Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Leading assistive software in use for access to Work and in deaf education, and, a lot cheaper than hiring a sign language interpreter too.   THis is an Australian video,but the UK has been using this for some time.  It could address the issues whereby the state is capping ATW support because of spiralling BSL costs and sign interpretation.

Ai-Live is an innovation by Ai-Media that provides a live captioning solution in classrooms and at the workplace. It is transforming the lives of Deaf and hearing impaired people. Utilising the advances in speech recognition technology paired with a remote respeaking methodology it delivers live captioning within seconds to any internet enabled devices such as an iPad or laptop.

Ai-Live has proven that it is a solution that is effective in improving the lives of Deaf and hearing impaired people using a model that is affordable, reliable and scalable. 

A hearing son in deaf family: 'I'd rather be deaf'

Sad.   Meet the Pedersen family: parents Rod and Jamie; and the children: Zane, Jax and Kaleb.  They were all born deaf, except Kaleb — who at age 20, is the oldest child.

"Obviously, I didn't choose to be the only hearing one," Kaleb said on the phone from their home near San Francisco in Pleasanton, California. Thanks to his upbringing, Kaleb prefers Deaf culture over the hearing world. "There's more of a sense of belonging in the Deaf culture. They just feel closer together than how hearing people act with each other."

The Pedersens are featured in CNN Films' new Digital Short titled, "All-American Family." They're among an estimated 1 million so-called "functionally deaf" people in the United States, and 70 million worldwide, according to federal and United Nations stats.

Long-established deaf schools in and around places such as San Francisco, Rochester, New York; Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles have led to large pockets of deaf residents in those cities. Many hold on tight to their Deaf identity and Deaf culture. Jamie Crowley is deaf and is the mother of two deaf sons.  That's "Deaf" with a capital "D." That's how the community spells it.

Since childhood, Kaleb's ability to hear -- along with his command of American Sign Language -- has defined much of his role in the family. His first language was sign language -- English came later. "He's like half deaf inside and hearing on the outside," his mom Jamie Crowley wrote CNN in an e-mail. "Kaleb is naturally our ears."

When the family meets at restaurants, Kaleb orders for everybody. When the doorbell rings, he answers it. When hearing people ask Kaleb annoying questions such as, "Do you ever wish your family could hear, like you?" -- he doesn't get upset.  "I don't wish that they could hear, because there's nothing wrong with them," he said. "They're born that way and they can do anything that any hearing person could do. I don't see any reason for them to change."

Monday, 23 November 2015

Bristol Deaf Protest at Access discrimination...

These deaf aren't invisible for sure !

Scotland: Taxi App for Deaf Community (Dundee).

A deaf child in the family..

This session was about encouraging families and whānau to think more critically about how they can include their children in their family life and to be mindful of the fact that their child is quite different and they may need to adjust themselves to facilitate that inclusion.


Lack of Terps impacting on Deaf Florida...

deaf-community-translate-1122Those who are part of the deaf community in Central Florida want to be heard as they say they deal with a lack of interpretation.

You may have seen a video that went viral on the web of two deaf customers ordering from a Starbuck’s drive-thru in St. Augustine with a signing barista. That’s just one of the many examples of everyday life for those who are part of the deaf community.  Martha Knowles who became deaf at the age of seven says she can relate to the problem.

“And also if you have a problem at the bank. If you want to go in, you need to talk about something … I am having a problem with my account, there is no way to do that,” Knowles said.  The Center For Independent Living helps people with disabilities in seven counties across Central Florida. Last year CIL served over 400 deaf individuals, this year that number has increased to more than 1,300 people. Showing that the demand for interpreters is real.

“American Sign Language is its own language ... it sounds like the community in general, throughout the state and throughout the country, is seeing not as many qualified interpreters to be able to help an individual within their workplace,” said Margaux Pagan the Development Director for the Center For Independent Living. An interpreter can typically cost about $100 an hour and despite the cost, interpreters are still in high demand. But while the deaf population has tripled in the last year, the number of interpreters doesn’t seem to be keeping up.

Summer Manning who was born hearing but became deaf after a severe fever.

“Last minute we will get a last minute interview and we can’t get an interpreter on such short notice," Manning said. "So we have two options we can go to the interview without an interpreter and have that awkward negotiation. Or just choose not to go.”

Deaf pair accused of murder unfit to stand trial..

Robbie Wright hit his head on a guard rail and died from his injuries three days later.Psychiatrists have found two of three deaf people accused of murdering a profoundly deaf man, who fell 12 metres from an apartment balcony, unfit to stand trial due to mental impairment.

Crown prosecutor Sharn Coombes told the Supreme Court on Monday that Georgia Fields, 19, and Jake Fairest, 26, who are on bail, had been assessed and found to be unfit to stand trial. A third man, Warwick Toohey, 37, who appeared via video link from prison, needed further assessment.  Justice Lex Lasry reserved any decision as to whether the trio's trial would proceed until next year.

Georgia Fields leaves the Supreme court after getting bail in June. A trial date had been set down for May 2, but Justice Lasry adjourned the case to February 8, when a directions hearing will be held to get an update on the fitness to plead question for the trio. Ms Fields, Mr Toohey and Mr Fairest are charged with murdering Robbie Wright, who fell from a balcony outside his Ringwood apartment on January 15. Mr Wright, 36, who also suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and had an intellectual disability, died in hospital three days later. 

Ms Fields is profoundly deaf and can communicate only by sign language and in writing.

17,000 a year deafened at work...

hearing impairment
For employees with a hearing impairment, the presence of sound in the workplace can be a daily challenge and a source of frustration. Robin Christopherson looks at how employers can manage potential problems.

Wherever you work, and whatever your role, there is a strong chance that you are routinely bombarded by noise from a variety of different sources. Telephones ringing, printers whirring, music playing on the shop floor or the constant hum of colleagues talking in a open-plan office, the world of work is full of sound.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 17,000 employees in the UK experience deafness, ringing in the ears or other ear conditions caused by excessive noise at work. An employee’s hearing can be impaired in many ways; there is a whole spectrum of
hearing ability and there are lots of different causes of hearing loss, as well as a variety of possible implications in the workplace.

Types of hearing impairment include:

temporary or permanent;
progressive; and
environmental factors.
Impacts of a hearing impairment

As hearing is not something we can “see”, it can be difficult to determine whether or not a colleague’s hearing is impaired. This can make it difficult for line managers to know who to help, and when.

In meetings, presentations, networking events or interviews, a hearing impairment could have an impact on an employee’s ability to do their job, if they are not properly supported or if the working environment is not inclusive of their needs.

There can also often be an emotional response to hearing loss, which impacts on the social and wellbeing of the employee. If you are unable to hear what colleagues are saying clearly, you might miss out on vital information needed for your role, or you might miss the latest bit of office banter, which makes you feel isolated and excluded, having a negative impact on morale.

Reasonable adjustments

Employees with a hearing impairment are protected under the Equality Act 2010 and employers are required to remove the barriers that deaf and other disabled people experience in the workplace. There are a number of different ways to ensure that an organisation is accommodating the needs of deaf or hearing-impaired employees.

Benefits of technology

We are all using technology in the workplace, without really thinking about it, as part of our day-to-day communications. How much of the information you share with colleagues or clients is via the phone, email, your intranet, website, a PowerPoint presentation or a short video? The answer is, of course, nearly all of it.

Technology can work as an enabler as well as a disabler. A message from your organisation’s CEO via video on your corporate intranet can be a really powerful way to communicate with your workforce, but if that video does not have subtitles or captions, you are excluding a proportion of your staff, not limited to those with a hearing impairment but also people whose first language is not English.

A variety of technologies can be used in the workplace to support employees with a hearing impairment. There are some specialist programs available that are specifically designed to support people with hearing loss, but many of the mainstream programs and equipment that your organisation already uses could also be adapted at little to no cost. They include:

text messaging, and email;
amplified sound alerts built into PCs;
a flashing screen on a mobile device when a sound alert is triggered;
bluetooth to connect to hearing aids;
captions for videos;
BSL on-demand services;
video calling for signing or lip-reading;
palentypists and stenographers; and
voice recognition speech-to-text software.

Sometimes the most effective adjustments are made by simply utilising existing resources in a different way. For example, if important company announcements are often given over a tannoy or PA system, which would be difficult or impossible for someone with a hearing impairment to hear, you could also issue the same message via email or text message.

There are also times when specialist adjustments, such as using a palentypist or BSL interpreter, need to be arranged. It is important that the individual employee gets the adjustment that they require, when they require it – because no two people with a hearing impairment are the same.