Making deaf children matter

Musings and blogs from a deaf campaigner

2011 predictions on campaigning for deaf children

Posted by Ian Noon on January 20, 2011

What will 2011 bring for my work as a campaigns officer for deaf children? Last year, the general election meant that it was impossible to predict anything with any certainty. This year, I’m tempted to have a shot. Here are three predictions from me.

1) Acoustics in schools is going to come back on the agenda. At the end of 2009, the National Deaf Children’s Society won a big campaign victory on acoustics. However, this year we are expecting the Department for Education to come up with a new strategy for how it builds new schools, whilst the Department for Communities and Local Government is revamping Building Regulations. Both could potentially result weaken, rather than strengthen, standards on acoustics. If they do, the Sounds good? campaign may be making a return.

2) The cuts are coming. Last year, the Government announced the cuts it would be making to overall budgets. This year, the impact will start to be felt and we are likely to see some heavy cuts in many parts of the UK. Much of my time this year is going to be spent working with parents to fight the cuts to help for deaf children.

3) The special educational needs debate goes out of the box. The Department for Education is publishing its policy ideas on special educational needs. This year. Probably. It’s already been postponed twice. Assuming they do see the light of day, we can expect to see some quite radical proposals. Personal budgets for children with special educational needs is rumoured to be one of the proposals coming out. Some MPs think that the Government might go further and ditch the whole statementing system. It will certainly be interesting at the very least.

Do you have any other predictions for the year ahead in campaigning for deaf children? Leave a comment below to share them.

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2 Responses to “2011 predictions on campaigning for deaf children”

  1. Michael Bunjer said

    Ahhh, special education is proof that there are ignorant people out there meddling with the deafhood aspects of our lives. Being fluent and articulate in natural signed languages of such a Deaf Community, and being in the center of the core of the Deaf Community is a respected member of the Deaf society. Ignorance does not pay off, and oppression is a big no no. Evils of audism is rampant, and running amok. Deaf Education is the answer, not special education. Not only hearing people could be ignorant, but HOH people could be as much ignorant as well. Also deaf people unfortunately could be ignorant too, which leaves only a few of the folks out there who knows what Deafhood is all about. Assimilation is not the answer. Bi-lingualism and Bi-culturalism is the answer, not oppression and assimilation!

  2. deafmuse said

    Irrelevant for the NDCS. They are not interested in deaf politics or deafhood, I doubt they have heard, of deafhood (Lucky them !). Education has to be individually tailored TO THE CHILD, (Not to political deaf with a gripe and with no deaf children anyway). Education is not just about signing away in a deaf community (When someone finds it, let me know), but to ENABLE the deaf child to reach potential OUTSIDE the deaf area. The schools already USE sign language along with other means, but they also have to bear in mind, tutor availabilities, and parental choices, and the realities they will find when school is over, it’s not up to political campaigners to decided what is best, and America went to pieces trying to find neutral advisor’s, they couldn’t FIND any. It’s not assimilation, it’s inter-activity with hearing people, which is essential to raise awareness and access for a deaf child, it is NOT ‘audism’ either (Check the educational dictionary, it s non word).

    I agree the research into special needs education is going to be a non-event, because everyone is incensed at cuts to funds and services as it is. It will probably be buried or released in the summer holidays so you can’t lobby anyone !

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