May 2018 Taranaki Daily News
Former Stratford High School student Madison Davy is the Southern Hearing Charitable Trust (SHCT) Scholarship Award 2018 winner. She is the first female to receive the scholarship, which was presented at the King and Queen Suites Hotel in New Plymouth.
Davy was born profoundly deaf and received a cochlear implant when she was 2-years-old through the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (SCIP). When she turns her implant off she hears nothing. Despite this huge challenge, she has gone on to outstanding achievements both in her academic and community life. A born leader, she lives her life as inspiration to other young people suffering hearing impairments. "I'm so grateful for the award. It is going to help me in realising my goal of a career in digital media," Davy said. "I believe being positive truly helps you rise above life's challenges - always helping others and showing them they can achieve anything they put their mind to."
Madison Davy is flanked by her father Darryn and mother Kelly.
The scholarship is funding her Level 4 Information and Technology studies at Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (Witt), and an online digital media course she will complete following this.
David Kent, chairman of the SCHT Board, and an adult recipient of bilateral cochlear implants, presented the award. "Cochlear implants are life-changing and restore sound to the hearing impaired. We're very proud of Madison, and the young people she represents. We enjoy seeing them form successful careers, aware of how the implants have aided their achievements," Kent said. He added that it was inspiring to see many more deaf students transitioning from high school into university despite the challenges they faced.
Among a long list of achievements, Madison received the Principal's Award at Stratford High School (2017) for NCEA Level 2 Merit in Digital Technology, and is a member of the Deaf Aotearoa Youth Board (2017-2018), and local Parents of Deaf Children (PODC) group, where she is a role model for younger children with cochlear implants. She was also a finalist in the 2016 Attitude Awards.
Madison's biggest challenge in recent years was having spinal fusion, a major surgery to correct her severe scoliosis. "It involved a long recovery after the surgery last June and I'm still dealing with daily pain, tensed muscles and general discomfort. Managing this has helped me become a stronger woman and enhanced my outlook on life," she said.
This year Madison started a course in Information Technology at Western Institute of Technology in New Plymouth in a bid to start a career in digital media and design. "I became interested in digital media during high school, I enjoyed it and is something I believe I'm good at. I also enjoy photography," Madison said. Despite her difficulty hearing, Madison has worked out ways to overcome the barriers. "Before Madison started WITT, she explained her situations to the tutors and tell them what makes it easier for her to learn," Kelly said. Sitting at the front of the class, getting the tutors to break down the information and speak as simply and clearly as possible, and providing written notes or online links were just a few techniques that helped.
Kelly said helping and supporting others was just a part of Madison's nature and personality. "I've been active in parents' support groups over the years and Madison sometimes came along when able, so she learnt young how important helping others was.” Madison has a huge whanau who are always willing to support her and give her words of wisdom. Throughout her primary and high school years she has had resource teachers of deaf ensuring she can speak, hear and supporting her to learn well.
May 2018 The West Australian
Seeing two clubmates face the challenge of raising a child with severely impaired hearing has become the driving force for Fremantle’s Darcy Tucker to get involved with the Telethon Speech and Hearing institute. Tucker and teammate Brady Grey were at the Wembley institute’s family fun day yesterday as part of the Dockers’ partnership with the organisation. Also there were Fremantle development coach Marc Webb and his wife Lisa, a star in Fremantle’s AFLW team.
The Webbs’ three-year-old son Ollie attends the institute after being diagnosed with severe to profound hearing impairment soon after birth. Ollie received a cochlear implant in March to improve his hearing.
The Webb family with Darcy Tucker.
“It is how I got involved,” Tucker said. “Obviously this is a great initiative for all of the kids who have hearing and speech difficulties. It is a great partnership with the club, especially with Marc and Lisa Webb, whose son Ollie has involvement here. We have seen the great things that the Telethon Hearing and Speech Centre have been able to do for Ollie and the Webb family. It is great to be a part of. It is rewarding for me as a player.”
Tucker said the institute played a vital role in preparing hearing-impaired kids for education, and taught life skills. “What they do is build kids into schooling so they learn how to speak and hear better,” he said. “It supports the families as well which is important because it is obviously tough for the families in these types of situations. They have all of the tools here to make the kids’ lives as normal as possible.”
May 2018 Illawarra Mercury
A 70-year-old man was the first patient to undergo bilateral cochlear implant surgery in the Illawarra on Friday. It’s been a long-held dream of Wollongong ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr Ekrem Serefli to bring the specialist surgery to the region, to enable “potentially thousands” of hearing-impaired residents to have the operation close to home. Dr Serefli has trained at Sydney’s St Vincent’s hospital under renowned hearing implant surgeon Dr Phillip Chang, who was at Wollongong Private Hospital on Friday afternoon to assist in the surgery.
Specialist surgery: Dr Ekrem Serefli is the only ENT surgeon in the Illawarra trained to perform cochlear implants.
“I’d estimate there’d be around 6000 people in the Illawarra who would be eligible for cochlear implants,” Dr Serefli said. “There’s a growing number of people with post-lingual deafness which is mainly noise-induced – for instance if they’ve worked in factories or the military. It can also be due to trauma, such as a sports injury, or infection.”
For many of these people, hearing aids can be of little benefit. A cochlear implant works differently – rather than just amplifying sound, the electronic device simulates the job of the damaged inner ear (cochlea), to provide sound signals to the brain. “Those with severe to profound hearing loss can benefit greatly from cochlear implants,” Dr Serefli said. “At Wollongong Private we will be operating on adults only. The implants are switched on one week after surgery and many patients benefit immediately and continue to improve over the next three months. “Their hearing, speech and language skills improve and they become much better connected to their environment, family and community.”
May 2018 Illawarra Mercury
The Shepherd Centre founder and pioneer of therapy and services for children with hearing loss in Australia passed away on May 25. He was 85. Dr Shepherd and his late wife Annette were pioneers of their time. They worked tirelessly at finding an alternative to the methods available in Australia for children with hearing loss when their children Penny and Danny were both born profoundly deaf.
Well-known Bowral resident Dr Bruce Shepherd AM has died
At that time, children with hearing loss were typically sent to designated schools for the deaf, often as boarders, where they were taught sign language and were isolated from their families and the hearing community. After extensive research, Bruce and Annette Shepherd embarked on a journey to America to attend the summer program at The John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles. Impressed by this method of early intervention, Dr Shepherd brought this back to Australia where they established “The Council for Integrated Deaf Education” on Sydney University grounds – which later became known as The Shepherd Centre.
It was the first early intervention agency to teach “Auditory-Oral Therapy” to children with hearing loss in Australia. Starting with just five families, The Shepherd Centre now supports more than 500 families a year in NSW, the ACT and Tasmania and is continuing to grow. Dr Shepherd was also instrumental in lobbying the government for the introduction of the NSW State-wide Infant Screening Hearing (SWISH) program which was established in 2000 and is now used nationally.
His work has helped position Australia as one of the best places in the world to be born deaf with The Shepherd Centre’s outcomes for children with hearing loss incomparable.
In 1991 Dr Shepherd was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his efforts in deaf education, teaching deaf children to speak and enabling them to attend mainstream schools with full integration. During his professional life, he became NSW state and federal president of the AMA. He founded the Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Australian Doctors’ Fund, and was first leader of both of these. He was also President of The Australian Orthopaedic Association.
Dr Bruce Shepherd was always committed to deliver the best healthcare for all Australians. He is well known for passionately leading a group of doctors fighting the Hawke Labor Government striving to nationalise the profession.
Since its inception almost 50 years ago, The Shepherd Centre has enabled more than 2000 children to develop spoken language and experience social inclusion.