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Dáil briefing for parents of deaf children

26 March, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD will tomorrow, Wednesday March 27, host a briefing in the Dáil with parents from the Happy New Ear Campaign Group.

The Happy New Ear group have been campaigning for the introduction of a bilateral cochlear implant programme. Currently, children in the state who are profoundly deaf only receive one cochlear implant, rather than the two which is accepted as best international practice.

Wednesday’s briefing will consist of four short contributions from Denise Martin from Louth who will explain how, why and when the parents got together; Roger Connor from Roscommon who will deal with the present, including parenting a deaf child on a daily basis; Shay Kearns from West Dublin who will speak about their engagement with the HSE; and Danielle Ryan from Dublin’s Northside who will talk about the positive impact the provision of two implants can have for the children.

The speakers will also be accompanied by other parents from Westmeath, Dublin, Donegal, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Laois and Wexford.

Teachta Adams said:

“The provision of cochlear implants for children is an issue of fundamental rights. There are around 200 throughout the state and they deserve the best possible medical treatment.

“International best practice demands that children receive bilateral implants. For the last 17 years the practice in this state has been for a single implant.

“The overall amount of additional money required would be in the region of €4 million which is not a prohibitive amount even in these straitened times.

“But the implementation of international best practice would have a huge and lifelong and positive impact on the lives of these children.”


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