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Help for deaf readers ‘must be stepped up’

PUBLISHERS should do more to support deaf children to learn to read effectively, says the boss of a book store that champions deaf people’s rights.

Lauren Metcalf, manager of Action Deafness Books, told delegates at the London Book Fair: “The publishing industry is crying out for books that are inclusive and accessible to all.“There are very few stories featuring deaf children that aren’t focused on teaching children about deafness.

“Such books don’t have to be about how ‘special’ or how ‘normal’ it is to be deaf.

“They can just be about someone who happens to be deaf but who has a really interesting time aside from that,” said Lauren.“With the right resources, there is no reason why a deaf child should develop language or literacy skills to any lesser degree than their hearing peers.”

There are 45,000 deaf children in the UK with just one-third performing at the expected level in reading and writing at Key Stage 2.

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