Tuesday, 15 August 2017
A severely deaf Taranaki woman has had her confidence shaken so much she doesn't want to go outside after being kicked out of a restaurant because of her hearing dog.
Valerie Hastie and her shih tzu-maltese cross Milly had been away on holiday with a group of friends when they stopped at the Waitomo Caves Homestead on State Highway 3 for lunch on August 7. The retired teacher, who has had Milly for three and a half years, said she joined her friends at the table after getting her meal but was approached by a woman who identified herself as the duty manager and told her she couldn't have the dog in the restaurant.
Despite explaining legislation allowed hearing dogs to be in any public place, showing her ID and Milly wearing her bright yellow coat with the hearing dogs logo, the manager insisted they had to go outside. "She was quite implacable, so I went through that fact that she could be breaking the law.
"I was shocked that she didn't know the rules. I said she has got the same rights as a seeing-eye dog, but she wouldn't listen.
A CHARITY worker who is deaf says she would leave Scotland if she develops dementia, describing the lack of specialist services as “terrifying.”
Avril Hepner says she had to fight for a conclusive diagnosis for her dad Jack ,who was also deaf, after he developed Alzheimer’s disease because there is currently no assessment tailored for those patients. Avril, who is Community Development Manager for the British Deaf Association Scotland, says she waited three months for an interpretor to come up from England to diagnose her father.
However, according to the charity, the average waiting list across the UK is 18 months. Avril says the majority of NHS and support services are geared towards the hearing population and that people with dementia can decline “very quickly” in care homes because of a lack of communication and stimulation.