The National Deaf Children’s Society held an event in Parliament on 10th January so that MP’s could learn about how pre-school deaf children in Waltham Forest and Redbridge can benefit from transformational technology. Radio aids technology can amplify speech and cut out background noise, helping deaf children to hear their parents and teachers more clearly and develop their language and communication skills at a faster rate. Recent research from the National Deaf Children’s Society shows that they have significant benefits for deaf children when used, not just in the classroom but in the home too, particularly during the early years when language development is at a critical phase.
Iain Duncan Smith MP for Chingford & Woodford Green said “I was very pleased to be able to attend the more so because I learned a huge amount about this technology and how children can benefit.”
“The research showed that using radio aids at home is key for increasing conversations between parents and deaf children under-5 in noisy environments. When a radio aid is used in the car for instance, conversations with a deaf child increased by 144%, and when outdoors by 88%. I was impressed when I used the technology at the event reading a story to one of the children visiting from our constituency. As a result, I have now written to both Waltham Forest Council and Redbridge Council asking them to provide this life changing technology to pre-school deaf children in our area.”
“Sadly at present, Waltham Forest and Redbridge are two of the 54% of councils in England who do not consistently provide deaf children in the early years with this transformational technology to use at home. Yet with the Department for Education making funding available for this through the Special Provision Capital Fund, local authorities can fund this vital technology. With more than 550 deaf children across our boroughs, funding radio aids will positively impact many deaf children locally, allowing them to thrive, acquire language at a faster rate, and to help them achieve just as well as their hearing friends.”
Photo: Iain Duncan Smith MP - using a radio aid to read to Sophia Green, with her parents Natalie and Thomas Green from the Waltham Forest & Redbridge area