Thursday, 29 December 2016

Videophones in California Prisons !

Guinness Stops you going Deaf !

Image result for Guinness
More daft research from the USA.  So how come the Irish who drink the lion's share of it, have so many deaf people ?

A pint of Guinness each day may help to prevent you from going deaf, new research suggests.  The popular beverage contains high levels of iron, which scientists believe helps to ward off hearing loss.

While leafy green vegetables, brown rice and some meat may also help, according to a new study.   But around 30 per cent of the world's population are believed to be anaemic - leaving them at risk of losing their ability to hear, experts say.   Guinness contains high levels of iron, which scientists believe helps to ward off hearing loss

A study of more than 300,000 people found a link between iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and hearing loss.   Pennsylvania State University researchers found a lack of the mineral can cause sensorineural hearing loss - damage to the cochlea or nerve pathways.

While they also discovered it could also cause conductive hearing loss - problems with the bones in the middle of the ear.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Less is More

Image result for less is more

Ok So its new year resolution time again !  Here are ATR's..

(1) Less campaigning for self, more campaigning for all.

(2) Less about Culture, and navel gazing, more about mutual inclusion of people by acceptance.

(3) More Compassion, less about me, me, me...

(4) More Captions with sign, and less sign with nothing else.

(5) More 'Them', less about 'Us'

(6) Much less about Charity, but lots more about right and empowerment.

(8) No 'Deaf/deaf',  more about 'Respecting others' and equality.

(9) Less of the medical, but more acknowledging the disability.

(10) 2017 to be nothing like 2016 !

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

More sign Please...

Nicola Nunn of the University of Central Lancashire
Now if only signed access presently and already being done by health areas, was captioned too....  Captions for all in 2017..... Deaf can read too !

Academics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) want to see the health service creating videos allowing people who are deaf or hard of hearing better access to website content. Dr Luigi Lerose of the University of Central Lancashire They say that use of video with key information or an online interpreting service would allow for greater engagement. 

Dr Jun Hui Yang, senior lecturer in deaf studies at UCLan, says: “Information about health should be fully accessible to the deaf community.” 

Although there are some videos explaining about health conditions and services to people who use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate, Dr Yang argues that there is not enough and they do not go into enough depth. “Generally sign language videos don’t have the same amount of information as what is written in text on NHS websites, it’s limited,” she says. 

Dr Jun Hui Yang of the University of Central Lancashire She and her colleagues, BSL and deaf studies lecturer Dr Luigi Lerose and senior lecturer in BSL and Deaf Studies Nicola Nunn, are calling for parity when it comes to information provided on NHS websites for those who are hearing and those who communicate through sign language. Dr Lerose says: “The ways of communicating through technology now are broad - I can speak to my family through Skype and FaceTime and these tools are very useful to the deaf community. 

These programmes are developing all the time and we can use interpreters through a live video service to contact banks for instance. “It’s important that there is information on websites for sign language users and it’s a relief when you see that they have an interpreting service or there’s a video which translates the information so that the deaf community can have access to the content in their own language.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A year in the life of A G Bell..

Carol at Xmas.....

Coals to Newcastle....

Reviving Sign Language at Martha's Vineyard... In the first floor conference room of the West Tisbury library, a quiet conversation is taking place.

“Good morning, how many people are here today?” asks Lynn Thorp. She also signs each word. Her companions, husband Bill Thorp and friend Gail Tipton reply slowly, carefully forming their hands into each sign.  “Say it as you’re doing it so that we know where you are,” Mrs. Thorp says to her husband.

Then she gives instruction: “Here’s the horizon, the sun comes up, this is noon, this is afternoon, this is evening and this is midnight.”

“I can’t do that,” said Ms. Tipton.

“But you did it!” responds Mrs. Thorp.

The sign language lesson is part of a project called MV Signs: Then and Now, Ms. Thorp’s endeavor to revive Martha’s Vineyard sign language, which was used by both the hearing and non-hearing on the Island from the 17th to 19th century. The project began three years ago, when Mr. Thorp’s hearing loss was having a large impact on the couple’s daily interactions.

Lynn Thorp learned to sign when her husband began losing his hearing. “We had a really hard time communicating comfortably,” Mrs. Thorp said. “His hearing [loss] is quite profound. As soon as the room changes, the ceiling is too high or there is any background noise, his hearing doesn’t happen for him. 

So I thought, wow, there must be some answer.” And there was. Mrs. Thorp heard about a sign language class held at Woodside Village, and quickly joined. When the class ended, she discovered the Interax Video Sign Language Course at the West Tisbury Library, a dated but informative series of sign language lessons led by Lyn Cook in 1989. She invited a friend to practice with her as well as several seniors from Woodside Village.

Apologise on Facebook !

As IF !   A Brisbane restaurant has been ordered to apologise on Facebook after it stopped a customer from dining with his hearing assistance dog in June.

The Courier Mail reports Queensland man Andrew Bell was prevented from eating at The Spice Avenue Balti Restaurant in Birkdale after the manager told him no dogs were allowed at the establishment. Bell reportedly showed the venue’s management his ID card, which was removed from him when a staff member said he would take it to show the business’s owner.

Bell and his partner eventually left the restaurant, according to reports. A complaint on the matter made it to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), where both parties were given a number of directions on December 2.

The owner of the restaurant and his son were ordered to submit an apology to Bell for any loss or damage caused to him within 30 days, as well as ensure all staff were trained on the requirements under Queensland law for assistance dogs. The owner was also ordered to post a similar apology on the business’s Facebook page, with Bell reportedly agreeing to also post a statement to the restaurant’s Facebook page acknowledging the incident was “unfortunate”.

While an apology was reportedly issued to QCAT, it does not appear that either of the parties have posted the messages on Facebook.

Deaf People and Mental Health (London)

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Nominated for Integrating deaf children...

Catherine Finestone
If only more saw this as a positive thing.

A leading Falkirk teacher of the deaf has been nominated for a national award after changing the way deaf children are integrated in local schools.

Catherine Finestone, who is head of Windsor Park School and Sensory Service in Falkirk, has been revealed as a finalist in the Leadership in Education Award at the national Signature Annual Awards.  Catherine has been in deaf education for over 40 years and in her current role for 17 years promoting sign language and providing support to children and families.

Windsor Park School for the Deaf sits on the same campus as Bantaskin Primary and the nursery is the dedicated nursery for deaf children who use sign language. Windsor Park Secondary Department is situated within Falkirk High School. Pupils have access to all facilities provided in the mainstream schools and integrate with the other students on a regular basis.

The experienced teacher is also head of the Falkirk Peripatetic Service for Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired Children, which supports children from diagnosis to school leaving age. The organisation currently supports 163 hearing impaired and 135 visually impaired children.

Catherine also oversees the delivery of British Sign Language training to children of all abilities, staff, parents and members of the community and across the cluster schools, which includes Windsor Park, Falkirk High and primary schools Easter Carmuirs, Carmuirs, Bainsford, Langlees, Bantaskin, Comley Park, Slammanan and Limerigg.

Catherine said: “It is an honour to be nominated for the award and for the schools and the staff to be recognised for their commitment to the deaf community.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Diversity Project...

More misleading educational projects that don't help, by promoting division as a norm. Not just Deaf and hearing, but signs versus signed English, Deaf V deaf, and HoH too.  I'm sure they have left out 5/6th's of the planet also but.... (The captions were dodgy too).

On the Raz...

RAZ Mobility, a provider of mobile assistive technology, announced the launch of its Accessibility Application Installer app. The free application provides users a simple way to discover the benefits of Android accessible applications. 

RAZ Mobility has reviewed thousands of third-party applications and created a selection of recommended accessibility applications for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have a speech impairment. The app offers a user-friendly selection tool allowing users to easily find and install great applications.

“Accessible devices, paired with accessibility applications, allow individuals with disabilities to overcome the challenges resulting from those disabilities,” said Robert Felgar, CEO of RAZ Mobility. “The launch of the RAZ Mobility Accessibility Application Installer is one more step in RAZ Mobility’s efforts to help people with disabilities better their lives through mobile technology.”

The mobile application was developed together with the IDEAL Group, the world’s largest developer of open source Android accessibility applications, with 3.4 million installations in 136 countries.

Among many other apps, RAZ Mobility recommends in its installer applications such as ClariaZoom, an award-winning application for individuals with low vision, and ProDeaf Translator, an app that converts speech into American Sign Language, allowing a hearing person to communicate with a person who is deaf.

The RAZ Mobility Accessibility Application Installer app is available on Google Play and is free.

Alert for the deaf and HoH

Deaf people can now perceive of loud sirens and alarmsFrom smoke alarms to ambulance sirens. Typical sounds that deaf people cannot hear. Now, thanks to SoundSense, a small and discreet appliance, a simple vibration can warn the person wearing the device of an acoustic warning that requires immediate attention. The device takes advantage of surprisingly simple technology. 

A microphone passes a signal to a microchip, that is able to pick up on sudden increases in volume and precise acoustic signals such as horns and sirens, and in turn, sends a vibrating message. The battery lasts one full day, and can be recharged using USB. 

“We wanted to make something practical and economical (it costs a little more than €20) that anyone would be able to use. For example, consider an elderly person or an individual with any type of disability” clarified Brian Goral, co-founder and CEO of the company that produces the device.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Lip-reading challenge #3...

Deaf hairdresser viewed indecent images of children.

Victor Rixon court
Victor Rixon, aged 32, downloaded vile pictures including some in the most severe category showing sexual abuse by adults, Plymouth Crown Court was told.  

He was due to stand trial but changed his pleas on two charges with the jury waiting in the wings. Rixon, of Duke Street, Devonport, admitted making 30 still images in Category A and 14 still images in Category B between April 2011 and July 2015.

He entered the pleas with help from signing interpreters in court.

National Curriculum first for Auslan

A group of children watch on as Louise de Beuzeville teaches them sign language from the centre of the room
The first national curriculum for Auslan, the language of the deaf community in Australia, will soon be rolled out in schools across Australia, in a move being described as a "huge step for equality".

Since it was officially recognised as a language by the Federal Government in 1987, the use of Auslan for deaf children in Australian schools has been largely inconsistent, with teachers forced to rely on a general framework for languages such as Japanese and French.

For years parents have been lobbying for a formal curriculum to be implemented in schools and following ministerial endorsement, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) officially published the first curriculum in Auslan on Monday.

"That's a fantastic achievement for us, it's an opportunity for the signing community to have a curriculum in schools, an opportunity for young deaf students to learn about that," ACARA chief executive Rob Randall said.

Mobile Info Bus near you...

No Caption ABCDE
A mobile free information and advice service for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people will be in Bexhill at the beginning of January and anyone who is in need of their services is invited to attend. 

The East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre, which is based in Eastbourne, is a registered charity working in partnership with Adult Social Care. They provide a the free of charge mobile information and advice service for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people living in East Sussex. 

The vehicle is equipped to offer demonstrations of assistive equipment and hearing screening tests. Representatives from both the East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre and Adult Social Care will be available to provide individual information and advice on all aspects of hearing loss. 

The vehicle is equipped to offer demonstrations of assistive equipment and hearing screening tests. The mobile unit will be visiting Bexhill on Thursday January 12, 2017, and will be sited at Devonshire Square 10.30am -3.30pm. 

The bus is accessible to wheelchair users. For further information contact: East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre on 01323 722505 (voice/text/fax) or e-mail:

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Is Cultural pursuit destroying deaf Aspiration and Access ?

Image result for culture  politicsThe question is asked in the light of serious reductions of deaf access to the UK mainstream, and the increasing reluctance of people to take up supporting the deaf view of sign language.

Recent concerns mainly about UK deaf people who rely on sign language, who are using culture as a  blunt instrument in the access and equality areas, and, as a valid 'argument' in access and empowerment situations, resulting in most of them getting little or none.  Who is to 'blame' for prioritising culture above real time access and deaf need ?

Some facts: (Sourced from  BDA/AOHL UK).

(1) There are said to be 150,000 users of British Sign Language, and 908 registered/qualified BSL interpreters .  

(2)  Of that figure, 87,000 are said to be deaf, this suggest a ratio re support of just 1 interpreter per 160 deaf and BSL using people.

(3)  The majority of interpreters are based in England and around cities, with huge regional areas having little or no support system in place at all.  A complete 'postcode' lottery.

(4)  Wales had 47 interpreters.

(5)  Scotland had 66 Interpreters.

(6)  Ireland had no stat source to print, (I'd be glad to print any known), but said they had 60,000 deaf living in Ireland.

Deaf culture becomes a priority for deaf people (as does sign language of course), but, there are huge areas of deaf people that cannot access professional advice from own cultural areas on access, empowerment, equality or support. Interpreters are not skilled in many areas, a few specialise most don't, their job is to translate, never to advise. If you don't understand something, all the interpreter will do is tell the people questioning you that, and nothing else.

They are making huge strides training deaf to promote cultural aspects of deafness via cultural centres, seminars on deaf history, sign language tuition, films, arts, often using Paddy Ladd e.g. whose sourced the whole thing in a language/format deaf still cannot follow even today,  but next to nothing in practical support to maintain the deaf person as regards to day to day living issues.

E.G. recent swinging cuts to welfare in the UK has left many deaf bereft of those allowances, or the financial means to buy it in, so demand cannot be created.  100s of 1,000s have lost welfare support overnight via re-vamped welfare forms only specialists can understand, and in formats deaf cannot, or won't follow. Obtaining advice on applications, ATR found none of the cultural or charitable areas dedicated to sign language and culture, have trained anyone to help the very people who sign, to get their entitlements.

Interpreters on the front line in assisting BSL users via applications for welfare, are saying they are overwhelmed, their workload is high anyway with basic day to day support, let alone having to assist all these deaf people to get their legal entitlements to welfare help.  Calls from disability advice areas for their help cannot be met, not least because advice areas are charities and cannot pay for their services..

A major interpreter issue is the poor deaf literacy and awareness of the written word, too much emphasis is put on signed access without ensuring deaf can follow the quite technical and ambiguous forms they need to fill in properly. 75% could not understand  very basic questions properly or how to respond to them in print, some unable to read written posts sent to them.  Interpreters are saying there is too little emphasis on educating deaf and this makes their support for deaf people problematic, as very high standards are demanded of them, welfare claims become academic, and they will fail..

Deaf people insisting the want sign and sign only, but without the academic standards required to make  it most effective for them, and then relying on Interpreters or family members (Who also do not understand the forms sent),  to do that, and it is not working, as 1,000s of deaf are failing to get their legal entitlements and losing what they did have, pleas to dedicated signing support are getting nowhere, the staff are simply not there.  The few pros there are, are charging deaf for their services, are scattered all over the country, but still in single figures.

Deaf culture needs to understand deaf people require front line support, not campaigns about the past.  Hard facts they need to understand. 

Culture is a luxury, 

Literacy and support a direct necessity.  

Culture won't pay your rent.

Culture won't get you a job.

Culture won't educate you

Only effective and diverse communication usage, and effective practical support will, at the every least, culture will just make you poor, unemployed, ignorant, illiterate, and more isolated.

The ultimate irony is as sign language access advances for the deaf, there is no-one to help the deaf utilise it.  You cannot access a social worker to help you now, because none are sign trained, so you need yet another terp to access that.  It all makes for more and more demands on a  translation service already in meltdown. 

That is just ONE area, out of 100s deaf need access to. What are deaf doing ? texting each other.  In the question of priorities for deaf people, we need to downgrade culture as the main priority.

Starting day one in school to teach deaf to communicate more effectively with hearing, to put a number one priority on literacy, and to set up a continued program of further education after they leave school, as too many abandon educational attainment after school stops.  78% of deaf not having a job worth a shit, but, happy they are still within deaf culture and community. is just perverse.

Is the purpose of Deaf Culture to make martyrs of sign users ? So the able few, can remain big fish inside uneducated small ponds ? 

When will deaf  empower themselves ?  They won't so long as deaf ignorance is bliss, and a proper education some sort of bonus as opposed to the norm.  No matter how the view of deaf signing community prevails, they need to eat, they need to work, and they desperately need more abilities to communicate, and then to have a realistic aspiration, with the means to achieve it...

Using culture as a reason NOT to pursue these options is making for a pretty poor deal for deaf people.  The price of culture, is too high, and pride is always followed by a dramatic FALL.  We don't care about Milan, we want a job. Back to basics please.

In the Middle....

Deaf Friendly Food market..

12 Days of Plodmas... Day 6

Oh yes it is, Oh no it isn't !

Deaf news proudly boasting no captions, erm actually there is, (Heads must surely roll ?), albeit hearing media had to provide them.  Today hearing understand access, tomorrow, maybe deaf will ?

Friday, 16 December 2016

No service ads...

Introducing the Service - BSL no subtitles from Deaf CAMHS-North on Vimeo.

Why are public service health promotion videos for the deaf NOT captioned so deaf can follow them ?  Non-Access, all in the name of culture.

The Scandal of Unsupported Deaf welfare claimants.

Image result for lack of supportVia our sister Blog The Deaf PIP outlet and advice area, mass complaints have been coming in of deaf people being arbitrarily ignored or being left unsupported to apply for their welfare entitlements, with PIP in particular, a new welfare allowance designed to replace the DLA.

It is obvious the new application forms for PIP (Personal Independence Payment), was undertaken with no planning at all as to how to enable the deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and others with communication impairments, learning/literacy difficulties, poor mental health.

Wales has recently been the latest area where the DWP has begun to assess, interview, deaf and HI as regards to whether or not they can qualify under the new welfare requirements.  We know from anecdotal input already in England 3,000 simply lost their right to DLA, with no, or little recourse to any appeal, prior, DLA was an automatic entitlement for the deaf and HI.

Image result for lack of supportWhat is hitting the deaf and HI in Wales, and the BSL user in particular, is an inability of the DWP to assist deaf claimants who sign, due to a lack, or reluctance on behalf of BSL Interpreters, to cooperate or accept DWP bookings.  It appears a norm in Wales to oversee 2 maybe 3 cancellations per deaf person, with the DWP, (who are legally required to support the deaf to fill in, and understand forms).  

The PIP forms BSL users claim, are not in the format, language or grammar, and often beyond the literacy of some Deaf sign users to fill in themselves.  Because the new forms are so complex and ambiguous only professionals understand how to fill them in.

Image result for lack of supportThere was complete non-access, to advisory services from their own deaf charities, like the BDA, or the AOHL, and even the Deaf legal arm, the RAD, who told deaf they had no-one with experience to offer advice on PIP form filling, and suggested they contact other areas, e.g. the CBA, Disability advice Centres, Local Authority advice centres.  Certainly not on the mass scale the DWP was asking.  Such numbers of professional deaf support workers, did not exist to meet that need.

However, in Wales, those deaf that did approach such areas were defeated by the lack of signed support being available, most advice areas being charities themselves, could not afford to fund the pro-help deaf needed.  Traditionally many 'Deaf' by-passed these areas and attempted to use family help to their detriment, as near 85% then lost all entitlement because family/friends could not understand the vagaries of the PIP form either.

Word got around in S Wales only one area was prepared to offer some support, the RNIB, a charity that exists for the Blind.  This support tended to be arranging the DWP to interview deaf people in home surroundings, and informing the DWP of the interpreter or other support requirement they would need for the interviews to take place.  Albeit they could not themselves provide signed support on such a scale.  

It seems clear the Deaf lack the sign interpreters they need, because of low demand, or a dearth of pros available, and this has seriously affected their ability to claiming support.

Those that did use the RNIB help, often found issues developed, as meeting after meeting was abandoned due to Interpreters failing to turn up to assist.  Other issues emerged that Deaf waiting for support, had ignored the deadlines for the forms being returned, and then lost the claim for PIP by default.  The RNIB help at least ensured extensions were in place for the claims pending such support.

Image result for lack of supportSome Deaf claimants,  had 2 or more meetings abandoned as terp after terp failed to show, the third time then attempted to try and work with the DWP without it, and duly lost their claims, via inability to follow, with the DWP making no allowances for lack of support. The onus is entirely on the Deaf themselves.  It is very clear, in that the state having instigated this new allowance, made no plans as to HOW, deaf were going to comply with filling them in without help.

We asked the DWP via one example we saw, were they really booking terps or making excuses ?  The DWP showed ATR 3 booking forms for one customer complete with names of the terps and dates they were booked, and also explained they turned up, the deaf support did not.  Not their fault.  

Image result for lack of supportEither the interpreters are unwilling to work with the DWP, or, the mass interviewing of deaf people for this allowances has swamped and overcame the ability of the welsh BSL support area to comply. 

We ask urgently the DWP cease this pressured interviewing system to allow for Deaf support to catch up with it, and stop setting unreasonable deadlines the support cannot meet.  At present the DWP is undermining claims for support, and blaming the BSL interpreters in particular for failing to turn up to do the job, so it is their fault deaf people are losing support allowances.

This needs sorting... URGENTLY.    Why did no area set up for the deaf, make plans for this, when there are an alleged 90,000 sign users  ?  and knowing only a few hundred support staff in the area of interpreters are UK available ? and that doesn't include other work outside the DWP, the BSL terps  support, 300,000 claimants in England lost DLA by default, 80% failed to qualify for PIP, it's a catastrophe in support terms.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A Cued Speech Xmas...

Last Chance Saloon...

A recent advert for CI, have one now or pay the price !

Deaf-Blind woman refuses a CI for sign instead.

Instead of having cochlear implants she chose to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as she said the implants were not a cure for deafnessShe has a passion for cheerleading and at 19 years old, a thirst for knowledge that has seen her learn five languages. One of which is Auslan.

Miss Vlajkovic is deaf and blind, and told Daily Mail Australia while she had the option to have cochlear implants, she chose instead to learn to sign.  Perth woman Vanessa Vlajkovic, 19, is deaf and blind, but refuses to let it hold her back from achieving her dreams

Members of the deafblind community can use a modified version of sign language - known as tactile Auslan - where they place their hand over the hand of the signer. They can also use finger spelling, where signs are formed on the palm of the hand.

Miss  Vlajkovic is able to communicate via text by using a special device that converts her texts in to braille.  With these different methods of communication available, she decided against a cochlear implant.

UK: We don't want deaf kids here...

Lawand HamadaminA six-year-old deaf boy who fled Iraq with his family to escape the Islamic State (IS) group is being threatened with deportation.  Lawand Hamadamin came to the UK after spending a year in a refugee camp in France.

Staff at the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby where Lawand is a pupil were "heartbroken", the head teacher said.  The Home Office would not comment on the deportation, but said the family would receive asylum in Germany.
'Understandably devastated'

The boy and his family said they fled northern Iraq after IS threatened to kill disabled children. They first landed in Greece, but moved on to Germany and eventually to a refugee camp in Dunkirk, France. They then hid in the back of a lorry to get to the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Where there is evidence that an asylum seeker is the responsibility of another European country we will seek to return them there.  "It is only fair that we do not shoulder the burden of asylum claims that should rightly be considered by other countries.

"Asylum seekers should claim in the first safe country they arrive in," a Home Office spokesman said.

AOHL: We WILL work for the DWP.

Image result for AOHLKudos in part for the UK's leading charity in allowing deaf to attack the way they cooperate with areas of the state that are known discriminators of their clients, responses here !  

What they said in answer to complaint from some deaf they were endorsing discrimination and allying with those who carry it out, simply to get funding.

What AOHL said:

"Action on Hearing Loss may consider DWP contracts in the future. We support the provision of specialist employment services for people with hearing loss, especially for deaf young people who are often furthest away from the jobs market. Our employment services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have shown to be highly effective in getting people with hearing loss into, and remaining in work. We want to ensure that there is a continuation in these services once the Work and Health Programme is in place.

Information Line Officer"

How ATR responded amid others:

"I don't really think what AOHL does affects deaf people in the slightest because deaf do not support AOHL anyway, if AOHL stops claiming falsehoods via representation then that debate is over for the Deaf, but we are talking many millions of £'s a year lost to that sector then, money, the 'cultural' area has never been able to raise itself, mainly because they won't be portrayed as needy or dependent on support, which is the main reason people donate money. If you look and are competent and able and managing pretty well mostly, people are not going to feel they need to give you money, indeed may round on you to get a job and stop playing the disability card when it suits, just some of the issues some of us had to deal with.

AOHL should lead by example and stop giving the DWP charitable kudos because the DWP is using that cooperation to rubber-stamp attacks on people, cuts to services with deafness and loss, and claiming even own deaf and HI charities agree with them, that is the danger of cooperating with the DWP. 

Charities undermine our rights, which are ours in law, and should not be at the whim of the state handing out a few quid to salve their conscience and to pass over rights, support and care to the vagaries of the begging bowl. As regards to meetings, it is done by rote and habit, charity says this is bad, this isn't good enough, the state says we are doing what we can, end of, until the next pointless round of meetings. In Wales they have abandoned meetings between the deaf and sensory impaired and the Assembly, since Nov 2015 in fact.

The BDA and their area appear to me at least VERY active within the corridors of power, in Scotland quite impressive, it is the HoH who sit on their rear ends. The only drawback there, is Deaf won't support access for any other hearing loss areas or work with them. 

Again the complaint is WE as 'stake-holders', or 'clients' (Not actual people !), are secondary to the main event in input and representational terms. I don't feel unless I am a paying member I should have no say at all in service provision that may well affect me. I think only radical campaigning in person makes for real effect, that means withdrawal of support for areas that discriminate, and taking them head on, talk is cheap. I think that should be the top, middle and bottom line. I also don't feel strangers who aren't even deaf or have a hearing loss should be speaking for me either. That means 90% of AOHL."


N.B. Fellow UK bloggers can also help us all, by NOT giving charities their support, where the image is one of 'help', or is visibly maintaining the 'dependency' 'reliance', and 'medical 'images of deaf people, ATR seems the ONLY UK blog that does not allow charities to be fronted on that basis.    

That the AOHL justifies itself in supporting young people into work (Which is the state's legal obligation anyway), doesn't ring true.  We all know the cuts to A2W carried out by the state, made terps redundant and employers even less likely to employ deaf people.  Now they throw a few quid at AOHL and then take the kudos if charity gets them into a job, which UK Own employment statistics suggest, is far less than 26% of all deaf, and most of them NOT in full time work.  

The issue of jobs isn't just support, but institutional discrimination by employers and the CBI, which the state WON'T address. In real terms MORE deaf had work in 1944 than they do now.

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.


Deaf: Do they violate Article 19 ?

Image result for article 19Never mind Putin backing Trump, what are the 'Deaf' about ?

First the definition:

Article 19 (stylized ARTICLE 19) is a British human rights organization with a specific mandate and focus on the defense and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide founded in 1987.[1] The organization takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.

But there are rumblings of dissent in that cultural deaf are distorting free speech and self-promotions to suggest EVERYONE with a hearing loss belongs to their community and uses sign language.  If it is not done via exploiting grey areas of decibel loss degree, it is denying equal access to others like themselves who are also deaf, but are not part of their assumed cultural belief or use their communications.

Only yesterday ATR had to draw attention to an inaccessible deaf vlog entirely in sign language and inaccessible to those who need captions, who consistently used the term 'deaf' as if that sector was the same as the one  she was in.  The idea is the less than subtle use of the term 'deaf' to promote issues of the 'Deaf' culture instead, since the access/image was only designed for that area. A false and cynical portrayal of inclusion.

The idea is to promote the 'Image' of deafness as a cultural phenomenon, and not a disability, (or even a perceived one), and  we were all one and the same sharing that view.  They are entitled to promote their ways of life, they are not entitled to say we share it, or belong to it.   

We read especially from the very active USA area, widespread abuses of the term deaf/Deaf via tagging e.g. YouTube video output, which when accessed by HI/deaf contain neither content or access designed for them, but still claiming/inferring we are the same people.

They believe as sign language is used, mainstream know the differences, but mainstream doesn't, it is swallowing the hype of culture as are systems of support, and this, in turn, affects how support is delivered to areas NOT cultural or signing.   There is already total inequality of communication support provision in the UK.

Many leading charities, public health/LA and other system areas themselves, are producing inaccessible output to HI/deaf because THEY believe (A) We are all the same, or (B) Do not want to challenge the concept of cultural output, even when they see it is inaccurate and misleading.   They are still failing then to provide the equality of access afterward.  There has never been a promotional public health video that was lip-spoken. or designed for 'deaf' only.  They are fobbed off with text, and told 'go look for the information yourself'.

'False News' reporting must include clarification as to WHOM the news is about...  It was a master-stroke in retrospect the cultural deaf used the capitalization because it would appear the internet cannot then separate the differing areas, making e.g. accurate search impossible or difficult..  Be that as it may, there is NO EXCUSE for cultural Deaf to add 'deaf' to their tagged output, because it isn't inclusion, it is propaganda. An attempt to deceive people especially if the access format isn't there.

'Deaf' output should be about 'Deaf' areas with sign, any other should be tagged appropriately and labeled properly.  It should not be for the 'deaf' to sift through dozens of inaccessible videos/files only to find out there is nothing of relevance in them for their area, but the tags say it is, this has to change. Many government sites are impossible to search for information because there are 16 definitions of what a deaf person IS.  When you query we get the "Deaf have a culture and sign, and deaf use hearing aids etc..'  But you still cannot narrow down specific areas.  You cannot either type in the term 'deaf' capitalized or not, to determine specifics.  Mostly you are referred to signing areas.

The Deaf activists are exploiting the grey areas where some sign and many don't, to suggest the very opposite, and the access then becomes entirely random, misleading, or incomplete.

50,000 being portrayed as 11,000,000 shows their maths are pretty poor as well !

Deafened woman attacked by Girl Gang.

A deaf woman has told how she was punched in the face and strangled  just a few yards from a new home she was hoping to move into whilst out with a friends over the weekend in Portsmouth.

The sick attack took place in the Hilsea area of Portsmouth were the mum of one was hoping to move into her dream property and make a fresh start with her daughter.  The woman who lost her hearing to Ménière’s disease, was cornered by the group of girls as she walked through Hilsea on Saturday night. The  deaf woman has told how she was punched in the face and strangled  just a few yards from her prospective  home.

A friend who was also out with her explained that she got lost . She is totally deaf  and had no hearing aid. She lip reads to understand you. She talks like she does because she can’t hear her own voice.  As she fought to protect herself, the girls scratched her across her face and levelled more blows at her face and  head.  The mum  ended up very shaken and injured.  She  spent the  remainder of night at the Accident and emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in   Saturday after sick attack.

She was recovering in Andover  from a swollen eye, as well as cuts and bruises to her face and other parts of her body.

Commenting on her ordeal, she said  “I am very shaken. I have no doubt that I was targeted because of the way that I spoke.  It really thought the area was nice. Me and my daughter where going to move here in the New year and have a fresh start. I have gone off the area and think that I will stay well clear .

Many outraged people have taken to social media to express their Anger to such a sick attack.