairment through the services both organisations provide, and that will continue into the future at the new RIDBC-Hear the Children service,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Not only is it important for children to get the support they need, but also ensuring that parents and carers are provided with the skills and confidence to support their child’s development.”
RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education, and diagnostic services for children with hearing and vision loss, and receives funds from ADHC to provide these important services.
For more information visit www.ridbc.org.au