Why the NHS is the greatest social leveller deaf and disabled people have

By Rebecca Atkinson
“Growing up with the NHS also fed into a sense of identity, one where I was not reliant on the charitable benevolence of others to give me access to sound, but one where I just received it without question, the same as the next person or the one after that, regardless of who we were or what we had in our pocket. And for a child growing up deaf or disabled what more important message is there than to tell them they are equal to others. That their financial or social position won’t impact on their medical chances, they won’t have to stand cap in hand, or watch a richer person hear the world with hearing aids or a cochlear implant whilst they can’t afford to try out anything but the deafness nature gave them. Harry Smith told the Manchester conference that Britain ‘must never let the NHS free from our grasp’. I can only agree.”