Loud and clear message
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.