Sunday, 30 July 2017

Dating Tips !

I'll give you a miss, you are far too aggressive, I'd be surprised any of your relationships would last long this way ! Starting with a list of demands is a sure to kill it at the onset.

Enhanced deaf relay services in Augusta Health.

Augusta Health responds to deaf services need
Augusta Health displayed its enhanced services for the deaf and hearing impaired Thursday night at the hospital. 

Patients needing an interpreter have access to live interpreters from a company called Civic Access. But relatively new to the hospital is the availability of interpreters on remote video access.

Members of the deaf community got a firsthand look at the video remote interpreters on a monitor Thursday night. An interpreter was available from Arizona as were live interpreters at the hospital. A grant from the Augusta Health Hospital Foundation helped pay for the remote interpreters, said Isaac Izzillo, director of patient experience at Augusta Health.

Izzillo said deaf patients who pre-register for treatment at the hospital can indicate a preference for the type of interpreter services. Augusta Health Public Relations Director Lisa Schwenk said the need for the remote service could also come with an emergency department visit.

But Augusta Health has undertaken other improvements in its relationship with the deaf, said Izzillo. "We have a real feel for how many deaf people there are in the community,'' he said.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Apple/Cochlear team up to aid hearing impaired

Cochlear implants help people who are deaf hear, but there are still some problems.

Kibbie Parsons, and many others can hear phone calls, but some words and sounds are unclear. "A man voice. I have a hard time understanding a man's voice with this one, but hopefully with the new device I'll be able to hear better," said Parsons.

She is counting down the weeks until September, when she believes her life will change. That's when the first FDA approved implant to work directly with the iPhone will hit the market. "I just now found out about the Apple thing, that's perfect because I'm an Apple person so I'd like to try it out. It doesn't hurt to try," Parsons said.

The new implants should make calls clearer by eliminating apps and Bluetooth devices users currently need for calls.  Kibbie believes the new implant will be a turning point for people with hearing loss. The new product to be out this September.

Avoid getting shot by your local cops...

Assuming the driver is actually the deaf owner of course !  

Deaf people or those who are hard of hearing can now have a symbol on their driver’s license that designates their hearing challenges.

Governor Cooper signed the legislation Thursday. The intent is to let law enforcement officers know if someone they pull over can’t hear. The symbol is optional. The legislation which takes effect in January includes training for current and incoming officers on how to appropriately interact with those who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

It comes after Daniel Harris, a deaf man, was fatally shot by a state trooper in Charlotte last year following a traffic stop that turned into a high speed chase.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Deaf Children Overlooked In Hearing Classrooms

A retired teacher is concerned our province’s deaf and hearing impaired students are being overlooked in the classroom. John Reid says he retired in 2001. He worked at the former school for the deaf.

Reid says while there’s much about inclusion in the premier’s education report, he questions why we didn’t hear more about students with hearing impairment. He says we had a state-of-the-art facility in the school for the deaf, and about 300 students in the province who need it. He told VOCMs Open Line with Paddy Daly, he doesn’t feel the system is giving these students the supports they need.

Reid says while the regular classroom might work for most, it will not work for all. He says these students need additional assistance that he says they cannot get with an interpreter. Tony Byrne says the school for the deaf never should have been shut down. He says the school was a miracle for his son, who is now a mechanic today because of his teachers.

Byrne agrees the inclusion piece isn’t working for all students. He says he knows of four families who have moved out of province to get their children the appropriate education. He says a deaf student in a classroom with an interpreter does not work.

Access to the NHS in the UK ?

editorial image
It is amazing (But not surprising), to still read the NHS in the UK is not complying with its own universal access law it printed at the onset of its existence.  More concerns they still cannot be bothered to comply.

The UK’s largest hearing loss charity, (AOHL) is urging GPs and other health and social care practitioners in Lancashire to ensure that the 218,000 local residents who are deaf or have hearing loss receive the right communication support.

The call comes as a review by NHS England published Friday July 21 found that almost a year since the Accessible Information Standard became law, more than half of patients who responded to a survey have not noticed any improvement in getting accessible information or communication support from NHS services.

The Standard, which was put into force on August 1 2016, requires all publicly funded health and adult social care organisations to meet the communication needs of people with a
disability, impairment or sensory loss, including the one in six people living with hearing loss and deafness.

The review found that more than two-thirds of patients had not been asked about their information and communication needs by NHS services over the last six months. Almost a third of patients also reported that they do not usually get or have never received the communication support they need from NHS services.

Maybe AOHL can try THIS for size ? what I was sent when I asked for BSL help for my partner for an eye test....  Is THIS the new future for applying for NHS help ?  It was accompanied by a shopping list of fines if you are late or do not turn up for whatever reason.  Starting at £90....

Facebook love-ins with Deaf and HoH ?

family deaf man
Doesn't happen does it ?

It remains to be seen if there is really any real common ground between cultural deaf areas and HoH or deafened ones whilst the argy-bargy of sign language v lip-reading v disability versus et al continues to be a norm.  

The writing appears very much on the wall as regards to HoH or their support groups and charities too, via recent news of consolidations and mergers as rank and file with hearing loss move away from charitable support because they can see it isn't working, whilst there is obviously some interaction on social media, it is still by its nature social by proxy not face to face interaction, we have just moved the goalposts and fooling ourselves remote social discourse is better than nothing ?  After all, since the iphone revolution who needs people or personal interaction on planet Apple or Samsung ?   

ATR believes in people to people, social media is not the way to circumvent that, and why would you want to ?

Because it is 'easier' or less stressful ?  That is avoiding dealing with your issue isn't it ?   If we actually delve into this mutual 'cooperation' in social media, the article actually is a promotion of deaf culture and sign language (BSL/ASL etc), with little or no HoH input.  Once the deaf term is used there is only one issue to promote.   HoH have lost the media ground of awareness and now non-extant as a sector of hearing loss in many parts. Any message they have is drowned out by the massive promotion of sign use. Their issue has been buried by the reality you cannot see hearing loss, the sign user however is ultra visible and it shows as they plough forward all aspects of their own need and have left the HoH behind. 

The HI/HoH sectors are entirely themselves to blame for nil real promotion or awareness of their own needs.    You cannot blame BSL or ASL users for promoting their own needs, it is what HoH should be doing.  UK HoH awareness is an embarrassing and dated concept that focuses on old people, old images,  and clinical approaches. I don't want to see another 'white coat' or 'clinical' advert for hearing loss, and bored rigid with endless 'surveys/consultations' asking how we feel, we are pissed off OK ?  (But not enough of us are).  By comparison the sign user uses PEOPLE and experience and all ages, they are more positive and dynamic and better at awareness.  Recent hearing loss adverts in the UK are downright pathetic let's face it.

The HoH own belief  is in the cure or alleviation approaches, it also pits them directly against mutual access promotions and lobbies with cultural deaf.  HoH  cannot use the same access signers get or demand, but fail to get mutual inclusion when it is there too, because signers don't want text access and interpreters don't speak well in signed videos. They could not be further apart in direction or view as to the way ahead, the result has left the HoH floundering and being increasingly isolated as a result, using social media and technological advance aspects to suggest they are still 'in it'.   That is, if your view of being 'In' is socialising by text only.   That may work for those with hearing and alternatives, but is it working for us ?

The article headline 'Deaf in a hearing family' suggests itself, it is little to do with HoH.  More self promotions of culture and sign use, and at HoH expense.  We would rather see mutual campaigns that recognise oral approaches, the inclusion of our children, be they deaf or hearing impaired in our schools, the end of specialisation by language mode, fully supported access to local services, and more alleviation and medical assaults on hearing loss, more diverse approaches to lip-reading, and 100% captioned videos that signers will comply with also.  

It is still depressing and frustrating to see captioning campaigns promoting un-captioned deaf output, this has to be addressed. You cannot have one law for one area and a different interpretation of that law by someone else when mutual areas all need sign and captions.  This is using a cultural aspect to block real time access.  It is a constant self-inflicting wound on own area.

If there is nothing in awareness for HoH, they are not going to be cooperating at all, and pay 'lip-service' to it, as we see on social medias with the 'live and let live' credo which is in reality the ultimate opt out, as it demands nothing from you in effort, and validates non-cooperation.   It has to be approached in terms of 'what is in it for me  ?'  Mutual support (albeit still less mutual understanding because of sign differences), between ASL and BSL Facebook was a norm of sorts anyway, but it would be wrong to suggest HoH are in on this too, there is no proof that is the case. They would not have the basic captioned access to be included.  ASL output has killed off HoH output online.

Talk and text is cheap, even free, actions speak louder, we just see a status quo where nothing changes for UK HoH except help is less.. and the ongoing demise of its support base, where they are begging for charitable funding and losing out.  Are we to accept the iphone is an acceptable replacement for real people ? After all it works for hearing, except, we aren't are we ?  One world not two.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

No strategy to include UK disabled in the workplace.

senior civil servant
A senior civil servant has admitted to MPs and peers that the government’s industrial strategy will not be “fit for purpose” unless it corrects its failure to consider disability and other equality issues in a green paper it published in January.

Alex Williams, the civil servant responsible for sector deals* for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), was twice forced to acknowledge to the all party parliamentary group for disability (APPGD) that the government’s industrial strategy would need to address the previous failure to mention disability and equality issues, when it is published later this year.

In its first meeting of the new parliament, the APPGD focused on the government’s attempts to halve the disability employment gap. But Philip Connolly, policy manager for Disability Rights UK (DR UK), told the meeting that both the green paper and the government’s earlier national infrastructure plan “may not even be legal documents” because of their “complete omission of equalities”.

He said he believed the government had breached its public sector equality duty to look at all of its policies and programmes through the “prism” of equality and fairness, and he asked why there was “a complete omission of equalities in the drawing up of these documents”.

Despite the equality duty, there is not a single mention of disability or disabled people, or even equality, in the 132-page Building Our Industrial Strategy green paper, while there is just one mention of disability (relating to investment in special educational needs) and no mention of equality in the 113-page 2016 National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

News for Deaf/HoH job-seekers.

Florida driver licences to ID deaf...

A new look is coming to Florida driver's licenses and ID cards with new security measures.  Starting in August, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will issue new IDs that will include security features designed to crack down on the production of fake driver's licenses.

"This is the most secure over-the-counter credential available," said spokeswoman Alexis Bakofsky. "We want customers to know that it has double the number of security features to try to combat counterfeit and driver's license fraud."  Law enforcement officials and tax collectors from across the state were involved with the redesign process, she said.

The colorful new cards include ultraviolet ink and features only visible if viewed under UV light. The subject's photo will also be printed with a transparent background and appear in four places on the card.  "The person's picture will be on it in four different locations ...," Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano said. "So it'll be extremely difficult to replicate."  Fasano said the problem of fake IDs is one he's had to deal with in his jurisdiction.

"It wasn't long ago that the (Pasco County Sheriff's Office) had a press conference that I was at that we had some guy selling driver's licenses right over the Internet," he said. The new IDs will also include features to make it easy to identify what type of license it is and some of the special privileges of the license holder:

• Each card will have a different colored header to designate what type of license it is. Commercial driver's licenses will be blue; standard driver's licenses will be green; identification cards will be red; and learner's licenses will be orange.

• Floridians under the age of 21 will have a red box on the front of their licenses that will list the date of their 21st birthday.

• The new IDs will also include other designations such as lifetime boating and hunting licenses; freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses; that identify military veterans; and list medical conditions such as hard of hearing and insulin dependency; and, of course, whether the holder is an organ donor. Adding those designations, with the exception of developmental disabilities and organ donors, will add $1 for each designation when the card is renewed or $2 when it's replaced.

"What they're trying to do, and I think it's a great idea, is have everything incorporated on your license," Fasano said.

Those designations could benefit drivers, he said, such as those who are deaf. A driver who is pulled over because they didn't hear an emergency vehicle's sirens could prove they're hearing impaired.

Long Lost Family

Image result for long lost familyHas first deaf person to help. 

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell investigate two firsts for the show.

Andy McNichol from Walsall is the first father to ask the team to help find his child, who was adopted at birth against his wishes. When Andy’s girlfriend, Brenda, became pregnant, he hoped to raise their son together but, unable to marry Brenda, she broke off contact and gave their son up for adoption.

Also featured is the story of Mary Davies from London, who is the first deaf person to appear on the show. She is searching for her birth mother, who was young and unmarried when she had Mary 56 years ago.

Mary spent her first six years in children’s homes as she waited to find a family who were willing to adopt a deaf child.


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Carers who abused the elderly...

Susan Draper, 44, was caught on camera abusing Betty Boylan after the pensioner's family set up a covert camera in her room
Horrific abuse by a paid carer who sprayed aerosols into the face of an old woman, raised justifiable anger by relatives and disabled alike, why does this continue to happen ?

Care homes are not paid by LA's (Local Authorities),  the fees they need to provide adequate, consistent, or qualified cover. As a result far too many staff are part-time and barely qualified at all. One care home had a 60% staff turnover ratio, it proved impossible to get people to stay for longer than a month or so, and the residents did not know from one day to the next who was staff and who wasn't.  

Basically anyone could walk in, few knew who the regular staff were.  A check on qualifications was blocked by the care home owners itself despite complaint, they used the data protection act and Human rights laws, to prevent identifying staff, being unable to ID staff of course, meant you could not determine their qualifications either.  

Complaining to the LA/SS got nowhere either, what happens is the care home provider sends a list of qualified staff (No names), to the LA as 'proof', but, this does NOT mean those qualified staff are actually in the home your relative is in, they could be in an office, commuting between homes, may even have left the employer months ago, and never replaced. 

The system is wide open to abuse as a result.  The staff turnover of local authority staff is high too, so continuity and regular checks go out the window, sheer chaos in most part. The usual approach is just 1/2 members of staff who have full qualifications are in attendance at the home, there again they may NOT be there to provide 24/7 supervision, because no-one works 24 hours a day.  Most not even 12.

This leaves little cover for patients or residents that require 24/7 support.  The only option then is to send in the heavies to sort it out, but it can go on for years before someone does that.   What the UK sees happening, is once issues are identified, home providers decide to close them rather than comply, and sell sites at a profit, putting the onus back on LA's or the NHS.

The old adage if you pay peanuts you get... apparently is the basis of care provision in the UK. What we see is an 'explosion' of college and other courses being offered on 'care' that don't actually ensure it is enough to care for someone.  It's done on paper mostly.  The only way to get experience is at the homes themselves, that also requires supervision that isn't there long enough, but no effective psyche profile of the staff is done to ensure staff are sufficiently balanced to cope with demanding patients or issues they might present.  

Not everyone is cut out to be a carer, and some (Like the lady in the case quoted), should not be allowed anywhere near vulnerable people.  What we are seeing in this latest news item, are staff who lack the patience to cope properly and totally unsuited to be carers at all.  Combine that with zero hours, low wages, zilch morale etc, the quality of hired help is far too narrow to just people prepared to work in those conditions. 

As regards to CCTV, unless it is independently run and monitored who can rely on it ?  No care home with issues is going to film it's own shortcomings.  Most filming that exposes abuse, are done by relatives, visitors with mobile phones or secret cameras.  Cuts to state funding ensure regular checks to ensure care provision is adequate, are not happening. Obviously there are residents or patients that present very challenging behaviours etc, but those are the most entitled to the best care, not, the worst.

The way the UK treats all its vulnerable and disabled is a world disgrace and abuse of basic human rights.  We are the biggest hypocrites in the world and should be ashamed, instead we proudly boast we support the third world with £B's in aid, that aid money was taken directly away from UK disabled and elderly via cuts to their welfare and support.  To date near 6,300 have died prematurely as a result.  So we are killing our old people and disabled to save the disabled and old elsewhere. Cattle are treated better....

Monday, 24 July 2017

App provides virtual pharmacist for Deaf people

*Please note this is the UPDATE to a previous post re virtual pharmacy (Which was an unapproved draft).

When most people go to the pharmacy to collect their medication, they are able to talk to the pharmacist, ask questions about their medication and read the printed directions on the product label.

This is not the case for many Deaf people. According to Professor Bill Tucker, Associate Professor in Computer Science at UWC, many Deaf people are textually illiterate and are primarily literate in sign language. Unable to discuss their needs with the pharmacist, disadvantaged Deaf people tend to merely collect their medicines and rely on families and friends to advise them on how to take them.

Seeking a solution that would allow Deaf people to independently access information about their prescribed medication, Prof Tucker, together with doctoral students Prangnat Chininthorn, Mariam Parker and Andre Henney, and several other postgraduate students, developed an app suite for mobile phones that provides Deaf people with the information they need about their medication and illness in sign language.

The main app, a video application for mobile phones dubbed ‘SignSupport for Pharmacy’, was developed in consultation with Deaf people as well as pharmacists and other experts.  Pre-recorded videos in South African Sign Language (SASL), which cater for a range of medical needs, are loaded onto phones and can be accessed via the app. The apps can be accessed on mid-range phones costing about R1 300.

“Once they are on the phone it doesn’t cost the end user anything. That’s key for us as we are dealing with poor people,” says Henney. One of the problems the team had to overcome was that there are many variations of South African sign language. People in different communities have developed their own variations in SASL, much like the different dialects of English developed.

However, Chininthorn says, “Even though there are multiple dialects [in SASL] there’s enough commonality among Deaf people. It is possible for good signers to sign in a way that more people can understand, for instance in a video.”  “We had an industrial design engineer work with Deaf people to get their input, and a PhD student in Pharmacy who made sure everything adhered to proper pharmacy protocols. Then we handed all this work to computer scientists who coded the mobile app,” says Prof Tucker.

Another challenge is to clear up misunderstandings. This requires a call centre staffed by trained and certified SASL interpreters to provide remote video interpreting. “We aim it at the lowest-end phone that has a front-facing camera so when Deaf people have questions, they can connect to a remote interpreter to clarify information.” 

However, unlike using SignSupport, video relay, with video running in both directions from a phone, would be very expensive, unless subsidised by a mobile operator. Having worked with the Deaf community since 2001 and on the app since 2010, the team feels the app suite, including SignSupport for Pharmacy, an authoring tool to create additional scenarios, and a mobile video relay, is ready to be handed to an organisation to take further. Ideally, this organisation would be owned and run by Deaf people. 

According to the researchers, DeafSA estimated that there were about 600 000 Deaf South Africans in 2006. Despite this huge market, getting the government to buy into the concept has been difficult. SASL is still not an official language in SA. Furthermore, “We have had meetings with the government, which went well, but then nothing happened. What we need is to form an organisation that will take ownership of this project.

“This needs to somehow be commercialised, even if for free, which is how I would like to see it,” says Prof Tucker. Prof Tucker says the app was not intended for all people with hearing loss, but for a specific segment of that community.  “Deaf – with an upper case ‘D’ – denotes people who primarily use sign language as their mother tongue and as their identity. Cultural identity is attached to your language.

“With a lower case ‘d’, ‘deaf’ people are usually older people who suffer from hearing loss and can communicate with hearing people as they have been reading, writing, speaking and hearing all their lives. These ‘deaf’ people are more likely to be able to lip read, talk and use a hearing aid. “Our target audience is ‘Deaf’ people, for whom SASL is a sense of identity and community. For instance, children of Deaf parents might be able to hear, but their first language is sign language. They would also call themselves Deaf even though they can hear – as that is the language they use,” says Prof Tucker.

Getting away with murder ?

Deaf and autistic Georgia Fields may avoid prison after being among a trio who committed murder.
Deaf and autistic Georgia Fields may avoid prison after being among a trio who committed murder. A deaf, autistic and intellectually challenged young woman who murdered a man by pushing him off a Melbourne balcony might avoid prison because of her "unusual" mix of conditions.

Georgia Fields, 21, was one of three deaf people found to have murdered 36-year-old Robert Wright who died in hospital after plunging from a Ringwood balcony in January 2015. She faced the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday where Justice Jane Dixon said she presented a "very unusual" and difficult case when considering custody options.

Prosecutors believe Fields should serve time at a women's prison.  But the Department of Health and Human Services has suggested she be placed on a non-custodial supervision order, which the judge will consider. "Ms Fields needs a great deal of support and assistance to navigate her future because of her particular combination of profound deafness, atypical autism and borderline intellectual functioning," Justice Dixon said.

"This is a very unusual case and Ms Fields presents a very unusual mixture of disability that is very problematic in a prison setting." Family members of Mr Wright were in court and spoke out in frustration when they heard Fields may avoid going to jail. "It just seems like he's been completely forgotten," a voice from the gallery said. "Robbie has not been forgotten, I can assure you," Justice Dixon responded, "I'm sorry, Your Honour, I just can't see it like that," the exchange continued

At an earlier hearing, Mr Wright's family said they were worried the autistic and intellectually disabled killers would get away with murder because of their special needs.

Phoning your audiologist...

Deaf should not sit in the exit row

Saturday, 22 July 2017

91yr old gets ear implant...

Raymond Kelly
Great-grandfather Raymond Kelly beams with pleasure every time he hears the newest addition to his family giggle – and even the crying of the nine-month-old baby does not bother him.

Raymond Kelly became the oldest person to get a state-of-the-art ear implant, Raymond, 91, could not hear the simple sounds that most of us take for granted. Now he says his greatest pleasure is being able to hear his 10 grandchildren, whose ages range from nine to 31, and two great-grandchildren – the other is seven years old.

Raymond, of New Malden, south-west London, lost his hearing as a child. He was offered an operation at seven but his parents turned it down, fearful of the risks involved. Over the years his hearing deteriorated until he stopped bothering to go out because he could no longer hear what was going on in the hubbub of voices.

SignHealth on the move.

More charities who feel better off moving 'out of the sticks' to London, that makes 60 major charities in recent years closing down regional offices to go to S. E. England instead. The centralisation of our charities ATR feels, is yet again removing easy access to regional Deaf for support they need.  Charities sitting in an office in London at a computer, isn't how Deaf want to be served. There is a greater demand to put offices where the need actually is.  And it isn't all in London.

SignHealth has announced its departure from Baring Road for the capital in a staggered move at the end of July. Head office will be relocating to a new premises in Balham, south-west London, where an existing project is, in a move to save money and consolidate resources.

Launched in 1985 from a room above the Oxfam shop in the High Street, SignHealth saw continual growth, leaving for Penn before returning to Beaconsfield in 2004.  The charity said the move would allow staff to be closer to teams and service users in London.

It will continue to work with deaf adults and children in Buckinghamshire and will maintain four staff in the south of the county. The charity said it had strong links to the capital, having run services there for many years, and the move will allow it to build and grow.

Abby Herbert said: "We have enjoyed some fantastic local support over the past 30 years and while we hope that much of this will continue, we recognise some will not be possible – a downside of the move."  "We hope to attract more deaf staff in the future, and that will be easier if we are in London," she added. "It has been lovely working with you over the last few years." CEO James Watson-O'Neill added: “The time is right.

“The charity started in Beaconsfield. From there it has grown and grown.  "We want to see that growth continue. Being closer to our services will be a big help.  "We want to continue to improve the health of deaf people in London and beyond.

"SignHealth has an exciting future and this move will give us a much stronger position to build that growth." The headquarters will be based in Oakmead Road, Balham, from the end of July.


Charity merger threatens demise of UK HoH groups ?

This latest reported merger suggests further reduction in the support of HoH by UK charities, leaving only one clear 'winner' the AOHL/RNID, who must be rubbing their hands with glee at the 'consolidation' of these poorly supported charities.  

By far the saddest aspect was the reporting of the merger suggesting 'Two deaf groups' were to merge.  This was inaccurate reporting and shows confused understanding of the very diverse hearing loss areas, in fact 3 of them not two, who are now put on par with animals..  

Background: The First merger between Hearing Concern and LINK, was between two groups who did NOT promote their operations as 'support for the Deaf'.  Both were very much HoH and deafened-based, with LINK at the time NOT promoting sign language use.

(LINK was a predominantly the sole charity based on supporting deafened people, in reality the ONLY charity in the UK doing this and deafened support suffered as a result after the merger, there is no longer a charity solely designed to meet deafened need).  The NADP is invisible.

Hearing Concern was basically the poor man's RNID and had few offices nation-wide at all, including none in Wales, it had no dedicated areas as such with the HoH of note, it was one of 56 'HoH' charities at the time with similar aims and similarly ineffective.  

It is confusion personified the merged charities of Hearing Concern/Link are to merge yet again, this time with a dog charity (?).   (ATR rejects the need for deaf assistance dogs). The merger suggests HoH and deafened are in the future being supported less, than they are now.  It also suggests they are on borrowed time and stand to be swept aside by the mega-powerful AOHL, already accused of dumping the 'Deaf'.  The merger may be financial expediency, or the admission they cannot 'sell' HoH need and need to use animals to pull in funding.  No doubt the next thing we read will be 're-branding' and new names etc.  Re-arranging the deck chairs on the HoH Titanic.

There seems little appreciation or understanding that the reason for these mergers is a total disinterest in HoH need and of hearing loss interest in charities. If there was a merger would not be necessary.  It has echoes of the RNIB (The UK blind charity), who due to the fickle nature of the UK joe public, saw blind dog charities make 4 times the funding, compared to charities dedicated to actual blind people's support.  At one time the blind dog charity was sitting on 12 times the funding of the RNIB itself. (The UK public put animals first not people).

That the declaration of the merger came from corporate 'Third sector' (An area UK charities use to hire hearing, not deaf or HoH professional staff), is no surprise, and reveals just how far charity has shifted from a grassroots based, to a corporate take over where grass roots need not apply.  The circle of support being squared to enable  hearing to make capital on our issues by running our support areas and determining directions of that support without us.

The blurb

Hearing Link will become part of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People from 1 August, with both brands continuing to operate The merger will provide people who have hearing loss with access to a broader range of services, the statement said.

Hearing Link, which helps people to deal with the practical and emotional challenges of hearing loss, has been spending hundreds of thousands of pounds more than its income in recent years, accounts filed with the Charity Commission show. It spent £1.2m in 2015 against an income of £671,257, the accounts show.

"As with many small charities, the challenging and competitive fundraising environment has proved extremely difficult for Hearing Link," a statement on Hearing Link’s website said. "By merging with Hearing Dogs and incorporating Hearing Link as a distinct service within the larger charity we have secured our future to enable us to continue to deliver our life-changing services."

Hearing Link has 13 staff. Hearing Dogs, which provides assistance dogs for people with hearing loss, has 184 staff and had an income of £7.5m in the year to the end of March 2016.  A spokeswoman for Hearing Dogs said the merger would not result in any redundancies.

Michele Jennings, chief executive of Hearing Dogs, will continue as chief executive of the merged organisation, and Lorraine Gailey, chief executive of Hearing Link, will become chief operating officer and retain responsibility for Hearing Link within the merged charity. The spokeswoman said the charities would be able to make savings by merging back-office functions because Hearing Link would no longer need to outsource areas such as finance or IT.

Friday, 21 July 2017

What is deafness ?

Being deaf, or hard of hearing comes with a plethora of different terms, and different meanings. I've been deaf all my life, so did some more research and the fancy words and give you the run down on what Deafness is. More videos shall be on the way with me explaining various topics, such as what it's like, how to communicate with a deaf person, and more.

Deaf and Blind services

Turning voice into text

Photo detail
How one business is helping the hard-of-hearing and others. Elizabeth Archer says it’s “totally gratifying” to help the hard-of-hearing and others with her business that captures voice and translates it into text. 

The Portland-based company provides Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), also known as live-event captioning, as an option for people with hearing challenges.

“People who use my services are typically deaf and hard of hearing who prefer to voice for themselves and don’t use sign language or interpreters,” says Elizabeth Archer, owner of the company. “My clients are also typically late-deafened adults who grew up in the hearing world and prefer CART as opposed to having to learn sign language in their later years. I’ve also provided CART for people with autism, traumatic brain injury and ESL students.”

The benefits, Archer says, “are pretty straight forward – communication access.” “Services are used in classrooms, at medical appointments, in courtrooms and other legal settings, conferences, legislative hearings and business meetings,” she says.

CART is a means of transcribing the spoken word into readable English text using a stenograph machine, computer and real-time software. Text appears on a computer monitor or other display and serves as an important communication tool for those using the service. CART provides a verbatim translation of all spoken words, on a one-to-one basis, to multiple users, or projected on a large screen for an audience. A simulation on the company’s website demonstrates the service.

Archer began CART service, which is provided online, onsite and on-demand, in 1995 and expanded to a national level in 2005 by using the internet.

“Remote CART is when I provide services off-site,” Archer says. “For this to work, the person using CART needs a computer, and I need some kind of audio. This can be done via the internet using Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other web-based platforms as well as conference and speaker phones. I send the link to the client, we connect with audio, and I write down whatever is being said in the venue.”