Based in Melbourne, Australia, Taralye (pronounced “Taralee”) is one of the world’s leading early intervention centres for children with hearing loss and their families. We have been teaching children with hearing loss to listen and speak since 1968, and currently we support more than 260 children and their families across Victoria.
The role of the parent and family is regarded as pivotal in every aspect of our work and we are highly committed to supporting and fostering the wellbeing of families of young children with hearing loss.
Every day babies all over Australia are born into a world of silence or become deaf through illness. Hearing impairment is a significant condition in newborns, and permanent hearing impairment affects approximately 250-400 babies in Australia each year.
Our philosophy is to help hearing impaired children to listen, learn and speak like their hearing peers to give them the same life opportunities in education and employment and enable them to reach their full potential.
Taralye advocates for early diagnosis of hearing loss, prompt fitting of hearing aids and/or cochlear implants and high quality early childhood intervention services. Without professional intervention children with hearing loss can experience delays in their speech, language, learning and social development.
We recognise and appreciate others’ skills, knowledge and contributions. We value diverse opinions and backgrounds.
We actively listen to others, are open to feedback and encourage open dialogue as we work to achieve mutually beneficial results.
We are professionally dedicated to our mission and aim to deliver high quality results.
We act reliably and consistently to deliver responses within realistic timeframes. We are accountable individually, as teams and as an organisation for our behaviours, actions and results.
We use evidence to implement and measure quality standards in our practices.
We strive to support advancement, improvements and excellence through creativity in new ideas, services and processes.
We support families with sensitivity and empathy as they work through the emotional impact of the diagnosis of hearing loss.
In 1968 a group of families and early childhood education professionals formed The Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing (ACCIH).
The ACCIH, now operating as Taralye, was established by a group of parents who sought to obtain oral speech and language outcomes for their young hearing impaired children. At the time, their ground-breaking work prompted other families with hearing impaired children to seek help in teaching their children to listen and speak. In essence, Taralye is founded on the premise of “parents helping parents” and this sentiment has remained core to our family centred practices to the present day.
A pioneer in oral language development in deaf children with integration and early intervention core to its philosophy, this group—consisting of Mrs Nancy John MBE, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, Mrs Frances Derham MBE, Mrs. Ethleen King CBE, Mr and Mrs Worrall Jones, Mr John Calvert-Jones AM, and Mrs Janet Calvert-Jones AM. They believed deaf children should have access to the same educational opportunities as hearing children.
In 1979, the ACCIH opened Taralye, an internationally recognised early intervention centre providing inclusive oral language programs for deaf children and their families. The Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing continues to advocate for oral education services for deaf children throughout Victoria.
The name ‘ Taralye’ came from Mrs Nancy John’s home where the Council first started its work. It is believed to be the Aboriginal word for ‘place of trees’ and the ACCIH Chairman’s report of 29 March 1979 said “Taralye” ‘would seem an appropriate recognition of Mrs John’s tireless involvement in the work of the Council.’
Taralye is committed to providing an environment of integrity and respect for all and fosters the values of openness, honesty, tolerance, fairness and responsibility.
If you have a grievance or complaint, please refer to our Grievance-and-dispute-statement, which outlines the process that can help you with the matter.
What is early intervention?
Our staff work closely with children and their families to help every child develop to their full potential. Our early intervention program is ‘family-centred’, which means your family is central in everything we do. We will model and demonstrate strategies to you to facilitate your child’s development of listening, speech and language. We will help you and others in the community to understand the implications of hearing loss, and meet your child’s needs with confidence.
During individual early intervention sessions, a Speech Pathologist, Early Intervention Coordinator or Teacher of the Deaf supports each family and shows parents practical ways of helping their child to listen and speak, using the opportunities presented by everyday life. The frequency of sessions depends on the needs of the child and the family. These sessions can take place in families’ homes or at one of our centre locations or via the internet.
Our aim is to have children leaving our program and entering mainstream schools with speech and language skills similar to those of normally hearing children. We currently achieve this aim with 85% of children enrolled with us who are from English speaking backgrounds with no other additional need.`
When should Early Intervention start?
Early intervention should start soon after your baby or child has been diagnosed with hearing loss. During the first few years of life the brain is growing at a rapid rate, and learning to listen, speak and understand language is easier than at any later age. Our programs make the best use of this important early learning period, through to the time when your child begins school.
We know nothing about hearing loss and its implications. What do your programs involve?
Our staff work with you to develop a package of programs that will suit your child’s and your family’s needs.
A typical package might include:
Our child has additional needs as well as hearing loss. Can Taralye support us?
Yes. We have experience and expertise in supporting families whose children have additional needs. We will work closely with you and any other agencies which you may be involved with to develop a program suitable for your child.
How much does a Taralye program cost?
For most families there are no out-of-pocket expenses.
Some elements of our programs are financed by Victorian State and Federal government funding, grants from major donors and fundraising activities. However Taralye is a registered charity and donations are welcomed.
Other elements are available for families to access using the federal government’s Better Start for Children with Disability or NDIS funding. The federal government makes this funding available directly to eligible families to help pay for their early intervention needs.
Taralye is a registered Better Start and NDIS service provider, and sets its charges for a range of program elements at a rate that allows families to pay for these from their Better Start funding. If you are accessing a part of our program that is payable under Better Start or NDIS, you will sign a form at the end of each program session, and we will invoice Better Start or NDIS.
Our staff will work with you to develop a suitable overall program that combines elements funded by the Victorian state government and benevolent grants with elements you can purchase through Better Start funding. A summary of the programs and available funding is here (LINK TO word document but then update with PDF the new Information for families brochure)
We live in country Victoria. Can Taralye support us?
Yes. We support families of children with hearing loss from birth to twelve years of age both through direct visits throughout Victoria or via our Telepractice.
We live in the Barwon region where the federal government is trialling the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Can Taralye support us?
Yes. If your child is eligible for NDIS funding, a program is available to you with no out-of-pocket expenses.
If your child is not eligible for NDIS funding, you and your child may be able to access our state government and benevolent grant-funded program elements without cost. For details of these programs, click here. You can also access our other programs on a fee-for-service basis. Fee reductions may be available for families experiencing financial hardship. Please speak to us and we will help accommodate your needs.
Our child is not eligible for Better Start. Can we still access programs?
If your child is not eligible for Better Start funding, you and your child can still access our state government and benevolent grant-funded program elements without cost.
For details of these programs, click here. You can also access our other programs on a fee-for-service basis. Fee reductions may be available for families experiencing financial hardship. Please speak to us.