Aquinian student speaks to Federal Parliament about assuring the future for people with hearing loss

18 October 2017

In August this year, Year 8 Aquinas student, Christopher Turner, participated in a Q&A where he had the opportunity to

address a panel of federal politicians regarding the topic ‘assuring the future for people with hearing loss’. Among the panel were Trent Zimmerman MP, Emma Husar MP and Senator Rachel Siewert.

Christopher has lived with hearing loss since first being diagnosed at 17 months old, and is currently enrolled in the Telethon Speech & Hearing School Support (Outpost) program at Aquinas College.

As one of only six deaf young adults from Australia and New Zealand who were invited to participate in the Q&A event in Canberra, 13-year-old Christopher used the rare opportunity to speak about the challenges he has faced growing up with hearing loss, and the obstacles he still faces each day.

“One thing I find hard at school is following along in class videos, it’s weird because my peers are just sitting around me scribbling down notes and I’m just there struggling to pick up what they were saying,” said Christopher during his speech.

“It would be great if all videos shown at school had compulsory captioning.”

Christopher continued to speak about living with cochlear implants, the challenges he has overcome and the obstacles he will face in the future.

“Six years ago, my family moved to Perth and things changed. I enrolled in a school called Telethon Speech & Hearing and life improved and gradually since then my school days, I have to admit, have started to brighten.”

“Making friends is important, for a long time all I wanted was to understand and talk to friends like everyone else. I’ve always been lacking in this process but now, thanks to hearing technology, I can listen to my friends in class, I can now socialise with the assistance of my hearing technology, I have been able to unlock my full potential in all aspects of school.”

Well done to Christopher for addressing such an important topic and sharing his story so eloquently.

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