Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

McGahan Calls for more support for deaf community

Published: 12 March, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has called for more support to help young people with hearing loss or deaf to move from mainstream school into further education, training or employment.

Speaking to a report submitted to the Employment and Learning committee Ms. McGahan said,

"Many young people with hearing loss or deafness are not reaching their full potential because the proper support mechanisms are missing in the transition from school to further education, training or employment.

"At present there are less than 0.5% of the further education student population that are deaf or suffer from hearing loss and fewer still have attained full time employment.

"One of the reasons for this is that many deaf people leave school without qualifications as they loss confidence in the system as the proper support is unavailable.

"The needs of people who suffer from deafness differ from person to person and from scenario to scenario.

"In some cases people require a signer or a note taker while in another circumstance they made need a loop system.

"It is stated that young deaf people are not aware of their entitlements in the workplace, at an interview or in training or of what their rights are.

"It is now important that we look at ensuring all deaf people are made aware of their entitlements and more is done to encourage them to stay on in further education by providing the correct facilities at colleges and universities

"I intend to continue to raise this matter with the Minister until such times people with hearing loss and deafness so that they have equality in access to further education, training and employment." ENDS