Thursday, 23 March 2017

NHIR Scanning Research of emerging Technology....

Image result for NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre
The NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre has published a horizon scanning review of new and emerging technologies that are being developed for the management and reduction of the negative consequences of hearing loss.

More than 11 million, (approximately one in six) people in the UK are affected by hearing loss, the majority (92%) experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss. The likelihood of hearing loss increases with age, with more than 70% of 70 year-olds experiencing some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss is however, not uncommon in children; there are over 45,000 children in the UK who have a profound hearing loss.

We identified 55 technologies that fitted the identification criteria: five educational programmes, six auditory and cognitive training programmes, five assistive listening devices, eleven hearing aids (HAs) and alternative listening devices, eight implants and devices, twelve drugs, one regenerative medicine approach, and seven surgical procedures. Most of the developments were in early or uncertain clinical research and would require additional evaluation before widespread adoption by patients and the NHS.

Experts and patients picked out technologies of interest including: apps for converting speech to text and sign language to speech, hearing aids and alternative listening devices to support listening in different environments, a fully implantable cochlear implant (CI) system, a closed-loop CI system, and three developments to support the tuning and optimisation of HAs. If these were successful they have the potential to change the CI landscape for patients, improve patient experience and use of HAs, and to affect service delivery and provision.


Deaf V Deaf ?

Image result for deaf versus hearing
How just 3% of deaf people want to isolate the other 97% with deafness and loss. Deafism rule! Another extremist rant from the Deaf thought police central and home of loony tunes Inc aka Last Hiccup, (We wish it was their last!), with enough 'isms' to keep you occupied for the next 50 years.  

Far from 'identifying' deaf hate, he promotes it and extreme viewpoints that are anti-hearing, anti-deaf, anti-HoH, anti-CIs', anti-hearing aids, anti-genetic choices, and anti-parental decisions, and still hating a man dead a 100 years... is there ANYTHING LH does support ? Read on as Last Hiccup rants about those awful 'Hearing students'.


Gallaudet University: The biggest mistake is to allow hearing students at Gallaudet in early 1990’s. That is why it is also much diversion in Deaf community.

The bigger mistake was putting all deaf activism in one place and allowing Gallaudet to be a hot bed of radicalism, where we saw 'hearing hate' and oral-using deaf hate in action..

DPN was a series of hard-fought, locally and nationally organized campaigns, shining the lights of the media to challenge hearing privileges and employment that hearing people took away from Deaf people who are highly qualified for the jobs.

Not true, ASL student activists rioted, caused criminal damage, and closed down classes, denying educational access to their peers.  They even objected to their own diversity representation officer to make Gallaudet LESS diverse, and subjected teaching staff to the 'Deaf Inquisition' to ascertain if they were pro extreme ASL culture or not.

Blocking and closing classes which prevented access to Higher education they need to compete for jobs.  Hardly encouraging people to support integration, inclusion or equality, unless living in a vacuum is their idea of equality, and isolating deaf from the rest of the world.

It saddens me to see that Deaf against Deaf. How can we make it feel like 1988? 

Or even like 1880 ?  not going to happen, this is 2017, get real !

As is typical for these extremists, feedback and challenges aren't allowed. Welcome to cultural equality in action.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Don't leave me out !

Access versus fairness.

Image result for stop the PIP assessments !
More and more details emerging of biased and discriminatory assessments for PIP by the state welfare arm the DWP and through their 'agents' Capita and ATOS.  


As more upset is being expressed by disabled and deaf alike of poor and amateurish assessments of need by obviously unqualified people, it emerged that even being given British sign language support can be detrimental to you qualifying for welfare if you are deaf.  Read on:-


"My partner was not assessed for her issue at all in real terms, she was born deaf with no speech, and the assessor was a physiotherapist (!) who did not address my partner directly at all, but through a BSL interpreter, the view was my partner had no issues of note as she had support for the interview, but none of her questioning was directed at the problem of her being deaf or difficulties of communicating. 

In retrospect should I have REFUSED to accept DWP BSL interpreter help ? and forced the assessor to do her job properly and put huge stress on my partner as a result ? these are the sort of things that really undermine any sort of accurate assessment taking place. I have no doubt whatever had we not applied for BSL communication support the assessment would have been impossible, but it would have displayed her obvious need for PIP."

Just one of many concerns being raised at the UK's determined assault on its disabled and deaf population.  The sting in the tail was the DWP insisting if you make their assessors do their job properly, then this is deliberate attempt to frustrate assessment. heads or tails, you lose.

UK's Oxfam: The UK most unequal country in the world ?

Deaf Brutality with the police...

12 Deaf Plaintiffs Sue Banner Health for Lack of ASL

Accessibility KeyboardTwelve deaf individuals filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Arizona on March 13 against Banner Health, which operates hospitals, surgery centers and urgent care centers in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. (Cook et al v. Banner Health, U.S. Dist. Ct., Arizona, Filed 03/13/2017, Case # 2:17-cv-00758-JJT.)

Allegation: Failure to Provide ASL Interpreters and Communication Aids

The complaint alleges that Banner Health "discriminated against plaintiffs by failing to provide on-site ASL interpreters when necessary, by providing malfunctioning Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) systems, by failing to adequately train its personnel in the use of VRI systems, and by requiring the plaintiffs to reply upon other means of communication, including passing of notes and/or lip reading, that are inadequate for the medical treatment required by the Plaintiffs and the services required by their companions."

Claims: ADA, Rehabilitation Act, §1557 of ACA and Common Law "Battery"

The complaint alleges that Banner Health's failure to provide ALS interpreters and other communication assistance violates: (1) The anti-discrimination clause of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (2) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination against disabled persons by entities receiving federal funds such as Medicaid reimbursements; (3) the prohibitions on both disability and limited English proficiency discrimination within Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which also prohibits discrimination under health programs or activities receiving federal funds; (4) the Arizonans with Disabilities Act; (5) the common law prohibition against "battery" as the alleged lack of effective communication resulted in a lack of informed consent for medical treatment.

Relief Sought

The complaint seeks a range of relief and remedies including an Order to require Banner Health to adopt policies and procedures to provide a range of assistive communication tools including a high-quality VRI system, provide staff qualified to operate the VRI system, enhance availability of American Sign Language interpreters, train staff in legal requirements, and award applicable actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees.

Trend: Dramatic Increase in Accessibility and Communication Litigation

Multiple similar lawsuits by deaf or hearing impaired individuals have been filed against hospitals around the country in recent weeks. The increase in litigation may also be linked to the hundreds of lawsuits filed in the past two years related to allegedly "inaccessible" websites in violation of the ADA. For more information, read ”Healthcare Sector is Newest Target for Website Accessibility Lawsuits.”


Deaf support strike: 16 days and counting...

Workers, with support from clients, walk a picket line Tuesday outside the Canadian Hearing Society office on Wellington Street  in London.  The local agency has about a dozen staff on strike. (Norman De Bono/The London Free Press)
Workers, with support from clients, walk a picket line Tuesday outside the Canadian Hearing Society office on Wellington Street  in London.  The local agency has about a dozen staff on strike.  Critical services for more than 6,000 deaf people in the London area are curtailed as a strike drags on.


The union claims the Canadian Hearing Society is dragging its feet on returning to the bargaining table, keeping 227 workers off the job across Ontario. “The employer is refusing to come to the table. There are outstanding issues,” said Barbara Wilker-Frey, national representative for Local 2073 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“We have been ­communicating with them every other day for two weeks, and there has been no ­uptake.”  The London office employs about a dozen people and covers Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Elgin and Perth counties and parts of Bruce and Grey counties.  Classes for new immigrants are among the programs curtailed by the strike, affecting about a dozen deaf refugees and immigrants trying to learn both English and sign language.

“The impact is huge. The deaf and hard-of-hearing community relies on us for interpretation, for employment assistance and for auditory services including hearing aids and repairs,” Wilker-Frey said. But Gary Malkowski, vice-­president at the Canadian Hearing Society and member of the executive bargaining team, said the union walked away from the table.

“CHS had requested bargaining continue to potentially avoid a labour disruption. After communicating their intent to strike, CUPE handed a new offer to Ministry of Labour mediators but their offer was not financially sustainable,” he stated in an email.

The workers, who have been without a collective agreement for four years, walked off the job March 6.  About 40 per cent of striking workers are deaf. Melkowski said the society is working to maintain services.“We have been able to ensure all priority and essential clients’ needs are met through our services or through partner agencies. We have a robust strike plan which focuses on limiting the risk to the people we serve.”


Staying connected, informed and empowered in Europe.

Staying connected, informed and empowered
Just about the first such event FOR HoH exclusively in many years, but not about equality !

An international event hosted jointly by the National Association of Deafened People (NADP) www.nadp.org.uk and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People ( EFHOH) www.efhoh.org . This is a unique opportunity to meet delegates from hard of hearing communities across Europe.


The event provides an opportunity for you to hear directly from the most senior leaders in hearing care and the disability movement, discover innovative work led by industry, and network with colleagues from across the sector.

Speakers: Penny Mordaunt MP ( UK Minister for Disabled People) Dr. Laszlo Lovaszy (Expert at the UN CRPD Committee and EU Parliament Advisor), Lilian Greenwood (MP for Nottingham South), Søren Hougaard (Secretary General of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association), Mark Laureyns (President of the European Association of Hearing Care Professionals), Gareth Ford - Williams (Head of Accessibility, BBC Design and Engineering), Sarah Herlinger ( Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple) and David Bradshaw (Digital TV Group) are already confirmed to speak at the Conference.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Working with a Deaf Patient

Facilitating Communication with the deaf.


New software helps those with hearing impairments communicate more readily with those who may not know sign language. LP Connect provides users with a virtual interpreter who knows sign language and 150 different languages. (Video by Shyntel Del Aguila/Cronkite News)

Banning Deaf participation in telethons.


How many deaf I wonder  will participate or even benefit via 'Red Nose Day' on 24th March ?  


We yearn for the time when deaf had at least a semblance of pride they exhibited some years ago, when they refused to participate in one red nose/brown-arsing celebrity TV telethon on the grounds it exploited deaf children.   

Today we laud the fact charities portray us all as the medical model and the needy, but not why that is the case.  Not a word about why that image exists. We will see women and children portrayed as hungry and starving, what we won't see are their male relatives, because they are either killing each other or on a boat to Greece.  That the fact they live where nothing can sustain them either, means the money won't do anything but delay the inevitable. What support we give will not make any long term difference.  The agony is simply prolonged instead.

Red Nose day/week whatever is an UK national excersize in patronisation, we are well known as soft when it comes to helping others without caring if they need that help or even why they need it. Albeit humans still take second billing to pets.   Addressing the effects never the cause, and you get to wear a silly hat and trendy t-shirt as well.

RND lacks any moral compass, in that it refuses to recognise the cause of most issues of people with a disability and a hearing and profound loss, is a refusal by our own people to accept and include.  Only last year it was 'adopt a poor deafie and make them feel at home', gig going on.    Wjat upu will see are animals and disabled kids trotted out,because most fund raisers know there is no sympathy card they can use for adults in need, because many tend to 'bang on' about rights not handouts and the unfairness of the UK state systems, all issues guaranteed to suggest to charity givers and fund raisers they aren't going to get any money plugging those people.

They need misery, they need angst etc, being positive simply excludes your argument you need recognition. They need images of people being 'brave' simply because they can still tie their shoelaces up.  If you can throw in some kids and a few assistance animals too, it's a licence to print money.

This is not how to enhance or facilitate inclusion and acceptance, this is negative promotion. They are aided and abetted by relentless charity plugs for more money to enhance more dependency, which they suggest is empowerment, but empowerment should empower the person, not the provider, and the millions in handouts from the lottery which was set up for 'good causes' ends up subsidising state neglect, and jobs for the non-disabled instead.  It's all a self-sustaining dependency industry, where we have no input as to how it proceeds, and has  no bottom line of making itself redundant, so expect the same for the next 50 years at this rate..

There is NO valid reason why deaf would need handouts.  I am sure there will be people immediately outraged on this attack on what is really, an excuse for the worst exhibit of smug satisfaction on UKTV screens, GOOD ! It is basically any excuse for the same, tired old faces, to get a free plug on media, many of whom we had consigned to z celeb status, or we thought died years ago.

We can continue in the same vein by urging Uk bloggers to cease plugging areas that thrive on patronising them, and view their emancipation as a side show or plug for their business activities.  Let's fess up, charity and disabled and deaf support is BIG money, far be it from ATR to suggest that this their real interest in us, but, £6,000,000,000 a year up for grabs, is not to be sniffed at,and the reason most large charities employ not us, but corporate strategists and online spin merchants.    

The charities have entire areas dedicated to corporate dependency and job adverts which disable us applying for jobs because we will never have the opportunity to gain experience with them.  There are no corporate deaf CEO's, no higher education and corporate training facilities for us.  We are their face, they make it their living and future.

RND is a cynical exhibition of media hyping itself.  Another chance to patronise, feel good, then a 12 month break until the next time you feel that sitting in a bathtub of baked beans is doing your bit for equality or acceptance. It seems heresy to suggest we don't want any money at all, but the fact is we don't, we need a mind-set change, and your vote.  Is it too much to demand equity ?


Would it not be a Good idea to run a whole day's TV dedicated to highlighting the failure of charities to fight your corner ? the complete farce of the 'Deaf and HI' remits ? REAL awareness ? or, the culling of 6,000 disabled, killed by the iniquitous welfare assessments approaches by a state, who validate your entitlement along the lines of the Medieval witch trials, throw you in a pool, if you drown you are innocent, if you don't you are a witch and die anyway.

Could we not highlight the fact 68% of deaf and disabled will never get work experience or even a job of use in their lives ? or  Deaf and HoH UK children denied access to an education, contributing to 40% of them inheriting poor mental health as a result ? but that's fine we fund deaf schools in Africa. We even send mentors using BSL to them, mostly because none are interested in supporting their own here, or are frozen out by charities instead.  The UK are the ultimate patronisers, we spend £12,000,000,000 a year proving it.  It hasn't changed anything

We completely ignored the 6,000 UK families every day queuing up at food banks for their next meal, even ridicule and attack them, nor the 6,000 young people sleeping on the streets, or even our Vets dismissed now they have done their job and been disabled for life, risking their lives for errant politicians, not the image we want the brainwashed to see as they frolic in dancing and cooking laughs. anyone landing here from outer space would rightly assume we are all mad as the proverbial.  The USA has over a million doing it, and see no problem either.

Should we allow deaf  people and red nose comedians to make a joke of the fact we despise our own vulnerable by suggesting at least we care for those elsewhere ?