Sunday, 16 December 2018

Do deaf need emotional support dogs?

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ATR has avoided using pictures of dogs because it detracts from the actual topic.  The alternative views on deaf and HoH from social media most never look at!  This time it's asking us to sign a petition for more emotional support trained dogs for us in addition to those that are 'hearing dogs'.  I've NOT included the petition because I don't agree.

#1 I fully support the need for Emotional Support pets to be recognised and a proper training scheme set up for both the pet and owner. My dog is always the first to realise that i am feeling down and makes his presence felt to say i'm here for you. I have trained my pet dogs to a high standered since a child because an untrained dog can be a danger. I would sign your petition.

#2  Yes I have a cat whose 18 now but if ever I'm more unwell than usual and in bed, he knows and gives me more affection.

#3  I don 't really go with emotional support pets. We should be including and helping vulnerable people not giving them dogs instead. People who struggle with inclusion and communication or have MH issues should be given treatment and support. At the end of a very lonely day, dogs are poor conversationalists. 

#4 It's the 'lady with 10 cats' thing, those that prefer animals to people. There is no answer to this because many people with social issues prefer something that makes no demands on them and approves whatever they do or indeed don't. It's a furry opt-out.

#5 They should be used along side treatment and support not instead of it.

#3 Not sure, people who need/use animals to get by will struggle with people. I'm all for those who want pets but there is a real difference between social exclusion and non-participation that a dog won't solve for you. You just get dog/cat lovers et al ganging up and opposing for reasons that have NOTHING to do with social problem-solving. Dogs in hospitals even horses! because people are lonely, but they still go home and still lonely after. People need people.

#6 Our Phantom got my partner out of bed, and outside, even on some of his worse days. They'd go off, my partner would take his camera at my urging, and they'd go wander. My partner would almost always come back in a better frame of mind. He took some Amazing photos too! Oh and he is getting medical, and psychological, help too. My partner can just about handle talking to 1 or 2 people, but going out to places where there are more than that just doesn’t go. We are thinking possibly Asbergers, he fits quite a lot of those signs/symptoms. So as for "social problem solving" Phantom was a great help, keeping my partner close and being there for him like an anchor.

#3 The same thing a hearing dog would do or your average pet. It's a retreat from dealing with your problem.  Can you please justify an emotional support trained animal? and HOW it actually helps the person to include themselves socially?  It's going the doggy way again as it always does...  I don't think pet lovers are able to or want to justify these animals at all, of course, they don't have to as pets, but I think DO have to for a particular reason of training.  There are overtones of deaf having social-mental issues some areas will object to and such dogs identify them with.  E.G. Many don't agree with 'hearing dogs' because they don't feel them justified as they are for the blind as 'working animals'.  

#7 This is really about mental Health issues NOT hearing loss. Try SANE or MIND

The Pantomime in the Dark...


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Samuel has been to several pantos, but being blind, he has not always been able to follow all that was going on. This year the tables have turned. 


He will be the star of a panto – the first of its kind – where all the audience will start off on the same footing: none of them will be able to see anything. Every person in the audience will have to rely on their other senses while in pitch darkness. The ‘magic’ will be taking place in a 3.5 by two metre cubicle in the adjacent room, where a cast of four actors will be performing some 30 different characters. 

Despite its name – GawGaw a Panto in the Dark – it is not a horror performance. Script writers and directors Marta Vella and Vikesh Godhwani wanted to provide the audience not only with a completely new theatrical experience, but also a Maltese fairy tale that not many have heard of. The story was inspired by and influenced by Samuel Farrugia, who lost his eyesight to cancer. The 13-year-old provided the scriptwriters with a very detailed description of the GawGaw – a person who transforms into a monster and roams the streets terrorising people on Christmas Eve – which also happens to be his birthday. 

“This is a world’s first panto in the dark that uses binaural technology, which creates a 3D stereo sound sensation for the listeners, making the spectators, who will have headphones on, feel as if they are in the same room with the performers,” Ms Vella noted. “Except for people who are completely deaf, accessibility was not an afterthought, but the actual starting point of our panto. We wanted everyone to be on a level playing field.” Most of the time, people with visual impairment are provided with audio-descriptive performance. 

A narrator would explain what is happening on stage, meaning that the blind person sometimes misses out on the singing and dialogue. For Samuel, who is keen on drama and theatre, this is a once in a lifetime experience for a 13-year-old. He hopes the panto in the dark becomes an annual feature so that people “can walk in the same shoes of a visually impaired person – if only for an hour”.