Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Social Services: Who ?

KEEP CALM AND FUCK SOCIAL SERVICES - Personalised Travel MugCurrent charity debates regarding Social Services and the deaf are bogus arguments at present. Vast areas of the UK do not have any specialised services dedicated to deaf people, neither is such a service fully supported by most with a hearing loss because it focuses support to one area with hearing loss. It's would be a service dedicated to a division, by mode used.

Charities advising the system on 'How to support deaf people..' are polarised themselves, so if the system only takes on board loudest voice, then the supportive system such as it is in the UK, will remove what support exists for the non-signers.  Which is next to nil now.  On the primary AOHL charitable site read some comments there...  Not the biased and paid for UK bloggers, promoted by charities with vested interests one with no less than 34 backing them but suggesting neutrality.  The fallacy is that charities are any voice of ours at all.  Or in fact, if deaf are even represented in them.

#1 "Many of the claims they make about deaf people are simply not true, and we're not allowed, to tell the truth."

How many signers are there?  This provoked considerable feedback, most suggesting statistics on deafness and hearing loss were manufactured, at best biased, or even sheer guesswork, because no survey completed, is able to reflect a balanced or even a passable majority view.  8 out of 10 cats say....

Countering such wild claims, are difficult because no source is there to quote as balance.  The onus is on you to prove others wrong, not on them to prove their facts were true.  Hard of Hearing would not participate, Deaf insisted clinical records are anti the social aspect so don't recognise them. Statistics are based on health records, not from patient experieince. The true statistic of deaf or HoH need can only be based on the health/social area number of clients approaching them. Not on any wild statistic without a verified source.

#2  "I contacted the UK social services minister to get the real lowdown on issues identified because I did not believe that any of the statistics coming out from the charity areas in the last 10 years were true, there was no identification of demand based on those numbers. There was no in-depth explanation to any stat you read. You couldn't source them either. Simply because someone had a hearing loss, did not mean they were being denied support or had asked for it.  You were sent around in circles that started and ended with the RNID figures. It's as valid as stating there are 50m who aren't needing support.  The RNID are  just validating their own figure ad infinitum." 

[Social Services statement on facts 2015]:

"If you get e.g. 100 people with an issue, less than point 2% present to us as requiring help. That help may be on a daily basis, monthly, or even occasional. It would also be in terms of other issues they may have. The Data protection Act means we cannot offer you the detailed information you ask for, many questions you put, we are not allowed to ask clients, e.g. how often they use their communication, to what degree are they proficient, is their communication mode of practical usage outside the home etc. It infringes their privacy.

Social Services only support those who ask for their help, we do not go out seeking clients. Obviously, we base our own support approach on that number, those who present to us, not what AOHL/BDA/NDCS or anyone else says. There are not 11m Deaf & HoH needing help, (as regards to 100,000 sign users, nowhere near that number has ever presented to us a need.) 

What we experienced were demands for Social service specialisations for those with speech and communication issues, did not get support for those specialist services from the areas you quoted, instead demanding Interpreting independent support, and that is where the bulk of our 'support' goes regarding that area, (as it does health areas) etc.

Should anyone with hearing loss and associated issues require our help, they need to apply for it, (or they may be referred on to us by other agencies). We can only meet the demand that actually presents to us.  (Issues of 'statistical distortion' you need to take up with those that produce them.)

#3  Interesting news about the Social Services. In Cornwall the specialist deaf unit has now closed down with almost no traces. Social support for deaf people is now done through the same channels as everyone else. The person who came to see me admitted that he had no specialised training in working with deaf people but his real role was with mental health patients. So Cornwall Council clearly doesn't think that deaf people in Cornwall need much help!

#2 It's still 'think of a number', and see what you get away with.. that seems the main approach. The problem I suspect is there is no way to validate at all, hence no concerted approach to support is possible.  Estimations are not validation, because the right questions are neither asked, or recorded,  E.G. 'hearing loss' has no definition, and has become subjective, deafness no longer has one, since anyone with a loss that impairs communication can now claim to be deaf, there is no absolute to deafness anymore.  If you throw in the mix, the farce of the capitalisation debate, no-one is able to commence addressing issues, you are faced with dogma not need.

AOHL/RNID Response:

Our hearing loss population estimates are based on the most robust and best available data for prevalence at each age group taken from Davis, 1995. Hearing in adults, updated with Office for National Statistics (ONS) population estimates for 2014 and rounded to the nearest 500. We use the term "hearing loss” to refer to people with all levels of hearing loss, including people who identify as hard of hearing, deaf and Deaf.

The estimated number of people with hearing loss of 25 dBHL or more in different age groups can be found on pages p.104-105 of Hearing Matters. Estimates for the number of people with severe or profound hearing loss (75 dBHL or more) and the number of people who could benefit from hearing aids (people with hearing loss of 35 dBHL or more) can also be found on these pages.

We also estimate that there are at least 24,000 people who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their main language across the UK. This is a proportional estimate based on findings of 2011 Census. However, it is important to note that due to problems with the accessibility of the 2011 census survey questionnaire, this is likely to be an underestimate.

Senior Information Line Officer AOHL.
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This tends to show us that e.g. BDA claims of anything from 50,000 (Updated to a recent 125,000 BSL-using Deaf people,) is a complete fabrication.

The issue of support is definition, and applications to the system for help, that figure remains still at point 2% of the whole...in 'Deaf' terms.  Dedicated social services for deaf were wound up over 15 years ago, due largely, to a major campaign for deaf people for independent-based support, very little specialisation now exists at all, what does, is included in the main 'disability' areas, and social service involvement by hearing staff who hire interpreters to facilitate communication. 

There is another issue proceeding, in that Charities are still vying to be the social service replacement and care provider, but deaf groups aren't buying that either because their charitable involvement is token. 

Charities advising the system to take work away from them? We don't think so. As charity no longer represents the interests of the deaf or the HoH areas, (Or ever has), the whole thing is unworkable.  Campaigns are still coming from grass roots, not them, because charities have become the very system they didn't want to deal with.