New DVD for Asian families with deaf children

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A NEW DVD to help Asian families with deaf children is being launched in Birmingham later this week.

The ‘Communication Matters’ DVD features thirteen young people and their families, illustrating the different communication options available to deaf children and how families can support their deaf child’s development.

It has been produced by the Specialist Support Service, Directorate of Children, Young People and Families in Birmingham and the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), and will be officially launched this Thursday at Aston Business School.

‘Communication Matters’ – views of Asian children, young people and their families is part of a wider project, The Asian Deaf Children and Families Support Project which is funded by the Birmingham Children’s Fund.

The DVD is available in Urdu, Punjabi, Sylheti, English, British Sign Language and subtitles, and aims to inform and empower families who are often hard to reach as a result of language and cultural barriers.

Cherry Thomas, Co-ordinator of the Asian Deaf Children and Families Support Project, says: “There is evidence that Birmingham has, statistically, a higher number of deaf children than elsewhere in the UK and there is a greater prevalence of deafness within certain BME communities.

“’Communication Matters’ will help many families from the Asian community to understand about deafness and to access information, which will enable them to include their deaf child in all aspects of family life, as it is available in community languages.

“The DVD reflects the views of young deaf people and their parents. It is very important that their views are heard within their own communities. Communication Matters also shows confident young people and parents who are positive about the way they communicate and proud of the communities they represent”.

 Zobia Kalim, of the National Deaf Children’s Society added:” We are delighted to be supporting Birmingham City Council’s project. ‘Communication Matters’ is a positive resource that Asian families will be able to watch in their own home and refer back to time and again. The NDCS is committed to empowering families of deaf children from black and minority ethnic communities. Communication Matters will be used in our own BME work across the UK”.

Free copies of the Communications Matters DVD will be available to order from Monday 18 February 2008 by contacting the NDCS Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text) or emailing helpline@ndcs.org.uk.

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