The Migrant Crisis – Advocating for a D/deaf Inclusive Response

4th April 2016

Photograph of a girl with a puppetWe’re continuing to respond to the needs of D/deaf children trapped in the migrant crisis where the challenges they face, it goes without saying, are complex. Whilst we may be dealing, initially, with ear & hearing care needs, these don’t stand alone; they are intrinsically linked to safeguarding, protection, healthcare, speech & language developmental needs and more. If as a D/deaf child you are unable to communicate, you become removed, marginalised, from other children, your own family and from your own parents, even. Withdrawal occurs and with it, comes a lethargic reluctance to engage in the most basic of communication. With family members busy trying to cope with the shifting pressures inherent within a migrant camp, the development of speech and the acquisition of language, which is an absolute essential for D/deaf children and young people, is hampered. This, in turn leads to an inability to self-advocate, self-represent and a resultant increased risk of abuse such as abduction and trafficking.

We’re determined to address this and over the next few weeks will be preparing heads of terms for an all-new, European wide, assessment of the needs of D/deaf migrant children and young people. Conducted in association with a number of key partners, this work will pave the way for true and life changing inclusion.

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