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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Communications Equipment Fails People With Communications Impairment

April 3, 2006 10:41 AM

Tom Brake MP joined people with communication impairments to demand that Government review how communication equipment is made available for those in need.

"We must put an end to the communication equipment lottery. People with communication impairment need to know what they are entitled to. Communication equipment is their lifeline."

Scope's 'Speak for Yourself' campaign is warning that thousands of people with communication impairments will be denied the right to express their needs unless Government develops a joined up system that will put an end to the current post code lottery of support from local education authorities. The Communications Aids Project (CAP), which was set up four years ago with funding from DfES to 'complement' local authority funding, is itself ending at the end of this month.

The 'Speak for Yourself' campaign has the support of the RNID, RNIB, MENCAP and the CAP Centres, as well as over 120 MPs who to date have signed an Early Day Motion tabled by Roger Berry MP.

Abigail Lock, Parliamentary Affairs Officer at Scope, said: "The importance of communication cannot be underestimated. CAP has made a difference to the lives of thousands of children with communication difficulties, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. We want a commitment to provide a comprehensive, joined-up service that includes adults and pre-school children. Without this Government is simply writing off people with communication impairments."