Hearing Dogs - Archive

Retirees Bert and Claydene Lederer keep busy promoting deaf awareness

January 14, 2015 in Community News

 

 

The Bellingham Herald
Bellingham, WA
BY LINDSAY HILTON
January 4, 2015

Bert Lederer, 79, has been deaf since he was a child. He can’t hear the doorbell ring, can’t hear the oven ding and can’t hear his wife, Claydene, call for him from another room.

That all changed when Warren, an 11-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, came into their lives 10 years ago. Warren was placed with the Lederers by Dogs for the Deaf, a nonprofit organization based in Oregon that rescues dogs from animal shelters around the U.S. to train and place them with people with hearing loss and deafness.

Warren has improved the Lederers’ quality of life, alerting Bert to sounds by nudging him gently in the direction of the sound. Warren is able to lead Bert to the correct elevator when it arrives. If Claydene, 75, needs her husband and he’s in another room, she can call Warren, who will get Bert for her.

Bert was raised in Washington, D.C. Claydene, who grew up in a military family that moved around every few years, calls Bellingham her hometown. They have a daughter and three grandsons who live nearby. They have been married for 55 years and have lived in Bellingham for 25.

“We are still best buddies,” Bert says, and that is evident.

The Lederers seem to do everything together, along with Warren, who is the subject of a children’s book written by Claydene. “Warren: The True Story of How a Herding Dog Became a Hearing Dog,” tells the story of how Warren was found in a Humane Society animal shelter by a Dogs for the Deaf trainer and eventually found his way to the Lederers.

Read John Barrowman’s Deaf for the Day blog

July 15, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
July8, 2014 by Sarah O’Brien
Article Source

Hi, I’m John Barrowman and I went Deaf for the Day for Hearing Dogs.
I hope you enjoy reading my diary from the day.

 

10.00 Sudden hearing loss

I arrived at Specsavers Hearing Centre in Edgware Road to meet the audiologist who would be making me deaf for the day – Mark

John getting the gel ear moulds inserted

John getting the gel ear moulds inserted

Edgar. I wasn’t feeling particularly nervous as I imagined it would be a fairly straightforward day. Nothing could have prepared me for just how challenging going deaf would be.

The ITV Good Morning Britain film crew began filming my experience as Mark inserted special gel moulds into my ears which gave me around 60% hearing loss. I could feel the difference immediately. It’s really hard to explain how a sudden hearing loss affects you, but I could no longer hear what Mark was saying to me. Straight away, I was lip reading everything he said.

10.30 Conversations

I was concentrating so hard on lip-reading one person at a time, that if someone else started speaking I just couldn’t keep up. A member of the film crew was standing beside me and apparently he asked me a question, I didn’t even register a sound. It soon dawned upon me that this experience was going to be much tougher than I had anticipated.

11.00 The silent streets of London

As I left Specsavers, I walked along Edgware Road and suddenly the world was closing in around me. I could no longer hear the sound of busy London traffic, the footsteps walking behind me, the buzz of conversation around me. I felt anxious crossing the road. All the sounds I take for granted had gone. I had entered into a world of silence.

Next, I hailed a cab to take me to my manager’s office. As I got out the taxi driver said something to me and I couldn’t hear what he said. It was too late to ask as he drove away. It’s strange the things you miss when one of your senses is taken away – like the tail end of a conversation. I wonder what he said to me…

11.30 Business as usual?

John and his manager Gavin try to communicate

John and his manager Gavin try to communicate

It was really difficult trying to have a conversation with Gavin as I had to concentrate intensely on watching his lips. Gavin kept telling me that my phone was ringing, I felt like I’d lost control.Next stop – a meeting at my manager Gavin’s office in central London. Gavin and the team knew I was going deaf for the day, and were intrigued to find out how it would affect me. I had to ring the intercom five times as I couldn’t hear a response. The first thing the team noticed was that I had been speaking really loudly. I was completely unaware of the volume of my own voice as I couldn’t hear it.

It was already so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I was tired. In fact, I was exhausted! Is this how deaf people feel every day?

12.30 Tired, frustrated and withdrawn

I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated as the day went on,  . . . .

Read more  and See Video. . .

 

VA Expanding Service Dog Benefits

June 22, 2011 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

From Purple Heart Service Foundation 6/17/2011

The proposed rule clarifies that veterinary-care benefits are authorized and sets up a clear procedure for VA to award those benefits.

A new rule from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expands the benefits for service dogs employed by eligible veterans. It also explains the impairments for which service dogs are approved by the department; VA asked for comments by Aug. 15.

VA will authorize benefits only if the veteran is diagnosed as having a visual, hearing, or substantial mobility impairment, and it will require “a clinical determination by a VA clinician, which would be based upon the clinician’s medical judgment that ‘it is optimal for the veteran to manage such impairment and live independently through the assistance of a trained service dog.’ By this,” according to the rule, “we intend to exclude situations in which a VA clinician’s medical judgment indicates that there are means other than a dog, such as technological devices or rehabilitative techniques, which would enable and encourage the veteran to live independently.”

It defines substantial mobility impairment as “a spinal cord injury or dysfunction or other chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility.” The rule states that VA will interpret chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility “to include, but not be limited to, disabilities such as a traumatic brain injury that compromises the ability to make appropriate decisions based on environmental cues such as traffic lights or a seizure disorder that renders a veteran immobile during and after a seizure event.”

In paragraph (d)(1) of the rule, VA will provide an insurance policy to every eligible veteran that will pay for veterinary care. VA would pay all premiums, copays, or deductibles associated with these policies.

“We believe that providing service dogs under the statute necessarily includes providing veterinary treatment and hardware, and repairs to such hardware, required by the dog to perform in service to the veteran. Consistent with this interpretation of our statutory authority, we propose to authorize payments for the care of service dogs that will help maintain the dogs’ ability to perform as service dogs,” the agency stated. “However, we would not provide assistance for additional expenses such as license tags, non-prescription food, grooming, insurance for personal injury, non-sedated dental cleanings, nail trimming, boarding, pet sitting or dog walking services, over-the-counter medications, or other goods and services not expressly prescribed by regulation.”

Submit comments here; comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AN51 — Service Dogs.”

Click here for more information about the Purple Hear Foundation.

 

Click here for more information about the Department of Veterans Affairs