Hunter Deafblind Project

The Hunter Deafblind Project is a 2020-2023 Information, Linkages and Capacity Building initiative.

Hunter Deafblind Project meeting

This is a 3-year project for people who are deafblind who live in the Hunter region. The Hunter Deafblind Project is a 2020-2023 Information, Linkages and Capacity Building initiative. The project commenced in February 2020 and will run for 3 years, with the work being delivered by Project Coordinator’s Steve Ripley and Justine Lorenz. We will use lived experience to support deafblind people in the Hunter to live the lives they choose.

Over the next 3 years, the project will:

  1. Build peer mentoring relationships with deafblind people and their networks of support in the Hunter – to work out what services and supports you need and how to get them.
  2. Build networks of support with deafblind people who have left the Stockton Centre.
  3. Grow a local workforce of deaf support workers who are trained as Communication Guides.
  4. Run Hunter Deafblind Connect – this is a network of people who work together to support people with deafblindness to be full and active citizens in our community. A fortnightly drop-in operates for Deaflind peers and their allies to meet together and build friendships.
  5. Support the Hunter Deafblind Group to become strong and independent – to facilitate shared experiences, role modelling, peer mentoring and peer support with people who are deafblind across the region. The Hunter Deafblind Group is a peer support group run for and by deafblind people in the Hunter. This project is run by the Hunter Deafblind Group with the support of CDAH.

For more information contact Justine Lorenz at 0421 850 886 or justine@cdah.org.au

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

About Us

The Hunter Deafblind Project team has a unique combination of lived experience and practice knowledge to support deafblind people to have more control in their lives and to become more connected with their communities.  Using lived experience and peer support, we help bridge the gap between the person with deafblindness and the services and systems around them to make sure they can access what they need to be equal and active citizens in our community.

Justine Lorenz

Project Coordinator

Justine Lorenz is a deafblind practitioner based in the Hunter who supported the establishment of the local Deafblind peer support group in 2015. Fluent in Auslan, deafblind tactile and tactile Auslan, Justine brings decades of community development, advocacy and coordination work across the government and non-government sectors to help fulfil her vision of a world where everyone can take their place as full and equal citizens.

Steve Ripley

Project Coordinator

Steve Ripley is a deafblind man and deafblind practitioner with over 30 years lived experience and practice in training people in what it takes to support people who are deafblind. He brings a wealth of communications training, knowledge, humour and deafblind expertise to his work. On the board of Deafblind Australia, Steve works tirelessly to support the human rights and inclusion of deafblind people across Australia.

A photo of Alisha Cooper

Alisha Cooper

Project Worker

Alisha Cooper has over 10 years leadership experience in the disability sector, with a focus on assisting disability support workers to design and implement person centred plans. Holds Degree qualifications in Social Sciences majoring in Welfare, and a Diploma of Education in Primary Teaching. Alisha is passionate about working collaboratively to support deafblind community members to live their best life. 

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