Telethon Speech & Hearing originated in 1966 with a group of parents, who had great hopes for the future of their profoundly deaf children, refused to settle for what they thought was “second-best”.
These parents decided to start a school of their own. With five students, no premises, little money and no experience, they made a commitment to pursue the very best oral education for their children. The following year they started The Speech & Hearing Centre for Children WA Inc., and a registered school officially opened on 6th February 1967.
In 1972, a site in Lake Monger was formally offered and in 1975 the present facility in Wembley was opened on land set aside by an Act of State Parliament.
In February 2005, The Speech & Hearing Centre became the Telethon Speech & Hearing Centre as part of the continuing support and relationship with the Channel 7 Telethon Trust.
In 2015 the members of Telethon Speech & Hearing Centre for Children WA Inc, at an Annual General meeting on 30 April, passed a special resolution to move from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee. This decision was based on the organisational size of Telethon Speech & Hearing and the increased governance and protection of client information afforded by the new structure. It also allowed Telethon Speech & Hearing to seek sponsors and benefactors outside of Western Australia. Hence, Telethon Speech & Hearing Ltd. was registered by ASIC on 20 July, 2015.
The guiding principles of Telethon Speech & Hearing’s founding families emphasised:
- Early detection and diagnosis
- Inclusion in mainstream education for hearing impaired children
- The use of the most up-to-date assistive hearing technology
- The involvement of parents at every level of decision making
- The hiring of only qualified specialist professionals
- A commitment to developing spoken language as the primary communication method
Since these humble beginnings, the spirit of this tenacious group has been a source of inspiration and motivation to professionals and parents involved in the education of children with hearing and speech and language impairments. As such, Telethon Speech & Hearing remains committed to these fundamental principles to this day.