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Can:Do 4Kids, Townsend House

Unleash your potential with Can:Do 4Kids, Townsend House. As South Australia's pioneering charity, we've been inspiring and empowering children and young people with vision or hearing impairments for 150 years. With a rich history dating back to being a school and home for the blind and deaf, we have become the go-to for families seeking support. Imagine the daily challenges faced by up to 10,000 South Australian kids, but with Can:Do 4Kids by their side, they can conquer anything. Join us in our mission to provide life-changing therapy and support.

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Can:Do 4Kids, Townsend House was formed in 1874 by William Townsend as school and accommodation for deaf and blind children. Ever since, they’ve provided support and assistance to children and young adults who are blind, deaf, have low vision, are hard of hearing or have sensory needs – and their families.

Cora Barclay Centre

In January 2019 the Cora Barclay Centre merged with Can:Do 4Kids, Townsend House with services continuing as a specialist program under Can:Do 4Kids called the ‘Cora Barclay Listening and Spoken Language Program’.

The service is unique, working with children from all over SA, from birth to adulthood and providing holistic support. Families can access Listening and Spoken Language Early Intervention, Student Services and Peer Support Programs, as well as Audiology, Speech Pathology and a range of other services. 

Most children who attend the Cora Barclay Listening and Spoken Language Program attend mainstream schools and achieve academic results on par with the general population.

North adelaide

Founded in 1945, the Cora Barclay Listening and Spoken Language Program, previously known as the Cora Barclay Centre, is Australia’s oldest listening and spoken language service for children who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Cora Barclay was an amazing mother and leader. She joined the school community as a parent back in 1946 and went above and beyond by taking significant training abroad to become the Principal. This was truly remarkable for a mother in that era, as she left her two young children in Adelaide with her husband to travel and study. Her dedication and commitment to the school and its mission is truly inspiring.

For 40 years, Cora was a shining light at the school, serving as Principal for 37 of those years. Despite the many changes the SA Oral School faced over the years, Cora never lost sight of her mission to provide the best possible education to deaf children. She established principles that still hold strong today.

Cora's hard work and determination were recognized with an OBE in 1969 and she was made a Life Member of the Australian Association for Teachers of the Deaf in 1986. In February 1990, to honor her remarkable contributions, the SA Oral School was renamed the Cora Barclay Centre for Children with Hearing Impairment Inc.

Cora Barclay illustration

Cora Barclay was a pioneer, a trailblazer and an inspiration. In 1952, Mrs Cora Barclay, a trained school teacher, commenced as Principal of the SA Oral School for children who were deaf or hard of hearing.