CEO of the National Deaf Children’s Society and Deaf Child Worldwide, working to break down the barriers faced by deaf children.
Susan Daniels, profoundly deaf since the age of four, became the first deaf chief executive of a national charity when she joined the National Deaf Children’s Society in 1992. She is also CEO of Deaf Child Worldwide, the charity's international development arm, which is dedicated to enabling deaf children and young people to overcome poverty, inequality and isolation.
Working so closely with deaf children means I know full well that loneliness is a big issue to tackle. It knocks deaf children's confidence before they even start school, affects attainment throughout their education, and causes untold pain that persists later on in life.
The lack of opportunities to learn BSL is not just a deaf issue; in fact, the survey found young people without hearing impairments were actually more interested in BSL. Over 90% of young people saying they want the chance to learn this language is a demand that the Department for Education must respond to.
Children's audiology may not be at the top of the political agenda but mandatory inspections of quality are absolutely essential. This simple change could make a huge difference to ensuring thousands of deaf children get the right support, right from the start.
I believe characters in stories should be as diverse as the people who read them, but only a very small handful of children's books feature a deaf character. There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. Most are born to hearing parents and go to mainstream schools where they may be the only deaf child, so they can feel quite isolated.
21/02/2017 17:27 GMT
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