My name is Husna Begum and I am the chair of the Tower Hamlets Deaf Children’s Society. We are a charity working on behalf of all the deaf children in the community.
There are four nurseries in threat of closure/ privatization by Tower Hamlets Local Authority, one of them being Overland’s Children’s Centre. This is the only day nursery in Tower Hamlets that offers a resource base for the deaf/partially hearing children in the borough.
The building at Overland’s caters for the deaf children. The rooms are sound proofed and have good acoustics, which is a provision that needs to be in place for deaf children, to be able to use their listening and communication skills.
The centre addresses the needs of every deaf child by Teachers of the deaf and speech and language therapists, who work tirelessly to support them in their early years developments, So that they can succeed as well as their hearing peers.
Sign language is also a very important factor as for many of the children it is their only form of communication. The staff and professionals at Overland’s are trained in British Sign Language to be able to support and understand them.
The standards at Overland’s is very high. The quality of care is better implemented than at other private or voluntary nurseries.
If the service is abolished, the future of the deaf children will be affected. They are already the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the UK today. These children are already delayed with communication. Early intervention is vital to help them succeed in the future.
How to we deal with the consequences? We need to make sure that the deaf children in Tower Hamlets are given a fair chance to achieve, as their disability is as much important as every other disability in the UK today. We need to make sure that the level of services for our deaf children remains untouched.
Tower Hamlets Deaf Children’s Society is hosting a campaign on Saturday 29th November 2014 at Roman Road Market, BOW. From 12pm – 2pm. We ask for supporters to come along and help to protect the services for our deaf children and all the vulnerable children in the borough.
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