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Campaigning in Partnership

We don’t campaign alone. We seek to unite with deaf young people, families, professionals and other organisations whenever we can. Campaigning together is so important and can add power and strength to a message.

Working with other organisations

We are members of lots of different campaigning coalition groups. Some of these are:

  • Access to Work Forum
  • Alliance on Hearing Loss
  • Disability Benefits Consortium
  • Disabled Children's Partnership
  • Health Policy Influencing Group
  • National Sensory Impairment Partnership
  • Ofsted and CQC LA SEND Forum
  • SEND System Leadership Board
  • Special Education Consortium
  • Together for Children
  • UK Council on Deafness
  • Employment Group
  • Accessible Communications Group
  • Action Group on Cochlear Implants
  • Third Sector Additional Needs Alliance in Wales
  • Cross Party Group on Deaf Issues
  • Deaf Consortium in Wales
  • Children’s Rights Policy Group in Wales

Sometimes we also take the lead on bringing organisations together to campaign. We recently formed a disability employment campaign group, calling for the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs 2020 to be accessible for all disabled young people.

Westminster, the devolved nations and local areas

  • We work with politicians across all four nations of the UK to ensure that issues affecting deaf children are raised in Parliament. We are part of the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Deafness. This is a group of politicians and organisations and is currently campaigning for a British Sign Language Act.
  • We are also part of the Cross Party Group for Deaf Issues in the Senedd/Welsh Parliament.
  • We work closely with Local Government to ensure improved services for deaf children. This includes our local engagement team working with all tiers of local authorities; and influencing devolved Local Government.

Successful partnerships in action

  • We recently teamed up with eight other national deaf organisations to call for clear face masks to be commissioned by NHS England. The NHS sourced 250,000 clear masks to be distributed to health settings. We are now asking for the masks to be added to the NHS Supply Chain so they can be purchased and ordered.
  • Similarly, the Deaf Consortium in Wales teamed up with other national deaf organisations to write to NHS Wales about clear face masks. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales has responded to say a number of clear masks have been purchased for use in the NHS and further work to look into more suppliers of clear masks is ongoing.
  • Through our work with other organisations in the Third Sector Additional Needs Alliance, we successfully lobbied for changes to a new law on supporting learners with additional needs in Wales.
  • Collaboration with local organisations and charities to campaign for improved services e.g. we worked with the British Deaf Association and Nottinghamshire Deaf Society to challenge cuts to services by Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils.
  • Collaboration with professional bodies e.g. working with the NAHT to challenge proposed cuts to services for deaf children in Derby City.

Partnerships with parents

  • We have worked with parents to challenge education provision for pupils in a number of Academy Trusts that have been of concern. We have worked with parents to secure a new resource provision in Suffolk, challenge a decision to close four SEND bases in Lincolnshire and challenge budget cuts in Tower Hamlets.
  • In May 2019 we took to the streets alongside families of children with special educational needs to protest against financial cuts to support for these children.

Young people

  • We campaign alongside deaf young people. We have a Young People’s Advisory Board who have developed great campaigns such as the Right to Sign campaign for a new GCSE in British Sign Language. In the end, the Department for Education in England listened and agreed to start developing a GCSE. There is much support for a BSL GCSE in Wales and a clear willingness for Wales to use a BSL GCSE developed in England.
  • We worked with deaf young people to develop the Deaf Works Everywhere campaign for better careers support and advice, so that deaf young people can get whatever job they want. In Wales, we worked with deaf young people to develop a list of recommendations for our careers service, Careers Wales. Careers Wales has been discussing how it can address these recommendations.

Local groups

  • We campaign with our fantastic local groups to fight for the rights of deaf children and young people. In 2019 we worked with seven of our local groups to launch a petition calling for more Teachers of the Deaf. Our local groups handed the petition into the Department for Education in England.

Local partnerships – CHSWGS, local campaigns.

  • Our local engagement team in England, and our other teams in the nations, work with Children’s Hearing Services Working Groups (CHSWGs) and local professionals to ensure the needs of deaf children are being met by local services.
  • The local engagement team is supporting CHSWGs to implement the ‘What Works’ guidance to ensure improved joint working. Positive co-operation has led to enhanced transition pathways for deaf children and young people.
  • The team has also helped to revive CHSWGs in 14 areas where they had previously been inactive.

If you’ve got any questions about this work, please contact us at [email protected]