Hearing Dogs for Deaf People trains dogs that help deaf people leave loneliness behind and reconnect with life.
The dogs do this through constant companionship and emotional support, giving deaf people the confidence to reconnect with their family, friends and community around them. Just as importantly, they help by alerting deaf people to important and life-saving sounds like the smoke alarm, alarm clock and oven timers.
Their burgundy coats also signal to the public that their partners are deaf. This combination of practical assistance and lifelong friendship can be completely life-changing.
While Elton’s primary role is a working hearing dog, he is also a family dog who loves being with my children. I really can’t put into words just how much easier my life is because of him.” - Brian Platt
Every hearing dog is specially matched to a deaf person so that the dog’s skills and personality perfectly complement the lifestyle and needs of their recipient.
We help the partnership to settle in their home and support each hearing dog for the entire lifetime of their partnership (approx 10 years) to ensure the hearing dog and deaf person remain healthy and happy together.
Hearing dogs are easily recognisable in their smart burgundy jackets helping to bring visibility to a largely invisible disability and giving confidence to their deaf partner in public places.
With almost 1 in 6 of the UK population deaf or having hearing loss, demand for our incredible dogs is growing.
Hearing Dogs for the Deaf currently support 20 partnerships in Suffolk, like Daniel and Varley seen here.
The following is taken from the East Anglian Daily Times:
Nighttime used to be a scary prospect for Daniel Jillings until his hearing dog, Varley, became his bedside companion.
In previous years, 10-year-old Daniel, from Lowestoft, had been too exhausted to enjoy the special day. But he now sleeps comfortably, knowing that Varley is by his side.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is hoping to transform the lives of more deaf children experiencing the same fear as Daniel, who was born deaf and communicates by sign language.
He was unable to sleep for fear of not hearing his mum about the house; of missing the smoke alarm sounding, and not being able to detect background noises that provide comfort to children at bedtime. It left him exhausted, and significantly affected his quality of life, ability to concentrate at school, self-confidence, self-esteem and general health.
His mum, Ann, said: “Daniel needed constant reassurance. It was hard for him – as he was so scared of going to bed – and heart-breaking for the rest of the family.
“It could take two hours to settle him, and then he would wake up many times during the night. Daniel was exhausted and so was I.
“But now he has Varley, and when it’s bedtime, Daniel is so relaxed and happy. He just gives me a kiss and signs ‘good night, mum. Me and Varley are going to bed’.
“If Daniel wakes up in the night, he knows Varley is there, and when his alarm goes off in the morning, Varley wakes him up by putting his paws on the bed.
“Daniel is like a different child. His quality of life has dramatically increased thanks to Hearing Dogs and Varley.”
Daniel said: “I feel safe with Varley around. I’m not going to miss my alarm. I’m with him, not on my own.
See the original article here.
But more deaf people in Suffolk are waiting to be partnered with a hearing dog.
Which is why your support will make such a difference.