Friday, 30 September 2016

134Billion, the cost of hearing loss...

Image result for wasted money eurosThere is increasing evidence within Europe and across the world of the economic impact of hearing loss to society to meet the increased medical and social costs incurred, and take into account lost earnings. The annual economic costs to European countries has been estimated as:


A more recent study in England found the costs associated with hearing loss were estimated at £30.13 billion per year, including medical and social costs (Archbold, Lamb, O’Neil, 2015). In France, a recent estimation was 23.4 billion euros. (KervasdouĂ©, J. Hartmann, L. 2016)

The cost of NOT providing hearing technologies has been shown to be greater than the cost of providing them. (O’Neil et al., 2016) Health systems need to calculate the real health costs of hearing loss. Not providing hearing aids and cochlear implants should be seen as a massive risk. It stores up more costly demands on health services and social care for the future.

Your right to Mental Health services...

Unitact for the Deaf and HoH...

Love is never silent...

Image result for LOve is never silentStill the best deaf film ever made about deaf people and their CODA, so forget children of a lesser God etc, this was very real.

Love is Never Silent screening to benefit Virginia Organizing. Virginia Organizing will screen the movie Love is Never Silent at Wayne Hills Deaf Fellowship (877 Ladd Road, Waynesboro) on Friday, September 30. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the movie will begin at 6 p.m.

“For the past year, members of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Chapter of Virginia Organizing have put a lot of time and energy into raising awareness about communication access in hospitals and issues important to the deaf community,” said Virginia Organizing leader Ronna Wertman. “This event will be a great opportunity to share the highlights of our efforts and to celebrate the accomplishments of our members.”

“We hope people will come out to learn more about Virginia Organizing and the deaf community and to offer their support so we can continue this important work together,” said Wertman.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

NADP: Adding subtitles and Captions.

Sound Of Music in Auslan

Yorkshire Police support Deaf Week.

West Yorkshire Police is supporting Deaf Awareness Week this week. See our new video by Force Deaf Champion and Staff Member Chloe Lockey.

Deaf-Blind: In a sighted/hearing world.

Bali's Deaf Village...

Balinese artists dance to rhythmic drumming as men sit cross legged around them, jiggling their arms and chanting. 

It appears to be just another show on the Indonesian resort island, known for its ancient culture and rituals, but there is a key difference -- the dancers are all deaf and cannot hear the beat.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Dale's Journey.

NHS Foundation Trust - Dale's Journey from zinzan on Vimeo.

The Hearing Implant team at St Thomas’ Hospital provide specialist cochlear implants (CI) to adults who are profoundly deaf across the South of England and Jersey. We have developed a series of short videos showing a range of patients’ journeys with their cochlear implant. Watch the series  HERE

Dale received his cochlear implant at 29 years of age. He had been deaf since childhood and wore hearing aids, but his hearing got worse over time. He talks about his own unique journey of listening with a cochlear implant. 

He shares with us the impact of his profound deafness, his decision to have a cochlear implant, his early experiences of listening through a cochlear implant, rehabilitating his listening and the benefits and limitations of his cochlear implant.

Police enquiries Ongoing at Deaf Academy...

Exeter Deaf AcademyThe ongoing investigation at Exeter's Deaf Academy has been concluded by Devon County Council (DCC), but police enquiries are still continuing.

Both the school and DCC have told the Echo they won't disclose what the recommendations are until they have been disclosed to parents who have been invited to a meeting at the school next Friday, October 7, at 1.30pm.

The school in Topsham Road, has been under the scrutiny of the police, the Department of Education (DfE) and Devon County Council since July following concerns raised about some aspects of its provision. Three members of staff were believed to have been suspended when the investigation was launched.

A letter has been sent to parents informing them about the meeting where they also get a chance to learn about the work being done to ensure the academy is a safer place for students to learn and to live. At the meeting, parents will hear about the relocation plans to move to a new campus in Exmouth in 2018.

Stop staring at me !

A recent angry response when I was attempting to lip-read someone at a meeting.  I explained I wasn't trying to be rude, but trying to follow him by lip-reading, but he turned his back on me, end of conversation !

It got me thinking as to how we as lip-readers manage in situations that are never ideal, or even understanding what others feel about being the sole object of concentration by you, and, they don't even know you. By nature HI/HoH feel uncomfortable staring at others. An issue Deaf are not usually concerned about.  

They won't follow otherwise, it is an easy issue for them to understand.  Our confusion stem from the infinite varieties of hearing loss where we WILL hear some things, it matters not to what degree we actually do.  One word we hear in 20, or 10% of a whole conversation,  will convince many we are still 'in it and pitching'.  Either that or we run to the hills.

How deaf signers cope is by using interpreters who are accustomed to being watched closely all the time, and with peers for whom its a norm, they have had this since day one, so the pressure is not really on them, not even with total deaf strangers, as the communication is the thing, but we don't like it as ex or Hard of hearing people, we are still bound by that hearing etiquette still.  Deaf-Blind you have to touch others and allow them to touch you, that too can make others uncomfortable.    

I suppose it is the Brit way of things, we prefer the impersonal, 'keep your distance' approach, or not brought up 'touchy feely'.. Anyone attempting 'high fives' etc with me or 'bump fists' whatever, get short shrift,  I don't see the point of it, or you have a good day etc, what business is it of theirs ?  

I don't know who you are etc... it becomes meaningless by repetition, (And as we saw with that Canadian whom yer royal child wasn't impressed by, it's not done old boy... even Obama wasn't impressive enough to this lad... 

Obama's mistake was invading the child's 'space', and it is this very important thing that affects HoH interactions with others too.  Even now I get embarrassed if virtual strangers I meet for the first time attempt to cuddle me or kiss me on the cheek, hold on to my hand just that little bit too long etc, DON'T DO IT.   You may do this with your friends and relations but not assume I will like you doing it with me.  At  least until I know you well enough.

It's a proven fact, there is a time limit of milli-seconds on handshakes that suggest if a person is comfortable with you or not, or even HOW you shake a hand, that milli-second can decide if further contact is desired at all. What the mind perceives as acceptable or not, and is based on reflex honed by centuries as a defence mechanism.  One hand as a greeting, the other ready to respond with if necessary.

I suppose this generation is more used to seeing other people in other countries, for whom human contact isn't an alien but a very natural thing, Italians are very demonstrative e.g. and are emulating them as some extension of '90s' man, but still are not 'natural' in the way they do it, so it looks obligatory and a norm but NOT a genuine feeling response, the body tells you otherwise.  I believe these issues do affect how we establish effective communications for HI and HoH too.

It is the male who most likely recoils at such close scrutiny, and any metro-sexual man who can cry at the drop of a hat gets ridicule from peers not respect.  That 'stiff upper lip' can still prevail, and the male can still tend to see this as a weakness of character.  I would suggest men suffer more greatly with hearing loss than women do, because women would respond much easier to the emotion of loss and talk, and try to get it addressed, men would bluff it out in isolation.  They do tend to see too much talk about their loss problems, as identifying them as weak too.  I think only when you are a lot older do you accept the situation a lot better and admit you cannot follow, but that still might not mean getting it addressed properly.

The problem as I see it with lip-reading is it requires such concentration and skill, and that isn't met anywhere on the street via good speech or by ideal situations needed to make the most effective use of it.  But, what is an 'ideal' situation ?  it's in-house with people who understand you and will make allowances ?  That is narrowing your options not widening them. In that respect I haven't utilised lip-reading effectively at all because yer man or woman in the street is not going to accommodate me 90% of the time.  

Our kids don't mind being familiar with total strangers or partial acquaintances, but we do.  With the deaf there is an etiquette to follow, with HoH or deafened there isn't a clear one, as we aren't using a single means as a prime medium to follow, and social-cultural issues are different too.  On the street it isn't there anyway, so you fall back on what was the norm for you as a hearing person and your age and upbringing, but without that hearing as back up !

Would you ask a total stranger to stand in the correct light and speak clearly so you can follow them ? and, do you think they would comply ? We aren't taught the etiquette of 'first contact' are we ?  

We know as HoH or HI/Deafened, we would simply adopt an aversion tactic, and a different tack or avoid instead, if we are honest. How often have we blubbered out 'Sorry I have to go meet kids from school.. see a relative, have a bus to catch." whatever, as an excuse ?   We have the monopoly on viable excuses and can be very inventive, or we just leave the situation entirely.  Being labelled rude is quite acceptable to being totally stressed out.  However this can suggest to others it is not worth effort getting to know you.

In trying to emulate non-HoH cultural mirrors to the Deaf community, these fail because of language issues anyway, what is the real answer to embarrassment to communicate, that is ingrained in us, because its 'not how hearing do it...' ? Confidence ?  that demands you have a fail safe we don't have.

Free videos for the Deaf community

Pharmacists who struggle to communicate with ASL-speaking patients can direct them to new resource.

Just in time for International Week of the Deaf, the last full week in September, VUCA Health, a company based in Lake Mary, FL, has launched a website that features videos demonstrating proper administration of certain medications presented in American Sign Language (ASL). The videos can be accessed for free  HERE, and cover topics such as injecting medications subcutaneously, using inhalers, and applying fentanyl patches.

David Medvedeff, PharmD, MBA, the company’s CEO, said that “in our country, we have an issue with low health literacy.” Deaf patients, he said, are particularly affected, and difficulties in communicating can prevent pharmacists from providing them with the highest quality of patient care. That’s why Medvedeff and VUCA Health decided to create the videos.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hearing loss to blame for underweight babies !!

More unadulterated tosh from yet another patronising survey of the inherent dangers of hearing loss.  Of course it would have NOTHING to do with the fact medical systems block access and support to us would it ?  NAH !!!!!  Hearing loss ISN'T the issue (Why do we bother making them aware ?).  

Hearing loss is a marginalizing and disabling condition, resulting in various adverse social and health outcomes. Babies born to women with hearing loss were significantly more likely to be premature and have low birth weight, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Understanding and addressing the causes are critical to improving pregnancy outcomes among women with hearing loss, say investigators.

Around one percent of people in the U.S. who are 18 to 44 years old have hearing loss of various types, severity, pattern, and age of onset. Unfortunately, many individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing can have significant health issues, while communication and language barriers, along with a general mistrust of the medical community, result in social and healthcare marginalization for many.

Hearing issues reduce opportunities for individuals to benefit from mass media, healthcare messages, healthcare communication, and incidental learning opportunities. And healthcare providers rarely receive training on how to communicate effectively and care for individuals with hearing loss, resulting in poor communication, increased provider frustrations, and changes in healthcare delivery.

"There have not yet been any population-based studies about pregnancy experiences and outcomes among women with hearing loss, although a recent study of deaf women's experiences with prenatal care found they were less satisfied with their care and were more likely to have fewer prenatal visits than hearing women," explained lead investigator Monika Mitra, PhD, of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. "We therefore set out to investigate birth outcomes among women with hearing loss."

Special Screening for deaf-blind

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) joined forces with SM Cares and other partner agencies (Deaf Blind Support Philippines, AKAP Pinoy, Philippine Blind Union, National Council on Disability Affairs, and Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled) to hold an audience-empowering event dubbed as Special Movie Screening for the Blind and Deaf.

The special movie screening took place at Premiere Cinema, SM Mall of Asia on Sept. 20 and was attended by more than 900 participants, mostly students from the Philippine School for the Blind and Philippine School for the Deaf and members of Resources for the Blind. 

Officials from MTRCB, SM Cares and other partner agencies grace a special movie screening at SM Mall of Asia’s Premiere Cinema where the blind and hearing-impaired children are treated to an exclusive cinema experience.

The event brought together MTRCB Chairperson Atty. Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, President of SM Supermalls Annie Garcia, Vice-President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. (SMLEI) Edwin Nava, President of Deaf Blind Support Philippines Edgardo “Bong” Garcia, and Director of SM Cares Program on PWDs Engineer Bien Mateo. Also present were MTRCB Executive Director Atty. Ann Marie Nemenzo as well as MTRCB Board Members Atty. Noel Del Prado and Bibeth Orteza Siguion-Reyna. 

It's all a Game (For some anyway).

2016-09-21-1474484051-9409219-technology792175_960_720.jpgWhen hearing people think about exciting new technologies for those who are deaf, their minds most likely jump to the latest developments in cochlear implants or hearing aids. 

Or perhaps they may vaguely recall reading about any number of devices being developed to translate sign language into speech (or speech into ASL, or ASL into text). When hearing people think about deafness in general, they tend to think only in terms of “problems” and “solutions.” Luxury technology now forms a cornerstone of our sleek American culture, yet very few innovations seek to enhance — or even consider — the real diversity of the modern user base.

Chris (“Phoenix”) Robinson, who has severe hearing loss in his right ear and is completely deaf in his left, and Brandon (“Zero”) Chan, who is deaf, began their channel DeafGamersTV with a seemingly simple goal: break down the barrier between deaf and hearing people in the gaming world.

Where most gamers take for granted the ability to just log on and join in, Chris and Brandon found themselves kicked off teams and cyber bullied on some platforms simply because they don’t use microphones to communicate. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Face Off...

Sensory Disability.....

Sensory disabilities are disabilities associated with the senses such as sight or hearing, but also with taste, smell, and spatial awareness. 

Blind or visually impaired humxns may make use of canes or guide dogs and braille printing, while deaf or hard of hearing humans may use various aural devices, sign language and so on.

#NoMoreCraptions campaign

Amanda: What Deaf means to me...

Hey everyone! So, I wanted to talk about something I've been thinking a lot about recently and that is the word "DEAF." Now I grew up in hearing culture. I grew up with hearing family, hearing friends, going to a mainstream school and I didn't have access to signing. 

I didn'thave access to Deaf people and...So, growing up for me that word "DEAF" scared me, because for me, before, that meant that I was going to lose my hearing. That meant that I was going to lose access to oral communication. That meant I might lose my family and my friends.

That was scary for me. It was really scary. And it wasn't until after I became physically deaf that I started searching for people like me and I started searching for a better way to communicate. 

And I found that in Deaf culture, in sign language, in the Deaf
community. Now that i am a proud Deaf woman that word death means something so different to me. So, I wanted to share
with you what word "DEAF" means to me now. Now the word "DEAF" means strength. 

It means having the strength to accept yourself for who you really are. It also means support; having the support of the Deaf community. Having people around me that understand what i go through every single day, all of my struggles. They understand me, they really understand. It also means communication, because now I have this beautiful language that I can always understand I don't have have to struggle with and I have access to communication through new technology like VOIP and oh captioned phones. 

Different things that help me communicate better. It also, lastly, means intelligence. Why? Because deaf people; we have to be able to think creatively. We have to be able to think outside the box so that we can create new solutions to problems that we have, that don't depend on hearing, and that takes intelligence. So, this is what my new meaning of the word "DEAF" is. What does "DEAF" mean to you?

ATR:  If you aren't using the previous access methods then how are you now communicating ?  You are interpreter dependent instead ? How are you now communicating to friends who aren't deaf you grew up with ?  or have you ditched them for new signing ones ? Have you opted out of your previous social situation entirely ?

The situation which we see above is often held up as a cultural promo, but really is not a true reflection of how most who grew up deaf but didn't integrate with the deaf community manage later on.  For most there is no 'way back' to a culture you were never part of from day one anyway. Mostly the issues are about personal abilities to cope.  Once you can manage those there is no ID struggle to worry about.

Deafened do not have ID issues, they are, what they are.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Bolivia publish sign language dictionary.

The Bolivian Deaf Federation published a dictionary on Friday, with 2,300 local entries about typical food, clothing, and festivities, to facilitate communication with the deaf community. 

The dictionary was presented in the capital La Paz ahead of the International Week of the Deaf scheduled for the last week of September.   The dictionary "Bolivian Sign Language" includes words such as "apthapi" (community meal in the Aymara language), and also compound terms such as "San Francisco" (a traditional dish from La Paz) and other terms that are related to Bolivian culture. 

"The work was carried out throughout Bolivia by two deaf researchers with the purpose of recovering the signs from each region," said Ana Maria Marconi, an interpreter for Febos, the deaf federation.  This year, under the slogan "with sign language I am equal," a series of activities has been developed in several Bolivian regions seeking to generate equal rights for the deaf. 

According to the 2012 National Population and Housing Census, 50,562 Bolivians were registered with hearing impairments, although there is no statistic available about how many people communicate using sign language. 

"Deaf people learn their language later on and we want to strengthen this so as to benefit the deaf community to bring about better communication and inclusion in society," said Marconi.

Deaf 4 times more likely to have no job than hearing.

Staff at the Sensory Centre are behind the eventAlthough a bit of a faux pas to suggest the deaf pound based on welfare allowances is a great impetus to employ us !  Or suggesting Deaf are disabled, the term is deaf AND disabled aint it !

Businesses are being urged by Forth Valley Sensory Centre to offer more roles to sensory-impaired people. The call follows a recent survey which highlighted that a quarter of people with hearing loss have quit their job due to discrimination. 

For young people the task is even harder with young deaf people four times more likely to be unemployed than their hearing peers. These issues and others will form part of the inaugural business breakfast meeting in partnership with Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce. 

The free event on October 7 will focus on the benefits of hiring people with a sensory impairment and how local businesses can make themselves more attractive to customers. Martin Allen, partnership manager at the Sensory Centre, said: “The Department of Work and Pensions estimates the spending power of the disabled community in the UK to be £212 billion. 

“By engaging better with disabled people businesses can make themselves much more attractive to these potential customers. “What our event will show is that there is no cost, no downside to employing a person with a sensory impairment. “There is a wide range of funding a

Bridget Jones's' baby NOT Deaf

A group of deaf cinema-goers were left fuming after turning up at the hotly-anticipated Bridget Jones film – only to find there were no subtitles. 

David Deacon was one of up to 15 deaf film fans who attended Croydon’s Vue cinema for a special screening of Bridget Jones’s Baby starring RenĂ©e Zellweger and Colin Firth.  But after 25 subtitle-free minutes, the 24-year-old and his fellow audience members complained to staff at the cinema, in Grants Entertainment Centre, that subtitles were not showing on the screen.

The aspiring film-maker, from Wallington, claimed he was told that staff “could not find a subtitled version of the film”. He told the Standard: “I explained the situation and, ironically, it would seem that it fell on deaf ears and the only solution the manager would give is to give out complimentary tickets. 

“I was also shocked to learn that the manager then mentioned that they could not find a subtitled version of the film and did not inform me or the others whilst we were waiting for the subtitles to show in the auditorium, whilst the film was still running.”

Thursday, 22 September 2016

New Book on Llandrindod Wells deaf school

They weren’t allowed to speak Welsh, sign language was banned in class and the Tourist Board warned their presence would deter holidaymakers - the lives of deaf schoolchildren in Wales in the 1950s and 1960s are laid bare in a new book.

A History of the Royal Cambrian and Llandrindod Well s Residential Schools for the Deaf 1846-1973 details shocking testimony from former pupils, now aged in their sixties and seventies.  Author Cedric Moon, from Cardiff , attended the school in Llandrindod for three months aged 11 in 1959. The father of three doesn’t recall his school days but his interviews with former pupils from the 1950s and 1960s, reveals many were unhappy at the school which shut in 1973.

The school, which opened in Aberystwyth in 1847 before moving to Swansea as the Cambrian Institute in 1850 and then on to Llandrindod Wells in 1950, was taken over by the Welsh Joint Education Committee in 1949. It decreed English only should be used.

We've all been there !

A profoundly deaf Moray woman, whose lengthy train journey was thrown into chaos, has thanked the rail staff who went out of their way to ensure she returned home safely.

Beverly Robertson visited Liverpool at the weekend to celebrate a friend’s forthcoming marriage and her own 34th birthday.  When the Mosstodloch mother-of-two was returning north on Sunday, her train suddenly stopped at Manchester and passengers had to empty from it.

Mrs Robertson could not hear the announcements being made over the speakers explaining the situation, and quickly grew anxious about what had caused the upheaval.  She has very limited speech, but managed to let a ticket collector at Manchester know she was deaf.

The collector communicated with Mrs Robertson by typing messages on her mobile phone.  Thereafter, helpful rail employees guided her every step of the way on a revised journey from Manchester to Inverness, where her husband David was waiting to pick her up.

Mrs Robertson’s mum, Lorna Hunter, said her daughter grew worried when the train unexpectedly ground to a halt in Manchester.  She said: “The train hadn’t got very far when that happened and she was anxious because she didn’t know why it had happened.

“She wasn’t able to hear any messages coming through, and was frightened about missing her connection at York.”  The Transpennine Express ticket collector escorted Mrs Robertson to a train from Manchester to York, and made arrangements for rail staff to collect her at Newcastle and Edinburgh.

When she arrived at Edinburgh too late to catch the Inverness train, Virgin paid for a taxi to transport her to the Highland capital.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

No captions required we're deaf....

Read below threats to remove videos if we demand captions, but I think the UC has missed a trick here ! 

E.G. online is FLOODED by ASL and BSL videos that are also NON-CAPTIONED, because cultural deaf claim it is a right, E.G. the site identified above has the logo "This video is signed in American Sign Language. No subtitles & voice. "

Apart from the fact this excludes many DEAF PEOPLE as well, we need to attack discrimination within our midst and lead by example.  I could suggest the UC implement the same response, in that the videos are aimed at hearing people, not deaf ones, so do not require titles or captions.

Sauce for the Goose etc...  Deaf have consistently advertised their output via no captions, as some sort of 'boast', one fears it's pot's calling the kettles a darker colour. Caption ALL.   If we demand exclusions from access, why cannot others ?  Do not hearing have a culture and linguistic right too ?


C Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Cathy Koshland issued this statement today: 

UC Berkeley has long been committed to ensuring equal access to students, faculty and staff with disabilities. Despite the absence of clear regulatory guidance, we have attempted to maximize the accessibility of free, online content that we have made available to the public. Nevertheless, the Department of Justice has recently asserted that the University is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because, in its view, not all of the free course and lecture content UC Berkeley makes available on certain online platforms is fully accessible to individuals with hearing, visual or manual disabilities.

The department’s findings do not implicate the accessibility of educational opportunities provided to our enrolled students.

In response, the university has moved swiftly to engage our campus experts to evaluate the best course of action. We look forward to continued dialog with the Department of Justice regarding the requirements of the ADA and options for compliance. Yet we do so with the realization that, due to our current financial constraints, we might not be able to continue to provide free public content under the conditions laid out by the Department of Justice to the extent we have in the past.

In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free. We believe that in a time of substantial budget deficits and shrinking state financial support, our first obligation is to use our limited resources to support our enrolled students. Therefore, we must strongly consider the unenviable option of whether to remove content from public access.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Future deaf community services...

The METRAC Campaign

A new campaign in Toronto aims to help deaf women facing family breakdowns navigate the legal system.

Through its Family Law Education for Women program, METRAC has partnered with Springtide Resources and members of the deaf community to create two videos being launched Thursday.

The videos were produced in American Sign Language, with closed captioning, and contain detailed information about child custody rights and information about support services for survivors of domestic assault.

METRAC has for years provided sign language services for deaf and hard-of-hearing women through direct translation, but feedback from the deaf community showed it “wasn’t very helpful,” said METRAC’s legal director Tamar Witelson.

“This is about increasing access to justice. There’s a lot of concerns when women are separating from their partners, and it’s even harder for deaf women,” she said, noting that having a multimedia element in the resources will go a long way.

Fighting the welfare system...

From social media, one mother's worry about her daughter getting the help she needs..

"My daughter has requested speech to text 5 times now for PIP assessment. They will not be providing communication support Surely this is discrimination. They offered a BSL signer. My daughter doesn't sign. 

They now require 3 weeks notice. So we have now been told from several phone calls "just give us a call" . 2 weeks to the latest 3 weeks. The operator said too many people are requesting speech to text . They cancelled my daughters last appt because the speech to text person was sick. 3 hours before her appt.. Therefore they should have rebooked with speech to text. ATOS are unprofessional and treat disabled people in a disgraceful inhuman manner.
My daughter lost all hearing aged 18 due to severe rapidly progressive sensori neural hearing loss. Prior to this happening her hearing was perfect.

We have contacted our MP"


"I've never had speech to text support in my 47 years of being profoundly deaf in both ears except in one legal situation and that was denied me for 40% of the time even then. In supporting my partner I was denied note-taking support by the Social Services and local authority too. If there is an access law the system is not aware of it. We are told the people/staff/support system for HoH isn't there, and what is there is cost prohibitive as far as the system is concerned, the delays in some areas where it does exist are 4 times that of the availability of BSL support."

"I really do not understand the lack of skilled people argument, a savvy note taker can do the job, an audio typist can, as well as the speech to text and other people. I wouldn't say anyone with hearing and literate can do it, but many can. The problem is they would be dealing with the system and that system would exploit their limited knowledge too. The software is complete pants and unless you like solving riddles harder than the Rosetta Stone don't bother using it.

We are the damned. If we can speak no support, if we can read and write NO support, if we have a hearing aid we hear everything, if we lip-read we are hearing, if we can sign all the help you need, go figure. They are trying to force us to use sign language or go without, so, we are going without. A recent declaration by ATOS and the other DWP subcontractors, state they will provide whatever support is needed for assessments and interviews, that doesn't happen at all. 8 out of 10 with hearing loss were denied support to follow or sent incomprehensible forms that didn't include questions about our hearing loss issues to answer, every other question thus designed to 'catch you out' and repeat , repeat same questions different ways to confuse you deliberately, as any wrong answer invalidates you. Even a plus on one can be removed by a negative answer on another.

They are not deaf or HoH aware and that is down to the charities who are paid to 'advise' but do not ensure the system has listened or monitored.... We are being targeted at our weakest point, the point of actual access to follow, by blocking, or frustrating that, even posting mail to deaf who cannot follow the written word properly then stopping their allowance because they couldn't read or respond to it in time. So we can claim nothing and then lose whatever we have too. 

What we can do is record all assessments on film and on sound, and then expose the duplicity of the DWP. They should have no objection if we don't. We also need 'undercover' claimants who know the system to get into assessments and expose the way they are run. We are at war with the DWP, they are determined to decimate the disabled people's ability to claim help, if we don't fight, then we lose by default. 3,000 disabled have died, it's not a matter of losing a few quid a week, but of ensuring life enhancing support,and not to be told "You aren't entitled to a social life or proper help..'

There is no campaigning support for us, AOHL knows what the issue is so do other HI areas they refer us on to, mostly to people who are faced with the same issues we are, no access to advise, or no funds to provide it. And the CAB is reporting the DWP refusing to talk to them so our adviser's are being blocked too. As the DWP has subcontracted, they don't feel they have to communicate with you at all. Don't get mad, get even, let us expose to the country what they are doing... and why is IDS still allowed to walk our streets ?"

I've Got BSL friends so I'm OK...

It's a shame in some respects some deaf feel it is pointless integrating or interacting with the mainstream and rely on peer support almost entirely and strictly own area is OK.   

Deaf can do everything except hear, and communicate with hearing... so avoid it, not feel that argument is valid personally.

Anyone with a profound loss would prefer the easier option of a sideways move or even a parallel existence to the mainstream because of the stress factor.... spare a thought for the majority of us with deafness and hearing loss issues who have no recourse but to fight our corner 24/7 to get access, and do not have a community fallback to rely on or a comfort zone to retire too. 

For us it is 24/7 stress, week in and week out till we can no longer manage. The HoH areas do not want their own community because they still feel with a bit here, or a bit there we can almost look hearing and if they talk a bit clearer or to write things down we are OK, of course none of them would ever use such communications on the street or with the system if they can help it, so opting out of situations where your communication issue is obvious is the real norm.  Before you know it you are in isolation mode by default and settled for it.

Mostly HoH are in complete denial and their sideways moves usually mean reliance on family, almost complete isolation, or a text life as a norm. Mostly it's a combination of all of these things. We tend not to complain too much to those outside our own area because we get no empathy for it. We are experts at fooling people most of the time, even the 'Deaf' don't think we are too.  HoH fool people because they don't want to look vulnerable, but they look like frauds instead !

BSL won't solve our issues, so we have to create alternatives and fight our corner much more dynamically than at present. Basically to stand up for our selves, but are faced with a huge wave of apathy from the HoH areas who feel a bit of lip reading or a better hearing aid is the real answer, when we know it isn't. If we aren't a 'deaf community' then we aren't a hearing community either, certainly we aren't a 'Deaf' one. Welcome to no-man's land. 

If you can lip-read you are hearing, if you have speech, you are hearing, if you are literate and intelligent, you are hearing too. But I think the HoH scam is not doing us favours when we make it a rule of access for ourselves.  There are some HoH proud of the fact no-one knows they cannot hear, time to address this mind set.  It's really stupid.  Not helped by certain hearing aid provision that uses this approach as a prime sales pitch.

We don't want to be tied down to selective communication/social options or a certain sector with hearing loss, I want access to everything and to be part of a whole, not whole in part and fooling myself it will suffice.   HI would prefer to choose own friends rather than go through a db/language check list first to see who is available.  It's about aspiration and background, few can make the transition from one culture and language to another without huge issues of coping.  The HI issue is desperation to still be seen as hearing.

Deafened people are not one thing or another, that is their strength really they aren't bound to follow any norm they put up, be it a cultural or language system accepted by others, but it takes resilience a lot of very hard work, and in the words of the country music song it's a long hard road with no turning.... . I don't think it helps saying BSL will provide, for 9m of us it won't, or is even a preference. 

Each to his or her own is fair enough, it doesn't have to be an and/or situation, but it sadly it IS, and HoH have lost their access argument, by default and by design.  Worse the statistics suggest millions more are due to join them, will they all be just texting each other at distance, just an online community and nil else ?  This suits hearing people because they have the option of going out the door and carrying on where they left off, we, don't.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Quasimodo deaf actor: It's NOT typecasting ?

Deaf actor John McGinty is playing Quasimodo in the Los Angeles premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. McGinty is "the first deaf actor to portray Quasimodo, despite the character being deaf in Victor Hugo’s novel,"

Clutching straws springs to mind, he was 'deafened' by the bells not a born deaf signer or anything.  He was also a hunchback with a facial disfigurement, isn't this some attempt at typecasting equality ? a Deaf person in a 'deaf' role ?

Maybe Quasimodo used ASL too... but at least he had a speaking voice in the film...