by Rachael Getzels
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Deaf children will be sharing the spotlight with Downton Abbey star Jim Carter in a film that calls on the government to stop cuts to their services.
The film, which will feature students from The Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children in Camley Street, King’s Cross, is part of a national campaign led by the charity, National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).
In it the students talk about their dreams for the future and discuss why the support they receive at the specialist deaf school should be available in mainstream schools across England which are facing cuts at the moment.
Setayesh Kamani, nine, who starred in the film alongside Mr Carter, said: “I was really excited to be in the film and it was great to meet Jim. He showed us some magic tricks and we taught him some signs.
“My education wouldn’t be good without a teacher for the deaf because I won’t understand a normal teacher.”
Fellow Frank Barnes pupil Ishmam Sulayman, 11, who also met the ITV actor Mr Carter when he visited the school, said: “My teacher of the deaf helps me understand my school work.
“I will be angry and upset if teachers of the deaf are taken away.”
The film was launched last Monday as part of the Stolen Futures campaign led by the NDCS against cuts.
The charity hopes that the film will encourage people to sign its petition.
Mr Carter, who lives in West Hamsptead, is a passionate supporter of the charity and has urged people to back the campaign, saying cuts due to be made to services for deaf children over the next year are “staggering”.
“Filming with the children at Frank Barnes School was a great experience,” he said.
“All the children there were clever and engaging young people and were quick to show me how they learn in class and explain what they want to be in the future.
“They are all a great example of the potential deaf children have to become the actors and actresses, sports people and academics of the future, if given the right support.”
The NDCS is not aware of any cuts to services in Camden for deaf children but a third of councils across the country have made cuts to services for deaf children.
Susan Daniels, chief executive of NDCS, said: “The cuts to public services paint a very bleak and worrying picture of the future for deaf children in this country.
“Educational support is at risk even though many deaf children are already struggling at school.
“Urgent, decisive action is needed to protect the futures of some of the country’s most vulnerable children. We are calling on the government to stop squeezing council budgets that are leaving deaf children with no prospects.”