June 2021 TVNZ

ALHD Hearing dogsYou might be familiar with guide dogs, the clever pooches that help visually impaired people that navigate the world, but perhaps lesser-known are hearing dogs.   These dogs know when a phone message needs attention, when someone is at the door or if a smoke alarm is going off.  More than that, they can help those who are hearing impaired discover a whole new way of living by being their ears. 

When Scotty Rogers started to lose his hearing, he felt his world get slowly smaller and smaller. 

“I used to have a perfect hearing until about 20 years ago, the wife and boys would say something and I’d say ‘what?’. Without his cochlear implant, he’s considered deaf.  “I found it was too much trouble going out and talking to people, you felt as if you were being a nuisance. So I just withdrew.” 

That’s until his dog Ben helped to bring him out of his shell once again.  He’s a graduate of Hearing Dogs in New Plymouth, where puppies are trained for six months learning how to alert their owners to the things they can’t hear.  Terry Darby, from Hearing Dogs, says that when the dogs are matched with a deaf person they take a week-long staycation at the charity’s cottage. 

“It becomes obvious whether they’re attaching to the dog and the dog is attaching to them. We need to get it right before the dog leaves here.” 

Purchasing and training a dog isn’t cheap, but it’s a cost that Hearing Dogs has never handed on. They're reliant on volunteers and donations to keep running.  Each Wednesday, the group runs a doggy daycare to help with the bills and an added bonus of socialising the clever pups.

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Deafblindness

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

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Hear For You web site

Vision Statement: “For all young people who are deaf to reach their potential in life.”

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