My life, my health: a new campaign is launched

Danni Manzi, Danni Manzi, Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns NDCS

Danni Manzi, Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns

NDCS has kick started a new health campaign, called: My life, My health.

The aim of the campaign is to improve healthcare experiences for deaf children and young people. NDCS launched this campaign, alongside its Young People’s Advisory Board (more about them later) because deaf young people told us that too many doctors were not deaf aware and information was inaccessible and, together, this was having a knock on effect on deaf young people’s independence.

The launch brought together deaf young people, parents, professionals and Paralympians (yes, Ben Rushgrove was there too!) to learn about the campaign, to share the resources and the good practice which can really make a big difference to deaf young people’s lives.

Telling it like it is

What we, in Policy and Campaigns, particularly love about this campaign is that it was led by our Young People’s Advisory Board (YAB), a group of deaf young people from across the UK who work to identify and address issues that affect all deaf young people.

YAB members spoke at the launch and their words really hit home. When Adam, a YAB member, used to go to his doctor everything was relayed to him through a family member. He explained it “made me feel blocked out of the conversation”. He went on to say that with small changes to the service things have really improved and that the YAB members want everyone to realise “just how simple it is to talk to us”.

What was particularly disappointing is that despite huge technological advances that make accessing services easier for everybody, not just deaf young people, these advances don’t seem to have followed through into healthcare services as much as they should. Young people told us that despite having the ability to email straight from their phones, many GP practices still don’t have appointments by email available for patients. And this needs to change.

No holding back

However, what was also refreshing about yesterday was that, rather than sitting around blaming people, we celebrated the services that are deaf aware and those that have made access to information simpler and easier. We also acknowledged that we all had a role to play in improving health services for deaf young people across the UK. The Paralympian, Ben Rushgrove, put it perfectly when he said: “People should learn to take the jump. There’s no point in having a situation where you are always holding yourself back.” We agree. Nobody- young people, parents or professionals- should hold back when it comes to doing better for deaf children and young people, and that’s exactly what this campaign is all about.

My Life My Health: Find out more

Download and share the resources, visit The Buzz.

If you live in England, let the chair of your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) know about My life, My health. Take action here.

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