Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Deaf in la-la land ?..


Another foot in mouth, approach from the AOHL, who never cease to amaze us with their weird ideas about inclusion, considering it isn't a Deaf charity at all, and just utilising a 'Deaf' week for self promotional reasons..  They are desperate to counter the success of sign promotion over HoH need, so any bandwagon will do.


Basically this petition demand as with others about BSL, always fails to address the reality.  There aren't the staff to implement it, there is no curriculum organised, there are no details of how BSL can be effectively used for the deaf except via hearing support.  

It is yet another attempt to re-invent the wheel that carried the BSL culture in deaf schools, but the world has turned a few times since then.  The major drawback to a BSL - based approach is, that it doesn't address hearing-deaf communication issues, it is simply saying you have to conform to what we use, end of.  The BSL community also lacks peers who can show by example or mentors who are aware, let alone has the sign teachers to do what is asked.  

Fact:

The UK has over 40,000 schools.

2,400 teachers (BATOD survey 2014/15), who teach the deaf, they, are all in deaf specialist education. 

There are approx 5/600 who run BSL/cultural centres (?) and classes in the UK, but have no recognised school teaching qualifications, many are free-lance and unregulated as to their class approaches too..   

They are too specialist and lack the variety of skills and qualifications mainstream would need as well as sign tuition.

A 'stand-alone' class is suggested because they know it would never operate any other way, it could well clash with educational directives on inclusion.   We know that demands for BSL in schools end up with more demands for the return to the deaf school set ups as well, anti-inclusion schools that put 'like with like' and leave it at that, so when deaf children leave schools there is hardly anywhere for them to go but the deaf set up again.  From ATR standpoint BSL is anti-awareness of hearing loss too, we already see BSL based areas who want nothing to do with HoH or deafened issues or their access and needs.  

You cannot separate by culture, the needs of those with deafness and loss, the entire BSL culture is based on it.

Hardly a valid option to raise awareness.  If any dedicated 'class' is to be set up in schools, then it should be based on as many aspects of COMMUNICATION to those with hearing loss as possible, and not a relentless cultural lecture and bias.  As soon as these pupils hit the streets and find there are hardly any signing deaf there it is going to look silly.   Are they just going to walk up to the nearest deaf person they see and pitch in ? BSL classes extra curricular, are already NOT working on the basis of loss awareness, it isn't a part of their set up. Lip-reading does some... Deaf do this 'deaf' do that ?  no thank you. We should not be promoting bias and exclusion.

I'd urge people NOT to sign this position, on the grounds it is counter productive to real awareness.  It is basically demanding mainstream promotes and pays for deaf culture whose members have no real desire to include them or other deaf who don't use BSL.   It won't empower deaf either because 9 out of a 10 of deaf don't rely on sign. Basically what  we are seeing is a charity hoping to cash in on it.

There is little proof BSL lessons at this time have empowered deaf on the street, to any significant degree at all.  The direction of the BSL-based culture is away from hearing and others to some sort of independent deaf la-la land where all deaf sign or are mute, and everyone else hears with a hearing aid.  Culture has destroyed the concept of true access and inclusion, it keeps suggesting some sort of comfortable isolationist alternative instead..  

The reason that idea exists to its present level is down to a very simple and sobering fact of life, they are isolated, and BSL isolates them from mainstream. If the class includes us all then maybe, but the fact still remains the huge bias towards culture and against hearing loss, means there are no teachers to actually teach balance. Deaf awareness has failed, HI awareness doesn't exist, so who is going to teach mainstream ? We have had charities for years and special schooling, not made much inroad have they ?  

Surveys suggest up to age 7 children are receptive to sign language, they have no preconceptions about it, but they don't teach loss awareness because they're too young to understand the issues, but post age 7 peer pressure kicks in, and whatever they did learn is buried and then forgotten.  Factual statistics suggest the number of people wanting to teach sign is going down too, too expensive and too many biased 'judges' of sign who argue amid themselves area by area, failing learners who have spent £1,000s to get their assessment, because one judge 'doesn't sign like that..'...

This petition really has not been thought out at all, it is a simplistic plea to promote BSL, nothing else, by a charity dedicated to HoH. Appealing at a very base level without ever thinking about if it would work at all.  I'm sure parents would have input too, with all the current pressures our children already have to comply with the current social engineering in schools, whether most of it is viable at all, it looks a non starter. As stated before the MOST successful deaf are oral not signing. 

A fact the deaf activist keeps very quiet about.