Helping pre-schoolers have the best possible start to school

Sydney Motorway Corporation will help 20 pre-schoolers with hearing loss within the WestConnex corridor to go through The Shepherd Centre’s Ready Set Go school readiness program in 2017.

The Shepherd Centre Newtown is a charity founded in 1970 that works with children who have hearing loss or are deaf. Through early intervention Auditory Verbal Therapy the Centre teaches deaf children to listen and communicate through spoken language so that they can attend regular school and become fully integrated with their hearing peers.

The Ready Set Go program is designed to help children with a hearing disability cope with listening in noisier environments, manage their hearing devices and integrate with their hearing classmates at school. The program also equips parents of hearing impaired children with skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with their child’s new school community. Teachers are also educated to better support incoming students’ needs.

This initiative improves health and education outcomes for local people, which aligns with Sydney Motorway Corporations’ sustainability objectives. The program also breaks down barriers created by hearing loss and connects parents and children to school communities.

"The vast majority of children that come through our services learn to listen and speak as well as (and in some cases even better than) their typical hearing peers. However, we know that these children need additional support with social skills. The Program supports the child with hearing loss and their family in preparing for school, giving them the best possible start in life.”

Dr Jim Hungerford, CEO, The Shepherd Centre