The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, at North Rocks, was the new name for the Royal Institution for Deaf and Blind Children, which continued work started by the Deaf and Dumb Institution in Sydney in 1860. It was a school and disability institution, with residential facilities, including the Special School for Multi-Handicapped Blind Children. In 2014 the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children was a leading non-government provider of services to children with visual and auditory impairments, across a number of sites in Sydney. In 2021 the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children rebranded, aligning all of its services under the name NextSense.
The Deaf and Blind Children's Centre was mentioned in a 1979 Commonwealth Government report called Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey.
In 2014 the Institution runs the Garfield Barwick School, Alice Betteridge School (formerly the Special School for Multi-Handicapped Children). Thomas Pattison School and preschools and colleges. It auspices RIDBC Renwick, a research institute and college named after Sir Arthur Renwick, an early supporter of the Institution. Renwick was deeply involved in the Benevolent Society of New South Wales and the Royal Women's Hospital, and was a founder of state care for children in New South Wales, and the first president of the State Children's Relief Board.
1860 - 1869 Deaf and Dumb Institution
1869 - 1957 New South Wales Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind
1957 - 1973 Royal Institution for Deaf and Blind Children
1973 - Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Our History', in NextSense, NextSense (formerly Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children), 2012, https://www.nextsense.org.au/about/our-history; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 9 May 2013, Last modified: 11 January 2023