Tracey recently joined Sense Trustee Sue Turner along with deafblind children and their parents at an event in Parliament calling for vital support for children who are deafblind.
The special event in Parliament was organised by national deafblind charity Sense on 12th November to highlight that nine out of 10 deafblind children are left without any hope of the professional support they vitally need. This is because only 10% of deafblind children have been identified by local authorities, according to new research by the charity *.
Sense’s event was also attended by Minister Edward Timpson MP from the Department of Education.
Sense and Rebecca Front, who is famed for her BAFTA winning role as Nicola Murray MP, the Leader of the Opposition on the TV programme The Thick of It, are calling on Minister Timpson and the Government to make the case for deafblind children. They are asking the government to ensure they get the support they need in the form of a unique professional called an ‘intervenor’.
This is a highly-trained professional who works one-to-one with a deafblind child to help them play, learn and develop communication while they are growing up.
Tracey said: “At the Sense reception I saw for myself how an intervenor uses their unique and professional skills to help a deafblind child communicate and make sense of the world. It is vital that all deafblind children have the opportunity to receive this specialist support so that they are able to live independent and full lives.”
At the event, actor and ambassador for Sense Rebecca Front said: “When I visited extraordinary services for deafblind children run by the charity Sense I witnessed first hand how these unique children can learn and achieve with the right support from a professional called an intervenor. It is remarkable watching a deafblind child learn by touch as they feel the intervenor’s hands – it is like watching a beautiful ballet.
“So I am shocked to learn that most deafblind children are being left without the professional support they need to develop language and make sense of the world. Surely as a society we cannot leave deafblind children unable to connect with their world, and their families alone to cope with the many challenges.”
Steve Rose, Head of Children’s Specialist Services at Sense, said: “It is estimated that there are 4,000 deafblind children in the country. These children are truly unique, and Sense recognises that an intervenor’s role is a highly specialist one that provides crucial support for deafblind children to make sense of the world, learn how to communicate and overcome the isolation caused by deafblindness.”