Remote Hearing and Vision Services for Children (RHVSC)

Transitioning program

This program is transitioning into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Please read below for more information about receiving future supports.

The Department of Social Services administers RHVSC to deliver specialist allied health and education services to children, up to the age of 18, with hearing and/or vision impairment in outer regional and remote locations across Australia (including Indigenous communities) via remote service delivery methods. 

RHVSC is currently delivered by The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) through their Teleschool initiative.

Transitioning to the NDIS

RHVSC is transitioning to the NDIS. As the NDIS is rolled out across Australia, this service will be progressively phased out.

RHVSC clients will need to test their eligibility for the NDIS to continue to receive supports. Begin the process of testing your eligibility early.

Supports currently provided through the RHVSC program will not necessarily be replicated by the NDIS. They may take the form of different supports or services, depending on the needs and decisions of each NDIS participant and their family. Once a client has an NDIS plan in place, RHVSC type services must be accessed through the NDIS. Clients continue to receive supports through the RHVSC program until their NDIS plan is finalised.

Continuity of Support

RHVSC is a defined program, meaning that most clients will be eligible for the NDIS. It is therefore expected that all existing RHVSC clients will transition to the NDIS.

In the unlikely case that clients are ineligible for the NDIS, they will be able to access similar supports through the Continuity of Support Fund (the Fund), announced in the 2018-19 Budget. The Fund will be administered by the Department of Social Services.

Details about how support will be delivered through the Fund will be made available once long-term arrangements have been finalised.

Background

The initiative:

  • provides high quality internet based video conferencing in community areas and in family homes; and
  • allows children and their families, carers and local case workers, to access real time developmental and therapeutic information, guidance and support from qualified allied health and education services where access to such expertise would otherwise be scarce.

Children with hearing and/or vision impairment in regional and rural areas who do not receive early intervention require more intensive assistance in mainstream schools and may miss key development milestones. Their families face significant hardship in travelling to major cities to receive regular treatment. This issue is particularly significant in Indigenous communities, where children face a disproportionate likelihood of hearing impairment. 

RHVSC is provided by RIDBC through their Teleschool initiative. RIDBC clients are provided with high-quality, high-definition dedicated videoconferencing technology and software produced by industry leader Polycom. An Information Technology support person talks the client through setting-up their technology over the phone, and provides any training required in the use of the technology. RIDBC provides clients with ongoing training in the use of the technology if required. The high quality of the infrastructure provided means consistent and high quality service delivery leading to positive outcomes for clients.

For further information and an application form, contact RIDBC: Telephone: 1300 131 923 Fax: (02) 9872 0889

Website: www.ridbc.org.au/teleschool

For more information in other languages, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on  13 14 50 and ask them to contact RIDBC on the number above for you.

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