GOOD CAUSE: Soccer siblings Trinity McPhie, 9, and Kelsey McPhie, 6, will be part of the Granville Football Club's charity match on August 12.
GOOD CAUSE: Soccer siblings Trinity McPhie, 9, and Kelsey McPhie, 6, will be part of the Granville Football Club's charity match on August 12. Matthew McInerney

Granville to host charity day for Deaf Services Qld

HOW much do you know about the Fraser Coast's deaf community?

The people who are affected, the services available - even a basic understanding of Auslan, Australian Sign Language?

For Megan McPhie, her knowledge was limited.

That was until her youngest of two daughters, Kelsey, failed a hearing test at birth. Trinity, then three, was only diagnosed with a hearing impairment due to Kelsey's test failure.

While Kelsey required further testing, both were tested at Nambour Hospital where it was discovered Trinity's hearing had deteriorated in the first few years of her life.

"It was hard,” Mrs McPhie said. "There's no family history of hearing impairment so it was a bit of a shock to start with.”

Communication was difficult as well. It is one reason why the McPhie family learned Auslan.

Weekly appointments in Brisbane, along with others closer to home, broadened Mrs McPhie's understanding of the issue.

It also opened the door to a local community she didn't know existed.

"You probably don't notice it so much unless you're involved in that community,” she said.

"Once you're into it, you learn there's a lot of people out there with hearing impairment. The kids see them now every time we walk down the street, and they often want to say hello to people in the same situation.

"Until I had children in this situation I probably didn't know anyone in this situation. We've met some wonderful people.”

Trinity, now nine, wears hearing aids, while Kelsey, now six, has had cochlear implants for about two years.

The Tinana State School students play football for Granville Tigers, and are the public faces for the club's upcoming fundraiser.

This will be the third time Granville has held a charity match between mixed teams of Tigers players and emergency services personnel. The club raises money for organisations of which members are part of.

This year's beneficiary will be Deaf Services Queensland and the Kathleen Costello Centre for the Deaf.

"The club actually asked me what services we use and I found as a parent of a young child who was deaf, the one thing that was missing is having that sign language to be able to communicate with a deaf child,” she said.

"I felt a little bit on my own, but hopefully the money raised will be able to help future parents with deaf babies that need that extra support.”



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