Two Hellingly teenagers who were born with rare speech disorders are calling for sign language interpreters to attend GP surgeries. Lara Goring and Eddie Osborne, both 18, are calling for a change to current system to make access to interpreters easier for people with speech and language disorders.
Under the current system Lara and Eddie, who both attended St Mary's School in Bexhill, are forced to take their parents to doctor appointments to help communicate, which the say can be embarrassing if they are discussing personal issues. Unlike deaf people, patients with speech, language or communication needs are not entitled to an interpreter when visiting the doctors. They can apply in advance for an interpreter to attend, but must give plenty of notice.
Lara said: "If there is an emergency you can’t get a speech and language interpreter to come in instantly, so it would help to already have those rights there." Lara, who can talk but finds signing more comfortable, was born with a rare disorder called Cat Eye Syndrome, which affects various organs in the body as well as speech.