FAMILIES of deaf children in Bolton are campaigning to get free sign language classes so they can communicate.

Bolton’s Ear 4 Kidz—a group that brings together deaf children and their parents — says a complete course of sign language lessons could cost a family thousands of pounds, which is proving a barrier for some families.

Jane Jones, chairwoman of the group and mother of nineyear- old Bobby, who wears hearing aids, said not providing the opportunity to learn sign language meant children were reliant on their hearing aids.

“Children don’t have the option of having hearing aids and of signing, it is one or the other.

“We are trying to change this, so all children have the chance to learn an alternative.

“There are loads of different scenarios where they can’t or don’t want to wear their hearing aids,” she said.

Ear 4 Kidz has applied for a number of grants to run classes for families to attend together and is hoping to start them next year.

It is also backing a national campaign by the National Deaf Children’s Society’s (NDCS) to get free lessons for families