A photograph of Luke at the Deaf Education Centre recently
A photograph of Luke at the Deaf Education Centre recently

Luke’s recent meeting with young people at the Deaf Education Centre in Eggbuckland on the 1st of August has brought to his attention once again the disadvantages that d/Deaf children and the wider community face in Plymouth. You can read about Luke’s visit here.

Following this visit, Luke has arranged to host a roundtable event on Friday, October 13th to create a space for discussion with local representatives who are connected with the education of affected children, with a view to create a ‘Plan for d/Deaf children in Plymouth.’ This will be one of Luke’s Politics & Pastries monthly discussions, which he holds regularly with local stakeholders on different issues across the city.

In case you are wondering about the term ‘d/Deaf’, this is used intentionally and is commonly used to refer to the different types of deafness.

This helpful website describes it as follows: “A person who identifies as being deaf with a lowercase d is indicating that they have a significant hearing impairment. Many deaf people have lost their hearing later in life and as such may be able to speak and/or read English to the same extent as a hearing person. A person who identifies as being Deaf with an uppercase D is indicating that they are culturally Deaf and belong to the Deaf community. Most Deaf people are sign language users who have been deaf all of their lives. For most Deaf people, English is a second language and as such they may have a limited ability to read, write or speak English.”

The Local Government Association has found that councils already face a funding shortfall for SEN children of £1.2 billion by 2021. The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has warned that support for deaf children is reaching “breaking point” and raised concerns about the 11.5% decline in the number of qualified Teachers of the Deaf in training in England since 2011. 

Luke shares these concerns and fears that the progress of deaf children is being hindered at an early stage. He is keen to do all he can both locally and through his work in Parliament, to try and help and support these children.

If you want to join the conversation, please do not hesitate to get in touch by contacting luke.pollard.mp@parliament.uk for details.

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