The National Deaf Children’s Society believes that thousands of vulnerable deaf children will lose out because of the Government’s planned benefit changes.
The charity say that deaf children are already losing out – with a third of councils in England cutting the services deaf children need in schools, such as Teachers of the Deaf, which has coincided with a shock drop in deaf children’s GCSE results.
But with new changes in benefits – which will come into effect in October – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be scrapped for young people over 16, and replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Because of changes in the criteria, the charity believe that deaf children who don’t use sign language, which may add up to around 40,000 young deaf people, will find it much harder to get the new form of benefit. They may lose money that could have been used to support their studies, just as they finish their GCSEs and start their A-levels.
Worse, the NDCS say that young people applying for PIP will be encouraged to apply via the telephone, which immediately disadvantages deaf young people who are applying. According to the charity, the Department of Work and Pensions have so far refused to make changes that would make the claim process more accessible to deaf young people.
Susan Daniels, Chief Executive at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “These measures are painting an extremely bleak picture for thousands of deaf young people and we urge the Government to re-think their actions, to protect the futures of the generations to come.”
NDCS needs 100,000 signatures on its Stolen Futures petition (www.ndcs.org.uk/petition) to force the Government to take action against the cuts being made to deaf children’s services. Please sign it now.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 6 awesome accessibility apps!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people