The NDCS organized an event that was held at the Speaker’s official rooms in the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, 10 January 2018. This event gave MPs the opportunity to meet deaf children and their parents, to experience the benefits of radio aids and the value of providing funding for them.
Six deaf children from Waltham Forest, all in nurseries in the borough, attended this parliamentary event with their parents. Enid Hilton, Teacher of the Deaf, and Hayley Adams, Audiology Technician, also attended the event with the children and their parents. The children wore their radio aids while they played and the parents wore the transmitters. The parents, Enid, and Hayley, chatted to the MPs about the radio aids and explained and demonstrated how deaf children benefit from them. The MPs had the opportunity of trying radio aids for themselves too.
It is essential that deaf children have the opportunity to hear speech clearly if they are to develop good spoken language themselves. However, a lot of a deaf child’s day is spent in noisy environments at home, in the nursery, at a shopping mall, and so on. Personal radio aids provide a very good opportunity for deaf children to listen to speech in noisy environments because the speaker’s voice is transmitted directly to the hearing aids via a radio wave. The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) advocates the fitting of personal radio aids for all young deaf children for use at home and in nurseries (Quality Standards for the use of personal radio aids: Promoting easier listening for deaf children February 2017).
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this parliamentary event in a splendid setting. We all left with the hope that MPs would return to their constituencies and review the funding policy for the provision of radio aids for all deaf children at home and in educational settings in their constituencies.