Heidi is a three year old girl on our program who lives in Orange, NSW.
She is a bright, loving, ray of sunshine to her parents Sonya and Myles. She loves music, her sisters and reading.
However, Heidi has some serious challenges to overcome, including deafness in both ears, cerebral palsy and vision impairment. Just one of these disabilities is hard enough, but all of them would simply overwhelm most people.
Yet Heidi is a remarkable child, with an equally remarkable family. Even though she lives in a country town – which is not close to any of our centres – The Shepherd Centre can help Heidi and her family through our live video technology.
Heidi and her family joined The Shepherd Centre in 2012 and we assisted with the process of fitting cochlear implants in both of Heidi’s ears.
Afterwards the family began intensive listening and spoken language therapy with their therapist via live video technology. The technology gives Heidi and her family the opportunity to access their therapist on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This is hugely important because it means they don’t need to take time away from work and home life to travel the long distance to a centre.
It also enables The Shepherd Centre to reach out to children and families living in regional areas who cannot visit our centres on a regular basis. This is a growing area of need as, along with the issue of access, 1 in 5 children who attend The Shepherd Centre have one or more disabilities in addition to their hearing impairment; live video technology affords them the same opportunities as other children and families.