Saturday, 3 April 2010

Cornwall Deaf Centre

A few weeks ago I met a number of parents of disabled children. Among them were Kate and Martin whose youngest son is deaf and who have another son with a learning difficulty that gives him problems with communication. They invited me along to a new parents' support group they have helped get going and its first meeting took place today at the Cornwall Deaf Centre in Camborne.

If you want to understand the challenges that disabled people and their families face, you can't beat meeting them. Each case is unique and every one of them has their share of frustration with the system. It can range from a lack of specialist support, like language therapists or signers, to problems navigating the bureaucracy of the benefits system. All of the people I meet would welcome a simplified and more flexible system of support where they have more say over the support that they need and how their budget is spent.

After meeting parents at the Cornwall Deaf Centre, Toby, a regular user of their facilities gave myself and Katy a lesson in British Sign Language. We covered most of the alphabet and a few other words.

Jude Robinson, the Labour candidate in Camborne, Redrtuh and Hayle has come up with the great idea of holding a hustings at the Cornwall Deaf Centre with a signer on hand to do the translation. So I might be coming back here soon.