Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Deaf-Friendly: Not HI Friendly ?

Image result for Deaf friendlyReading the UK's largest HI charity launching another round of rewards for business and other areas who are identified as 'Deaf Friendly', to encourage more to be accessible, poses a number of issues (As ATR pointed out). Notwithstanding, the charity in question is predominantly a HoH NOT a Deaf charity, so utilising cultural clout to promote 'Deaf' access at the expense of its own HoH membership needs ?? That invites suggestions of some hypocrisy.

"I think the criteria for being accessible to those with hearing loss needs to reflect more in an inclusive sense, to educate areas we do not all sign.  Drop the term 'Deaf' from the project.  It would seem so long as a few staff do a bit of BSL, this qualifies a company or other area as being accessible to all of us. I understand the idea of AOHL is to 'reward' these people to encourage them to support us all more ? How about a brickbat for those still NOT offering us access ?  Or even researching to see if the past claims still hold ?

There is a danger of rewarding non-access.  It does seem to ignore the fact we have a legal entitlement to that support anyway.  Rewarding areas that are then unable to identify what level that support actually is, (or where), seems a bit of a conundrum. I recall the AOHL rewarding the welsh assembly for access, (About 6 people did some BSL), they were not able after, to identify the staff we could use. Catch 22 the Assembly used the data protection act to refuse to ID them, when I insisted. In reality, areas with high staff turn over, cannot ID from one month to the next who can assist you.

The whole exercise seems to be to promote the CHARITY itself, who offer these areas awareness, often for a fee.  

E.G. A while ago, the Government insisted we can all use chemists/pharmacies to get health support advice (They can't, the BMA says they aren't qualified to do that). I went straight to BOOTS to test it, after they put a poster up claiming they offered not only a loop, but a sign accessible option. they had in fact neither, because initially the staff says no one asked for a loop so it was removed, there was a woman who did some sign lessons, but she had left 2 months before.

Questions: why is AOHL using the term 'Deaf friendly' ? is it because they aren't HI friendly ?  or that sign carries better publicity value ?"

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