DEX has the experience and skills to support Children’s Services with its Duty to Involve.

In line with the government’s drive to involve users of services, DEX supports public authorities with their duty to comply with legislation that requires involvement: the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005, the Children Act 2004 and its Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda, the Local Government Act 1999 and Health and Social Care Act 2001. ECM and the Children and Young People’s Unit clearly state that there must be transparent engagement with all children in every local authority and NHS Trust.

The UNESCO Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) also states:

(67) “Organisations of people with disabilities, i.e. those in which they themselves have a decisive influence – should be invited to take an active part in identifying needs, expressing views on priorities,administering services, evaluating performance and advocating change”.

Each public authority must draw up a Children and Young People’s Plan in conjunction with children and young people, as part of the ECM initiative. It is, therefore, a duty for all service providers to ensure that all users are involved effectively.

DEX’s track record of involving deaf children and young people is second to none, as deaf users of the education system and with extensive experience of working with a disability organisation whose sole purpose is Involvement.

Internal participation exercises by service or school staff cannot be effective since young participants need to feel able to disclose their views without fear of backlash or compromise.

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