Off to Africa to help deaf kids
COCHLEAR implant recipient Ceilidh O’Sullivan is setting out to conquer new worlds this year.
Ms O’Sullivan is planning a trip to Uganda in May to help deaf children who have not had the same chances in life as she has.
Almost two years after receiving her implant, Ms O’Sullivan said it had changed her life.
“It’s really good; it’s helping me a lot,” she said.
She said, with the implant, her hearing was improving.
“It’s at a really good stage,” she said.
The plan for the Uganda trip came after a chance meeting at a deaf festival
“I met this woman who had been over there before and I got interested,” she said.
“I got the information from her and I contacted some people over there.”
Ms O’Sullivan said she had a friend who had been to Uganda and had told her about what to expect.
She expects to be based in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, but will spend her time visiting nearby villages to help deaf children with their sign language skills.
“It will be a very good experience for me,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
“I will be meeting up with people I know from Australia over there, and I’ve got a few friends who are keen to go with me.”
She already has her passport, now she just has to set the date and buy her ticket.
All that is holding her back is the financial aspect.
“I’m saving up,” she said.
“It can be tough, but I’m saving up.”
The Ugandan trip is just one of the ways Ms O’Sullivan is now expanding her horizons.
In January last year she told the NewsMail she wanted to get a job in a nursery or as a carpentry apprentice.
But since then she has been working part-time helping deaf children with their sign language.
“I really love working with kids,” she said.
“It has helped open my eyes up.”
She has also applied to study at university to teach the deaf.
Ms O’Sullivan received her cochlear implant in 2007 after a public campaign by the NewsMail raised the $30,000 to pay for it.
She was born with a hearing impairment and as she grew her hearing deteriorated.