Online video service brings treatment to children with disabilities

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Thursday, 2 February 2012 23:38pm

A new initiative will mean that more children with hearing or vision impairment living in regional and remote Australia will be able to talk to a specialist right from their living rooms.

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, launched the new Remote Hearing and Vision Services for Children Initiative yesterday.

The initiative aims to improve health care services for children with hearing and vision impairment living in regional and remote areas in Australia. It is often difficult for families with children who need specialist treatment to travel the distance to access essential services.

This new initiative will provide children with hearing and vision impairment access to specialist treatment via an online video service. Using this service, a child and their parents or carers can sit in a small remote town in the Northern Territory and speak to a specialist in Melbourne using live online video.

The Federal Government is investing $4.9M over three years to deliver this initiative to 125 additional children in regional and remote Australia.  

This service is supported by the National Broadband Network (NBN), which is rolling out high-speed internet access to 93 per cent of Australian homes, schools and business. The NBN provides support for services such as these that require fast internet connections, particularly in regional and remote Australia where fast internet access is less common than in built-up areas.

The initiative is detailed further in a joint media release issued by Jenny Macklin, Jan MacLucas and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

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