Thursday, 3 September 2015

Burglar steals deaf woman's access equipment.

With the help of an interpreter, Virginia Beach shared her story about the night of August 16. "I went to bed one night, locked all my doors, felt safe," said Beach.

Beach, who was born deaf, said she woke up a few hours after going to bed and began to notice some of her items were missing and her door was broken open. "I realized someone's been into my home and of course that was horrifying and frightening," she said.

Beach's cell phone, iPad and laptop were stolen.  All of the items that help her communicate. "So really those were my most cherished possessions.  I don't ever want to let (my replacement phone) out of my sight.  I sleep with it now.  I don't want it to be gone from me. That's our access to the world," she said.

Beach showed us programs on her replacement phone like Glide or Video Relay Service that help her send messages and make phone calls. The night she was burglarized, she ran to her neighbor, who called police.  That's when she said she felt like she was robbed all over again.

"I was really feeling very oppressed and minimized by the police department," she said.

Scotland supports the lip-reader.

Woman's face
It's time someone did !   A Scottish health board has offered adults with hearing loss taster classes in lip reading. NHS Highland will hold the sessions in Dingwall from 14 September until the end of the month.

The classes on techniques will be run as part of this year's Lip Reading Awareness Week, which runs from 14 to 19 September.  Speech and language therapist Liz Kraft said the skill could help people feel less isolated.

She said: "Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing people, who do not use sign language, and are not part of the deaf community, can struggle to stay in touch with their own language and be part of any community.

"Lip reading and managing hearing loss classes have been shown to be of huge benefit and allow anyone with hearing loss to do the very best they can to help themselves."

So c'mon guys stop being negative about it...

Paddy explains... Deafhood

ALL meaning everyone with hearing loss, not just those that sign ? that message is entirely lost.

 So we switch to over-emphasis on hands instead ?  The 'Ear' logo was approved by the deaf and HI.

For you, that doesn't mean it was for everyone else.  Did not his oral education equip him to write ?

So he didn't become part of the community, or sign at all until adult.  Now he's an expert on Growing up in a deaf community ?  It's all personal view/opinion based on being disenfranchised.  Primarily to appeal to other disenfranchised.  It has led to a pseudo cult status and part extremist approach to ID.

So time for those running Deafhood courses and seminars to STOP preaching divisions, this is NOT what Deafhood is about.  Which Paddy says is about Inclusion.

Where is the numerical PROOF the majority with hearing loss want in to deafhood ? or have courses aimed at them ?  Or even the proof sign language charities welcome the hard of hearing or vice versa ?  They are polarised already.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

SEE HEAR Paddy.....

One suspects a fair number of deaf in the know sat in front of the TV set to watch SEE HEAR this week, to throw down the obligatory and metaphorical palm for Paddy Ladd to walk over, on one of his rare appearances on deaf TV.

Wonder what the deaf made of Paddy Ladd on SEE HEAR this week ?  The supreme irony of him being brought up orally, (He kept that quiet !), then having a life-enhancing vision of being deaf (He hadn't noticed prior apparently),   Then rejoiced  being 'born-again' deaf at age 22.  'Born again' people are the most militant, determined and over-zealous and possibly a bit crazy with it. and Paddy didn't disappoint.  He thought he was hearing ?

It is almost certainly his oral/english education that enabled him to write the 'Understanding Deafhood'  book in the first place and attend University. Maybe he didn't watch the prior item about the demise of deaf schools, down from a high of 75 to 22, with 4 more due to close.... so is not wondering where his next audience is coming from.  He told us all when the wrote the Understanding Deafhood book it wasn't intended for the deaf community, but as an 'Academic guide' so hearing people could understand deaf culture, and he assumed it would end up a dusty tome' (His words), on some uni library shelving.  Certainly there were far too many obscure terms used and over-creative explanations for  the deaf to follow.  The existence of 100s of 'deaf studies' courses are still trying to unravel as some sort of 'Rosetta Stone' thing I gather.

It will be disappointing if it just means deaf people stick together, feel hearing don't understand them, and they all sign and hate A G Bell and how !  Welcome to the 21stc.  As regards to deaf schools, If anything the SEE HEAR program highlighted that the real problems with mainstream weren't cultural at all, they never mentioned academic success in deaf schools currently, with an increasing number being labelled as unsatisfactory and with health and safety issues.   The issue as we are all aware is, supportive.  The concept of mainstream is still valid, but making it work is still beset with huge support issues, but what is the alternative ? A deaf school BSL education that divides the deaf even further away from mutual acceptances in adulthood ?  
The question is about the real POINT of a deaf education.  Is it literacy and enabling our deaf children to cope in a hearing world ? or simply a signing comfort zone that is going to leave them struggling, when they leave it after 16 years ?  

What of the deaf adult after this 'special' education ?  £40+K a year to support them in work.  £90+K a year to educate them in a deaf school.  And one deaf student at University, studying  in Law, who claimed a staggering £150K for just ONE year of support, to train as a lawyer, but rejected English, what court was he going to work in ?  Whose cases would he be able to fight ?  Did he even FINISH the course ? Let's ask Paddy Ladd.... who claimed deaf AREN'T enabled or helped, but being colonised.

We are reminded of cultural priorities, primarily their social area is number one, that takes ultimate precedence over an education, a job, or anything else.  Ask why this is all-consuming an issue to them... and not equality, not a good education or to be adequate in english ?  BSL may be a language to them it isn't when they are adult and want to work or go to higher education areas, then it falls down.   Surprise surprise most of mainstream speak and  can hear, and don't need translating.  It's a tough world out there. 

A few facts UK deaf should be more aware of, is that many of their own leading campaigners came from ORAL Schools/background, Paddy Ladd did,  the UK's best 'deaf school' is the Mary Hare Grammar School, again a dominant oral school, maybe the fact is deaf schools based solely on sign just won't be able cut it ?

What benefits a culture, that is barely literate ?  It impoverishes it. They are just going to be an eternal minority with a grudge against the spoken word, literal education, or even English itself ? With deaf schools failing where will the next community come from ?  It certainly WON'T have the same aspirations and desires that drove the old deaf school backgrounds, CI's genetics, better hearing aids, better health outcomes, more integration in mainstream (It's too late to stop it now), and mind-boggling accessible technology have freed too many to go back to a system that was based on the fact society didn't want to know them, now they are more enlightened, but we still have to be in there pitching to make it work or it will fail again. 

If we want to live in isolation, join a monastery.

Deaf Children's charity cited in data abuse report.

Daily Mail infographic on how Samuel Rea 'became a target for conmen'According to the journalists, ‘charities sold personal details of a dementia sufferer to conmen who tricked him out of thousands of pounds”.

The newspaper claimed that:

* “Mr Rae’s details were sold or passed on up to 200 times by charities, including to a company responsible for scams against the elderly”

* Mr Rae received 731 requests for donations from charities who acquired his name and details

* he lost £35,000 to conmen who acquired his name and details

It claims the process began in 1994 when Mr Rae completed a lifestyle survey and forgot to tick the ‘do not share my details’ box. Journalists Katherine Faulkner, Paul Bentley and Lucy Osborne wrote that “as a result, his name, address and other details have been shared or sold up to 200 times, by at least 15 charities – sometimes to conmen”.

The charities:  

88 charities received Mr Rae’s personal data, and 15 of those passed on his personal data. Charities named in the four-page report included RSPCA, PDSA, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Deaf Children’s Society, Cancer Recovery UK, Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, Unicef, British Red Cross, The Haven (formerly Breast Cancer Haven), RNIB, Action Ethiopia, and Age UK (or Help the Aged as it then was).

Amtrak Station Cited for Violating Deaf Man's Rights

The Federal Railroad Administration has cited an Amtrak station in Henrico County for violating a deaf man's rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The agency said the station on Staples Mill Road lacked required public telephone technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The agency also said the station doesn't provide a visual information system to update passengers about delays and schedule changes.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that disAbility Law Center of Virginia director Colleen Miller announced the agency's findings on Monday. The center had filed a complaint on behalf of Gary W. Talley of Petersburg.  Talley says announcements of train delays often are made by loudspeaker.

Amtrak told the federal agency that it's taking appropriate action to ensure its operations comply with the law.

Deaf mice cured with gene therapy

Pass the cheddar....... In a laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital a cure for genetic deafness is taking shape. Lead researcher Jeff Holt says that if all goes as planned, children of the future who lose their ability to hear due to genetic mutation will never go deaf.

Holt and his fellow researchers are attacking the problem at its source. They are using engineered viruses to repair damaged genes that make up parts of the inner ear.

"Our strategy was to take a viral vector, remove the viral genes so that it doesn't make anyone sick and to replace those with the correct DNA sequence for TMC1," said Holt, an associate professor of Otolaryngology.   TMC1 is a gene critical to hearing. It is responsible for encoding proteins that convert sound into electrical signals the brain can process.

To test their treatment protocol, Holt and his team used two types of deaf mice that model the dominant and recessive genetic mutations of TMC1 in humans. The team used an engineered virus called adeno-associated virus, or AAV1, to deliver the functioning TMC1 gene to the inner ears of the deaf mice models.

"We found that we can restore function in both cases for recessive and dominant forms of TMC1 mutations," he said.