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Deaf student overcomes barriers to become a vet and wins national scholarship

Posted May 31 2011 1:12pm

Bethan Hindson.jpg

On his first public engagement (25 May), The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Michael Wildgust presented profoundly deaf student Bethan Hindson with the national Cochlear™ UK Graeme Clark Scholarship Award – an award that will help to fund her studies and allow her to follow her dream of becoming a vet.

Bethan Hindson, 25 was born profoundly deaf and was told that she could never be a vet. So, with her hopes dashed, she embarked on a history degree after finishing college. And now, through sheer determination and a lot of hard work, Bethan is in her third year of veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College, London and has been awarded the national Cochlear™ UK Graeme Clark Scholarship.

This scholarship award is an annual award, worth £6,000 and is open to Nucleus® cochlear implant recipients. It has been set up to help hearing impaired implant recipients achieve more in continuing further education.

Bethan says that she is the first profoundly deaf student ever admitted to her veterinary college and that she has to work above and beyond her peers on a daily basis to keep up and overcome any problems that arise because of her hearing impairment. She has come first in her year for two consecutive years now which is an incredible achievement and alongside her studies, she also works part time in a veterinary laboratory to help fund her course.

Bethan Hindson GCS.jpg

Bethan had a cochlear implant fitted when she was 11 years old. She says that it has made a huge difference to her life and that she no longer has to rely on lip reading. She still uses a hearing aid in one ear and says that it only gives her low-frequency sound so she can’t imagine how she would cope without her cochlear implant. Bethan is cared for by the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Centre.

Talking about the award, Bethan says, “This opportunity is a dream come true. My whole life has been about striving to keep up and show what I can do. My implant was the first big step in helping me and this award is the next step in fulfilling my dreams of becoming a vet. Words can’t express my gratitude to Cochlear for this award and to all those who have helped me with my deafness throughout my life.”

Bethan also helps others with hearing impairment and has spoken at many conferences advising parents of deaf children as well as spending time tutoring primary school students and working with disabled students.
Stuart Thomas, Implant Team Manager, Cochlear UK, Ireland and South Africa says, “The sponsorship is a wonderful opportunity to help our recipients by supporting them financially when they continue their education. It also highlights how lives are enhanced through access to our technology, together with the help of healthcare professionals."

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Michael Wildgust says, “This is my first event as Lord Mayor and I’m proud to present this prize to Bethan. She’s an inspiration to us all and her story of achievement is extraordinary."

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