UsherKids Australia will bring together families and a diverse range of healthcare professionals who work with children with Usher syndrome online on March 25th, 2022 to exchange information and share different perspectives on some of the most important transition periods facing our children today. The program will also include an opportunity for parents to build relationships with others, as well as start an important exchange of evidence-based practices for caring and supporting children with Usher syndrome in various settings. And as always, we will hear from those with lived experience of Usher syndrome about what aspects of transitions worked well, and not so well, to arm families with various strategies to improve outcomes.



We strongly recommend attendees view the USHER IN FOCUS Webinar Series before joining us for the Transitions Conference to assist with an overall understanding of Usher syndrome and how children with the condition can be impacted in various settings. Look for the “Intro” option at registration that includes both sessions at a reduced rate.


Where to Now? After the Usher Diagnosis – Tracey Johnston UsherKids Australia 

Tracey is the UsherKids Australia Case Coordinator as well as a Senior Teacher and Consultant with NextSense (formerly RIDBC). Her knowledge and experience working with families of children with sensory impairments spans over two decades. Tracey provides guidance to families particularly in the early years after diagnosis to reduce isolation, increase support and service provision to improve the long-term health and well-being of our families and here she will present on ways parents and professionals can support the child and family to manage some of the early challenges of receiving a diagnosis of Usher syndrome for a child. 

Primary2Secondary – John Lui Hear For You

John Lui is the National Manager of Hear For You, an organisation that provides mentoring and peer support for teens and young adults who are deaf or hard of hearing in Australia. John, who is profoundly deaf, also manages a successful tennis coaching business and has represented Australia in International Deaf Tennis since 2005. John will present on the Primary2Secondary program facilitated by Hear For You, which helps kids who are deaf or hard of hearing make a smooth transition from Year 6 to high school. He will cover various topics, including  making new friends, dealing with bullying, and simply finding your way around. He will also discuss some of the strategies that he used to overcome barriers he faced during his schooling and employment over the years. 

Teens and Beyond – Michelle Payne & Jenny Salgo Association for Children with Disability 

Association for Children with Disability is a not-for-profit organisation supporting children with disability and their families across Victoria. For over 40 years, the organisation has provided support to empower families with knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve the best for their children. Michelle and Jenny will provide information on some financial considerations to support your child aged 13+ now and into the future, including opening a bank account for your teen, applying for their Tax File Number (TFN), Health Care Card, and changes to the various Centrelink allowances. 

Transition from Paediatric to Adult Healthcare – Jamie McCarthy The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

Jamie has worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital as a nurse for over 25 years. For the last 5 years he has been part of the Transition Support Service as a Transition Support Coordinator who assists young people with chronic medical conditions and/or disabilities and their parents and carers to transition and transfer to adult care. Jamie will present on the transition process that typically begins at about the age of 15, and how young people and parents can gain the necessary knowledge, skills and care coordination, to ensure a safe and supported move from paediatric to adult health services.  Outside of his work, Jamie plays in a band called the Rectal Tubes with other nurses from the hospital and presents on community radio shows. 

Pathway to Post School LifeHannah Kan National Disability Insurance Agency 

Hannah Kan from the NDIA will present information to support parents/carers of young people with a disability to build skills and pave a pathway to post school life. The presentation will provide a discussion of a range of career planning and pathways tools, NDIS-funded supports and other assistance to help young people to build skills to prepare for their transition, and support them in achieving education, training, employment and other goals, post-school.

Parental Experience of School Transitions – Vicki Cox Parent of two young adults with Usher syndrome 

Vicki is mum to two young adult daughters with Usher Type 1 who are navigating post school options.  Her oldest daughter is studying Biological Science at University and her youngest engaged initially in TAFE studies in Screen and Media and more recently with an on-line private college studying animation. Vicki has worked as a Speech Pathologist in the disability area with a focus on Early Intervention.  Her family are currently living in the UK temporarily, which has added more challenges to life! Vicki will be sharing her daughters journey’s transitioning from the supportive local high school environment, including the challenges in making study and career choices, accessing tertiary education and seeking disability supports.

Lived Experience of School Transitions- Bettina Liang Young adult with Usher syndrome  

Bettina is a young professional who recently started her career in the tech industry as a Project Manager and Business Analyst. She has a profound hearing loss in both ears and wears two cochlear implants. She went to RIDBC’s Garfield Barwick School and transitioned to Fort Street High School before studying a Bachelor of Technology and Innovation at UTS. Bettina enjoys musicals, long walks and embarking on her next creative project in her down time.

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