Debbie was involved between 1991 and 2007 with another Deaf Charity – deafPLUS – first as a volunteer, then as a trustee/Chairman for nearly 10 years. Here she met Lorraine Gailey and Ronnie Bourne when they were part of a steering group for a LINK/deafPLUS joint project ‘Living with a hearing loss’ programme.
She had a cochlear implant fitted in 2004 and ran into Lorraine again at the end of 2009 when she was invited to become a volunteer advocate with Cochlear giving information about her experience as an implant user to new implant candidates. Lorraine was the trainer and once she met Debbie again Debbie wasn’t allowed to escape!
As trustee Debbie has been asked to be part of the intensive programme team, and has found this a really useful way to find out how Hearing Link works. She’s keen to see results, and is frequently heard to ask about the effectiveness of Hearing Link’s services. Additionally her appointment has ensured there is now a deaf woman on the Board.
Debbie sees that the world of communication is changing and that deaf people have opportunities, more ‘nous’, and are frequently performing in today’s world at the same level as hearing people. She feels the partnership of LINK, with its holistic approach to rehabilitation, and Hearing Concern with its thriving network of national hard of hearing groups will turn Hearing Link into a pivotal organisation able to cater to the needs of people with all levels of hearing loss across the UK.