§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that deaf school leavers are provided with communication support when being assessed under section 5 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986;
(2) what consideration is being given to the implementation of section 3(b) of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 to ensure that deaf people have access to sign language interpreters and other communication support when being assessed for services by local authorities.
§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are being taken to monitor the implementation of section 5 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, particularly in regard to deaf school leavers.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The social services inspectorate has carried out an exercise to monitor the implementation of those 463W sections of the Act that are in force. The results of this inspection, and of the findings of a more specific study of the implementation of sections 5 and 6, were published last year in its reports "Developing Services for Disabled People" and "Developing Services for Young People with Disabilities", copies of which are in the Library. We expect authorities to provide communication support for all clients who require it as a matter of normal good practice, and our guidance on the implementation of community care has emphasised the importance of such services. Similar guidance is to be issued to assist authorities in the implementation of the provisions of the Children Act.