Deaf children could lose out, claims MP
UP to 500 deaf children in Notts could lose their benefits due to planned Government changes, a Nottingham MP has argued.
Under the proposals, young deaf people would only be guaranteed to receive the current rate of benefits if their first language is sign language.
This excludes those who predominantly lip-read or use other methods of communication – which the National Deaf Children's Society say 90 per cent of deaf young people use.
Speaking in the House of Commons last night, Nottingham North MP Graham Allen said he is writing to the Secretary of State of the Department of Work and Pensions Ian Duncan Smith over the matter. He added: "I am requesting that the draft regulations don't hurt deaf young people but enable them to lead the fullest possible life."
Speaking on behalf of the National Deaf Children's Society, its head of policy and research Ian Noon said: "Deaf children across the UK are already failing to achieve their potential.
"In Notts there are almost 500 deaf children, with 154 in the city. Only 36 per cent of deaf children last year achieved five A*-C GCSEs (including English and maths) compared to 57 per cent of all children in the East Midlands.
"These young people need more support not less, but Government changes mean these young people may no longer receive welfare support when they reach 16, making the future look incredibly bleak."