It appears my hearing impairment isn’t severe enough for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
After the lengthy application process and five month wait I received a call to say my application had been denied. The NDIS operational guidelines state that a person with a permanent hearing impairment of greater than 65 decibels in the better ear(pure tone average of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) may have substantially reduced functional capacity. These people will probably be eligible to join the NDIS, but they must provide evidence that the disability results in substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake one or more of the following activities – communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care or self-management. How they work out the degree of hearing loss baffles me (maths has never been my strong point!). Apparently I miss out by only three decibels!
To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I had high hopes that with funding I would have access to assistive technology that would help improve my everyday life. Things such a hearing aid (that had the capability of connecting to the TV, mobile, etc wirelessly) a captioned phone (particularly for work as I am finding it harder to hear on the desktop phone), an alarm clock that flashes and vibrates.
A smoke alarm that flashes and vibrates the pillow as I can no longer hear the audible tone of ordinary smoke detectors. To me this is a huge safety risk when I am in the house alone.
All these devices come with a hefty price tag. Due to being employed I am not eligible for a government rebate. Is it fair that someone is penalised because they are trying to work for as long as they are able to?