Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Apathetic deaf/HoH campaigners letting us all down ?

Image result for campaign ?I guess we are all getting tired of reading social media and charitable blurbs about lack of access, but no progress, why is that ? 

Even us very odd and weird deaf people who wanted access to political representation are getting ridicule from peers instead.

ATR suggest it is because unless we demand access AND turn up to use it, there is no point is there ? I am deaf and attended a local political candidate meeting recently, and I explained I cannot hear anything, and a woman took notes for me on the spot, if you don't ask you don't get it seems, but you need to BE there.  Deaf demand politicians go to their clubs or claim discrimination if they don't.  This doesn't enable deaf or HoH NOT in those clubs.

A lot of major access campaigns are run by proxy/remote, i.e. deaf and 'some HoH!' ask for it via an e mail, social media lobby, or a petition, maybe ask a charity to demand it for them. They don't work, any of them really.  ATR looked up 6 major social media campaigns, and 10 petitions deaf and HI sent in, not one succeeded. Their only justification seems to be 'awareness' and an acceptance they know it won't work, and no changes we need are made.  OK we made them aware, and they just carried on regardless... our response ? get annoyed ? forget it ? send in another petition ? a different one to keep the pot boiling ?  Do they never follow through a campaign to an end result ?

Image result for minicomsMany years ago I lobbied very successfully for minicoms (Remember them !), to be installed in every job/welfare centre and had installed a dedicated phone line, and a paid employee on site, for deaf and HoH at my local hospital, 1 year later they were ALL removed, why ? Because only 6 people out of an estimated 300 deaf and 4,000 HoH, used the access.

Naturally  ATR returned to the deaf/HoH area and asked why ? They said,  "You cannot lobby for us you aren't a member of the 'Deaf' community and have no mandate to demand our access.."  ?! I said, so you refused to use ithe access on those grounds ?  They said no, we have our own access of family and friends and that works fine.   I countered but it doesn't provide access for non-signers or HoH or even Deaf with no family to rely on, what about them ?  It actually took a further 2 years before we saw an active campaign launched from the cultural area demanding the access I had already installed, and they had refused to use then.  They never got it back.  They still complain.

It appears a refusal to lobby unless they know your face or something. A similar lobby to get captioned access to my local cinema went the same way, only THREE deaf people turned up to use it, result ? access withdrawn. The approach seems to be 'I have a right to this access, we ALL do..' not arguing with that stance, but, if you then DON'T use the access you demand, then if will fail very quickly. Get off the computer and iphone and TURN UP and maintain demand that can be seen and unarguable with.

The reality, is that access costs, and no-one is going to waste a lot of money, time or effort, on the 'off chance' perhaps a deaf/HoH person 'might' use it.  Simply put, Use it or lose it.  A right to demand access you are not going to use, wastes resources we need for areas we do need funding.