Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lip-speakers: Not interested in supporting grass roots ?

Image result for Not interested !

The social view:

"It's part of a wider realism re lip-reading and their support. So many alleged excellent lip-readers not requiring any support at all ? A myth of course, when the reality is the lip-READING is poor, so poor, users are unable to utilise lip-speakers.  Even if they can find them, and they cannot, because the Lip-speaker wants court work where the real, money is, there is no work for lip-speakers on the street..

I'm sure there are areas of disagreement. I am not really a fan of how lip-reading is taught or, how it is portrayed as a 'magic bullet' for HoH in access.  I have no idea myself if I have that skill or just have inspired guesses most of the time, we all adapt to survive, I think LR is just a small part of what we use to get by, I defy anyone to use it extensively to gain detail....  

My family says the reality is I am either getting a lot less than half what they say, or none at all on any given day.  When I attended college on losing hearing,  they expected me to read lips with the teachers having their back to me.  When I asked to utilise the dedicated area signer students had support with, the staff there refused to lip-speak or write things down, and insisted I sign instead.  They offered to give me BSL basics, I said to what end ? it was no help to access the class or course work.  The BSL people here have no access to a class themselves.

It was an chaotic unsuitable environment for me, not much else I could do, not a single teacher signed so what was the point ?  I passed my course with the help of fellow hearing students who under no obligation, took notes for me and helped me to follow. I have NO idea how BSL students ever managed to learn anything. The area I looked at was an 'in-house' PHU (Partial Hearing Unit), a lie in itself as I was the only person there fitted the criteria, the rest were deaf BSL users, they just signed amid themselves and watched neighbours on TV.   

The way they learnt was staff being sent notes for them which the PHU then re translated to sign or something.  I insisted a PHU staff member attended one class with me, to understand how I was not being able to participate in it, she walked out after 10 minutes and said "Sorry I cannot follow the teacher either !"   I was just was left to it, I decided to abandon that part of the course, it was pointless attempting to follow it.

Lip-Reading seems ultra-reliant on when you take it up, regular access to a class, your own ability, age, education, support availability, and, the conditions to make it effective for you.  With so many variables and conditions needing to be met, Lip-reading became a total lottery.  The classes themselves have no bottom line, no pupil qualification requirement, no demands to succeed in it, and no intensive support for those with difficulties. Deafened people are just excluded by default.

The concern is that having spent a lot of your life or formative education, with some useful hearing, then acquiring Lip-Reading is problematic, specially as most tuition is undertaken with elderly people, often when you are supposed to be in work too, or with those still with some useful hearing, maybe a lot better than yours. An imbalance of student capability that renders the tuition very difficult.  It's not helped via the random element of class availability, or the short duration of them. 2 hrs a week, trying to compete with 10 others..

These classes don't get held via a system of putting 'like with like' or decibel loss degree, any of those areas can then, being mismatched,  decimate class effectiveness.  I  did a discourse a few years ago on an interview with young HoH who had refused to attend a lip-reading class, because "It is full of old farts.." There was an age thing going on.

I think on experience myself, it quickly can unravel and make LR almost impossible to rely on as a prime means of access.  If the idea is to 'free' the deaf person with the ability to fully participate in the hearing world on their own, it fails obviously.

Hardly ANY Lip-readers are actually using lip-speaker support. The assumption is we are all so good at it, they aren't needed ! and if you aren't good at it, the options of lip-speaker support becomes pointless.  Most have simply opted out, or found various technologies and text approaches better for them.  Sideways moves over and basically OUT of it.  There was an essay I read where people wouldn't use a lip-speaker because they didn't like 'staring' at other people's faces.  

Not an issue with sign users who take this in their stride, so I suppose it is a case of 'hearing etiquette' or something connected with background and their accepted norms. It's rude to stare.... It's embarrassing.

Telephoning is no longer an issue in many respects as SMS is widely used.  (Current system area approaches excepted !).  If attending meetings/public areas is a problem, you don't go, or you go and avoid any situation where you can have problems communicating.  Attending public areas doesn't demand you interact does it ?  It is being there. but not being there really. You need the confidence to approach people and find ways to facilitate communication yourself, for many, they don't have this confidence, it is why they are desperate to support lip-reading so they can at least appear to be still the same as when they were hearing.  Tangled webs etc...

Hard of hearing are huge con artists !  Deaf know sign usage means they cannot con anyone and anyway they do own thing. Where we come unstuck is wanting to get in there pitching and of course having to battle then for the access that most have made no real demands for.... because they have opted out already.

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