From North Rocks to Penrith: A history of SEE Foundation
1990: How SEE Foundation came about
A group of parents and carers, some whose sons, daughters or family members were residents of the Forsight Foundation, attended the North Rocks School for the Blind or lived with them at home, were concerned that the people they loved would have few acceptable options after leaving school. Together they considered a supported employment service – Supported Employment Enterprises (or SEE).
At that time there were no services that met the needs of people with intellectual disabilities, and vision and hearing impairments, requiring such high support requirements. However, a supported employment service was considered unsuitable for people with such significant disabilities so the name – SEE Foundation – was retained and pilot funding was provided for a specialised Community Access Service (CAS).
1994 – 2012: Westmead, Western Sydney
After several moves, the organisation moved to Good Street, Westmead, in 1994. Clients were then spread between Penrith, Glenorie, Yagoona, Greystanes, Baulkham Hills, Quaker’s Hill, Winston Hills, North Rocks, Carlingford and Prospect.
However, the building was far from suitable for the needs of the people using our service – we battled uneven floors and trip hazards, patchy lighting, and poor (or no) access to rooms. The poorly-constructed premises rapidly deteriorated, developing leaking roofs, rotting timbers and sagging ceilings. Rainwater poured dangerously down internal walls, over electrical fittings, and fungus flourished. In December 2007, the Board decided that we should look for an alternative site.
We lobbied hard for the funding and in June 2010 we were finally successful.