Sponsor a Client

Hello, my name is Alyssa DeFazio. I am a junior in college at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT/NTID), in Rochester, New York. I have been hearing impaired my entire life and now, I wear two cochlear implants. I received one in July 2004 and the other in July 2010. When I wear both of my implants, I function very well in the hearing world and can hear almost everything. However, when I take them off, such as when I sleep or shower, I cannot hear anything at all. It is completely silent in my ears; I cannot hear even a sound, peep, or beep. When I am sleeping, I go into a deep deep sleep and am unable to wake up to alarms clocks, even with vibration. Even three vibrating alarm clocks do not wake me! I even sleep through fire alarms! This really frightens me and my family. Even with my cochlear implants, I still am unaware of sounds like keys dropping or cars approaching in parking lots.

Michelle was born profoundly deaf and has identified herself as being culturally Deaf. She attended Gallaudet University and received her doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology.  When not working, Michelle is active and enjoys the outdoors of New England. She can often be found hiking, running and camping during her down time.

Gradually becoming deafer, Cynthia needs a hearing dog to alert her to everyday sounds such as alarms and phone calls. Without her hearing aids, she can barely hear anything.

Hi, my name is Delainey Fox and I’m 17 years old. I live in southeastern Michigan with my mom, dad and furry friends. For the past two years, I had been experiencing trouble hearing. I was taken to multiple doctors but I was constantly misdiagnosed with ear infections. In late October of 2014, I was diagnosed with another double ear infection and was sent to an ENT. The ENT saw no sign of infection and had me see the audiologist for a hearing test. I was diagnosed with a significant hearing loss and I am considered legally deaf. I have been fitted with hearing aids that help a lot but I still have a lot of trouble in large group settings. When my hearing aids are out, it is extremely hard for me to communicate. I read lips but when the lights are turned off it leaves me both deaf and blind. At night, I struggle to sleep because I’m scared that I’ll miss a smoke alarm or someone yelling my name.

My name is Jill and I've been profoundly deaf since birth. Because of my hearing loss, I face challenges across almost every aspect of my life and I have worked hard to mitigate barriers. Although I try to be as self-sufficient as possible, at 32, I am realizing that I need more help to address and overcome the challenges I face as a woman with hearing loss and achieve the things I want to achieve. I've been dependent on two hearing aids my entire life, but even with them I am unable to hear high-pitched sounds like whistling teapots, stove timers, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire alarms from neighboring apartments. In January 2015, NEADS matched me with a beautiful hearing dog named Jeni.

Hi my name is Jessica Sinclair and I am a third year student at Rochester Institute of Technology, studying Journalism. I am trying to raise funds for a Hearing Dog to help me to live independently. I am currently working at Walmart Store, part-time while attending school, in hopes of earning funds towards my goal of acquiring a Hearing dog.

I am Samantha and I have a progressive connective tissue disorder (Stickler Syndrome) that affects my hearing, my vision and my joints. I have moderate/severe hearing loss in both ears. I’ve worn hearing aids since I was seven months old. I am very nearsighted and have worn glasses since I was 13 months old. I have also had extensive joint pain since I was two years old. Looking at me you would never know anything is wrong because I look “normal”. My hearing dog, Debbie, has completely changed this for me! She has truly been the biggest blessing to ever come into my life. I do not need to constantly worry about if I do not hear something going on around me, as Debbie will now jump in and help me. She is also a very visual cue to others that I am hard of hearing and my communication needs are different and to always approach me from the front so I can see and hear what they are saying.

Overnight I suffered a profound, severe hearing loss at the age of eighteen. Though it was going to take more than that, I thought, to derail my college plans and dreams of majoring in French and Theatre - off I went. One semester later I found myself closer to home, and closer to Boston for medical treatments. I tried every hearing device, medication, and had every test possible - nothing aided me. No verdict was reached on how or why I lost my hearing. I did not show signs of loss or illness, but it was just left that I suffered a virus of some sort. In the beginning, doctors thought it was a one time loss, and not progressive. Recently, it was determined that I had lost significantly more and likely will continue to progress at the same rate. I likely will be deaf in my lifetime.