‘Having a Hearing Dog by my side will help me do things I didn't have the confidence to do before.'
For Suzanne, a Hearing Assistance Dog will be life-changing.
Suzanne grew up in Hobart during the 1950’s with an older sister and two loving parents. Like many of us she attended primary school, and like one in six Australians, Suzanne suffers from hearing loss in both ears.
Suzanne can recall how hearing loss impacted her from a young age. During primary school, Suzanne wasn’t able to hear her teachers’ instructions, resulting in escalating punishments and exclusion from other students. The confusion and fear of living with a misunderstood condition continuously impacted Suzanne and turned what should have been a nurturing environment into a highly stressful environment.
It took until Suzanne was 14 years of age to be properly diagnosed with profound hearing loss, but even that came with little relief; Suzanne was informed there were no hearing aids available to assist her at this young age.
By making a donation today, you are helping us to provide Suzanne the Hearing Assistance Dog that she has been waiting for.
Thankfully, Suzanne’s parents advocated on her behalf. After moving her to a private school, a team of teachers and family were able to adjust parts of the learning experience to better suit Suzanne’s needs. This gave Suzanne more confidence and helped to pursue her passions in science, art, swimming, hockey, and other sporting activities.
Suzanne’s resilience continued to serve her throughout her life. She worked as a swim teacher and participated in small gallery showings with her art.
“I bluffed my way through life pretending everything was ok, when clearly life is difficult in many ways to those who cannot hear.”
"Having a Hearing Assistance Dog by my side will support my lifestyle, helping me do things I didn't have the confidence to do before."
For the past 41 years, Australian Lions Hearing Dogs has provided Assistance Dogs to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, connecting each recipient to their family and community. In 2022 alone, we provided over 30 Hearing Assistance Dogs — each one free of charge. We are a unique organisation in Australia, and the only service accredited by Assistance Dogs International to carry out placement and training of Hearing Dogs.
Just last year, ALHD created 32 new life-changing partnerships. One of these includes Dominic, who was also Deaf from a young age.
Dominic was matched with Katie, and according to Katie’s trainer Nick, her relaxed and calm nature made her the “perfect match.” In just under twelve months, Dominic and Katie’s partnership has already had an undeniable impact on his lifestyle.
“Katie interacts with me when I’m frustrated, and her being around allows me to stop and take a breather when I need to.” This is the sort of partnership that we want to provide to Suzanne, and with your help, we can make it a reality.
Suzanne knows that receiving a Hearing Assistance Dog will be life changing. “A Hearing Dog will make me feel safer and more confident to carry important daily functions outside the house too, such as crossing the road.”
It takes just under $40,000 to fully train a Hearing Assistance Dog. $40,000 of sleepless nights puppy raising, socialising, feeding, walking, training, matching, campaigning, and helping people like Suzanne to feel confident with their new Hearing Dog partnership. Each Hearing Dog is delivered free of charge to a recipient in need and is 100% funded by supporters like you — who understand just how necessary this service is.
By making a donation today, you are providing a key service for people with hearing loss and helping us to train the next generation of service dogs; providing Suzanne the support she has missed out on for seventy years.