Help deaf­blind

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion -

I WRITE on be­half of Able Aus­tralia – the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion help­ing peo­ple who face the huge chal­lenge of deaf­blind­ness – to ask read­ers to kindly sup­port a new cam­paign. There are 288,000 Aus­tralians who have sight and hear­ing im­pair­ments. They live in a highly com­plex silent world which presents mas­sive chal­lenges. It is es­ti­mated that by 2050, over one mil­lion Aus­tralians will be deaf­blind. It’s a big is­sue in the com­mu­nity. Whether you live in a metropoli­tan or re­gional area, there is not enough help for peo­ple fac­ing this con­di­tion … and we need to see more sup­port for them. There are two ini­tia­tives read­ers can help with. In both cases these are sim­ple and ef­fec­tive ways that read­ers in your lo­cal area can help deaf­blind peo­ple with. Firstly, if you have an old smart­phone (and charger), you can do­nate that de­vice to Able Aus­tralia, which we will pass on to the many deaf­blind peo­ple we sup­port. By us­ing the Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity of the de­vice and then con­nect­ing the de­vice to a Braille reader, these peo­ple can in­de­pen­dently con­nect to fam­ily, friends, col­leagues and the wider com­mu­nity around them. You can’t imag­ine how pow­er­ful that gift is. It’s so sim­ple and so ef­fec­tive. All the de­tails about how you can help are on the Able Aus­tralia web­site. Read­ers should sim­ply go to www.ableaus­tralia.org.au to find out how they can help. In ad­di­tion, we are ask­ing peo­ple to con­sider hold­ing a ‘deaf­blind’ morn­ing tea on Fri­day, June 26 to help raise aware­ness of deaf­blind­ness and have a lit­tle fun at the same time. It’s as sim­ple as hav­ing some­thing in the work­place or at home and tak­ing a minute or two to try com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­ers with­out speak­ing. All the in­for­ma­tion peo­ple need to host a deaf­blind morn­ing tea can be found at ableaus­tralia.org.au. Olympic gold medal­list Dun­can Armstrong has kindly thrown his sup­port be­hind this ini­tia­tive and is urg­ing peo­ple to lend a hand where they can. Kaye Col­lard CEO, Able Aus­tralia.

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