#Saskatchewan, #Canada, #HearingAidPlan, #ClaudiaBaptiste, #SaskatchewanA.G.Bell
Toronto, Apr 9 (Canadian-Media): An announcement, by Saskatchewan provincial government last month on budget day, of eliminating the hearing aid plan from the budget to save $3 million had been protested by parents of deaf or hard of hearing children, media reports said.
A Saskatoon high school student Mary-Jayne Morris, CBCNews reported, had started an online petition against the cuts which has resulted in more than 1,500 signatures.
The protesters noted that Saskatchewan had fewer public audiologists per capita than any other province and is one of the only provinces without comprehensive hearing tests for newborns.
President of the volunteer advocacy group Saskatchewan A.G. Bell, Claudia Baptiste said her 12-year-old son, Zachary, and hundreds of families, with deaf children or children with hard of hearing, across the province would be affected if the hearing aid plan is eliminated from the budget.
A new release issued Thursday by the Saskatchewan Government signed by 11 private sector audiologists from cities around the province said A.G. Bell was spreading misinformation.
The release continued to say that Public sector and private audiologists and groups like A.G. Bell to work with the government to make sure the services patient-focused, and service providers-focused, CBCNews reports said.
This statement by government and the private, for-profit companies was opposed by Baptiste and others, who issued their own statement.
"Saskatchewan children's communication skills will be at risk, which in turn will affect their literacy levels, academic success and social & emotional well-being," said the A G Bell statement, CBCNews reports said.
A recent national study on treatment of the deaf and hard of hearing in Saskatchewan received one of the worst grades, CBCNews reports said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)