New opportunities for blind and vision impaired students
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Assistant Minister for Social Services Senator Mitch Fifield, Member for La Trobe Jason Wood and State Education Minister Martin Dixon today opened the only school for blind or vision impaired students in Victoria.
Minister Hunt, who represented the Prime Minister, said the Insight Specialist Primary School at Monash University’s Berwick campus filled a void for young Victorians who were blind or vision impaired.
“This opens a whole new world of opportunity for blind or vision impaired children across Victoria,” Minister Hunt said.
“While there are six schools for deaf and hearing impaired students in Melbourne, and a number of specialist schools for students with other disabilities, blind or vision impaired students have been without a school since the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind closed in 2009.
“When I first met with Alan Lachman and the founding parents of Insight I knew this was something worth fighting for. After six years of hard work and perseverance, it is terrific to see the Insight Specialist Primary School come to life.
“I am delighted that the Federal Government has been able to play a part in helping Insight become a reality by contributing $1.5 million to complete the school, following the initial $2.14 million from the Victorian Coalition Government.”
Senator Fifield said a group of dedicated parents were today able to see years of work come to fruition.
“People power and political will have made this possible,” Senator Fifield said.
“This is about giving parents real choice when it comes to selecting a school which gives their children the best educational outcomes.
“It is clear some students need the intensive support and the specialist environment Insight offers to excel academically.
“This could be what it takes for students to thrive and reach their potential.”
Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon said the Napthine Government delivered on its election commitment in 2010 to establish the Insight Education Centre and in the 2011-2012 state budget delivered $2.14 million to assist with the building of the school.
“Insight Education Centre founder Alan Lachman is to be commended for his great vision and dedication to the development of this school for blind and vision impaired students,” Minister Dixon said.
Mr Wood said the school offered much more than an education.
“At Insight students learn self-confidence, self-esteem, life skills as well as literacy and numeracy,” Mr Wood said.
“The specialised learning will empower them to participate fully, seek a career and pursue the dreams they have for their life ahead.
“I commend the efforts of all who have made this school a reality and I look forward to hearing the achievements of these students as they move forward in life and fulfil their dreams.”
For more information about the Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired visit www.insightvision.com.au