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Deaf-initely Women CEO Teresa Waldron proudly accepts an invitation from the British Deaf Association (BDA)

Mar 18, 2024

Deaf-initely Women CEO Teresa Waldron proudly accepts an invitation from the British Deaf Association (BDA) to meet with the Minister for Disabled People, Mims Davies, MP, and other MPs and peers on 18th March 2024.

British Deaf Association

Imagine a world where every parent is empowered by a rich, vibrant and fully accessible language so they can ensure their deaf child thrives from the very beginning.

90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. The majority of those parents will have had little understanding of deaf people’s lived experiences and next to no knowledge of how to communicate with their baby.

Research shows that language acquisition in the first five years of life is essential for a child’s cognitive development and well-being. Yet access to British Sign Language as part of an early and comprehensive support package is not currently provided by our government. That means many families are not able to communicate with their child during those crucial early years

There is a world of potential in every deaf child’s hands. We just need to give it to them. Their future is in your hands.

Janice Silo, Chairperson of Deaf-initely Women, a charity that supports Ddeaf, Ddeafblind and hard of hearing women, whose services cover Derby/shire and Nottingham/shire.

Janice whose preferred language is British Sign Language (BSL), stresses the importance of early language learning for Deaf children. Drawing from her teaching experience as a qualified teacher for hearing and deaf children, she highlights how delays in language development can hinder academic and career success. Her message stresses the need for better support to ensure Deaf children have access to language-rich environments from the start.

She added “I have seen Deaf children enter our schools too often not being able to sign BSL nor not being able to communicate age-appropriately. Their early years of development have been and can still be seriously delayed to the point that it can and does affect their ability to achieve well academically and in the labour market. Deaf children should not be experiencing such a disadvantage given the introduction of The Equality Act 2020, SEND Act 2001 and the BSL Act 2022. We know that deaf babies exposed to BSL will improve their life prospects. We would then see more Deaf women becoming more financially and emotionally resilient in life”.

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