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

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.

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Here is a link to Deafblindness support and information.
They are based in Western Australia and supported by Senses Australia.

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