Loud and clear mes­sage

Otago Daily Times - - Dunedin & General - JOHN LEWIS

FOR one day a year, loud shirts aren’t a fash­ion faux pas, and Dunedin res­i­dents were out in force yes­ter­day, wear­ing them with im­punity.

It was Loud Shirt Day, which aims to raise money and pro­mote aware­ness for hear­ing­im­paired chil­dren.

South­ern Cochlear Im­plant Pro­gramme gen­eral man­ager Neil Hes­lop said there were 21 chil­dren with cochlear implants in Dunedin at present, and the an­nual event raised funds to sup­port ther­apy for those who needed the de­vices.

He said they were sim­i­lar in size to high­pow­ered hear­ing aids and helped se­vere­topro­foundly deaf peo­ple who gained lit­tle or no ben­e­fit from hear­ing aids, by trans­form­ing speech and other sounds into elec­tri­cal en­ergy that stim­u­lated au­di­tory nerve fi­bres in the in­ner ear.

‘‘Help­ing peo­ple hear things dif­fer­ently is some­thing those of us in­volved in the pro­gramme get to do al­most ev­ery day.

‘‘On Loud Shirt Day, any­one can make a dif­fer­ence just by wear­ing some­thing bright.’’

Many Dunedin busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions par­tic­i­pated, in­clud­ing Mitchell’s Tav­ern staff who dressed in florid shirts for their neigh­bours, Hear­ing New Zealand. Mercy Hospi­tal held a fundrais­ing bar­be­cue for staff and mem­bers of the public.

Mercy Hospi­tal Dunedin Ltd ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant Jo­lene Lynn said the hospi­tal was pleased to be in­volved in the event be­cause it was ded­i­cated to en­abling deaf chil­dren with cochlear implants or hear­ing aids to lis­ten and speak like their hear­ing peers.

She said it was also im­por­tant to par­tic­i­pate be­cause the South­ern Cochlear Im­plant Pro­gramme did not charge deaf chil­dren’s fam­i­lies for their ser­vices.

Loud Shirt Day do­na­tions go to the re­gion where they are raised.

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