"Thanks to Echo I have my independence back."
Some deaf people really struggle to live an independent life. They feel anxious and unsafe without a loved one close by and often rely heavily on guidance and help. This can lead to many deaf people feeling like a burden, feeling as if they have no independence and their quality of life has been reduced.
When Steve Taylor lost his hearing in a horrific car accident, he became totally reliant on his mum’s help to get through everyday tasks. He said:
“I had a long road to recovery, and I struggled to adapt to my new ‘silent’ life. I felt cut off from the world and was heavily dependent on my family – particularly my mum, Sandra.”
How does a hearing dog help?
A hearing dog does so much more than alert their deaf recipient to sounds. They help them to regain their independence, too. Deaf people no longer feel they need to rely on loved ones as they now have a loyal friend by their side.
A hearing dog can give them more confidence to go out in public alone and many recipients tell us they have taken part in activities they would have never dreamed possible before.
From someone who was almost totally reliant on his mum, Steve Taylor’s life changed for ever when he met his hearing dog Echo. He said:
“This totally amazing, loyal, clever dog has completely transformed my life. Not only by alerting me to the vital sounds I can no longer hear, but by building a bridge between me and people who have hearing.
“Thanks to Echo I have got my independence – and my life – back. I have a new partner, a new home and I’ve taken up my passion for golf again. She is my world.”
Watch a short video of Steven and Echo's story
You can help more deaf people gain independence through a hearing dog
Imagine if you woke up tomorrow morning and had lost your hearing? How would you feel if you became totally reliant on your loved ones?
This is a reality for many people who lose their hearing suddenly, and their loss of independence can be devastating – both for them and their family and friends.
This is where a hearing dog could greatly improve a deaf person’s life. Not only do these amazing animals provide confidence to help a deaf person regain their independence, they also become their best friend and constant companion.