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Learning about Hearing Dogs

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Maggie Hardy reports on an enlightening evening:

Swanage & Purbeck Rotary was delighted to welcome Deb Fullbrook, husband Keith and hearing dog Elmo to its meeting on July 12th.

As a deaf person Deb spoke of the important role Elmo plays in her life and has done for the last 8 years. Deb said that deafness can be terribly isolating, leaving many deaf people without the confidence to leave their homes, avoiding social situations and feeling cut off from the world.

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Trained by ‘Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’, Elmo is able to respond to important sounds and danger signals such as the doorbell, alarm clock and smoke alarm and provide welcomed companionship and help to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety. Members were charmed by Elmo, a handsome black Labrador who, in his smart burgundy working jacket, demonstrated some of his skills, enjoying a well earned treat as a reward.

His working uniform helps to bring visibility to Deb’s deafness which is otherwise a largely invisible disability.

Swanage & Purbeck Rotary was able to give a generous donation to Hearing Dogs, thanking Deb and her husband for an informative and interesting talk highlighting the work of their special dog Elmo.