Hearing dogs for deaf people
What are they and who can have one?
Deafness can be an isolating and lonely disability. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People aims to improve the lives of deaf people by training and placing dogs which offer practical help, greater independence, confidence, companionship and security. The dogs are trained to alert deaf owners to sounds by touching with a paw and then leading them to the source of the noise. For sounds such as a smoke alarm and fire alarm, the dogs lie down to indicate danger.
The dogs, from the largest, scruffiest mongrel to the smallest pedigree, mainly come from rescue centres, the Charity offering a safe and loving home to otherwise unwanted dogs. They can be recognised by their yellow jackets and lead slips which also help to identify the owners otherwise invisible disability.
It costs £2,500 to train a hearing dog and £2,500 to provide lifelong after care and support. A new headquarters and centre at The Grange is now in the process of completion. This additonal facility will enable the charity to train up to 200 dogs a year and substantially reduce the current waiting list of up to 18 months.
In Norfolk alone, there are probably over 110,000 adults with hearing difficulties. At a rough estimate, we can aurmise there are at least 56 profoundly deaf people in Norfolk who would greatly benefit from the companionship of a trained hearing dog.
Anyone interested in helping us, can help to form supporters groups in their own locality. We always need volunteers to help in all kinds of ways - from publicising our vauable work to friends and work colleagues, right through to taking part in a calendar of fundraising events.
We also have an all year round programme of all kinds of adventurous fundraising challenges such as parachuting and abseiling. For the truly daring, we can also organise Fire Walks for groups of over 30 people.
We have a network of volunteer speakers, many with their own Hearing Dogs like Pocket above. They are happy to come along to tell clubs, schools and associations about the way the charity operates.
For schools we can offer an excellent Schools Pack which can be used as part of the
Please visit our main web site for more information: www.hearingdogs.org.uk