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Rights to support from your local council

Photo: Families with a deaf child could have a legal right to practical help from their local council

Local councils (Health and Social Services Trusts in Northern Ireland) can be an important source of support for families with a deaf child. Councils can be the gatekeepers to practical and financial help, and provide information on local services and advice from experts such as a social worker for the deaf.

Practical help

Families with a disabled (including deaf) child could have a legal right to practical help with things like equipment and communication support from their local council.

Support from your local council can involve anything that will help meet the needs of your child and family (if those needs meet the council’s eligibility criteria), for example:

  • technology to help keep your child safe and independent at home – such as vibrating smoke alarms/doorbells or a pager system
  • financial help to communicate with your child, such as learning sign language
  • a communication support worker who can support your child in the community
  • travel training to help your child use public transport independently
  • information on local services that are accessible to disabled children and their families.

For more information on what your local council offers disabled children, read our guide for your nation:

Local Offers

In England, all authorities must produce a Local Offer giving details of local services that could be of benefit to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including deaf children. Local Offers should include services such as:

  • sources of support and advice about SEND
  • health and social care provision
  • leisure activities
  • childcare
  • specialist education provision in the area.

Councils must allow people to submit comments or complaints about their Local Offers, and respond to these comments explaining what action they’re going to take.

Childcare

Depending on where you live, you may be entitled to support from your local authority with the cost of childcare. Find out more by following the link for your nation: