Shaun Carlson’s goal of getting back into coaching rugby league is now becoming a reality as he accesses hearing aids to allow better communication and concentration.
The Drewvale local is now accessing assistive technology through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), after years of not having hearing supports which lead to Shaun withdrawing from the community.
“I had hearing aids in my early 20s… but technology back then was a lot different and it was sensory overload and I threw them away,” he said.
“I was coaching rugby league six years ago but it got too hard to communicate and it was tiring concentrating on what people were saying; it can get embarrassing, especially in a group setting and half the time I was guessing what was going on.
“My hearing aids now are better and digital and emphasise what I need to hear, so it is great.
“I was coaching at Acacia Ridge football club before, and at Centenary, and was doing Masters Men’s side about three years ago, but I’d like to get back to coaching early to late teens.”
Shaun’s hearing aids are not only helping him with his coaching goals, but also at work.
“I am a forklift driver and can now hear bells and sirens at work I haven’t heard in years,” he said.
“I now have a little device with my hearing aid that connects the phone to the hearing aid and I can change it to wear it like a microphone.
“When I am at work doing a heavy lift I can give it to the fitter so I can hear, so now I don’t need to do hand signals to complete my work.”
An occupational therapist also visited Shaun’s house to assess his need for a doorbell and fire alarm so he can hear these signals when he sleeps.
“I am also about to get more assistive technology that will help me hearing the TV; I haven’t been to a picture theatre in 15 years, so now I will be able to with this.”
Shaun said he is looking at getting more active by joining a gym and wants to go bike riding again.
“I never used to do anything, just work and come home,” he said.
“I have a bike and used to try go with a community group ride, but it was too hard to have a conversation, especially with helmets.
“Now I can look at trying that again; this puts me out there more and allows me the opportunity to function normally.”
Shaun received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region.
“The hearing aids are fantastic,” he said.
“I could not believe you could access this; I am over the moon.”
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org