Making deaf children matter

Musings and blogs from a deaf campaigner

NDCS heads to party conferences to lobby for deaf children

Posted by Ian Noon on September 17, 2010

The travelling circus – AKA the party political conferences – are back. Off I go to Liverpool on Sunday for the Liberal Democrat party conference, lobbying MP and peers on deaf children on the National Deaf Children’s Society’s behalf.

Last year was a great success and Louis, deaf young person, did a great job of helping us win our acoustics campaign. This year, I’ll be mostly talking about the Hands up for help! campaign report and trying to get lots of support for this. I’m also planning to show MPs what parents of deaf children have been saying about services for deaf children in the different regions of the country. So if you’ve got anything you want to say about your own area, have your say on NDCS’s online interactive map and an MP might end up reading it.

And then after Liverpool, I will be handing over to my colleagues to do all the lobbying for the other two conferences. For the Conservative party conference, NDCS will be joined by Megan, a young deaf person, who is an absolute superstar, and who has her own blog. Looking forward to reading about how she enjoys meetings lots of MPs.

I’ll be blogging the latest from here, where I can, and NDCS will also be tweeting merrily away as @NDCS_UK on Twitter. Bring it on!

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4 Responses to “NDCS heads to party conferences to lobby for deaf children”

  1. MM said

    I don’t want blogs alone, I want direct access, is there ANY way the NDCS can stream questions being put to these ministers ? Blogs are great for expanding details, but nothing beats direct interaction. Streaming is perfectly feasible and surely gives deaf people a more direct involvement with that is going on ? We don’t want the NDCS trying to follow tacky ‘happy hour’ approaches on twitter like the RNID, we want to see DEAF people involved direct, not hours or days later. I feel confident WE would ask questions a lot more directly and cut waffle too, as would the deaf child themselves, are THEY involved ? Let’s not suggest they can’t speak for themselves.

  2. Ian Noon said

    We’re a small team so I’m afraid it’s not possible to do live streams while we’re in the middle of one to one meetings, which are intended to be casual and informal. They are also often in busy tea rooms. It would rather defeat the purpose of having the meeting if I wasn’t giving the MP or peer my full attention.

    NDCS does not host fringe meetings at the conferences, with speakers and Q&A, if that is what you are thinking of.

    As the blog says, we will be joined by a deaf young person at the Conservative party conference and she will be leading our meetings with MPs and peers there, and talking about her own experiences of being deaf. Over the long-term, our ambition is to fund places for more deaf young people to attend. As an organisation, NDCS’s charitable remit is to act for and with deaf children and young people – not adults such as yourself.

    If there are any particular issues relating to deaf children anyone would like to raise, just let us know and we’ll do our best to raise them with the people that we’re meeting.

  3. MM said

    Given charities are not supported or represented by deaf people these days (And the NDCS is no exception), then the deaf will feel distanced from it all and not offer support. I appreciate you feel strongly for the deaf child, as do I, yet we saw nothing from the NDCS condemning he Pope’s visit or him taken to task for abuse OF deaf children, the NDCS needs to stop using the deaf child as an excuse to avoid real issues, if it is going to lobby ONLY for deaf child access and ignore abuses, then neither would I have much faith in the NDCS. It’s politics to go to a conference and put a deaf child view, and very bad form to then NOT use that opportunity to draw attention to deaf child abuses while the people responsible are holidaying here at our taxpayers expense. I say to the NDCS get off the fence. The 2 largest ‘support’ charities of the deaf adult and the deaf child have no deaf in it of any note. The key here is deaf people need to see they are involved and that simply is not happening at all, in effect neither the RNID or NDCS offer any leadership or access to deaf people where it will count. The deaf child becomes the deaf adult. We don’t want then growing up, only seeing hearing people speaking up for them, and not taking every opportunity to speak up on ALL aspects concerning the deaf child.

    • Ian Noon said

      I take what you say on board and thanks for your suggestions on this. I’m not sure I agree with your argument that NDCS has ignored the issue of child protection and safeguarding. Last year, a report – commissioned by NDCS – outlined how the needs of deaf children in this area have not been met. Since then, NDCS has been working to ensure that local authorities conduct a review of their local arrangements for protecting deaf children, and NDCS has lobbied the Government / Ofsted to put pressure on local authorities to do this. In a couple of weeks, NDCS hopes to meet with the Minister responsible for this, along with Megan who has appeared on BBC Breakfast News about this issue. Personally, I would prefer NDCS to focus on taking practical steps to prevent child abuse from ever happening again but again, I take on board your point.

      NDCS is historically a parent-led organisation and we regularly consult parents on what our campaign priorities should be. We also regularly ask deaf children and young people for their views on what matters to them. NDCS’s ambition is ensure that deaf children and young people have a greater say in how the organisation is run and there is a lot of work ongoing in this area, with a team was set up within NDCS for this exact purpose around 3 years ago. I hope that this blog has given a sense of how deaf children and young people have been involved in directly lobbying MPs about their own priorities over the past few years.

      You suggest that NDCS does not have deaf people in it of any note. The Chief Executive of NDCS was deaf the last time I looked. I am reliably told by my audiologist that I am deaf also, and I too work at NDCS where I have responsibility for telling politicians about the key issues facing deaf children, as described to us by deaf children themselves and their parents.

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