NextSense team travels to the bush
A three-year grant received from the Profield Foundation Trust will fund NextSense Cochlear Implant Services outreach program in Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth, and Wagga Wagga. The program will help address the issue of hearing health in regional communities where hearing loss is present at much higher rates than the general population, yet often under-reported. This is due to the social stigma associated with deafness and the perceived need to be away from the farm for extended periods while undergoing testing, treatment, and rehabilitation.
The grant will enable regional pop-up clinics to provide follow-up services for cochlear implant recipients, first step hearing screening and seminars for local general practitioners, ear nose and throat specialists, audiologists and allied health professionals.
We greatly appreciate every grant contribution received and would welcome the opportunity to provide details of project and program funding needs for 2021 and beyond.
NextSense School equipment
The Lazberger Family Fund has provided funding for the special equipment needed by students of NextSense Schools. The grant enabled the purchase of Jenx Supine Standers, high-backed swing seats with pommel and safety harnesses, a treadmill with safety features that helps children improve their independent walking pattern and speed, and braillers for students with limited hand movement control.
Access Technology equipment pool
Access Technology is levelling the playing field for children with vision loss, to help them achieve their goals.
The Morpheus Foundation grant enabled NextSense to purchase additional devices that will ensure staff can trial the most relevant device to meet each child’s individual braille learning needs.
Early literacy key to redefining what's possible
The Morpheus Foundation also provided funding for the Early Literacy Development Program. Sighted children learn to read through exposure to print and picture.
Consistent exposure to braille and large print books, eBooks and tactile picture books is how children with significant vision loss develop early literacy concepts.
This project, co-funded by the Denton Family Trust, will help NextSense ensure more children who are blind or have low vision have access to appropriate resources that will support their early literacy development and promote opportunities for shared reading with family members and peers.
Braille mathematics—something to count on
Right now, there's a severe shortage of training programs that provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to enable equitable inclusion in mathematics for learners who use the sense of touch to access and communicate information.
The project team will use the recently developed online braille training programs, Unified English Braille (UEB) Online and Accessible UEB Online, as the basis for creating a linked series of lessons that can be accessed through online user registration combined with internet access.
The project will improve the educational outcomes for mathematics students with low vision by giving access to a comprehensive, high-quality online training program in braille mathematics, supporting teaching and learning activities. This will in turn increase access to education.
This is a significant long-term project being undertaken with funding provided by the Skipper-Jacobs Charitable Trust, Duchen Family Foundation, Thomas Hare Investments Trust, JLDJS Foundation and the Sibley Endowment.