Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Supporting deaf children

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) invited MPs from across England to show their support for its Stolen Futures campaign, aimed at ensuring every deaf child gets the support they need. There are more than 45,000 deaf children and young people in the UK, and their future can depend on specialist services such as Teachers of the Deaf.

As part of their campaign I boarded the NDCS Listening Bus, which travels around the country to provide support to deaf children, to learn more about support in their area, and also talk to a group of deaf children about their hopes for the future and the help they need in school.

As part of that campaign, NDCS has been running a petition to support calls for a Parliamentary debate. More than 50,000 people have signed the ‘Stolen Futures’ petition so far, calling on the Department for Education to intervene at a national level and ensure local authorities protect funding for deaf children.
Susan Daniels, Chief Executive at NDCS, said: “We are concerned that specialist support for deaf children continues to be at risk. Services such as Teachers of the Deaf are not a luxury, they are absolutely vital. Through our campaign thousands of people have shown their support, and the support of MP [second name] is hugely appreciated.

“We are calling on the national government to step up to the plate and hold councils to account for decisions that are leaving deaf children without a future.”
Deaf children rely on a range of services, including Teachers of the Deaf, speech and language therapists and social care. Specialist Teachers of the Deaf provide one-to-one support to help deaf children overcome communication barriers in the classroom, ensure the equipment they use, such as hearing aids, is working and support classroom teachers to meet the unique needs of deaf children.

For more information on the Stolen Futures campaign, visit www.ndcs.org.uk/stolenfutures

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For further information on the NDCS and campaign, please contact:

Anna Galandzij – anna.galandzij@ndcs.org.uk – 020 7014 1178 or Kirsty Whitelock – kirsty.whitelock@ndcs.org.uk – 020 7104 1146

Notes to editors:

· The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families. Given the right support deaf children can achieve the same as any other child.

· There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. NDCS works to ensure deaf children get the support they need by providing impartial advice to families about the range of communication methods open to them and by campaigning on their behalf. The charity also holds events for deaf children and their families across the UK.

· For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk. For further support, parents can contact the NDCS Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text), email helpline@ndcs.org.uk, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat.

· About Stolen Futures

The Stolen Futures campaign was launched to call on the Government to intervene where cuts to deaf children’s services are being made across the country. For the third year in a row councils across England are cutting vital services for deaf children, including Teachers of the Deaf, Speech and Language therapists and social care. These and any future cuts could have disastrous consequences for deaf children.