Have you just found out that your child has hearing loss, or would you like more information directly from deaf people who have lived the deaf experience?
DEX uses the English dictionary definition of the term “deaf” to mean “wholly or partially without hearing” to apply to all children who have a degree of hearing loss.
We use the capital D to show that Deaf people identify with the Deaf community, which uses British Sign Language in the UK. It is important that the D/d categories are not used to make deaf people feel inferior to signing Deaf individuals but to indicate Deaf identity, which is a positive experience.
DEX is a deaf-led organisation that was set up simply to support deaf people who are being educated in mainstream education, or have been mainstreamed. You can find out why we did this on other pages, but it is sufficient to say here that we feel that there is not enough support for deaf children in education, and want to change things.
Understanding your deaf child’s needs and seeing through the eyes of your child is essential. Your support is crucial to making sure that your deaf child has well being throughout childhood and adult life. Listening to deaf adults who have a good knowledge of Deaf culture and issues will help you to see things from a visual perspective, rather than just a hearing audiological one.
Deaf children are children and have the same needs as all children. However, in addition to their developing identities learnt from their family, peers, culture and environment, it is vitally important that deaf children have a strong sense of Deaf identity and that they are proud of being deaf, as well as their heritage and achievements. Being Deaf is an essential part of your deaf child’s sense of self.
A Deaf identity will not come about naturally if you are hearing parents and have no Deaf people in your family, so support from the Deaf community is vital. DEX can provide consultancy, information, training and advocacy to your family and hearing professionals. Click on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this service.