Stephanie pledges support for deaf children

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 29th September Stephanie pledges support for deaf children.

Stephanie met with deaf teenager Erin McKay at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton to discuss how support for deaf children can be improved. Erin, 17 attended the conference as a Youth Advisory Board member for National Deaf Children’s Society which recently launched a ‘right to sign’ campaign for BSL British Sign Language to be an option at GCSE.

Erin said “BSL is one of the languages of the UK so I think everyone in the country, deaf or hearing should get the chance to learn it. Sadly, most people miss out because it’s not taught at school and private lessons are expensive. “I want to break down the barriers to learning BSL, so it was great to speak to Stephanie to help her understand this issue because she has the power to make a difference”

Erin and Stephanie also talked about the charity’s ‘Listen Up’ campaign to improve children’s audiology services.

Mandatory inspections were scrapped in 2012 and a voluntary accreditation scheme was introduced instead.

But many services, including the New Street Health Centre in Barnsley haven’t been inspected for years.

Jess Reeves, Campaigns Manager for the National Deaf Children’s Society, said “there are more than 40,000 deaf children in England, and a good audiology service is a vital lifeline for them but without mandatory inspections this cannot be guaranteed”