Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Deaf people and C.S.V's ?

Image result for communication support workers#What are C.S.V's ? Actually it stands for (C)ommunication (S)upport (V)ouchers, which the  UK Welfare system is considering to empower deaf people to hire/book own communication support as and when it is required, by the deaf client, and not at the behest of the system itself, but distributed by the state.

However, the devil is in the details as yet not clarified or published.  The UK welfare system via its arm the DWP or its subcontracted assessors, has been subject to intense criticisms and legal opposition from Deaf and the Disabled alike, for its arbitrary, unprofessional, and uncaring assessment procedures that have led to premature deaths of 1,000s of disabled and terminally ill people, and undermining current rights already established.  They aren't happy they will define what that need is.

With regards to issuing Vouchers' (not cash), to clients to pay for their assessed support.

(1)  Deaf people could be assessed via communication need and abilities, not personal preference.  What support do you need to interact with mainstream ? and why ? How often ?  Culture playing no part in it. The main point being access/inclusion. The system feels this is a more effective use of support. 

(2)  The DWP or its 'arm' could define WHAT constitutes your access need and will regulate how often you can use the 'Vouchers' for that need. It is provisionally suggested, it could be as little as twice a month, which you could not 'accumulate'. Lack or poor take up, could be assumed as non-need.

(3)  Deaf could be assessed as to if a need is valid.  E.G. you want a terp or other support for a cinema or theatre, or travel, you would have to 'prove' this is an essential need in your life. Do you need it regularly anyway ?  You would have to justify access to every area you want access to, and  'prove' you cannot access it alone. Deaf would be compared with hearing, do they have the access to what THEY want ?

This has caused issue with deaf people who feel they won't have control over who helps them, or where, or on what basis, e.g. Family/Friends, would not qualify for the payments.  The State says this is to prevent exploitation of deaf people and the system, by families of the deaf, their  representatives, and even by the deaf themselves.

The support areas View.

Representatives of Lip-speakers, sign language translators, text operators etc, say they won't accept a state voucher system because the payment levels will make their job unviable, the state fee is set too low now, the delays in processing fees would affect their livelihoods.  Issues  have already presented at A2W areas as continuity of employment for BSL interpreters has been curtailed via capping of limits of support use.  Making it uncertain and unprofitable.

The other problem is there is no set area to approach to get an agreement on payments, or direction, because so many communication support workers are freelance, and pick and choose areas they work in too.  The shortage of professional availability also means the support determines if it works or not.

Concerns are raised by the HoH/deafened areas, that there wasn't a support system in place for them,  to give vouchers to. Only the signers had such a  system identified.

There was also communication support workers, not really happy with having to rely on clients for their work, and preferred to let systems do that.  I.E, Accepting deaf/HI people as their 'employers'.  The system backed that, because client demand could be far in excess to their own, and costs would rise accordingly.

The State suggests client demand is currently inflated, and many deaf and HI no longer heavily rely on communication support areas. The Deaf particularly are less reliant on interpreters now than they were, a lot down to the status quo of deaf, who traditionally always relied on family anyway, so the take up would still be very low.

Deaf would not adapt to complete reliance full time on interpreters, they rejected a  dedicated Social Service doing that, insisting choice is an option they won't abandon.... technology has also lessened the need for a face to face support.


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