Deaf teenagers Renée Palmer 16, Kathryn Wilkins 18, and Amy Dawson 15, attended each of the Party Conferences to talk with MPs about issues affecting deaf children and young people across the country they feel passionately about.
The three teenagers are members of the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Young People’s Advisory Board, and joined the charity in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow to discuss issues such as Disability Students Allowance, audiology services and specialist education service inspections.
Profoundly deaf Kathryn launched Listen Up!, a new report that reveals the shocking state of England’s children’s audiology services at the Conservative Party Conference. Deaf children are experiencing long waiting times for appointments, are being inadequately tested and receiving the wrong results and are missing vital lesson time to visit the audiologist. The charity is calling on the Government to take immediate action to improve audiology services and commit to ensuring services are working to a quality assurance programme.
Kathryn said: “It was brilliant to attend the Conservative Party Conference and I enjoyed talking about why good audiology services are so important for people like me. At my old school, I had to miss lessons to go to the audiologist. It was frustrating because I had to catch up on all the work that I missed which was worrying as I didn’t want to fall behind and fail my exams. I’m passionate about making the Government aware of the issues and challenges that deaf young people face on a daily basis. MPs are really powerful and can improve the lives of deaf children. I hope they act now to make a real difference.”
The National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and their families. 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), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat online at www.ndcs.org.uk/livechat.