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Bungay couple in documentary

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 08:18 01 August 2010

A LOVING Bungay couple, Suzanne and Andy Dunnett have become the focus of a new national internet documentary.

Suzanne and Andy, who are both deaf-blind and married last year, feature in one of five documentaries produced by national deaf-blind charity, Sense, to mark Deaf-Blind Awareness Week this week(22 - 28 June).

A LOVING Bungay couple, Suzanne and Andy Dunnett have become the focus of a new national internet documentary.

Suzanne and Andy, who are both deaf-blind and married last year, feature in one of five documentaries produced by national deaf-blind charity, Sense, to mark Deaf-Blind Awareness Week this week(22 - 28 June). The charity is hoping to raise awareness and understanding of some of the challenges faced by deaf-blind people every day.

On first appearances, they are like any other 40-something couple. But another look reveals Suzanne will walk with a red and white cane and the couple is often joined on outings by their support workers.

Suzanne explained that the couple actually met through the charity. “When we met at a Sense event, we just fell in love. Andy's quite romantic and a very caring man. He's made me very happy. We're very understanding of each other because we've both got the same problems.”

Both Andy and Suzanne have Usher syndrome, which means they were born with hearing impairments and over the years lost quite a lot of their sight. Suzanne has little hearing and uses hearing aids, but is a great lip reader and her speech is quite good and clear.

Andy uses speech and can hear with hearing aids. His tunnel vision is restricted to a small area right in front of him, which shrinks as he comes closer. For example, when he kisses his wife, he can see her eyes, but not her lips.

“Because of the tunnel vision, sometimes he'll kiss my nose or kiss my chin. We often miss our lips, but we always laugh,” said Suzanne.

Together for seven years, they married last year after Andy proposed on Suzanne's birthday, but due to her hearing impairments she missed the first proposal.

“When I proposed she asked me to say it again, so I had to repeat it again to make sure!” he said.

The film also features Wendy Adams from Halesworth, their Sense support worker. She said: “As a support worker we try to help the Suzanne and Andy to have an independent lifestyle, without taking over. They don't drive because of sight problems, so I take them off to hospital appointments, banking, shopping and the like. I just give them help when they ask for help.”

As to the future, the couple is certain of some things.

“You know we have all that matters. When you hold each other and when you're there for each other, as long as you've got each other that's all that matters,” said Andy.

Their documentary can be viewed at www.sense.org.uk. Sense estimates there are 2768 deaf-blind people in Suffolk.

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