MP Teresa Pearce calls for more funding for deaf children in Bexley
PUBLISHED: 16:44 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:44 30 January 2018
Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, has called upon Bexley Council to help more than 200 deaf children living in the borough.
Bexley is one of the 54pc of councils in England not funding radio aids, which help deaf children in the early years develop language skills at a faster rate.
Councils have been allocated funding through the Special Provision Capital Fund, which could be used to offer these aids.
The MP has written to the council asking it to provide the potentially life-changing devices.
She addressed a numer of issues around the provision of the aids to pre-school deaf children, and asked whether the council would now make them available, and take advantage of the new funding.
Recent research from the National Deaf Children’s Society shows that they have significant benefits for deaf children in the home, in cars and outdoors - particularly during the early years when language development is at a critical phase.
Ms Pearce said: “There are more than 200 deaf children across Bexley.
“It is fantastic to learn about the incredible support on offer to them, and I hope our local authority will take advantage of this brilliant new scheme that can make such a profound difference to so many of their lives.”
Research has shown that using radio aids at home is key for increasing conversations between parents and deaf children younger than five in noisy environments.
When a radio aid is used in a family car, conversations with a deaf child increased by 144pc, and when outdoors by 88pc.
The aid works by making the sound the deaf child needs to hear, such as somebody’s voice, clearer in relation to unwanted background noise.
The MP is also wanting to raise awareness of the issue through the ‘Help Jacob hear’ campaign, which is calling for financial aid to help four-year-old Jacob Ryan, who was born profoundly deaf in his right ear and severely deaf in his left ear.
Jacob’s grandmother, who lives in Greenwich, has raised the issue to the MP and called for people to support the campaign.
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