Monday, 11 July 2016

Self-Help for the Deaf ?

Leading UK charity on hearing loss urges deaf and HoH to fight own corner more..... 



ATR Responds:

"I think from the 'Deaf' community view, they prefer own groups and leaders to charities putting their point.  I find most 'HI/HoH' far too lazy to campaign or fight own corner.  Those that can't don't know how to get that help.  E.G, the CAB and other areas like disability advice/legal advice, DON'T actually provide support to talk to you, because as charities they don't have the funding for it.....  



Older people aren't online mostly, and reluctant to challenge own Dr for fear of being labelled as 'difficult'.   UK Dentists etc abandoned ANY support for deaf or HoH years ago, so did opticians, it is far from clear you can demand they do either.   The old supportive set up relied on a dedicated 'Deaf Social/welfare Service' which has now disappeared entirely.

Pharmacies/Chemists whom we are told to consult so as not to waste a GP's time, have no access at ALL for anyone that signs, a lot have no loops in place either for those with hearing aids...  It was opposed by the GP's own BMA, as dubious, because they don't posses the qualifications to diagnose people....

GP's/hospitals are still telephoning us and asking "Can you bring a relative with you ?" in complete challenge to the law that states THEY have to provide that support, and using relatives is both a violation of privacy and of the Hippocratic oath.   Any GP that hasn't a system in place has 6 months and ONE day to provide it, or you can sue them.  As regards to hospitals/clinics, centralisation of booking appointments hasn't allowed for the fact people cannot phone easily, or use online access... some provided a mobile contact point that would not take a text call so was useless...

However, HI are ignoring own rights and making do with a pencil and paper, trying to lip-read and losing information, or asking a relative to go with them etc.  I doubt this sector will ever get a system established because they undermine themselves by default, but deaf sign users do the same....  A lot of HoH who do demand access are being offered inappropriate support, like BSL, even if they don't sign.  There seems a 'glut' of interpreters looking for work and trying to get HoH clients ?!? One suspects this is more part of a wider issue of deaf ignorance and poor, ineffectual, and biased awareness run via a postcode demand....

Regional health areas were all told to establish HI and Deaf access years ago, so far all they have done is talk about it, whilst those who make your appointments, ask you to to help yourself instead, because "The guidelines on access for those with hearing loss' are a waste of time, we don't have the funds we need to provide it.  It's no use the system telling us to provide access when we don't have the demand, or the funds to provide for that...."  Tellingly they are saying, where is the demand ?

No cash no access, it was always the way.... it's not enough to demand rights, we already have them, but they aren't funded. Maybe revisit the ATR suggestion of 8 years ago (!) each regional health/999 area establishes a central 'pool',  a one-stop access point, that provides whatever support your required need is.  It would seem to me to be far more cost-effective this way, and each system has only one place to contact too, and can share those costs, rather than each individual area going it alone !, who simply cannot afford the support, or know what is needed....  Hence the constant requests to provide/pay own support instead....

Private care never stopped with the creation of the NHS ! Deaf still pay, so do their families work for nothing.. and what about those with none ?"

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