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NSW Government supporting hearing impaired children

5 July 2011

The NSW Government has announced $50,000 for the Hear the Children Early Intervention Centre at Kellyville, to support the development of children who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, said the Centre’s programs, that covered babies as young as six weeks and children of school age, had proven to be highly successful.

“The years between birth and five years of age are the most critical language learning years, which is why early intervention is so essential,” Mr Constance said.

“Without structured and consistent early intervention, such as that provided by Hear the Children, a hearing impaired child would be unlikely to develop age appropriate spoken language or intelligible speech.”

“Babies are tested at birth through the Statewide Infant Screening Hearing program, which enables Hear the Children to start this critical and life-changing therapy with hearing impaired babies.”

The Minister made the funding announcement this morning with Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams and Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet.

“Early intervention is critical for hearing impaired children,” Mr Williams said.

“Without this service, serious problems could arise later in life when it comes to a child’s ability to interact with people.”

Hear the Children was formed following the closure of the early intervention service at St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired Children at Castle Hill in 2009.

“The service is managed by a group of dedicated and skilled parents and I pay tribute to the work they are doing,” Mr Williams said.

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