The RNID has welcomed a £1 million pilot programme to help
young children with disabilities, announced by school standards
minister Catherine Ashton.
The early support programme will offer children with
disabilities up to the age of two-years-old, and their parents,
practical help including early identification and support to help
language development, and better information to parents so they are
aware of the range of services available.
The scheme will also help provide better inter-agency working so
that children receive a co-ordinated service, and will develop the
role of key workers so parents have a single point of contact.
RNID chief executive James Strachan said: “Without question,
early identification of deafness combined with early intervention,
offers the best chance for deaf children to develop their
communication and intellectual skills at the same pace as hearing
Two other publications were also produced: ‘Together from the
Start’, a practical guide to encourage multi agency working in the
delivery of services to young people with disabilities, and
‘Developing Early Intervention/Support Services for Deaf Children
and their Families’, designed to help local education authorities
provide effective support following early identification of
Ashton said: “Positive, co-ordinated support, from an early age,
can transform a child’s life.
“Early intervention tackles the causes of disadvantage at the
outset of a child’s life, giving a sound foundation for
subsequent support for both child and family,” she added.