A 9 year boy attended PM’s home for deaf children

On Thursday the “CYP Now” website published a piece that was written by Emily Harle. It explains that a nine-year-old deaf boy called Orson Grimer has visited the home at Number 10, Downing Street in London where the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak is based. This visit was to express his his view and reflect on many other young people. The article appears here in the website. We should be delighted that Orson Grimer has visited this location and and let us hope that Rishi Sunak will respond to this comment in Parliament or elsewhere to acknowledge the view from Orson. The Hertfordshire News wrote about Orson back on 18th Jan 2022 with a headline “Inspiring Hertfordshire boy, 8, proving that being deaf won’t hold you back in life” and they began with “It’s great to be able to talk about being deaf at school to make all my friends and everyone else understand what it’s like, but also that I can do anything they can do”. That piece can be obtained from here and they also state “Public speaking always takes a great deal of confidence. For an eight-year-old boy from Herts with moderate to severe hearing loss, stepping in front of his peers, who he’d only known for a short time, was both brave and inspiring in equal measure. When Orson Grimer was born, he failed his newborn hearing test and had to go backwards and forwards to hospital in an attempt to discover the reasons behind the issue.”

Meanwhile here is the piece from CYP Now that was published last Thursday:

Orson Grimer, from Hertfordshire, visited Downing Street with his family to deliver a letter urging Sunak and Health Minister Steve Barclay to invest in early support for all deaf children, including the auditory verbal therapy which helped him learn to listen and speak.

The letter was backed by more than 400 people, and is part of charity Auditory Verbal UK’s #HearUsNow campaign, which is calling for a government investment of £2 million per year over the next 10 years, so that children can access auditory verbal therapy through publicly funded services.

Auditory verbal therapy helps deaf children process the sound they receive from hearing technology such as cochlear implants and hearing aids and helps them develop spoken language.

Currently, only eight per cent of deaf children are able to access this form of therapy, according to research from Auditory Verbal UK.

Orson, who was diagnosed as deaf at birth, attended auditory verbal therapy for two years before graduating with spoken language skills ahead of his hearing peers, and now attends mainstream education.

“Being deaf is part of who I am and it has never stopped me doing anything I want to,” Orson said. “It isn’t fair that all deaf children don’t get the same opportunities that I have had, and I really hope the government listen to us, so every deaf child gets the support they need.”

Orson’s mum, Avril Grimer added: “Orson is proof that deaf children can learn to speak as well as a hearing child and that hearing loss should not be a barrier to deaf children achieving their potential.”

Some 80 per cent of UK adults believe auditory verbal therapy should be available to all deaf children through publicly funded services, research from Auditory Verbal UK shows, published during Deaf Awareness Week (2 to 7 May 2023).

The survey also highlights a lack of awareness of the ways deaf children can communicate, with only two in five UK adults believing a child born profoundly deaf can learn to speak as well as a child without hearing loss.

However, more than 97 per cent of children without additional needs who attended an auditory verbal therapy programme for two or more years achieve listening and spoken language skills on par with their hearing peers, according to Auditory Verbal UK.

Anita Grover, chief executive of Auditory Verbal UK, said: “When children and their families have access to effective, early support, deaf children can get an equal start at school and their opportunities are transformed.

“That is why we are asking for government investment to ensure all deaf children can access early and effective support with no cost barrier, close to their homes. All deaf children should have the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers – and yet results of this survey published for Deaf Awareness Week have exposed the public’s knowledge gap of the different ways that deaf children can communicate and what they can achieve.”

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s