This month has not been a good one for my anger. The Government denying equality on exams to deaf students. Deaf students having to wait for their Disabled Students Allowance. UK Film Council deciding that access to the cinema for deaf people is not a priority. And the Department for Children, Schools and Families missing the memo about British Sign Language having equal status to other languages. I’m now lobbying NDCS to provide me with something in the office to keep me calm. Maybe a rabbit.
And, of course, the cuts to audiology training. I got a reminder why it’s so important NDCS supporters contact their MP when we received a letter from the Department of Health on our concerns that audiology training courses are being cut, when there are already shortfalls in highly trained paediatric audiologists.
It was a spectacularly unhelpful letter. It was clearly written by a civil servant who’s been burning the midnight oil reading the book “How to say absolutely nothing at all”. It doesn’t respond to any of the points or concerns raised in NDCS’s letter. It pretends that we’re living in a world where everything is just dandy, everything will be alright on the night and there’s nothing to worry about at all. Worse of all, it says that we can be reassured by the fact that local health bosses have announced their plans on audiology training early this year. I may be missing something but I’m unsure how anyone can be reassured by a local health boss in one area announcing a plan to slash by half the number of audiology training courses. It is immensely frustrating to take the time to write about serious concerns and get a reply which just ignores them. The Department of Health must have a little sandpit somewhere where officials can bury their heads.
Hence, the need to contact your MP to ask them to support our Hear for the Future campaign to stop the cuts to audiology services. Over 300 people have done so far, which is great, but it would be great to get this up even higher. The more people who speak out, the more Government Ministers will take note and ask hard questions of their civil servants. And when that happens, hopefully then we can reverse the cuts and make sure deaf children can be seen quickly by someone who can diagnose the deafness and fit the right hearing aids asap.
Here’s hoping my anger levels reside in March…