HC Deb 23 December 1976 vol 923 cc328-30W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table comparing for 1948 and 1976, at current prices and at 1976 prices, the value of: (a) family allowance, (b) child additions for unemployment and sickness benefit and (c) child additions for national assistance/supplementary benefit, calculated according to the average of the rates for children up to age 18 years; and if he will show in each case the value of welfare milk and free school meals, wherever applicable.

Mr. Orme,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 3rd December 1976; Vol. 921, cc. 302–3], gave the following information:

studies have been made of the special needs of the deaf-blind.

1975. Mr. Alfred Morris

With regard to studies of the needs of deaf-blind children, I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke on Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 21st December.—[Vol. 923, c.101.]

While my Department has not sponsored any recent specific studies of the needs of deaf-blind adults, it is aware of the investigations being conducted by the National Association for Deaf-Blind and Rubella Handicapped, of recent studies at the Blind Mobility Research Unit at Nottingham University of the mobility problems of the deaf-blind, and of the development of electronic aids for their use.

My Department monitors the benefit needs of deaf-blind people along with those of other disabled groups. Moreover, equipment of use to, though not specifically for, the deaf-blind is being developed by my Department and by other bodies with which it co-operates.

We keep abreast of practical knowledge acquired by units specialising in this field and of the relevant published literature both in this country and abroad. Set out below is a selected list of recent papers.

Recent Literature on the Deaf-Blind

SOUTHWELL HONNEY AND SIMON: Lea Hospital Bromsgrove; work of the deaf-blind unit; Teacher of the Blind 1971.

JONES: The subnormal Deaf-Blind Child. Special Education 1976.

ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND: Theories into practice: 5th international deaf-blind seminar 1974. RNIB 1976.

KRAMER & ROSENFELD: Speech Communication techniques with the adult deaf-blind. Journal of the Rehabilitation of the Deaf. Maryland 1975.

MYERS: Follow-up study of 314 multi-handicapped blind people, former pupils of Condover Hall. RNIB 1975.

SALMON AND SPAR: Services for deaf-blind persons. New outlook for the Blind. NY 1975.

SEARCH: A short-term evaluation/training programme for deaf/blind adults. NY 1974, New Outlook for the Blind.

MESCHER JAKOW AND APPRAUSHFV: Services for the adult deaf-blind in USSR.

NEW BEACON. London 1975.

MORRIS: Bowling them over at the blind-deaf club. Social work in Action. London 1974.

BEST: Education of deaf-blind children. National Association of Deaf-Blind and Rubella Handicapped 1974.

COHN: What you should know about deaf-blind children. Blind Welfare, London 1975.

FREEMAN: The Deaf-blind child. Heinemann, London 1975.

BEST: Deaf-Blind children and adolescents. New Beacon 1974.

BURTON: Deaf-blind children and adolescents. New Beacon 1974.

HILLS & BEST: Survey of deaf-blind children in mental hospitals in England and Wales, Teacher of the Blind 1974.

MYERS: Deaf-blind children and adolescents. New Beacon 1974.

HILLS: Deaf-blind children and adolescents. New Beacon 1973.

CZAPO AND CLARKE: The deaf-blind in Canada. New Outlook for the Blind. NY 1974.

INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL SUBNORMALITY: Visit of members of the 5th International Conference for the Deaf-blind to the special unit, Lea Hospital, Bromsgrove. IMS 1974.

WATSON & NICHOLAS: A practical guide to the training of low-functioning deaf-blind children, Connecticut Institute for the Blind 1973.

Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any proposals for improving the services and allowances for those suffering from the double handicap of deafness and blindness.

Mr. Alfred Morris

I am keenly aware of the special problems faced by these very severely disabled people and am in close contact with the voluntary bodies concerned over the range of services provided. In particular, my Department has recently had discussions with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf on a proposal to establish a pilot residential unit for, say, twelve deaf-blind young adults. My officials will shortly be meeting the Institute again together with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, the National Association of Deaf/Blind and Rubella Handicapped and the National Deaf/Blind Helpers League primarily to discuss further the establishment of residential accommodation. There are difficult problems over establishing accommodation, including the high recurrent costs. However, I am including sums in the Parliamentary Estimates for 1977–78 and intend to make further provision in 1978–79 towards the capital cost of establishing pilot residential provision. As regards allowances, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply which I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) on 21st December 1976.—[Vol. 923, c.101.]