Overcome isolation today. Say I’m Hear For You.
The last few months have been tough on everyone as we navigate a new ‘normal’ amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We all struggled with being socially distanced from family, friends, and colleagues. Sadly, for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, coping with isolation is a constant struggle that has been amplified by COVID-19.
Many in the Deaf and hard of hearing community reached out to let us know they were experiencing uncertainty or anxiety. Some were afraid of being isolated for weeks on end without access to a community that understands them. Many were overwhelmed and frustrated by masks, perspex barriers, and increased use of telephones and video conferencing, all of which made it incredibly challenging for them to hear or to be understood. Some also told us about their financial hardship and lack of ability to buy much-needed hearing aids, which compounded their experience of isolation.
“I 100% rely on seeing a person’s face and lips…with everyone wearing masks, it’s almost impossible for me to be able to fill the gaps in conversations.”- Kirsty
“I depend mostly on having my hearing dog, plus lip reading. No allowance is made for people like me. Just trying to contact someone is nearly Impossible.” - Caroline
Isolation has far-reaching impacts on wellbeing.
Isolation is a serious issue that has far-reaching impacts on health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it is an all too common experience for New Zealanders who live in a hearing world with hearing loss.
The New Zealand Trak Report 2018 revealed that 90% of New Zealanders with hearing loss experience feelings of anxiety, isolation, fatigue, and hopelessness. Furthermore, 29% think that their hearing loss could be linked to depression.
It’s already hard for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and due to ongoing disruptions stemming from this pandemic, it is only going to get harder. Now more than ever, we need to reach out and say I’m hear for you during these uncertain and challenging times.
The good news is, you can
Even small gestures can make a significant difference. We want to encourage you to check in with anyone who is Deaf or hard of hearing in your community and let them know you’re there for them.
You can also help our team to jump-start the process of combating isolation by donating $15 to send out care packages to those who need them.
A donation of $25 will also help to support our community outreach programmes, including, our helpline and free online New Zealand Sign Language classes. These have been an important way for hundreds in our community to connect over the past weeks.
Support the Hearing Aid Fund
Hearing aids can have a hugely beneficial impact on being able to connect meaningfully with others. Unfortunately, many who need them cannot afford them.
With a generous gift of $50, you can help to change this by contributing to our Hearing Aid Fund, which supports individuals who are facing financial hardship to purchase new hearing aids.
“As an early childhood education teacher, I need aids to be able communicate effectively with children, whānau and my peers. I am currently paying my aids off, as I couldn’t afford them outright.”
“My son was born single sided deaf. He got a hearing aid fitted when he was 7. He’s almost 21 now. We’ve been trying to get him a new one for about five years...” - Esther
"Now is the time to reach out and say I'm hear for you."
Together, we can tackle ‘the epidemic of isolation’ faced by the Deaf and hard of hearing.
NFDHH does not receive government funding, our work is made possible thanks to our supporters’ generosity.
With your help, we can reach out to the most vulnerable in our community and let them know they are not alone.