Tuesday, 17 January 2012

BSL: Fair Access to Family Sign Language Classes

Nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing families who have little to no experience of deafness. Communicating with your child is a basic right, but many families are not getting the support they need to learn British Sign Language. Sign language courses vary throughout the UK in regards to availability and price. It is unacceptable that parents of deaf children who wish to learn sign language are not getting the help they need to communicate with their child. We, the undersigned, are calling on the Department for Education to roll out family sign language classes for families of deaf children, and to incorporate national standards on sign language support in family services, early years settings, schools and further and higher education in any forthcoming special education needs legislation.

Please take some time to sign the e-petition.

According to the NDCS:
  • The key to unlocking a deaf child’s potential is the family unit. That is why families of deaf children must receive the full range of support and information to which they are entitled. This is not currently the case.
  • There are over 45,000 deaf children living in the UK.
  • 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents with little or no experience of deafness or knowledge of how to communicate with a deaf person.
  • 40% of deaf children have additional needs.
  • Four babies are born deaf every day.
  • Many families struggle to communicate effectively with their deaf child.
  • Many deaf children struggle to communicate with their immediate family, and develop language at a slower rate than their hearing peers.
  • Given the right support there is no reason for any deaf child to develop language at a slower rate than a hearing child with similar abilities.
  • Deafness is not a learning disability. There is no reason why the majority of deaf children should achieve any less than hearing children.
  • Deaf children are at far higher risk of developing mental illness than their hearing peers.
  • Deaf children need to be able to communicate effectively, access information and influence the world around them by any appropriate method whether through sign language, oral communication or a combination of approaches.
30 seconds of your time and a virtual signature, could help thousands of families communicate with their deaf child, please sign http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/7763