The Renwick Centre contributes to the provision of educational opportunities for children with hearing or vision impairment through four areas of endeavour. These areas are as follows:
1. Research and Publication
RIDBC Renwick Centre conducts research related to a wide range of issues related to (re)habilitation and education of people with a sensory disability. Research infrastructure at the RIDBC Renwick Centre includes a highly specialised, modern library, which provides access to print and on-line resources, as well as access to the RIDBC and University facilities. In addition, the RIDBC Renwick Centre Ross Field Building houses purpose-built research suites for use by academics and research higher degree students.
RIDBC Renwick Centre research falls into three broad categories.
- Projects conducted by members of the academic staff (either individually or in collaboration with other researchers). Such projects may be supported by existing research infrastructure as part of the RIDBC commitment to the conduct of research in sensory disabilities. Alternatively, such research may be funded through the University's internal grants schemes or through one of a number of external grant schemes (e.g., the Australian Research Council). Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the current research projects and research interests of staff within the Centre. This will be of particular importance for students seeking to continue studies in a higher degree by research.
- Projects conducted by Research Fellows under Japan-Australia Friendship Fund (JAFF) or other fellowship schemes. The Fellowship Schemes are available to scholars and practicing professionals from across the field of sensory disability. Fellowships are awarded for the purposes of conducting original research or an applied project (e.g., project development, refinement, or documentation) in the area of (re)habilitation and education of people with a sensory disability.
- Projects conducted by students undertaking research as part of their degree studies. These projects may be supported (to varying degrees) by existing research infrastructure.
2. Academic Studies
RIDBC Renwick Centre provides high quality initial and on-going education for professionals engaged in serving people with a sensory disability. In 2017, the Centre provides a program leading to the postgraduate award of Macquarie University: Master of Disability Studies.
3. Continuing Professional Education
In addition to "award-bearing" professional training units, RIDBC Renwick Centre provides ongoing professional development, through a range of seminars, conferences, and workshops conducted by Australian and international experts in sensory disability.
4. Library and Information Services
The Renwick Centre Library provides an extensive and highly specialised collection of books, periodicals and audio-visual materials in the area of education of children with sensory disabilities. The library has been designed and purpose built to meet the information needs of the Renwick Centre as well as the staff of the RIDBC. Library staff provide a high quality client-centred service to all registered users of this resource centre.
The RIDBC Renwick Centre is a NSW Institute of Teachers’ endorsed provider of Institute Registered professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at Professional Competence.Scope of endorsement: Elements 2,3,6 of the Professional Standards and Standards 1.2.2, 1.2.4, 5.2.2, 5.2.7 and 7.2.4 for the provision of professional development related to the education of children with vision and hearing impairments.