The name Alice Betteridge carries an incredible legacy at RIDBC. Here’s why.
At 4-years-old she was deemed too young and refused enrolment at the school – what is now known as RIDBC. But, she returned years later as a 7-year-old with her parents. This time she was accepted. The year was 1908 and Alice would become the first girl, who was deafblind, to be educated in Australia.
Influential in her education was her teacher Roberta Reid, who has an RIDBC preschool named in her honour. She taught Alice to fingerspell, achieved through associating objects to the words she was spelling. It ultimately proved successful.
Twelve years later Alice graduated from RIDBC, only to return later to serve as a school teacher for just shy of a decade, teaching students with vision loss.
Another momentous occasion in the life of Alice Betteridge, and RIDBC, came when world renowned American writer and activist, Helen Keller, who was deafblind, visited Australia in 1948. The two would meet in a well-known exchange, captured on film. Watch the story of Helen Keller visiting Australia and meeting Alice Betteridge on YouTube.