You don't need to be defined by sign. A charity working to give deaf children and babies the opportunity to listen and speak as equals alongside their hearing peers has received funding for therapy sessions to keep up with demand in London.
Ernie and his parents John and Chrissi joined AVUK’s programme when he was seven months old. He is now 12 and thriving at mainstream school. The grant means more children like Ernie will have the opportunity to listen and speak like their hearing peers, and have an equal start at school. Auditory Verbal UK, based in Southwark, has received £135,000 of funding from City Bridge Trust, the City Corporation’s charitable funder, to increase the provision of Auditory Verbal therapy (AVT) for deaf children in the capital.
The therapy helps children develop listening and spoken language skills. By working with preschool children, the charity aims to ensure they have an equal start at school. The funding will allow the charity to offer AVT to more deaf children in the capital whose families may otherwise have missed out due to the cost of treatment. Auditory Verbal UK’s bursary scheme aims to make therapy affordable to all families of deaf children regardless of their financial situation. AVT involves teaching deaf children, who use hearing aids and cochlear implants, to listen and speak.
The charity believes that, without effective support, deaf children acquire language skills at a much slower rate than their hearing peers. This can mean starting primary school with language skills of a much younger peer, and resulting in lower grades, reduced employment prospects, isolation and poor mental health.