Laura Hignett is deaf and pregnant. She is sharing her diary entries with us as she prepares for the birth of her first child. This week, Laura experiences inaccessible maternity services
Six weeks to go!
I have been attending my antenatal classes over the last two weeks. Thankfully they have gone ok and the midwives have been aware of my hearing loss and been extremely clear, making a point of looking at me when they are speaking which is reassuring.
It makes me feel better about attending to the classes and makes me feel involved rather than pushed to one side.
However, we have been given a lot of literature for things like breast feeding support groups, children’s Sure Start centres, information on classes you can attend with your baby like baby massage groups and a telephone support group where you can share your concerns and chat about your worries about anything baby-related.
But there is one downside it’s all telephone only!
I asked if there was an email service or text service, but got the obvious response: ‘we don’t have that service.’
This week’s interview Paulina from DeafNest highlights that deaf parents are getting left behind when it comes to maternity services. It is true. I have seen this firsthand and it is stressful knowing that there is no additional services put in place for us deaf parents-to-be and parents. I would like to think that I have a support network around me available like hearing people have for things like breast feeding groups.
Laura is profoundly deaf, has worked as a press officer for the government and is freelance journalist. She is sharing with us her experiences of becoming a deaf parent for the first time and is campaigning for better accessibility for deaf people.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out the benefits of live captioning at university!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- BSL Zone: TV programmes in BSL for the Deaf community
- Stellar Communications: Speech-to-Text services
- 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
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Helen Foulkes Translations: BSL translations
- 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
- 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
- Hearing Choices: 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