Brighter shirts are bet­ter to help deaf kids

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KRIS BOULT

Stu­dents swapped their school uni­forms for loud shirts and beach-themed cloth­ing on Fri­day in a bid to help raise money for the hear­ing im­paired.

St Pius X School in New Ply­mouth en­cour­aged its stu­dents to dress up in their bright­est gear on Septem­ber 29 to cel­e­brate the na­tional Loud Shirt Day.

Loud Shirt Day is the an­nual ap­peal for The Hear­ing House and the South­ern Cochlear Im­plant Pae­di­atric Pro­gramme that en­ables deaf chil­dren with cochlear im­plant or hear­ing aids to lis­ten and speak like their hear­ing peers.

Eden Fair­weather, 11, who has worn hear­ing aids from age five and now has two cochlear im­plants, or­gan­ised the day’s event.

‘‘I saw a web­site about it and wasn’t sure if the school cel­e­brated it so I wanted to get in­volved,’’ she said.

The year six stu­dent asked prin­ci­pal Anna Wormald if the school could do some­thing to cel­e­brate the day.

Wormald thought it was a great idea and asked Eden to lead the project.

So Eden reg­is­tered, put to­gether a seg­ment in the school news­pa­per, came up with a theme and even gave a pre­sen­ta­tion in front of the whole school about what the day was all about.

She was also do­ing the rounds col­lect­ing the money and would be bank­ing the $258.90 raised.

Each cochlear im­plant costs around $50,00 - $100,000 and in­volved surgery be­ing per­formed in Christchurch.

‘‘The money we raise will all go to peo­ple who need it,’’ Eden said.

The young­ster said when she re­ceived the im­plant it was a long process that in­cluded lots of test­ing and as­sess­ments to see if she’d ben­e­fit from them.

Once fit­ted there was a twoweek pe­riod where she couldn’t hear any­thing be­fore the de­vices were switched on.

Since then the re­sults have been life-chang­ing, Eden said.

‘‘It was pretty awe­some when the im­plant was switched on and I could hear again.

‘‘It’s so much louder and clearer and I can un­der­stand peo­ple bet­ter now.’’

Ac­cord­ing to the web­site http:/ /www.loud­shirt­daynz.org hear­ing aids help chil­dren with a mod­er­ate hear­ing loss by am­pli­fy­ing the sounds that they hear.

A cochlear im­plant works by im­i­tat­ing the func­tion of the in­ner ear so that chil­dren who are born pro­foundly deaf or lose their hear­ing through ill­ness or ac­ci­dent can hear.

KRIS BOULT

Loud Shirts were in at St Pius X School in New Ply­mouth on Fri­day.

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