NDIS To Cut Funding For Hearing Impaired Dogs
Author: Nicholas Sutedja Date Posted:19 October 2017
Hearing is one of the five senses that we rely on every day of our lives. We wake up to the sound of our alarm clock, listen to music on the way to work and enjoy the conversations that we have in the evening.
Currently 1 in 6 Australians are affected by hearing loss with approximately 30,000 not being able to hear completely.
Hearing dogs are specially trained to assist the deaf by alerting and directing their carer to a number of sounds that the person may not be able to hear, which range from common household noises to fire alarms.
“Hearing loss is an invisible disability. People aren’t aware of sounds that we often take for granted,” Chief Executive Officer of Lions Hearing Dogs David Horne.
However planned cuts to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may result in limited access for those who require a hearing dog.
“People who suffer from hearing loss suffer and are isolated. Hearing dogs can encourage community participation and help clients regain socialisation and improve independence.”
These people then feel independent, comfort and secure and so the dogs also provide emotional benefits.
The cost for hearing dogs is covered under the NDIS, along with a range of other services to help those living with disabilities.
Unfortunately recent changes means that people over the age of 65 will no longer be covered under the NDIS scheme affecting those who rely on the scheme.
Mr Horne has expressed concern over the changes stating that Lions Hearing Dogs would not longer be covered as they lose all government funding as of June next year.
“Since our funding will be restricted we may not have enough dogs to provide in a timely manner. This will result in an extended waiting list and cause feelings of frustration among clients.
“We’re here to help people – this is what we’ve been doing for the past 35 years. To have these restrictions imposed makes us concerned for the future.”