Autumn Appeal: Reaching For The Sky

Autumn Appeal 2019

We hope you are able to assist us with our Autumn Appeal to help us support children and young people to achieve their dreams.

Eighteen year old Rayan was born hearing but became profoundly deaf as a five year old girl, losing her ability to communicate with her hearing family. She received cochlear implants at the age of six, shortly after she arrived in Australia.  Rayan needed to relearn how to communicate with her family – trying to learn English and Australian Sign Language (Auslan) at the same time. After a couple of years, Rayan and her family moved to a country town where she has been the only deaf student at her school.

“I am the only deaf girl in my school in country Victoria.”

When she was in Year 11, Rayan applied to Deaf Children Australia for a Youth Grant so she could achieve her goal of competing in the Deaf Netball Championships in Queensland. Just recently, Rayan told us about her bigger dream:

“In the future, I would like to become an education support worker. I love helping kids with disabilities, trying to encourage them to do what they love to do. I also want to encourage kids with disabilities to be involved in sports. It doesn’t matter if they can’t play sports or they can play, I’m trying to get them more experience in sports.”

Rayan shared in her Youth Grant application that she felt isolated because she didn’t know other deaf people her age. She said she wanted to attend the Netball Championships in September 2018 because, “I will make more deaf friends and feel less isolated. There are six children in my family so my parents, who work full time, do not have the time or money to take me to deaf activities. I find it very hard to meet other deaf people.”

 “They helped me think deeply how I feel about being deaf.”

Read our Autumn Appeal to find out more about Rayan’s journey. It’s fantastic that since the Championships and Rayan’s holiday, she has stayed in touch with her new friends and mentors through Skype. They became inseparable during the holiday so it’s wonderful that even when they live so far away from each other, technology has enabled them to stay connected.


Rayan pictured bottom right with her team at the Netball Championship

Friendships and mentoring can make all the difference in breaking down the sense of isolation that so many deaf and hard of hearing children and young people often experience.

Read our Autumn Appeal to find out more about Rayan’s story.

Deaf Children Australia wants more children and young people to receive the assistance they need at different stages of their journey. Whether it’s after diagnosis when they are searching for information and support, or when they may want to strengthen their communication skills or connect up with other deaf or hard of hearing children or young people, we hope to be able to be there when most needed.

With your assistance, we can help more children and young people connect

Can you enable us to reach out to other deaf and hard of hearing children and young people like Rayan who urgently need assistance? Please take a moment to make your tax deductible donation online or call us on (03) 9539 5356.

Become a Barrier Breaker, a group of dedicated, active monthly givers who are ongoing advocates for our cause.

Never underestimate the difference that your support will make.

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