Making deaf children matter

Musings and blogs from a deaf campaigner

Posts Tagged ‘deaf children’

Working to influence the Children and Families Act

Posted by Ian Noon on March 18, 2014

This blog first appeared in the National Deaf Children’s Society campaigns blog

Last Thursday was a big day – Her Majesty decided to give her “royal assent” to the Children and Families Bill, thus turning it into the ‘Children’s and Families Act’.

This Act sets out a whole new range of laws on special educational needs. A National Deaf Children’s Society FAQ for parents has more information but it’s been described as the biggest shake up of the special educational needs (SEN) system in 30 years and will have big implications for how deaf children are supported. So no pressure on us here at the National Deaf Children’s Society…

We’ve been working to influence these reforms right from the very start. It’s been a long hard slog. There have been many meetings, countless consultations and plenty of parliamentary debates – all to make sure that the needs of deaf children were considered.

Before all of that though, we needed to find out what parents of deaf children thought. We ran a series of focus groups and surveys and then wrote up what parents thought of the proposals. Politicians and civil servants were then reminded repeatedly about what our members want. It really helped bring our arguments to life. 

So what’s been achieved along the way? Some key achievements include:

1)    A review is now taking place into whether Ofsted should have a greater role in inspecting local SEN provision.

2)    It will be harder for local authorities to end support to a young person just because they’ve turned 19. Now local authorities must consider if they’ve achieved the outcomes set for them and not just “have regard to age”.

3)    At one point, parents would be required to undergo mediation with the local authority if they wanted to take any issues to a Tribunal. Now they must consider mediation, but now have the option to say no.

4)    Not every disabled child has ‘SEN’ but many will still need support. This created a risk that some children would fall through the net. The Special Educational Consortium (SEC) and Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) pushed hard for more strategic support from local authorities for both disabled and SEN children.

5)    Recognition of the essential role of Teachers of the Deaf has been kept – for example, the Act requires that Teachers of the Deaf be involved in any statutory assessments of deaf children.

Key to our success has been the way the sector has worked together. The National Deaf Children’s Society has worked closely with our counterparts at RNIB and Sense to raise common issues in relation to children with sensory impairment, as well as with EDCM and SEC.

Not everything has gone our way. Some of the above changes have been hard fought right to the end. Other times, it’s felt like we’ve been banging our heads against brick walls…

And there’s still plenty of work to be done. Whilst the Act provides the overall framework, a lot of the practical requirements will be set out in guidance, called the SEN Code of Practice. We’re expecting this to be published this spring and Westminster will again get the chance to debate this. Also, it’s great that Ofsted are reviewing the SEN inspection framework but we will need to monitor it closely to make sure they take action after this review.

And, of course, all of these changes have to be implemented. Our biggest concern remains that these changes are going to be made in a context of massive spending cuts, as we know from the Stolen Futures campaign. There is the potential for massive upheaval for services for deaf children. The National Deaf Children’s Society’s team of Regional Directors will now be working to influence implementation in each of the 152 local authorities in England and to challenge any cuts where they arise.

Overall, the Bill becoming an Act is a big milestone. It feels like a good moment to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come… and then start to get ready for the next phase of this big SEN shake up. 

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Five random reflections on deaf life at primary school

Posted by Ian Noon on March 11, 2014

I spent most of last week musing on life at primary school. I do love a good amble down memory lane but I had another reason; I had volunteered to give a presentation to parents of deaf children at a National Deaf Children’s Society family weekend. These are weekends for parents to learn more about various issues facing deaf children and to meet other families with the same kind of experiences.

I was mainstream all the way through the system. I loved primary school; I got my education. It’s fair to say I was probably a bit of a swot. I loved getting gold stars and certificates. My best friend now and back then in primary school is the one and same very person and he doesn’t even wonky ears like me. But primary school did come with its challenges and listening to other deaf adults, I get the impression that I wasn’t alone in these kind of experiences.

So without further ado, I present my top five random reflections of times gone by at primary school:

1) Teachers never remembered to turn the microphone on. Every morning I left my microphone on my teacher’s desk. And nearly every morning I would then have to put my hand up as the lesson started to prompt my teacher. Luckily, I was a cocky confident little boy who was happy to do so. And it didn’t stop there; teachers invariably forgot to turn the microphone off. The range on these microphones back then was quite something. I heard all sorts of staff room conversations that I shouldn’t have been listening to. I felt like James Bond Junior sometimes.

2) The Teacher of the Deaf came to visit weekly to check everything was alright. She was great. But she seemed to have an impeccable knack for coming exactly when lessons were getting most interesting. I would always have to sheepishly leave the classroom at inopportune times and then return to loads of questions from my friends as to where I’d been bunking off to.

3) My speech had a bit of work. A lot of work. I didn’t always enjoy it though I think I knew then it was done with good intentions and “for my own good”. But there were times I felt completely demoralised realising again and again that I wasn’t saying something right. And it’s left a legacy of me hating to do any public speaking,  finding myself worrying more about how I’m saying something, rather than what I’m saying and often ending up having a verbal car crash with my words.

4) Break times were sometimes tough. It could be a struggle to work out what my friends were up to. Being spontaneous was a challenge. As a result, I often ended up trying to ‘arrange’ and ‘control’ the fun myself by putting myself in charge. That way I could know what was going on. Unfortunately, it didn’t endear me to my friends and I ended up getting a reputation for being bossy and bolshy.

5) Finally, teachers invariably made assumptions about what I already knew, based on what everyone else already knew. And, invariably, they were mistaken. The classic example on my part is the Lord’s Prayer. I was at a Church of England school so every morning we all had to recite the Lord’s Prayer. For six years I didn’t have a clue what the words were. In fact, it wasn’t until Cliff Richard did that millennium prayer song, that I finally picked it up. Of course, everyone else picked it up just by listening to everyone else. I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know. The moral of the story is that gaps in incidental learning means there is loads that deaf children don’t quite pick up. And it turns out apparently that our Farther arts in Heaven, rather than Devon. Who knew?

It’s difficult to be angry or sad about any of the above. Had I not worked through any of the above challenges, I wouldn’t be where I am today. But part of me hope that things are better now, that deaf children are thriving rather than coping.  And that teachers are reading the guidance produced by (shameless plug alert) the National Deaf Children’s Society. I suspect though that there is more work to raise awareness among teachers of the little idiosyncrasies around supporting deaf children in school.

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Debating deaf children’s futures

Posted by Ian Noon on October 13, 2013

After 18 months of campaigning and 50,000+ petition signatures, MPs have agreed that concerns over cuts to funding to support for deaf children are so serious that Parliament should debate them.

Deafness is invariably described as the invisible disability. The needs of deaf children too often get overlooked. Well, not on Thursday. This isn’t going to be a debate in some poky committee room – it will be on the floor of the House of Commons. The needs of deaf children will take centre-stage and the Government will be forced to explain what exactly they are doing to make sure deaf children get the help they need. And the whole world can judge whether this is good enough. This is a big deal, ladies and gentlemen.

The debate is going to be an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the fact that help for deaf children is being cut across the country. The Government say they have protected funding for vulnerable learners yet this protection isn’t being carried through at a local level. 29% of local authorities are cutting services and another 25% are at risk, according to analysis from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

You might take the Government’s point that this is a matter for local communities. But there’s only so much fire-fighting that parents can do without getting exhausted or neglecting their core job – being Mums and Dads to their deaf child. It’s time for the Government to take action to stop the fires starting in the first place.

There are different ways the Government can do this. It could intervene directly in some of the worse cases and name and shame council bosses that don’t protect funding for vulnerable learners. The Government seems quite happy to tell councils what to do about rubbish collections and council magazines after all.

It could also introduce stronger checks over councils. It could make Ofsted inspect specialist services for deaf children. It’s easy for councils to cut services if they don’t think there are going to be any serious consequences.

The debate is also going to be an opportunity to say that, well actually, before even all of these cuts, in many places the support deaf children were getting wasn’t good enough. Over two thirds of deaf children fail to get 5 good GCSEs. It’s an opportunity to debate openly the fact that:

  • Too many families aren’t getting enough support after their deaf child is born. Where they want to learn sign language, families sometimes have to pay thousands of pounds just to learn to communicate with their own child.
  • Too many deaf children don’t get the specialist support they need in the classroom. They have to learn in poky noisy classrooms without extra help and support.
  • Too many deaf young people don’t get the help they need to prepare for adulthood and independence.

My biggest fear is that the Government will, come Thursday’s debate, do as they’ve done before and just bat away concerns. They’ll point to tiny pots of money given for small projects – not unappreciated but not enough. They’ll point to new laws on special educational needs even though this doesn’t address the fundamental issues deaf children face.

This is why a big turnout from MPs is needed. The more MPs that turn up and say something must be done, the more likely the Government will actually do something substantial. So MPs need to know this debate is important. MPs need to hear from families and deaf people of the individual stories and challenges that deaf children face. MPs need to challenge the Government to do more, much more.

And hopefully then Thursday’s debate will be the start of a lasting change that makes a big difference to deaf children.

To ask your MP to come along on Thursday, you can email him / her via the NDCS website. For more information about the debate, you can also check out NDCS’s Stolen Futures campaign pages. You can email your MP via the

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Is this really the right time to push ahead with special educational needs reform?

Posted by Ian Noon on February 18, 2013

Sad parliamentary geeks of the world, rejoice! The long-expected Children and Families Bill has now been published, setting out, amongst other, wide-ranging proposals for reform to the special educational needs framework. This is likely to result in significant changes to how deaf children and their families are supported and educated. If you’re unfamiliar with what the reforms mean, the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) have produced a FAQ for parents of deaf children.

For much of this year, I’m going to be working on the Bill and briefing politicians what it might mean for deaf children and which bits of the Bill they should support, question, clarify or violently throw their Committee chairs against the wall and revolt against. Who knows, I might end up accidentally changing the law again.

In short, it’s going to be a big deal. So before we get into all of that, it’s worth asking a fairly fundamental question: is it sensible to go ahead with these proposals now?

The reason I ask is that the NDCS Stolen Futures campaign has already found that in the two years running up to April 2013, 1 in 3 councils have cut vital services for deaf children. So who is going to be left to implement these reforms?

The reforms are not cost-neutral. That much is clear from the ‘pathfinders’ who have been testing out the reforms. One Teacher of the Deaf working in one of the pathfinder areas told me that the work she had been doing on creating new ‘Education, Health and Care Plans’ involved lengthy meetings with parents and lots of work to co-ordinate with other professionals. This is not to say that the reforms are a bad idea. But it is to question whether they are sustainable in the long-run, without extra investment. However, the Department for Education have been clear that there is no new money on the table.

The big fear is that this reform actually causes so much upheaval that services get worse and deaf children’s education suffers. Parents of deaf children are already a little anxious about what this all means. In a NDCS survey, just 6% of parents of deaf children thought the proposals would mean that deaf children would get better support. 80% of parents who were familiar the reforms said they thought the real aim was to reduce spending. The Department clearly has some work to do to reassure parents.

As the Bill goes through Parliament, NDCS is going to be reinforcing this point: that unless the Department for Education ‘step up’ and intervene where local authorities are making cuts to services, their SEN reforms risk making a bad situation worse.

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Stolen Futures campaign video and why the Government needs to step up

Posted by Ian Noon on February 11, 2013

Image courtesy of NDCS

Well, today was very exciting. The new campaign video for the National Deaf Children’s Society Stolen Futures campaign was released. It features actor Jim Carter (him off Downton Abbey, not the ex-peacenik-President) and my heroine Dame Evelyn Glennie (her banging the drums at the Olympics). And Jim then appeared on Lorraine this morning to tell everyone about the petition. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve always had a secret crush on Lorraine. It’s that husky Scottish voice. Rrrr.

Anyhow, the video is great. Please do watch and see for yourself. But it has a serious side. Vital services for deaf children are still being cut across the UK. Deaf children’s futures are still being stolen. And the Department for Education are still buck passing. The National Deaf Children’s Society still needs 100,000 signatures to force the Department to take responsibility.

“It’s a matter for local authorities,” the Department say.

“We’ve protected funding for vulnerable learners,” they protest.

“Go and have a go at the council bosses, light some firecrackers down the council building,” they haven’t quite said but it lies near the surface.

By April 2013, one in three local authorities will have cut the vital services that deaf children rely on. Is the Department for Education seriously expecting parents from across all those areas or charitable organisations like the National Deaf Children’s Society to be able to hold them all to account? For real?

It’s the Department for Education’s money. It’s their responsibility. They need to sort it.

Hence, the petition to get them to intervene. It’s building momentum. Over 28,500 so far. Share the video with everyone you know to help them see why this is so important. Get them to sign the petition. And then get them to share the video with everyone they know. And that way we can get the Department for Education to finally step up.

Deaf children deserve better than all this buck passing.

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Social care safety nets for deaf children to be slashed?

Posted by Ian Noon on August 2, 2012

Most of the time, I can see the logic behind a government policy, even if I don’t personally agree with it. From time to time though, I come across proposals that are just manifestly completely bonkers, shoddy and ill-thought out. And that happened last week when I went to the campaign launch for Every Child in Need to hear more about proposals to weaken social care safety nets.

A bit of context first. We know from research that deaf children are pretty much invisible on the radar of social care services. We know also there’s a real lack of specialist expertise in deafness among the social work profession. And we know that sadly deaf children are more vulnerable to abuse and mental health difficulties.

So it’s pretty alarming that the Government have put forward proposals that would have the effect of making it harder for deaf children and other children in need to get the help they need. Even more alarmingly, the Government’s own impact assessment has identified that these proposals come with considerable risks for children in need. To think the Government initially planned not to bother with any consultation on these changes…

Key issues include:

* Doing away with the requirement for social care services to do an ‘initial’ assessment of children referred to them. If urgent help is needed, it will take longer for this to be identified and sorted.

* Doing away with any timescales for when a full ‘core’ assessment must be done by.

* Weakening the requirement to produce a plan of action at the end of the assessment.

The government’s rationale? Social workers should be freed from ‘bureaucracy’ and trusted to get on with their jobs. In an ideal world, this would be fine. But we live in a world instead where there are fewer social workers around, particularly any with any expertise in deafness. We also live in a world where local authorities are slashing budgets for social care services. And we also live in a world where parents of children in need continuously have to take councils to court to get the help their child needs. In this context, these safety nets are more important than ever. They’re essential.

The Every Child in Need website has lots of info about how you can support the campaign, including by signing their petition against the changes.

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What does the big special educational needs shake up mean for deaf children?

Posted by Ian Noon on July 23, 2012

The Department for Education are now full steam ahead with the biggest shake up of the special educational needs framework in England for 30 years. It certainly feels like 30 years since they announced their initial proposals but has actually only been less than 2 years. So what will the shake up mean for deaf children? Will it lead to better services and more choice for parents?

Well, despite a recent ‘Next steps’ update from the Department, some of the details are still somewhat hazy and will only become clear when the Department publishes their new laws in draft in September. Lots of the proposals are also still being tested by pilot pathfinders in 30-odd areas across England. The reforms are mega and it’ s impossible to try and summarise everything in one go. But I’ll have a go. Here’s a selection of 3 key questions and areas of uncertainty.

1) Education, Health and Care Plans

The statements are dead. Long live the Education, Health and Care plans. Yes, the statements – the legal entitlements to support that around 25% of deaf children currently have – is going to be broadened out and replaced with Education, Health and Care plans. The stated intention is to better ensure joined up working and prevent parents from having to give professionals the same information over and over again when their child is being assessed.

But will it do the job? Some key issues include:

* Existing legal protections won’t be lost (i.e. for education). But it’s not yet clear whether the plans will introduce any new legal protections (i.e. for health and social care). If it doesn’t, it kind of begs the question as to what the whole point of changing it is.

* Who will get one? When similar reforms have been done in other parts of the UK, the stated intention has been to reduce the number of children with statements. Will the same happen in England?

* Who’s going to do all these assessments? NDCS’s latest Save Services report, Stolen Futures, has found that 1 in 3 councils have cut education services since April 2011. Half of these cuts involve Teachers of the Deaf. Are the Government’s ambitions being thwarted by the cuts taking place on the ground?

* What will the plan look like? Will it have a proper focus on how deaf children should be doing and what support they need to get there? Or will it be a wiffly-waffly smiley face document of general platitudes? Some of the pathfinders seem to be going down the latter route…

2) Personal budgets

Parents who have a statement/plan will now get the chance to take control over the budget for their child’s services and buy in services from whoever they choose. The right to personal budgets will be an option and councils are expected to provide support to parents to help them navigate the system through what are sometimes known as ‘key workers’. Tricky issues here include:

* What will parents be able to buy with a personal budget?

* Choice for parents is great. But if parents chose not to buy from existing services, how much of a problem will that be?  Will existing council-run services have to wind down? Will personal budgets in effect end up actually reducing choice for other parents?

* The concept of personal budgets assumes a choice of services for parents. Yet does this really apply to educational services for deaf children? Can a parent pop down to Tesco to get a new Teacher of the Deaf?

3) The local offer

Every council will now have to say what’s available in their area for parents of children with special educational needs via a new ‘local offer’. The idea is that it will improve accountability and help parents get the information they need more readily. But…

* Will information be broken down by type of special educational need? The needs of a child with autism will be very different from that of a deaf child so how will councils produce something which is genuinely useful to all parents without cutting down the Amazon?

* Will there be a set format for a local offer? If not, how easy will parents find it to make comparisons between what’s in their own area and in neighbouring councils?

* Do parents really want a local offer? Or do they want a national offer? To be confident that the same basic services for deaf children will be available everywhere? I suspect the latter, but the Department has effectively already ruled this out.

This is barely scratching the surface and there are loads of other unanswered questions. NDCS’s response to the initial proposals sets out some of these other issues. Suffice to say, it would be a shame if the biggest, and badly needed, shake up of special educational needs reform doesn’t improve things for deaf children. So anyone with an interest in deaf education should start paying very close attention to the developing proposals in the coming months to make they do deliver for deaf children. Watch this space very closely.

If you’ve got any views on what the reforms will mean for deaf children, drop a line below – be good to hear from you.

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Top of the blogs countdown: a retrospective

Posted by Ian Noon on April 12, 2012

The other day, I realised that I’ve now written over 300 posts for this blog. Clearly, my ability to waffle knows no limit. So in a fit of nostalgia, I decided to have a look back and rummage through the back end of wordpress to see which of my posts have had the most views.

10) What an ill chicken tells us about access to university. This is a relatively new one and clocked up 1,000 hits. The ill chicken is now infamous. For those that have been on Mars, a deaf student in a documentary on deaf teens found herself without communication support because her notetaker’s chicken was “ill”. The blog looked at why the incident touched a nerve. Incidentally, the ill chicken has now also inspired a brilliant brand new blog called The Limping Chicken.

9) BBC online video content: where are the subtitles? The BBC were the first to have 100% subtitles on all its main programmes. Their online news videos are still largely inaccessible though. And nothing infuriates me more than when one of the online videos features a deaf person. This problem still keeps happening and is as unacceptable now as it was then.

8) Government to discourage teaching of sign language in primary schools? The previous Government effectively told NDCS that sign language had a lower status than other languages and put in place a policy that would discourage primary schools from teaching it if they wanted to. Happily, the policy never came into effect. Encouragingly, work is now in train to allow students to study a GCSE in sign language and government officials have indicated that students would be allowed to study this as a language on par with other languages.

7) Shameless: new deaf character on the telly. Ahh, Shameless! Louis Kissaun, a deaf young actor, popped up on Shameless for a few episodes a few years back. I went round telling everyone that his character was a great deaf role model before discovering that his character ends up bludgeoning his Dad to death. Nice. Louis went on to lend his support to NDCS at party conferences and was fantastic at lobbying as he was at acting.

6) David Cameron challenged on special educational needs and inclusion. A parent of a disabled child briefly lit up the general election campaign in 2010 by having a go at David. It made for entertaining viewing but also highlighted the Conservative party’s policies on inclusion in education and whether there is, as the Conservative party says, a bias towards inclusion.

5) Am I deaf or what? A brief and personal blog thinking aloud about how deaf people refer to themselves. Judging by the number of views, it resonated with a lot of people.

4) Bling but dodgy new Naida hearing aids. I love my Naida hearing aids. Unfortunately, I had a few teething problems. And I wasn’t alone. Happily, now all largely sorted for me and hopefully for everyone else.

3) Government turns back on deaf children. As soon as I published this blog – around 2 months ago – my hits went through the roof. I was pretty angry (and still am) about the current Government’s Welfare Reform Bill which will reduce benefits in the future for deaf and other disabled children. The Bill is now law. A related blog encouraged people to hold their MP to account if they voted to cut the benefit. I was really gratified to get emails from parents who had done just that.

2) No equality for disabled people in exams. This was a pretty technical issue. But in a nutshell, the previous Government passed legislation that would make it harder for deaf young people to have reasonable adjustments provided for them in exams and effectively loaded the system against them.

1) Deaf young people reach for the stars. One of the major perks of my job at NDCS is the opportunity to meet deaf young people and see what they have to say. A long long time ago, NDCS brought together a group of deaf young people to learn about media and campaigning. It was called “Reach for the Stars”. The young people were an inspiring bunch of guys keen to change the world. And a certain BBC Newsround presenter, with hearing loss himself, Ricky Boleto came along to offer some tips. Ricky is now running the London Marathon for NDCS and the young people are, I hope, changing the world, in their own little ways.

So what have we learnt from the past few years of blogging, apart from the fact that I can’t spot a typo staring me in the face? Well, a lot of you are angry about the various injustices faced by deaf children and keen to do something about it. You’re also keen to see positive deaf role models and examples of deaf people getting on with life and showing what they can achieve.

When I started doing the blog, there were hardly any other blogs around looking at issues facing deaf children. So it’s great to see lots of new blogs in this area since then; such as from Ni Gallant and Kids Audiologist.

As for me, I’ve now moved to a different role in NDCS, working on policy and research so my ability to waffle endlessly is more constrained than it used to be and, sadly, there won’t be as many blogs from me as they used to be. But my blogging days are far from over and I also contribute from time to the great new The Limping Chicken super blog. I also do a fair bit of tweeting where I can get away with it.

Nostalgia-fest over! I hope you’ve enjoyed all the blogs. Thanks for reading and for all your comments over the years.

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Rita Simons and informed choice

Posted by Ian Noon on March 21, 2012


Since everyone else is having their say on last night’s BBC documentary Rita Simons: my daughter, deafness and me I thought I would slip in my tuppence.

Firstly, that I thought the whole thing really demonstrated the importance of informed choices. Every deaf child is different. My sister is deaf and what worked for me didn’t work for her and vice versa. There’s no right “solution” for every deaf child. Parents of deaf children need access to expert, unbiased information to help them decide what’s going to work for their deaf child.

Despite this, throughout the whole programme, Rita was surrounded (intentionally or not) by people who were telling her she must do this or musn’t do that. The worst example was of the “Deaf community” telling Rita that cochlear implants were tantamount to abuse. I felt Rita showed considerable restraint; I would have probably chucked my pint over whoever said that, for their tactlessness and insensitivity towards a mother dealing with raw emotions.

(I put “Deaf community” in inverted commas because it wasn’t representative of the Deaf community I know or want to know)

She was also given information by professionals that was incorrect or misleading. I’m not an expert, but it’s not inevitable that children with Pendred Syndrome will lose all their residual hearing (I say this as someone with Pendred Syndrome myself). And not everyone with a cochlear implant is going to be nattering away on the phone. Cochlear implants are not a cure for deafness.

It was a shame that Rita didn’t get the opportunity to speak to more deaf young people with slightly less extreme views or to see how deaf children fare in mainstream settings. Whether this was by design or just the producers looking to make good telly, rather than balanced telly, I’m not sure. It was also a shame Rita also seemed oblivious to the information and resources available by the National Deaf Children’s Society whose reason d’etre is to ensure parents like Rita are exposed to all the facts and information they need. Their statement on the programme sets out the importance of informed choices far more eloquently than I ever could.

And more importantly it was a shame that other parents of deaf children might have been left with a skewed view on the options for their child. A real shame.

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Did your MP turn their back on deaf children?

Posted by Ian Noon on February 2, 2012

At the bottom of this blog is a depressingly long list of all the MPs who voted to cut benefits for deaf and other disabled children last night in the Welfare Reform Bill debate.

Here is a website where you can work out who your MP is if you’re not sure. Apparently, you can send a message to him/her from this website if you ever, say, had any reason to ask your MP why they turned their back on deaf children.

And finally, here is a list of all the MPs who signed the National Deaf Children’s Society election pledge in 2010. The pledge included a promise to “help deaf children in their constituency get the same opportunities as other children”.

Maria Miller, the Government Minister for Disability last night effectively described deafness as a “moderate” disability and encouraged MPs to make a political choice to cut benefits for deaf children in order to fund support for other more “severe” disabilities. If you think this is a twisted morality that ignores the impact of deafness on children, I strongly encourage you to email your MP is he/she was among those who voted for this. And if your MP also signed the election pledge, you could well ask why they’ve now broken their promises to help deaf children.

MPs who voted to cut benefits for deaf children:
Adams, Nigel
Afriyie, Adam
Aldous, Peter
Alexander, rh Danny
Amess, Mr David
Andrew, Stuart
Arbuthnot, rh Mr James
Bacon, Mr Richard
Baker, Norman
Baker, Steve
Baldry, Tony
Baldwin, Harriett
Barclay, Stephen
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr John
Barwell, Gavin
Bebb, Guto
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Benyon, Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Bingham, Andrew
Binley, Mr Brian
Birtwistle, Gordon
Blackman, Bob
Blackwood, Nicola
Blunt, Mr Crispin
Boles, Nick
Bone, Mr Peter
Bottomley, Sir Peter
Bradley, Karen
Brady, Mr Graham
Brake, rh Tom
Bray, Angie
Brazier, Mr Julian
Bridgen, Andrew
Brine, Steve
Brokenshire, James
Browne, Mr Jeremy
Bruce, Fiona
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Buckland, Mr Robert
Burley, Mr Aidan
Burns, Conor
Burns, rh Mr Simon
Burrowes, Mr David
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Lorely
Byles, Dan
Cable, rh Vince
Cairns, Alun
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair
Carmichael, Neil
Carswell, Mr Douglas
Cash, Mr William
Chishti, Rehman
Chope, Mr Christopher
Clappison, Mr James
Clark, rh Greg
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr Nick
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coffey, Dr Thérèse
Collins, Damian
Cox, Mr Geoffrey
Crabb, Stephen
Crockart, Mike
Crouch, Tracey
Davey, Mr Edward
Davies, David T. C.
(Monmouth)
Davies, Glyn
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh Mr David
de Bois, Nick
Dinenage, Caroline
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Doyle-Price, Jackie
Drax, Richard
Duddridge, James
Duncan, rh Mr Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain
Dunne, Mr Philip
Ellis, Michael
Ellison, Jane
Ellwood, Mr Tobias
Elphicke, Charlie
Eustice, George
Evans, Graham
Evans, Jonathan
Evennett, Mr David
Fabricant, Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mark
Foster, rh Mr Don
Fox, rh Dr Liam
Francois, rh Mr Mark
Freeman, George
Freer, Mike
Fullbrook, Lorraine
Fuller, Richard
Gale, Sir Roger
Garnier, Mr Edward
Garnier, Mark
Gauke, Mr David
Gibb, Mr Nick
Gilbert, Stephen
Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl
Glen, John
Goldsmith, Zac
Goodwill, Mr Robert
Gove, rh Michael
Graham, Richard
Grant, Mrs Helen
Grayling, rh Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, rh Justine
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic
Griffiths, Andrew
Gummer, Ben
Gyimah, Mr Sam
Halfon, Robert
Hames, Duncan
Hammond, rh Mr Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Matthew
Hancock, Mr Mike
Hands, Greg
Harper, Mr Mark
Harrington, Richard
Harris, Rebecca
Hart, Simon
Harvey, Nick
Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan
Hayes, Mr John
Heald, Oliver
Heath, Mr David
Heaton-Harris, Chris
Hemming, John
Henderson, Gordon
Hendry, Charles
Hinds, Damian
Hoban, Mr Mark
Hollingbery, George
Hollobone, Mr Philip
Holloway, Mr Adam
Horwood, Martin
Howell, John
Hughes, rh Simon
Huhne, rh Chris
Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Huppert, Dr Julian
Hurd, Mr Nick
Jackson, Mr Stewart
James, Margot
Javid, Sajid
Jenkin, Mr Bernard
Johnson, Gareth
Johnson, Joseph
Jones, Andrew
Jones, Mr David
Jones, Mr Marcus
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kelly, Chris
Kirby, Simon
Knight, rh Mr Greg
Kwarteng, Kwasi
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mark
Lansley, rh Mr Andrew
Latham, Pauline
Laws, rh Mr David
Lee, Jessica
Lee, Dr Phillip
Lefroy, Jeremy
Leigh, Mr Edward
Leslie, Charlotte
Letwin, rh Mr Oliver
Lewis, Brandon
Lewis, Dr Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian
Lilley, rh Mr Peter
Lloyd, Stephen
Lord, Jonathan
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lumley, Karen
Macleod, Mary
Main, Mrs Anne
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Maynard, Paul
McCartney, Karl
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick
McPartland, Stephen
McVey, Esther
Mensch, Louise
Menzies, Mark
Mercer, Patrick
Metcalfe, Stephen
Miller, Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew
Mordaunt, Penny
Morgan, Nicky
Morris, Anne Marie
Morris, David
Morris, James
Mosley, Stephen
Mowat, David
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, rh David
Munt, Tessa
Murray, Sheryll
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newton, Sarah
Nokes, Caroline
Nuttall, Mr David
O’Brien, Mr Stephen
Offord, Mr Matthew
Ollerenshaw, Eric
Opperman, Guy
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, rh Mr James
Parish, Neil
Patel, Priti
Paterson, rh Mr Owen
Pawsey, Mark
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Percy, Andrew
Perry, Claire
Phillips, Stephen
Pickles, rh Mr Eric
Pincher, Christopher
Poulter, Dr Daniel
Prisk, Mr Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, John
Raab, Mr Dominic
Randall, rh Mr John
Reckless, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr John
Rees-Mogg, Jacob
Reevell, Simon
Reid, Mr Alan
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, rh Mr Andrew
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rudd, Amber
Ruffley, Mr David
Russell, Sir Bob
Rutley, David
Sanders, Mr Adrian
Sandys, Laura
Scott, Mr Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, rh Grant
Sharma, Alok
Shepherd, Mr Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr Keith
Skidmore, Chris
Smith, Miss Chloe
Smith, Henry
Smith, Julian
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, rh Nicholas
Soubry, Anna
Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline
Spencer, Mr Mark
Stephenson, Andrew
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Bob
Stewart, Iain
Stewart, Rory
Stride, Mel
Stuart, Mr Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Sturdy, Julian
Swales, Ian
Swayne, rh Mr Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, rh Mr Hugo
Syms, Mr Robert
Tapsell, rh Sir Peter
Timpson, Mr Edward
Tomlinson, Justin
Tredinnick, David
Truss, Elizabeth
Turner, Mr Andrew
Uppal, Paul
Vaizey, Mr Edward
Vickers, Martin
Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa
Walker, Mr Charles
Walker, Mr Robin
Wallace, Mr Ben
Walter, Mr Robert
Watkinson, Angela
Weatherley, Mike
Webb, Steve
Wharton, James
Wheeler, Heather
White, Chris
Whittaker, Craig
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, rh Mr David
Williams, Roger
Williams, Stephen
Williamson, Gavin
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr Rob
Wollaston, Dr Sarah
Wright, Simon
Yeo, Mr Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Zahawi, Nadhim

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