New global strategy to ensure no deaf child is left behind
27 June 2017
The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched a bold new Overcoming Barriers strategy 2017-2022, to break down the social and educational barriers that hold deaf children back.
Barriers for deaf children can be things like being left out by friends, let down by services that don’t support them, and not getting the same opportunities as hearing children. This can mean deaf children end up losing confidence, being cut off from family and friends, and left vulnerable to bullying and abuse.
Overcoming Barriers 2017- 2022 provides a clear focus for the next five years on three key areas: fighting to improve the services received by deaf children and young people, championing the development of good language and communication skills and shining a spotlight on the importance of becoming independent and transitioning successfully into adulthood. The charity also aims to raise its profile as a global expert on childhood deafness, to increase its ability to effect change.
Underpinning the strategy is increased use of digital technology to bring parents of deaf children and professionals together. Central to this will be the introduction of a new website later this year, with a moderated forum for parents and professionals and a map which pinpoints local deaf services. The mobile-friendly website will make it easy for supporters to quickly find tailored information based on their needs, wants and interests.
To ensure the strategy is firmly rooted in the experiences of deaf children and their families, the charity launched its biggest ever consultation to help shape plans, seeking feedback from thousands of families, deaf young people, professionals, volunteers and staff.
Susan Daniels OBE, Chief Executive of the charity, says: “Our strategy is about changing deaf children’s lives and ensuring no child is left behind. By 2022 we plan to be the go-to place for information and support on childhood deafness globally, inspiring everyone to give deaf children the support they need. To achieve this, we have sought to align our UK and international work by bringing together previously separate websites and brands.
“Extending our reach has never been so important. Too many deaf children are still being let down by vital services and they still don’t have the same opportunities as hearing children. We will never stop working closely with them and their families to ensure our services evolve to meet their needs. We will never stop championing deaf children’s rights. Deaf children have a bright future, but only if, together, we break down the barriers they face.”
Notes to editors
• The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families.
• There are around 50,000 deaf children in the UK, and 90% of them are born to hearing parents so the advice of independent experts is vital.
• The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are 32 million deaf children globally – and 80% of these live in developing countries, without the support and services available to us in the UK.
• The National Deaf Children’s Society helps deaf children and young people thrive by providing impartial, practical and emotional support to them and their families, and by challenging governments and society to meet their needs.
• We believe that every deaf child should be valued and included by society and have the same opportunities as any other child.
• For more information visit www.ndcs.org.uk. For further support, parents can contact the National Deaf Children’s Society Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Deaf Child Worldwide is the international arm of the National Deaf Children’s Society. To find out more visit www.deafchildworldwide.org