My name is Dhyana and I was born profoundly deaf. However, I was only diagnosed when I was 5 months old. My parents were scared for my future, and with no prior experience of deafness, they faced many options and difficult decisions. At this challenging time, they met the inspirational late Jacqueline Stokes, founder of AVUK, who gave them hope that using Auditory Verbal therapy, there was an expectation that young deaf children could learn to listen and speak using optimally working hearing technology, and that they could attend mainstream education and become independent participating citizens in mainstream society. On the strength of this vision, our journey with AVUK began, and I graduated when I was 5 years old - with listening and language skills equivalent to a 7-year-old. A few years later when my brother was born profoundly deaf, my parents did not hesitate in contacting AVUK immediately and starting a new journey with him. 

AVUK has become an integral part of our lives and has impacted me in the most positive way. Because of AVUK I am more confident and independent today. I attend a mainstream grammar school and was very proud to achieve great GCSE results and I am now studying for an International Baccalaureate. I am able to appreciate and enjoy music and dance - I play the violin and do classical dancing. I have also completed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards and I have travelled internationally on my own. Most importantly I believe AVUK has given me the chance to be a normal teenage girl who can embrace the same opportunities as my hearing peers, and who can believe in my dreams. I will always be grateful to AVUK.

I have raised money for AVUK by having Loud Shirt Days at school, as well as successfully nominating AVUK as the main school charity for the whole year. I have spoken about deafness and AVUK at general school assemblies and at the Founders Day Service to an audience of over 1000 people. I have been invited to introduce important speakers at AVUK conventions. In 2017, I took part in a film for the Centre of Social Justice who awarded Auditory Verbal UK the Model of Excellence Award. I have also taken part in general promotional videos to create awareness of AVUK.

I am proud to be a Young Ambassador and would like more deaf children to benefit from the amazing and truly life changing work that AVUK does.