A campaign against cuts to services for deaf children arrives in Birmingham today.
The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is bringing a roadshow to Brindley Place in the city, to encourage people to sign a petition against any cuts to services. The charity wants to raise awareness ahead of West Midlands' councils' decisions about next year's budget.
NDCS say there are 4,750 deaf children in the region, but 64% currently fail to get five good GCSEs, and rely on services like Teachers of the Deaf - which are being cut in many parts of the country.
Jessica Reeves from the charity says:
– Jessica Reeves, Campaigns Manager at NDCS
"We are concerned that the cuts will have a long term impact on the futures of thousands of deaf children. Education, speech and language therapy, and social care services for deaf children are not an optional extra, they are vital for deaf children to succeed at school as well as their emotional health and wellbeing.
In the last two years the charity has managed to reduce cuts to support for deaf children in Warwickshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
In Warwickshire campaigners protested after schools were asked to fund their specialist teaching assistants themselves after cutbacks. The council said it had to focus resources on children with the highest level of need.
In Stoke-on-Trent the High Court ordered the council to stop making cuts to its support teachers. The council was planning to reduce the number of specialist teachers to three, but NDCS argued that this was unlawful.