Memnos Costi is a presenter on BBC’s See Hear and is married with 2 daughters, 9 and 7 years old and his wife who is also Deaf but has good speech. Memnos has shared his experiences as a Deaf parent, whose first language is BSL (British Sign Language), and the challenges and barriers he faces in everyday family life.
Difficulties in communication with hearing parents can affect the children as they can miss out on social activities with their everyday friends that they are growing up with. In general, the greatest difficulty I face is being a parent!! It is never easy. You want the best for your children and strive for that but life, attitudes and growing pains all get in the way!
We often get involved with Deaf Parents UK who seek to support Deaf parents by arranging events and activities supported by sign language interpreters to ensure equal access for all. Caroline Montgomery is our local co-ordinator. It is a chance for us parents to get together and discuss similar parenting issues that we have and share solutions. The children support each other too because they all grow up going through the same thing. Support groups like these are invaluable for many. My worry is that there are many disabled parents out there who need this support and do not realise it’s there or perhaps do not know how to access it.