Readers will recall BDA members stating that the NDCS as a 'Deaf' children only charity and attacked ATR for stating differently, the NDCS agrees with ATR. ATR extends many thanks to the NDCS for clarifying the confusion about deaf child support, mainly contributed to by BSL groups like the BDA distorting inclusion policies by hearing loss charities.
I can advise the NDCS to take care of how they spell deaf, basically, and to STOP using the capitalisation of the term, areas are abusing that term for political ends and social media is distracting deaf children's need. We would like to see MORE emphasis on alternatives to sign being used too, to reflect reality. Projecting BSL on NDCS vids for areas that DON'T use it also needs more careful thought about its inclusion which suggest again it is a 'cultural' thing when this isn't applicable and in defiance to the NDCS remit of including and respecting ALL.
The NDCS in respecting some have a cultural choice, using BSL suggests all deaf children are cultural. This is how things get distorted, and parents unsure who to approach for help, e.g. the BDA has no child support system that is inclusive or national.
Thank you for your email.
As you have mentioned, we work to support all deaf children and their families. By deaf, we mean any child with any level of hearing loss and regardless of the communication approach they use. We may sometimes use the term Deaf if we are talking specifically about people who identify culturally as being Deaf. But, as a charity, we are here for all deaf children.
As a charity, we believe in informed choice. This means that we believe that parents of deaf children should be given full, impartial and balanced information about the choices available to them and their child. We believe that families are best-placed to make decisions on the right approach for their child and we work to support all families with deaf children.
For parents to be able to make informed choices, it is important that local authorities and health bodies ensure there is a wide range of provision available to meet all the different options that families might need. This means that, for example, we might campaign for local authorities to ensure that families have access to free sign language in the early years or that they can access speech and language therapy support for their child in a timely way. So on social media we may talk about a wide range of different issues relating to deaf children.