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New global strategy to ensure no deaf child is left behind

Published Date: 27 Jun 2017

The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched a bold new strategy for 2017-2022, Overcoming Barriers, 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.

Our new strategy 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. We also aim to raise our profile as a global expert on childhood deafness, to increase our 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, with a moderated forum for parents and professionals and a map which pinpoints local deaf services. The mobile-friendly site will make it easy for supporters to quickly find tailored information based on their needs, wants and interests.

To ensure our new strategy is firmly rooted in the experiences of deaf children and their families, we launched our biggest ever consultation to help shape plans and sought feedback from thousands of families, deaf young people, professionals, volunteers and staff.

Susan Daniels OBE, our Chief Executive, said: “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.”