Graduates to make a difference to deaf and blind children   15 Jun 2012

RIDBC

Graduates to make a difference to children with vision or hearing loss

At a recent ceremony at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) in Sydney, 51 new graduates were recognised for completing their postgraduate qualifications in special education.

These graduates completed their studies through RIDBC’s Renwick Centre and will now help to alleviate a critical shortage of trained teachers of children with hearing or vision impairment.

RIDBC Renwick Centre operates in affiliation with the University of Newcastle with all degrees being awarded by the University. The Centre is the largest provider of postgraduate education programs in the field of the education of children with a sensory disability in Australia, and is among the largest and most widely recognised in the field across the world.

One graduate was Cairns resident, Melinda Whipp, who completed a Master of Special Education (Vision Impairment). Melinda’s son, Sidney, has vision loss and is enrolled in RIDBC Teleschool – an Australia-wide program provides services to children and families in rural and regional locations via high-quality videoconferencing technology.

“After Sidney was diagnosed we began our search for support, not only for our child, but for ourselves. Familiar with what was, or wasn’t, available locally, we soon began looking further afield. We were delighted to find RIDBC Teleschool and have received amazing support ever since.

“As I learnt more about the importance of literacy and specialist education for students with a vision loss I decided to make the commitment to study to become a specialist. I felt this would allow me to best understand Sidney’s school curriculum and disability specific needs, as well as how to meet them.”

In 2008 Melinda began her postgraduate degree through RIDBC Renwick Centre and now works for Education Queensland as an advisory Teacher for Vision Impairment in the Cairns region.

“My relationship with RIDBC is as a postgraduate student, a parent and as a teaching professional who attends the world class conferences held as part of RIDBC’s Continuing Professional Education program,” said Melinda.

“RIDBC has been the complete experience for my family and for me. The continuity of care, availability of resources and access to specialists – all in one place - is invaluable. It has greatly reduced the stresses and uncertainties involved with being the parent and teacher of students with vision loss.”

“With skilled special education and early intervention children with vision or hearing loss can access the same opportunities as all Australian children and reach their full potential,” said Conjoint Professor Greg Leigh, Director of RIDBC Renwick Centre. “These children get the best possible start to life when they, and their families, receive immediate support from appropriately trained and specialist teachers and professionals.

“This dedicated professional education and research Centre has effectively reversed a trend of diminishing professional specialisation in the field of educating children with a sensory disability. Our graduates this year will join an expanding group of highly skilled specialists who are all working to improve the educational opportunities available to children with sensory impairment around the country and the world.”

RIDBC is Australia’s largest provider of services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia. As Australia’s premier provider of training and education for professionals in the field of sensory disability, RIDBC also ensures that services delivered throughout government and non-government organisations remain cutting-edge.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives. In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.

More information about RIDBC teacher training, professional development and research is available at www.ridbc.org.au/renwick

ends

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

First steps taken towards flag referendum

29 Oct 2014 News
New Zealand Government Rt Hon John KeyPrime Minister Hon Bill EnglishDeputy Prime Minister 29 October 2014 Cabinet has agreed on the... more

NZ to join global crackdown on tax evasion

29 Oct 2014 News
Revenue Minister Todd McClay today announced New Zealand’s timetable for participation in a global automatic exchange of... more

Business

NZ dollar holds gains as traders await central bank meetings

28 Oct 2014 Business News
By Paul McBeth Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar held gains in the local trading session as traders remain cautious... more

Orion Health seeks up to $150mln, eschews forecasts

28 Oct 2014 Business News
By Fiona Rotherham Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Orion Health Group, which develops software systems for patient health management, wants... more

Living

Duo wins MKR NZ by just one point

29 Oct 2014 Food & Wine
Neena and Belinda have won the first season of My Kitchen Rules New Zealand. The "Modern Day Hippies" beat Aaron and Heather in... more

MKRNZ - The WeedEaters are cleaning up

28 Oct 2014 Food & Wine
Modern Day Hippies Neena and Belinda breezed through the semi finals last night on My Kitchen Rules New Zealand and no one could be... more

Property

Goodman Property sells three Christchurch sites for $18.9M

28 Oct 2014 Property
By Suze Metherell Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust, the biggest listed property investor by market value, sold two... more

Double-digit rate increases loom

24 Oct 2014 Property
Aucklanders living in the ‘hottest suburbs’ could be the big losers, while businesses will come out winners Rate rises... more

Migration

New Zealand Named The Best Place For Raising Children

24 Oct 2014 Migration
New Zealand has been named the best place to raise a child in the Raising Children Abroad annual league table. According to the HSBC... more

Desperate employers keeping overstayers

24 Oct 2014 Migration
Desperate employers seeking to fill job shortages are keeping migrant workers who previously held a work visa in New Zealand... more

Travel

Air New Zealand's GENIUS Hobbit themed safety video

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Giving flyers an Unexpected Journey! Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson star in 'epic' Hobbit themed Air New Zealand safety video Air... more

Travel 'interns wanted' to tour 2000km of NZ

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Forget a summer internship of fetching coffee and photocopying - a travel company is offering a $30,000, 10-day, 2000km tour of New... more

Sport

NZ Rugby League: Matagi to debut against Samoa

29 Oct 2014 Rugby League
Vodafone Warriors prop Suaia Matagi is poised to play his first test for the NZ Kiwis against his old team-mates, Toa Samoa, at... more

Cancer Society named official charity for Cricket World Cup

28 Oct 2014 Cricket
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Cancer Society named official charity in New Zealand for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 The Cancer Society has... more

Columns

The return of Occupy London: this time it’s truly political

28 Oct 2014 Opinion
Article - Adam Parsons The return of Occupy London: this time it’s truly political by Adam Parsons22 October 2014more

Gordon Campbell on the TPP finishing line, and Amazon’s woes

28 Oct 2014 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the TPP finishing line, and Amazon’s woes by Gordon Campbell If the Trans Pa... more

Kiwi Success

New Ambassador to France appointed

28 Oct 2014 Appointments
Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Murray McCully has appointed diplomat James Kember as New Zealand’s next... more

Jim Hickey hangs up his umbrella

24 Oct 2014 People
Veteran weathercaster Jim Hickey has announced his retirement today, saying is was a tough decision. "I feel like I'm subbing off at... more

Recruitment

More than 600 take up 3K to Christchurch jobs

28 Oct 2014 Recruitment
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the Government’s 3K to Christchurch scheme is a winner with 633 unemployed people... more

UK ambulance service poaches Kiwi paramedics

24 Oct 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand paramedics are being poached by Britain's busiest ambulance service. Interviews were held in Auckland on Friday and... more