North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon has been learning how pre-school deaf children can benefit from transformational technology.
She was among nearly 50 MPs who attended an event in Parliament organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society.
Radio aids are a piece of technology that amplify speech and cut out background noise, helping deaf children to hear their parents more clearly and develop their language and communication skills at a faster rate.
The benefits of radio aids are well known in education, but recent research from the National Deaf Children’s Society shows that they have significant benefits for deaf children when used in the home too, particularly during the early years when language development is at a critical phase. The research showed that using radio aids at home is key for increasing conversations between parents and deaf children under five in noisy environments.
When a radio aid is used in the car for instance, conversations with a deaf child increased by 144 per cent, and when outdoors by 88 per cent.
MPs from across the political spectrum joined deaf children, parents, teachers and campaigners in Parliament to show local authorities like North Tyneside Council why they should be providing this life changing technology to pre-school deaf children in their area.
Alison Lawson MP, North East Regional Director at the National Deaf Children’s Society said: “North Tyneside Council is one of 54 per cent of councils in England who do not currently provide deaf children in the early years with this transformational technology to use at home. With the Department for Education making funding available for this through the Special Provision Capital Fund, local authorities like North Tyneside Council will now be able to fund this vital technology.
“As this research shows, funding radio aids will have a huge impact on so many deaf children locally, helping them to hear their parents more clearly, allowing them to thrive, acquire language at a faster rate, and to help them achieve just as well as their hearing friends.”