Protect and exercise your rights
Knowing what your rights are is crucial. Acting on this knowledge and making sure you exercise and protect these rights is also important.
Our policy and campaigns team monitor developments in Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the Northern Ireland and Welsh Assemblies. The team raises issues affecting deaf children and their families with key decision-makers, and challenges those decision-makers to think about the impact new policies will have on deaf children.
We also run national and local campaigns to save or improve services for deaf children and their families.
If you’d like to campaign to protect the rights of deaf children you can join our Campaigns Network. The Network currently has over 6,000 members who receive regular updates on how they can support our campaigns – including information on lobbying central government and support to take action at a grassroots level.
You don’t need lots of time or experience to get involved in our campaigns – there are lots of quick and easy ways to take part and we’ll provide easy-to-use resources to help you.
Children’s hearing services working groups (CHSWGs)
CHSWGs are a great way of using your experience as a parent of a deaf child to have a direct impact on hearing services in your local area.
CHSWGs are usually based in health authority areas, and bring together representatives from services supporting deaf children and their families to make sure that the different services are working well together and giving the best possible support. Each group should also have a parent representative.
Parent carer forums
A parent carer forum is a group of parents of disabled children who work with local authorities, nurseries, schools and colleges, health services and anyone else who provides support to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and their families. There are forums in most local authorities in England.
From May 2016, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be inspecting support for children and young people aged 0–25 with SEND in England.
As part of the inspections they will speak to parents and young people in each area, before publishing a report on how good or bad they think the local support is.
This is an important opportunity to help improve support for your deaf child. Find out more about making sure that you and your child have a say by reading our guide, Help improve support for deaf children in your area.
In England, all councils must produce a Local Offer giving details of local services that could be of benefit to children with special educational needs and disabilities, including deaf children.
Councils must allow people to submit comments or complaints about their Local Offer, and respond to these comments explaining what action they’re going to take.