Health News

Increased Specialist Supports for Children with Visual and Hearing Impairments

Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, has announced details of two new specialist support programmes that will be directly targeted at children with visual and hearing impairments. The new programmes follow the securing of funding of over €700,000 by Minister Rabbitte, and will be rolled out by:

  • ChildVision, the National Education Centre for Blind Children.
  • Chime, the National Charity for Deafness and Hearing Loss.

The ChildVision programme will provide training and ongoing consultative support to Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) nationally, with ChildVision’s clinical team engaging as necessary with each of the 91 CDNTs over an eight month period through remote learning. The programme will also provide an extended National Assessment Service to include holistic and specialized intervention along with Outreach Services. ChildVision aims to create key visionaries within each of the CDNTs, who will be responsible for encouraging and promoting visual information (VI) skills within the CDNT.

The Chime programme will see the development of a Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Team to support children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Specialist supports will take the form of both direct and indirect/universal services.

Confirming the launch of the two new specialist support programmes, Minister Rabbitte said, “I am delighted to announce these new specialist supports that will directly benefit children with both visual and hearing impairments, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that they undoubtedly will have. The funding that I have secured will ensure that both organisations can have a real impact on the lives of children with disabilities and their families.”

“ChildVision’s campus is dedicated to the education, therapeutic intervention and term-time living needs of low vision, blind, children and young people, and I welcome their involvement in this initiative in collaboration with the HSE. I also welcome their proposed satellite centre in Oranmore in Galway that is expected to be operational by 2026, and will be of great benefit to children with disabilities throughout the west of Ireland.”

“The involvement of Chime is equally important, given their experience over the last six decades in assisting and supporting individuals with deafness and hearing loss. As we implement the Progressing Disability Services plan, I look forward to seeing the impact that Chime will have on children with hearing impairments, and the supports that they will provide for our Children’s Disability Network Teams nationwide.”

“I will continue to work with parents, organisations and representative groups to ensure we deliver the services needed to support children with disabilities. CDNTs need specialist supports for some children attending their services and this is an area I will continue to expand in to ensure no child is left behind.”

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