Parliament – CapTel & Dr Alex Harrison

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

PARLIAMENT - 14 OCTOBER 2019 - CapTel & Dr Alex Harrison
Thank you Deputy Speaker. Dr Alex Harrison is an exceptional veterinarian who practices in my electorate. He also happens to be Australia’s first and only profoundly deaf vet. He is one of many deaf and hard-of-hearing Australians who rely on the caption assisted phone CapTel.
For Dr Harrison the service allows him to do his job in an efficient and timely manner. As you can imagine, he has to contact pet owners urgently.
Dr Harrison got in touch with me about the Morison government’s decision to cut funding to CapTel handsets.
He raised the negative impact it will have on his quality of life and I share Dr Harrison’s concerns. The government is under estimating the important role that CapTel plays enabling deaf and hard-of-hearing Australians to carry out their day-to-day lives both personally and professionally.
Dr Harrison has told me he feels the new program is not as efficient as CapTel and will make performing his duties as a well respected community veterinarian more difficult.
I believe that deaf Australians need and deserve more. The government has a responsibility to ensure that there is a plan to ensure a smooth transition to a new service. A service that will work and fit the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people in communities right across Australia.
The message from Dr Harrison and many other people is that this is not currently happening. It’s time the Morrison government listen carefully and act to help those around the community.

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