Deaf Parents Deaf Children (DPDC) is a group for deaf parents with deaf children from all over the UK. Deaf parents are usually well acquainted with the topics surrounding deafness, but there is no organisation that specifically caters for deaf parents with deaf children in the UK, hence the need for this group.
Approximately 95% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who have usually never met a deaf person before in their lives. The advice that all parents of deaf children get, whether they are deaf or hearing parents, from the medical and other professions, is often very one sided and focused on seeking to improve the child’s hearing and ability to speak. Parents do not usually get a balanced view with the chance, also, to understand that as their child is deaf the child is part of a rich and proud culture, language and community.
Parents need to make informed choices about their child but many who have raised a deaf child have found it hard to make an informed choice when they have no experience to base it on.
The aim of DPDC is to show a positive view of deafness, to show what deaf people can achieve and to give deaf parents an equal voice in the decision making process. The rights of deaf children are encapsulated in the Human Rights Act in ‘the rights of the child’ but they have no opportunity, as deaf babies or young children, to make informed decisions about their choice of communication, education and upbringing.
The founders of this group are Lilli and Nick Beese who are deaf parents of a deaf child. Nick and Lilli set up this group in 2010 after discovering that there was no established, specialist, group for deaf parents with deaf children. As deaf adults, they feel that they have a duty to make sure that the system currently in place is improved to ensure it is in the best interests of all deaf children.
Lilli and Nick both have a deep-seated passion to improve the lives of all deaf children by challenging people’s preconceptions surrounding deafness and have already been joined by wonderful members and supporters who share this passion.
Events organised by DPDC allow deaf children from throughout the UK to meet other deaf children from similar deaf backgrounds and to use British Sign Language together as their natural language. We also aim to inspire hearing parents of deaf children and support them on their journey!