Tuesday, 20 September 2016

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.