Obviously the government has undertaken a quick review because they know it will cause a mass out-cry amongst the disabled.
I am profoundly 100% deaf with no residual hearing at all, I lipread and use BSL sign language. I also have additional disabilities, such as varicose ulcers on my leg, which come and go at regular intervals, and I am very concerned about the implications of this change of benefits.
It always seems that deaf people are left out, and we are always just an “after thought”. We all struggle ourselves, and most of us have mental health underlying problems (although for some reason most doctors do not recognise or document this, and just put it down as being deaf!).
I am all for any changes that benefit people who really do have a disability and target those who are cheats.. but from past experience, it seems its always the opposite, they terrorise and destroy the morale and well being of those who really are disabled.
Deaf people are often not treated as “disabled”, and therefore find it very difficult to claim benefits, it seems that few people recognise exactly what it is like to be deaf, and how it affects one’s every day life. I would challenge any person to spend a week without any hearing and come out of it saying that deafness is not a serious disability. Having suffered since the age of seven (now fiftyone) after contracting meningitis, I have struggled through life, with practically no support whatsoever. My Sensory Loss social service manager says that deaf people are not classified as disabled enough to get the new benefits, and we will all be cut out of it. I do hope that this is not going to be the case, and there are people out there who are willing to fight for us deafies, as we don’t seem to have many champions who will speak up for us.
Please do help us deaf people and do not forget us!!
Originally posted as part of the One Month Before Heartbreak Campaign Jan, 2011