Deaf Parenting UK (DPUK) Conference 2008

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Conference 2008

Deaf Parenting Conference 2008: Enabling, empowering and supporting Deaf parents

Department of Health, Department of Children, School and Families, Equality and Human Right Commission made their pledges to address the needs of Deaf Parents.

The pledges were made at the Deaf Parenting Conference 2008 in Birmingham on Saturday 4th October 2008 where many Deaf parents, professionals/ services providers working with Deaf parents challenged the Government on the needs of Deaf parents in accessing to services without barriers. The event was filmed by Remark! Production for Channel Five and for this website.

To learn more about the conference 2008, see the following information:

Conference 2008 Video & Transcripts (word)

Feedback from delegates on the conference 2008:

Chauhdry Abdul Rashid JP, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham opened the conference and although, sign language is a beautiful language and coming from an Asian background whose first language is not English, he stressed that “it is vital for many Deaf parents to access to the most basic services around maternity care, parenting skills classes, midwives or health visitors, as well as childcare, nursery or participate in primary and secondary school life.” He also gave examples of “Deaf pregnant woman who receive maternity care but didn’t get adequate support from midwife/ nurse were not Deaf aware or able to use British Sign Language (BSL). So how can midwife/nurse explain to the Deaf woman about the pregnancy stages and choices around labour and birth, enabling Deaf parents to be to make informed decision? How can Deaf fathers/ partners get into the labour/maternity ward that has intercom but unable to get in?

Speaking of DDA and equality, enabling Deaf parents to enjoy family lives without barriers, is there any information out there for parents in general that are accessible for Deaf parents? Are those information available in Plain English with BSL on DVD or with vast technology, BSL onto website as more and more information are available on-line via website?”

He concluded in his speech: “Deaf parents should be treated equally without discrimination as any other parents given that we are living in multi-cultural, multi-faith and multi-racial society, it is important for service providers to understand and find effective ways of how they can communicate and support Deaf parents? British Sign Language (BSL) is a beautiful language and like any other languages, service providers have the responsibility to ensure arrangements is in place to book BSL interpreter to meet the needs of Deaf parents (usually via PALS – Patient Advice Liaison Services). I would like to wish Deaf Parenting UK for their continued success in championing the needs of Deaf parents.

Maria Miller, Shadow Minister for the Family: “Deaf Parenting UK understands the challenges that parents who are Deaf or hard of hearing face on a daily basis. The Conference highlighted the importance of always considering the needs of children in the context of their family, not in isolation. Charitable organisations such as Deaf Parenting UK have a critical role to play helping support Deaf and hard of hearing parents and helping to deliver the specific support they need.“

Lyn Frith – Director CSPIRe Ltd: “The Deaf Parenting UK National Conference was, in my view, a highly inspirational event which effectively raised awareness of the challenges faced by Deaf parents.  The input from keynote speakers was highly informative and provided examples of good practice that we can all aspire to. Congratulations to DPUK for a great conference.”

Deborah Jamieson, Head of Children, Families & Social Inclusion Programme Department of Health: “I really enjoyed participating in the conference, and it highlighted the need to ensure that Deaf Parenting UK are included in parent focus groups and are kept informed of new developments. My impression is that the conference was successful and provided a good opportunity to engage with an important parent group.”

Jackie Driver, Head of Policy, Equality and Human Right Commission: “This year’s Deaf Parenting UK conference was a great success.  It brought together D/Deaf parents and service  providers  and  hosted opportunities to share understanding and explore solutions to the barriers many D/Deaf parents face in accessing services.   The Equality and Human Rights Commission, itself charged with delivering greater equality, human rights and good relations  for  all citizens were delighted to be asked to address the conference and take away key learning points that will help  us  deliver  our objectives more inclusively. We wish Parenting UK every success in meeting their own objectives and look forward to working together in future joint initiatives to help improve the life experiences of Deaf parents.”

Natalie Salmon, Head of Equality and Diversity, The Nursing and Midwifery Council: “It was a pleasure and privilege to speak at the Deaf Parenting UK conference on Saturday. It was one of the most inclusive, interesting and informative conferences I have attended. It was incredibly valuable to learn more about the innovative and much needed work of Deaf Parenting UK. I hope the NMC is able to continue working with Deaf Parenting in the future.”

Carolyn Denmark, Deaf Parent: “it is good to know that Deaf parents felt the day was beneficial and to share their experiences although I feel there should be more opportunity for Deaf parent to share their concerns and views of current services in the area, and what training they would like to receive in the near future.

I thought  it  was  a  big  breakthrough  for  Deaf Parenting UK as so many things have been achieved in the last 12 months and seeing more  people are involved and its publicity, I  can see the flag flying up high, thanks to the staff and trustees for making this happening. “

Stuart Harrison, Deaf Parent: “The DPUK Conference was an excellent opportunity for Deaf parents to interface directly with professional service providers to make them aware the needs of Deaf parents.”

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