More mileage inferred here, with regards to who speaks for Deaf, but who gets to speak for deaf/HI PEOPLE ? Sign users cannot speak for all of us either, but they will continue to try.
Whilst both the USA and UK cultural deaf are strident in putting their points, both tend to infer they speak for all deaf , even HI people, often omitting the capitalisation of their identifying terminology, and suggesting a unified approach to equality with HoH via campaigns, which we know doesn't happen, at least in the UK has never happened.
It looks like the USA tends to take a more inclusive approach, but there are large areas of the signing community who go it alone. Most distortion comes from 'statistic' abuses by the culturally deaf community. There is a debate in the UK regarding how BSL using deaf confuse support systems by abusing the 9-11m statistic of those with hearing loss, to suggest they are all BSL using deaf, a point HI would never attempt to make about them, because sign use would defeat it. They have no control of their 'hearing loss' platform.
A recent 'free' Deaf relay health system launched last week suggested there were 11m BSL using deaf people, while the stat was 11m with hearing loss, the census statistic filled in by BSL people, only identified 15,000 of them in England.
A classic example of lies, damned lies and .... whatever we can get away with. We all know this goes on, every charity concerned with hearing loss or deafness does the same. We are not aware how statistics are gathered in the USA, in the UK we are not able either, to identify the 11m claimed, or unsure how that figure was arrived at in the first place. Mostly it is think of a number and dare the system to challenge it. They can't, we can't either, but it is still win-win for us.
Via the system, they operate on a much simpler level, gearing support, to identified need coming from the person with the issue. If a need isn't seen or asked for, they have no legal obligation to meet it, these people don't exist. The system, have no records whatever of having to support the figures the Deaf and HI communities are declaring exist, nor able to put up the people in person.
Obviously we as those with needs, feel they are just avoiding support provision instead, or discriminating, that isn't entirely fair, some of it happens, a lot simply doesn't.
In the UK the issue is an unwillingness to accept/acknowledge the differences between Deaf, deaf, and HoH etc. There is a blanket declaration and law, for groups to be 'all inclusive'. The infamous 'Deaf & HI' remit. Theoretically, it is illegal for sign users to promote ONLY own areas, and neither should the HoH be doing the same, because support is based on inclusion.
BSL people and HoH people 'should' be putting up a united inclusive front, for campaigns and support, acknowledging the differing requirements of each.. This doesn't happen. Although support charities all carry that same remit, most don't adhere to it at all. It is really time the deaf and the rest lobbied as separate entities to end the confusion, especially, as this is undermining support, and the basic need requirements of most, by totally distorting the awareness message.
In the UK awareness of loss and deafness is in chaos, mainly because cultural deaf are so successful in their approach, and because the remaining majority of those with hearing loss are apathetic or don't campaign at all. Most of the victims of this inadequate approach to support sadly, are elderly people, vulnerable deaf unable to speak for themselves, or the HI isolated, which we should all be ashamed of, because their need is greater, at least equal with ours.
We have an obligation to support them. It is accepted the divide is almost complete in many areas in real terms, but the vacuum is being filled by extremes, NOT good !