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Changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Major changes to disability benefits are starting to take affect in some parts of the UK. GDA raises concerns about how the changes will affect young deaf people.
There is a real concern at GDA and other deaf charities that Deaf young people will be particularly disadvantaged by the move away from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) towards a Personal Independence Plan (PIP).
The reason is that today many Deaf young people have cochlear implants and from a young age have been encouraged to develop their oral skills and speak English, rather than use the sign language preferred by the Deaf Community. This means that when they reach the age of 16, as non sign language users, they will not be eligible for PIP, despite the fact that they are still deaf and clearly will always need specialised communication support in education and employment.
Jenny Hopkins, Chief Executive at GDA, said, 'Deaf young people seem to be caught out twice over: on the one hand, cuts to local authority support for deaf children means that the first time in five years the number achieving five good GCSEs has fallen and is now just 37.3 per cent compared to an average 69 per cent among hearing children; and then, having been failed by our education system, they are failed by PIP. It is incredibly unfair'. 
For more information about the changes and how it could affect you, visit www.gov.uk
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