Getting It Right From the Start: improving early years support for deaf children in Scotland

Category: Children with disabilities

4th October 2016

The National Deaf Children's Society have launched their new campaign report outlining the key issues for deaf children and their families in the early years, the gaps that still exist around support and recommendations for improvement.

Evidence shows that with the right support from the start, deaf children can achieve as much as their hearing peers. Support in the early years is vital for deaf children and their families to help them overcome the barriers they face at this critical time.

Key messages

The report, Getting It Right From the Start: improving early years support for deaf children in Scotland outlines the key issues for deaf children and their families in the early years. In summary:

  • Early years is crucial time in any child's development, and for deaf children there are a number of barriers which can delay development;
  • Developing age appropriate language is challenging for deaf children due to the communication barriers they experience, this has an impact on attainment and life outcomes;
  • There has been good progress in Scotland, particularly around the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act (2015), implementation of Getting It Right For Every Child and the funding NDCS has secured from Big Lottery Scotland to deliver unique early years support for deaf children and their families for the next three years;
  • However, there is still much work to be done. NDCS recommend: continued investment into specialist services, Scottish Government-endorsed early years guidance for deaf children, improved local accountability and monitoring of deaf children's outcomes, improved data collection and a strong commitment to early years within the Scottish Government's first British Sign Language National Plan.
  • Download the report here.

 

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