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Date posted: 18 May 2012
Children with a vision and/or hearing impairment in regional and remote areas will have greater access to services thanks to a new video conferencing program launched yesterday.
The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, today announced VidKids Alliance as the recipient of more than $4.1 million in funding through the Remote hearing and vision services for children initiative.
VidKids Alliance is an expert consortium made up of Vision Australia, Deaf Children Australia and the First Voice national service network whose members include The Shepherd Centre, Sydney and Canberra; Hear and Say, Brisbane; Cora Barclay Centre, Adelaide; Taralye, Melbourne; and Telethon Speech and Hearing, Perth.
First Voice centres will provide remote hearing services and Vision Australia will provide remote vision services to children and families in regional and remote areas via video conferencing with specialist therapists and technology support staff.
Using iPads and laptops, services can be delivered by therapists from any geographic location that has a connection to broadband. The alliance also has agreements to access fixed video conferencing facilities in Education Department Schools in New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory; and access to Telehealth centres in Queensland.
The options will increase as the Federal Government's national broadband network is rolled out across Australia.
‘Early intervention is critical for children who have vision or hearing loss to reach their full potential in life,' said Dr Kevin Murfitt, Vision Australia Chair of the Board of Directors.
‘VidKids Alliance will offer support services to children and their families from birth to 18 years of age, so we will be there through every stage of their development,' said Associate Professor Dimity Dornan AM, Chair of First Voice.
Source: Vision Australia
Ph: 1300 365 492