The Rotary Club of Brisbane Centenary has had a long relationship with the Mt Ommaney Special School. The school provides an educational service for students with an intellectual disability and secondary impairments. This includes support for those with vision, hearing, physical as well as to those with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The school caters for children right through from birth to their graduation from formal schooling. They are also a specialist facility that caters for students with high and complex medical support needs.
Eye Tracker Equipment
In May 2017 with the help of Dick Smith Foundation, the Rotary Benevolent Fund and other local Rotary Clubs, our club set out to raise over $11,200 for the purchase of an eye tracker device to help the kids at the school communicate. Eye-gaze control technology allows children and adults to use movements of their eyes to operate a laptop, computer or speech-generating device. This technology can be used for many purposes, including playing games, accessing the internet and communicating with family and friends. It is expensive but what price do you put on giving a child the opportunity to communicate for the first time with their families, friends and teachers.
By late June, the club had with the help of other local donations managed to secure funding for the entire amount needed to purchase the eye tracker equipment. Together with the local presidents we had a hand over meeting to Kerry from Mount Ommaney Special School and the equipment is already being put to good use.
The club regularly raises funds for the school in addition to helping at the Annual Baby and Kids Market day. Funds raised to date have helped provide specialized equipment for the students, this includes the purchase of a horizon stander. This specialist apparatus gives children who are unable to stand on their own the opportunity to “stand” and move about themselves.
Members always enjoy working with the school in raising funds and seeing the impact those funds have had on the students. As a club we are very proud of our work as we help some of societies most in need people.
One of our members is also helping out with maintaining the vast fleet of various cycles that the school uses.
Not just a one way relationship
Despite being donor recipients, the school also aims to give back to the club wherever it can. The school is a regular participant in our annual fun run that supports a number of other charities. At the 2016 event, the school was awarded the largest school team participation prize.