Are you a Deaf or Hard of Hearing parent or carer?

Access Bedford with Bedford Borough Council’s Sensory and Communication Support Team have developed a new information card for deaf parents and schools to support communication and access.

Following feedback and suggestions at the Access Bedford Deaf Education Conference, the card makes clear the responsibilities that both the School and Deaf parents have with regard to accessing communication including who pays for a BSL interpreter if one is needed.

Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council said: “This is an excellent guide to help parents and carers as they engage with local schools. I would like to thank Access Bedford for their efforts in helping put this together. It is vital that all parents and children have a voice in education. The range of support services we have for Deaf and hard of hearing children, and their families, help to make access to education seamless. We want to make life as easy as possible for this group, and we are committed to doing so. It is our aim that Deaf and hard of hearing children prosper and thrive in their school environment and we are aware that feeling happy comes with being understood.”

One side of the card has information aimed at teachers and schools with the other side focused on Deaf parents/ carers.

Alison Crook, Secretary for Access Bedford said: “This has been a “grey area” nationally and both Access Bedford and the Sensory and Communication Support Team have been equally keen to break down this barrier for parents in Bedford Borough. Deaf people need the opportunity to explain their communication needs and services must have an awareness of these needs and how to meet them  to support  working together.”

Suzie Sampson, Chair for Access Bedford and a Deaf parent said: “I wish I could have accessed this when my children were young so I didn’t have to rely on my husband. I’m so proud we could work together to make this happen.”

The School Deaf Support Card can be downloaded from http://www.accessbedford.wordpress.com/interpreter-cards-communication-support/ which will be shared with all schools in Bedford Borough.

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