Mark Whitehead 11 July 2019

Deaf children face ‘radio aid lottery’

Local authority leaders have hit back against a claim that councils are failing to provide aids to deaf children.

The National Deaf Children’s Society said life-changing technology was being 'withheld' from 11,500 deaf children as nearly one in three local councils were not providing it.

The society said it was 'a tragic waste of potential' when deaf children missed out on radio aids because of where they live.

It called on 43 councils who did not provide the devices to 'end the radio aid lottery'.

However, the society said its figures showed the situation was improving, with the number of councils that do provide them reaching 109 – nearly three quarters – up from 77 in 2016.

Anntoinette Bramble of the Local Government Association challenged the society's statement but called on the Government to provide more resources in its forthcoming spending review.

She said: 'The National Deaf Children’s Society is wrong to suggest that councils have a duty to supply radio aids.

'However, as many as possible do so because they know that deafness can make life incredibly difficult for some children who experience it.

'Despite immense pressures and strains on councils and schools, they are doing all they can to help deaf and partially deaf children get the best start in life.'

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