Friday, 26 August 2016

HoH why are they averse to sign or cued speech ?

In a recent debate online regarding the pros and cons of lip-reading (Most of which were dismissive of lip-reading and BSL for different reasons), a poster suggested why not acquire cued speech ? (A system hardly known in the UK).

The problem, could be HoH and deafened students see cued speech as 'sign language' or a form of it, which I am assured it isn't.  Thus very reluctant to adopt it's use, even if classes existed for it to be taught, which there doesn't appear to be.. 

I did ask for details re cued speech and it seems to need some sort of 'supporter/interpreter' ? another no-no for HoH, it is why they are reluctant to use BSL. Many tend to be critical of these statements, the critics are coming from a cultural stance, and not from the point of entry for people losing their hearing.

The fact remains there are huge reservations by HoH to adopt a signing format of any kind, It's easy to assume negativity at Deaf people, or think its prejudice, but the issue is far more complex. HoH/Deafened see their Independence (such as it is !), being taken from them, they aren't convinced that the 'Deaf' take it in their stride, or call their support something else.   The idea of culture is also an issue, will I have to give up all that I know, if I sign ? 

There aren't really any deaf clubs to attend any more.  A lot of the deaf community find the arguments illogical, but if you were hearing half a lifetime, and can still make out something, then the issue can be quite differently seen.

Text technology (Vastly underrated in these issues of access), have opened up wide areas where the access has increased 10 fold for them. Face to Face being replaced, by text to text.   Deaf communities via deaf clubs have been decimated as a result in the UK, you don't have to physically attend a deaf club to meet up.

Who needs cued speech, lip-reading, or sign ?  Isolation has become a cosy area where you don't need to stress about direct communication, this is a phenomenon directly attributed to internet and technology use, why would it not affect HoH and deafened too, who were leaders/pioneers in its usage ?  It makes little difference to  the 'Deaf', as isolation and a community apart is the way they operate anyway.

SMILES: Assistive technologies.

Survival Tips for deaf teens..

Cochlear implants to almost double in government funding boost

Nearly 100 deaf or hearing-impaired Victorians will receive a cochlear implant, as the state government pledges a funding boost amid hearing awareness week.

More than $80 million will be given to the Eye and Ear Hospital by the Victorian government this year – a $7.8 million increase from last year -  which will allow the hospital to almost double the amount of cochlear implantations.

“We often talk in health care about statistics and outcomes, and the most important thing we need to remember is about making sure people can live full and meaningful lives,” Ms Hennessy said.  “Part of this funding will enable us to double the number of people that can receive implants each year – and better leverage the medical discoveries that are made.”

It was the doctors at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital who granted five-year-old Lily King the gift of colourful cochlear implants when she was born profoundly deaf.

Her mother, Sandra King, said it was a moment she will never forget.  “We really didn’t know what her future held at the start. Selfishly, when she could hear me say ‘I love you’ was the best moment,” Ms King said.  “It’s life-changing to give people that opportunity to integrate into society, and to have dignity is incredibly important.”

The contribution was welcomed by the pioneer of the bionic ear, Professor Graeme Clark, who created it more than 30 years ago.

“This cochlear care centre is an exciting innovation in the provision of healthcare, taking our work to a new level,” Professor Clark said.

Newz Hook app to provide easy access to Paralympics...

When 4,500 sportsmen with disabilities from 176 countries will compete in the Rio Paralympics, which kicks off in the first week of September, the deaf and blind in India will be able to follow the action for the first time.

An app called Newz Hook designed by BarrierBreaks, a Mumbai-based for-profit social enterprise, is planning to feature athletes contesting in the 12-day long event.

Newz Hook is the first ever mobile news application designed to provide easy access to news for the deaf and the blind. From current affairs to business, from science to sports, this app covers news across topics.  The only difference is that the articles in Newz Hook are accompanied by a 'sign language' video in which a reporter interprets the news for the deaf in the Indian Sign Language (ISL).

For the visually impaired, the application supports the use of 'screen readers'. Screen readers are software applications used by the blind to operate smartphone and computers. Screen readers read out loud the text displayed on the mobile phone enabling the blind to hear the news.

The application also enables the user to have a high contrast view and increase the size of the text. This permits senior citizens and people with a partial visual impairment to read the news.  However, the most striking feature of the application is the use of 'simple understandable language' while generating news content.

"While studying the news consumption pattern of the deaf, we found that most of them quit reading the article citing the use of complex words which they could not understand," said Shilpi Kapoor, founder, BarrierBreaks.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Importance of CC...

Exeter Deaf Academy faces closure...

Fears have been raised by Exeter's MP over rumours the Government could close Exeter Deaf Academy which is the subject of a major ongoing investigation.

Exeter Deaf AcademyA robust action plan is yet to be agreed and MP Ben Bradshaw has voiced concerns over the school's future if it doesn't receive the support and intervention required to address its problems. Since last month the school has been under the scrutiny of the police, the Department of Education (DfE) and Devon County Council following concerns raised about some aspects of its provision.

At the time the investigation was launched, the Echo was supplied with the names of three members of staff who it is said have been suspended pending the investigation, but the school in Topsham Road has continued to neither confirm or deny if anyone had been suspended.

No date has been given for when the investigation will be completed, or its recommendations so far, and the school is yet to come up with an approved action plan of how it will run in the future.

A spokesperson for Exeter Deaf Academy said: "The investigation into the academy has not yet been concluded. However, we have been given initial conclusions and recommendations.

Deaf children's charity warns hearing aids may fail

Doctor inserting a hearing aid (stock)
If radio frequencies are sold.  A government auction of radio frequencies could render thousands of hearing aids and implants useless, a charity has claimed.

The National Deaf Children's Society said the auction to mobile phone companies could leave an inadequate protection zone between the frequency range used by technology such as hearing aids, cochlear implants and radio aid and the band up for offer.

Ofcom said the NDCS's concerns were "alarmist", and said it had carried out careful tests to ensure devices would not be affected by mobile signals.  Many hearing devices all operate within the 2.40 to 2.485 GHz frequency range.

Ofcom is proposing to auction the 2.35 to 2.39 GHz frequencies, leaving a 10 MHz protection zone between the two bands.  The NDCS said this "might not be enough" to prevent interference from mobile telephone networks using 4G, and warned that "at worst" the use of these frequencies could cause equipment to malfunction or fail altogether.