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Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

New teleschool for rural and remote deaf and blind children

Hearing and vision impaired children in regional Australia are already benefiting from the brand new Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Teleschool program, opened today by Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion.

Senator Scullion opened the new state-of-the-art Teleschool in North Rocks, Sydney, and praised for the program for continuing to break new ground in distance service delivery.

‘These new facilities and improved technologies will have a great impact on the lives of children and families who live far from a metropolitan centre and use the services on a day to day basis,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘The Australian Government has committed almost $1.9 million, over four years, to assist the RIDBC in delivering its Teleschool program, which is assisting around 70 children across Australia.

‘Funded under the Invest to Grow initiative of Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, the program has been assisting children aged 0-5, who live in rural and regional areas and have a sensory impairment.

‘The recently expanded program has evolved with new technologies and will now also be available to children with a hearing impairment, right through their schooling years.

‘Services are delivered to families in their homes and in videoconferencing studios at the nearest regional centre, through telephone, videoconferencing, videorecording, email, audio recording print material, and digital photography.

‘This is a far-reaching program which is being rolled out and operating in South Australia, NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory, ACT, Victoria and Western Australia.

‘With the expansion of the program and the refurbishment of the new facility, the program is expected to provide services to a greater number of children and families in need.

‘Following the opening of these new facilities, families and local service providers will be better informed, confident and better skilled to care for, and meet the needs of children with sensory impairment,’ Senator Scullion said.
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