Thursday, 28 December 2017

How to use an Interpreter.


I confess to educating my sign using partner to ignore the interpreter as much as possible, and to concentrate  on the person speaking to them.  If she wants to pass the time of day with the terp OK, but NOT at an interview or medical assessment !

Terps, unless you are known to them, do NOT know what level of sign to pitch at you, the first thing you do is explain what level you need, for some it is the very basics, for others they will want to know every minuscule detail.

Be aware some may turn up minutes before supporting you, you MUST take the time to explain the levels you need, do NOT feel pressured by a Terp that says, 'I have to finish in x minutes because I have another appointment somewhere else', change YOUR appointment until they can spare the time needed.  The terp should arrive in plenty of time to sort out the level of help you require.

Also tell the terp where to stand and that is to avoid you ignoring who is speaking totally if/when terp stands  too far away from the speaker or out of eye line to them.  So body language and placing of the terp is important too. 

At meets, born deaf are notorious for ignoring the actual speaker unless they sign too, and for talking to other deaf via some 'Chinese whisper' system which 'may' be about what is being said, or, may well be about social aspects of their peers, latest gossip or next trip occurring, once that kicks in, the terp's job is pointless, so terps need to control that situation and deaf need to conform.  In essence to start 'Listening'.

There should be no cross-sign/talk when someone is speaking and being translated for you.  The whisper/sign system, appears to be the more able trying to explain to the lesser able deaf what is going on.  Of course by the time the end deafie gets a look in it's about everything BUT what is being actually said !  So little point in educating the speaker to directly address the deaf person at times. 

More than half of deaf people at any meeting are there to socialise NOT get involved in what the meetings are actually about, or even to provide feedback. Whilst we seem well able to read subtitles or captions without missing the plot mostly, a signer on a screen can be a complete norm for them and a huge distraction to HI, because visuals compete.    So it needs to be considered when all those attending are NOT sign using.

Do not get too friendly with the terps, maintain the professional situation, they are your employed support, not your mates, because deaf people then tend to lean on them to get advice etc which is NOT a terp's job. 

Interpretation  is all about empowering the deaf person, systems do not hire them for anything else.  No disrespect is meant to the terp, but they and you, do need to know what the position is.  Make it clear as soon as they enter the room.  It sounds off-hand or ungrateful, but there is a real point to be made here. 

Get educated in sign interpreter usage. People who use sign interpreting are not educated in how to actually USE them.  The Terp knows about these situations, most avoid them but some sadly enjoy the position it puts them in and goes too far in 'explaining', 'simplification', and then 'advising' responses, that is NOT their job as they know.  Their mistake will cost YOU not them.

As someone who has attended court cases where terps were present the situation was clarified there, terps do NOT exist in legal terms, as any sort of 'witness' to past situations, so they cannot be asked to recall those in a  court of law.  If you feel  you did not follow something at the time and only realised after, tough, there is no way to go back to it, as you have indicated a need for a terp, the law then assumes you can follow, if you didn't, you should have said at the time.

Many courts will not allow a familiar terp to assist a client.  This is because they deem bias exists, the deaf world being far too small to hire a terp unknown to the local deaf.  However utilising terps from different areas cause issues too with unfamiliar signs.  There is some leeway by courts being seen but it isn't universal.

The sign  interpreter is NOT your paid friend, they are trained and paid to assist you to follow via translation, maintain that balance at all times.  

Bear in mind specialisations too.  Just because a terp is trained in BSL does NOT mean they can be qualified to translate technical jargon, higher, or even middle educational areas, medical terminology, or legal issues etc, ensure you have the right terp for the right job.

The NHS suggests you can use friends or family, DON'T ! because if they are not sign qualified or educated enough either, you still lose.  They are also viewed extremely biased towards you and may well take the decisions for you, you need to make it clear to the medical profession you are accepting they may well do that, and, with your permission, however this may well mean your attendance is a formality.  This could prove dangerous to your health and a violation of your own choice.  A Neutral interpreter will only listen to what you want, your family may well feel it is 'quicker' if they did the 'talking'  and the direction of your health support to fit in with their schedules not yours.

The NHS declaration was to avoid the legal obligation on them to provide.  They circumvent that obligation playing to your insecurity and 'rights'.  Any issue that presents itself afterwards, blame/litigation  has to be made on your chosen personal help, not the NHS, start as you mean to go on by only asking for professional sign support.  BY all means use a friend or family as moral support, but NOT in a translation mode.  Apart from anything else it kills terp demand for others.

However, (and as mentioned previously), they still cannot act as a witness even then to past misunderstandings. Ideally written support is better because it can be referred back to, terps memories cannot.  Can you remember exactly what was said last week ?  If you have dealings with the systems, Local Authorities, Social services etc, be aware of how your support is viewed.  You accept terp mistakes as your own.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Resolutions and Boredom..

Related imageResolutions.

(1) I will not call any phone number for any TV contest, the acts are all crap, FCUK Simon Cowell..

(2) Drink less beer; last year I drank enough beer to have kept the Titanic afloat.  This year I am on spirits.

(3) Don’t use texting vernacular in spoken language. UGI ?

(3a ?) If you made a New Year’s resolution you are a fool, you are bound to fail. Strike one...

(4) Incorporate “I don't give a shit.” into at least one conversation a week. Alternatively 'I'm off to talk with someone more interesting..'

(5) Write out everything you did last night and at the beginning add the word “stop.” (Or zaustaviti if you are Croatian).

(6) I will conserve more water and avoid taking baths whenever possible.  I will also avoid drinking it, (I've enough plastic in me already and have you SEEN what fish do in it ?).

(7) I won’t miss the gym more than two weeks in a row.  I am going to miss it entirely.

(8) Find out a reason why I need 10 different email addresses, other than I am a troll seeking stalker.

(9) I won’t worry so much. I'll be too pissed to care.

(10 I will not reply to funny jokes by typing LOL.  Instead will  type 'NOT funny..'

(11) I’ll restrict my TV watching to 7 hours a day instead of 8 hours.  I will probably have to buy one first but....

(12) I’ll only surf the internet in my pyjamas, and try to avoid being arrested for exposure on the train.

(13) I’ll eat out more so that I don’t waste any time cooking and washing dishes.

(14) Eat more nice things like candy, Big Macs, popcorn and ice cream. 

(15) Eat less crap like fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.

(16) Take up a new habit, like smoking – it helps keep tobacco workers in jobs.

(17) Work less. Take it easy. All work and no play can make you a pain in the ass.


For those missing a few decibels:  (don't look at me YOU Lost them !).

(18) Try to avoid people with a cultural issue, there are over 8,000 on the planet with them.  Get over it, we all have one.

(19) Try supporting A G Bell a bit more, not his fault his wife was deaf, so he made money at it.. At least he didn't have to learn ASL.

(20)  Oppose charity, teach them to help themselves. Avoid their supporters B-O-R-I-N-G...

(21) Put a limit on rights and acceptance, 6.5 billion with an issue is more than enough surely ?

(22) Teach the world to talk and sing, it worked for Coca Cola, it can work for you.

(23)  Outlaw awareness, if it worked, none of us would be here would we.

(24) There are no deaf or Deaf people, just people with  a persecution complex who don't hear all that well.

(25)  Don't worry, we all end up the same way, maybe if we are buried in a standing position we can save space too.

Finally, AVOID any more resolution blogs that whine on about why hearing aids, CI's, lip-reading, culture, deaf education, or sign language isn't compulsory for everyone.  They are hearing people for goodness sake...

Friday, 22 December 2017

Greetings from ATR


Hearing people who piss us all off...


And the deaf and HoH who don't deal with it.  Inevitable and more complaints about the hearing people who lack any patience to assist deaf or HoH to follow what is said, and express frustration we don't get it first time are springing up again on social medias, so the 'blame game' goes on..   Deaf awareness has never worked, so we need to move away from the legal and 'educational' approaches that have not advanced or enabled us at all.  OK it gave dodgy focus groups desperate for funds, and unemployed deafies an occasional job, but, basically it is BS.

Image result for you're annoying me !I've mixed feelings about it. If we get annoyed then interaction ceases mostly, it can be unfair, life is, but the reality is there are people who do not have any patience with us, we have to work the percentages, because those who are fed up with us cannot be made aware.  Prejudice is too ingrained. Confrontation means more of the same, it is the world we live in. Suing someone's ass off because they discriminated against you does NOT make them more aware, except to avoid you.

Image result for stop pissing us off !
Deaf awareness is a myth mostly, it CANNOT be taught. Only WE can create that awareness, if we wait for a law or something it won't happen in our lifetime, and won't be enforceable anyway. Once we accept these realities then we do not sit back and hope for the best pointlessly. Be armed with the tools to communicate. A pencil and paper, a mobile phone etc can be used when all else fails.   Pride is admirable if you are 'Deaf' on the culture gig, but it doesn't enable, and we all know what follows too much pride.. 

DON'T rely on lip-reading OR sign language.   The chances of meeting total strangers who can lip-speak clearly or sign to you are virtually nil. What it requires and what a lot of us do NOT have, is confidence, keeping cool, and us being more patient, but in the end it WILL pay off. If we back off then we lose, it is sod's law. Once you accept awareness of your issue can only be created by OTHERS, then it won't happen.

Deaf Mice cured...



Pass the cheese....

New charity director from Penarth

Rebecca Woolley
When are we going to get an autonomous Welsh Charity that isn't run from London ?  Unless she is unaware, Wales was devolved from London in 1997, so why aren't CHARITIES being devolved too ?  We are still having to log on to LONDON websites to get WELSH updates.  The pretence of social media suggesting it is located in Wales is a sham.

A PENARTH woman has become the new director of a Welsh hearing loss charity. Rebecca Woolley, 37, has been appointed as director at Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, the charity supporting people who are deaf or have hearing loss in Wales. She has been promoted following a brief period as interim director.

Ms Woolley joined Action on Hearing Loss head of external engagement in 2011 following previous service management roles in the NHS, and then became head of services in 2013.

She said: "I’m delighted to be appointed as director. "It’s an exciting time for the charity as we launch our new five-year strategy in early 2018. "The strategy will put the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss or tinnitus at the forefront of our work and aims to start challenging the public perceptions of deafness.

"There is still some way to go to ensure that people who are deaf are treated equally in our society.


Deaf support funding not enough.


'Sign' of the times when support for deaf and HoH people is reliant on hand outs and not enforced by the law.  So much for 4 major equality and access laws passed in the UK and  two human rights ones, looks like back to the drawing board as deaf que up for hand outs to get the very basics.

A SERVICE which provides support to deaf people is struggling to secure funding for the year ahead. Barnabas Deaf and Community Service has been running for four years and needs £18,000 a year to run. With funding they can continue to employ a person proficient in British Sign Language to accompany those with hearing difficulties when they need to access services within the wider community, such as social services, council services, or even at the Post Office. There are also drop-in events.


Pam Newman, who runs the service, said: "We’ve been told by our users that our service is a vital lifeline to them, and without us they would have no one else to turn to. Trust runs deeply within the deaf community because of the need to share private information with others in order to access services, and our users constantly say how much they trust us.

"Not only are users challenged by their hearing loss, but living in a sparsely populated rural community, such as Herefordshire, means accessing services in person is also challenging. Some struggle when dealing with legal or medical issues, form filling or having to interact with services by phone."

She has received some good news as they have just been awarded £10,000 from Awards for All. They just need to secure the remaining £8,000.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

PFCL sponsors free cochlear implant surgeries for 100 children

Image result for Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFCL)
Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFCL) has sponsored cochlear implant surgeries for 100 children with profound hearing loss under their CSR project implemented by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO). PFC and ALIMCO had signed MoU on 25th July 2016 at Urjanidhi, 1 Barakhamba Lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi for conducting Cochlear Implant surgeries of 100 beneficiaries for FY 2016-17 on PAN India basis valuing Rs.630 lakhs under the CSR initiative of Power Finance Corporation Ltd.

The MoU was signed by R. Murahari, GM (CSR & SD), PFC& D.R.Sarin, chairman & managing director, ALIMCO. Cochlear Implant surgeries are done through Ali Yavar Jang National Institute of Speech and Language Disabilities (Divyangjan), Mumbai under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. 

Post operative rehabilitation is undertaken by Audiologist and speech language pathologist and special educator of Hearing Impaired. Parent have very important role in stimulating child to learn speech and language at home and maintain the external part (Processor). Details process of home bound training is also available on website: www.adipcochlearimplant.in

This major CSR initiative of PFC will help the children to completely overcome their hearing disability, thereby enabling them to hear and speak coherently and making them fully independent to lead a normal and productive life. 

This effort will not only bring these underprivileged children to the mainstream of life but will also contribute to national economy.

Anatomy of the human ear

Cinema bullies deaf into leaving..

Ireland: Legal History made by deaf juror.

Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin said the inclusion of a deaf man among the 12 jurors selected for a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was “historic”.
A jury has made “legal history” in including the first deaf person to serve on an Irish jury during a trial, a judge has said. Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin said the inclusion of a deaf man among the 12 jurors selected for a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was “historic”.  The trial ultimately did not continue after the accused pleaded guilty last Friday to a charge of criminal damage.


When discharging the jury, Judge Ní Chúlacháin told them: “You over and above any other jury are a historic jury in the jurisdiction.”  It was only during her lifetime that laws preventing seven of the jurors selected serving were lifted, she noted. Until then, six could not have served because of being women and the seventh due to being deaf.

The ban on women jurors was lifted some decades ago but it was only very recently that the view that deaf people were incapable of serving on juries had changed, the judge noted.  The women, as was the case with the deaf man, were clearly “well capable” of serving and no difficulty had been presented, she said.

“I hope that in years to come the idea that a deaf person couldn’t be a juror will be considered as odd as the idea that a woman can’t.”


Monday, 18 December 2017

Campaigners launch legal action over Access To Work funding cap


Campaigners say the cap - which will fully come into force in April - will hit deaf people and those with high needs especially hard, limiting funding for specialist support such as sign language interpreters


The challenge over Access to Work concerns a cap on the amount of money people can be awarded through the scheme, which it is argued will disproportionately affect deaf people and those with high needs. It comes days after Theresa May unveiled a strategy to help get a million more disabled people into work over the next decade, including reforms to Access to Work.

But it also comes amid mounting concern over how the scheme is currently operating.

A cap on Access to Work funding will fully come into force in April, limiting the amount any individual can get through the scheme to £43,100, one-and-a-half times the national average salary.


Lip-reading Wars...

Image result for my way or the highway
Heated debate on social media, after ATR questioned the validity of the lip-reading class approaches.



LR Tutor:  Have you ever attended a Lipreading and Managing Hearing Loss class? Why exactly do you want a qualification, there is nothing to my knowledge where a qualification in lipreading would help, and it is an art, not an exact science. 

Some people are almost impossible to lipread. In a report done on LR classes, people were shown sentences to lipread at the start of the course, and again at the end, and all had improved, though some more than others, but you get soooo much more from a class. For a start, confidence improves almost immediately, and that is a big part of the battle. I could go on, but it will make no difference to you, you will still be angry. so I shan't. :-)

ATR:   I won't be angry.  I just want to know what success rate you are claiming and what your pupil make up is, which are fair questions I think. Experience suggests mostly women, and older people. LR is looked on by MOST HoH as incredibly difficult to learn and the stats suggest the benefits are not all that tangent either from the 'communication' view. 

I have attended LR classes, (it actually took 11 years to get one in my area, so 11 years with nothing but your own determination really), after 5 weeks the tutor said sorry, there is nothing I can do for you, you do not have any residual hearing we can utilise, and along with 3 others in the same boat was asked to leave and approach a social worker for help instead, who referred me BACK to a LR or BSL class, who already admitted defeat.

Let's get real.  Good lip-reading needs clear lip-speakers, you are not going to find that outside a class. So how to deal with them ? 'Speak slowly and clearly ? doesn't happen in real life. So what next ? What If I desire to carry on with the hearing lifestyle approaches ? (As most HoH do they aren't pupils for the fun of it). In essence the social aspect simply meant you had a few more understood your issue than before, but did NOT assist you to leave the class and go forward alone, so again, it was fair to ask why this situation is extent still.  What actually IS the aim of LR tuition ? IS it tuition ? A 'class' approach suggested it is.

HoH want their Independence, they look at LR or BSL and think, I learn these, I get it. There is not a lot of realism with desperate people. The idea didn't seem to be to empower, but just rely on different people. You can then see no point in acquiring a proper skill at it, the class doesn't teach that anyway. If the tutor doesn't take it seriously, should we ? Maybe an acceptance few will LR much anyway, but you aren't going to say that. 

The qualification aspect would mean a more intense and structured approach for the learner, certainly I do feel 6 months at a time, is wasted time. I'd be thinking more a few days a week for a year to get any sort of handle on the skill. LR alone is not enough, you need other aspects tailored to the individual, some pupils are suited to LR some aren't, e.g. women etc are better than men are.. 

I just wish LR areas would take it more seriously and dispel the view OK if it works, OK if it doesn't. If I want to join a HoH club I could do that, why join a LR class ? I am actually trying to justify LR as a viable mode, not attacking it, currently there is no impetus for most to go, (Or stay whatever course you say exists), you need to sell it better and get organised properly this is a vital area for people who really need encouragement, you aren't doing HoH a favour just giving them somewhere to go once a week.. 6 months on they find somewhere else to go.  They are rejecting sign language in the hope you can teach them an alternative.  When that fails they revert to isolation instead.  Bum deal.

My own view is you cannot change, so a more structured approach to communication support and LR classwork is necessary. Frankly I think technology will do it for you anyway, and probably the reason for low turnouts to LR classes currently..

Comment:   I really appreciate it. Lip reading classes have been great for me. I wouldn’t want a formal qualification and I think it would put off lots of people if introduced.

ATR:  A qualification isn't just that, it would mean they spend MORE individual time with learners so you can gain better skills at it. If you aren't taking the LR lessons that seriously, why go ? It's a 'social' thing ? That is defeating the class purpose. 

Currently your teacher CANNOT teach 12 people at the same time, or, even half that if there are students with real issues. It is why those who need the most 1 on 1 help just leave. I understand why some go for  social reasons, but it defeats the purpose.  Join a social club for HoH instead.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

This could be the Cure ?

Bionic ear
HIGH definition “bionic hearing” using light to activate nerves in the ears of the deaf is being developed by scientists. A cochlear implant for ears could transform the lives of thousands of people

The research could transform the lives of thousands of people.

Hearing aids and implants are limited because users are often unable to pick out complex sound or hear clearly among background noise. Researchers at The Bionics Institute in Melbourne are developing a way to adapt the cochlear implant in the ear to stimulate the auditory nerve using light instead of electrical impulses.

This means sounds can be specifically targeted along different frequency regions along the auditory nerve.  Dr Carly Anderson, of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “This is really exciting, and could go a long way to solving the current limitations with cochlear implants revolutionising how we can restore hearing to deaf people.

“This could enable people to communicate more effectively, which could greatly improve their quality of life.”

Cruelty of lip-reading ?

Image result for li-reading does it workCan someone tell the HI WHY there is no recognisable achievement re the Lip-reading classes, like the BSL ones have ?  At least there, you have to attain some level of proficiency via tests etc, there appears none at all for lip-reader learners.   

You learn or you don't, no issue come back next year ?    Lip-reading seems the sole 'communication assist format' that does NOT need the learner to attain any skill proficiency at all. Is it because the classes are just run as mini social clubs and support instead ?   While it has some merit, it is hardly 'tuition' when the pupil has no skill to attain, or to be tested on.

Is it some sort of excuse for a social service or medical profession to pass the buck to someone else ?  Even putting 'like with like' raises serious issues of how to use any skill they might obtain. If it is, it isn't working, because those with severe loss for many years who then decide to attend a class, cannot be helped because of what has NOT gone before.  I would think that putting LR on the same level skill as BSL, at least gives the learner encouragement and something to aim for.

We need to get rid of the suggestion it doesn't matter if you fail.  It really does. Even if a class is free it isn't justified.  It does seem  after the 3 or 6 months these classes run, most pupils are no further forward than when they started, and a percentage gave up after 3 weeks.  Would it not address the negatives, in that at your very best you are told you will be lucky to follow one third of what anyone says ? and most won't get near that even ?  It is basically an admittance the LR set up it already knows.  While seeking to help and support, they are ignoring the fact those they don't or can't help are the ones who need it most.  This defeats the justification for the class.

There does not seem any 'curriculum' approach at all either, and clearly, the short class duration's and 1 tutor for a dozen people approach isn't really viable, can a Tutor really manage 12 people at the same time ? my experience is not, i.e. unless the most difficult to teach are excluded.   The fact  that residual and viable hearing itself is a PRIMARY requirement, then who is it helping ?  The few who still can utilise their hearing ? who fail again when it goes ?  because their 'skill' relied on what they then won't have ?

The difference between BSL and LR pupils is HEARING not hearing LOSS.  A or B communication choices are not really entering into it and just cause annoyance and stress to the vulnerable.  Teachers are still trying to justify a failure rate no other skill set up can tolerate, that many classes come under LEA domain is dire.  Education it isn't !  Suggesting it is a help, doesn't really cut it, it's a diversion from the reality, we need a more professional approach that can include those most in need, this also suggests different approaches to communication also as well as clinical input and assessments.  

Every time they put up a lip-speaker on YouTube 80% cannot follow... every time they see lip reading it is lauded as the ultimate answer to 'hearing', it's a lie basically that offers false hope.  It is cruel.

Survey..

Peggy_Nelson_1129.JPG
People don't want hearing aids because they are text reliant and it is fully accepted.  Why stress yourself about face to face communication when you can text the issue away ?  Technology has taken away social interaction for those with hearing loss.

Can't hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too? Help may be on the way.

In December, the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans will pair up with the University of Minnesota to pass out training kits at senior care facilities all over the state.

Those kits will be used to understand, test for and collect data on age-related hearing loss at nearly a dozen sites, according to the commission's release Thursday. Hearing loss is far more stigmatized than nearsightedness, and without cheap access to hearing aids, it remains an invisible health issue, said Emory David Dively, deputy director of the commission.

Much of the data collected will try to identify why so many hearing-impaired people choose not to purchase hearing aids. Social stigma may have an impact, but so does the cost — $3,000 to $6,000 per pair, not usually covered by insurance. The overall goal of the study is to raise awareness, initially, before delving further into applications for the research, he said.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Irish sign language set to receive official recognition

Image result for ISL recognition
Ireland’s deaf community is celebrating the expected passage of a new law that ensures public services are available through Irish Sign Language.



The ’Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill’ is due to pass all stages in the Oireachtas today. The President is expected to sign the bill into law before Christmas.

Brian Crean from the Irish Deaf Society hopes the new law will improve the lives of Ireland’s 40,000 deaf people. "It’s not going to solve all barriers or anything but hopefully it will reduce them and the deaf community will be less marginalised," Mr Crean said.

"For example, all public service providers must then provide interpretation for the deaf community that are going to access services." Mr Crean says that getting the recognition is a big step forward. "Irish sign language is a full language but it has been marginalised and excluded and has a massive affect on the deaf community," he explained.





Deaf/HoH Captioning services

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

To B or Not to B D, who asks that question ?

Being deaf or having hearing loss is certainly NOT a positive unless you have never known any differently, but the sector that never knew differently is extremely small, and cannot reflect on the majority, so any questionnaire is doomed to fail at the onset. There are too many attempts to suggest a minority is a majority because it has 'cultural overtones'.  It is STILL a minority.   There are far too many attempts to suggest, distort, or misinform people of what sector is which, and the many abuses of terms that are attached to us don't help. Cultural activism blurs these edges by the one maxim they don't use for themselves, db ratings, when the reality it is nothing to do with that.  Numerical abuse and application of statistics for campaigning is rife.  Many are plain falsehoods. You are Deaf or HoH for funding but Deaf for its application.

Deaf/deaf or Deaf and HoH are meaningless terms because they are joke, it can be HI/HoH/deaf/Deaf, or the dozen other silly terms some areas seem obsessed with creating or attacking.  The idea is to keep creating confusion so no-one sees what is really going on. ID confusion is rife for no real reason at all, mostly it plays on our weakness or our fears, which we find despicable..    Deaf use these fears to re-enforce culture too.

The term coping in itself is merely saying YES loss is a negative, or the term would not be used, it would be like the born deaf who see 'coping' with hearing mainstream a negative because hearing is another world to them, as is being always deaf alien to most of us, the key issues is Loss, and importantly when that is acquired that lays down the basis of how we perceive ourselves, language acquisition or coping aspects do not define... they are assistive issues.

Those who PROMOTE deafness and loss as a positive aspect are frauds because they consist mainly of people who cannot compare the pros or cons of hearing or not, so do not talk from a position of any experience, those that acquire deafness, CAN.  There is a need to be mindful of those traumatised by hearing loss who can see such views as undermining them struggling to cope and holding out hope for alleviation or technology to over come the issues of their loss, they are unlikely to be born again 'Deaf' and won't buy the happy deaf message..

It is why you get isolated but vociferous pockets of cultural activism that assume the default position, and go at hearing aids, lip-reading, oral support, education, CI's et al because they see it as designed to remove the 'Deaf' person from the only 'world' they know, and inclusion that way an assault on the only thing that keeps them together.  They ignore it is the desire of most.  So many issues where they see inclusion as a threat, not a promise.

It is time for a clear dividing line regarding the cultural sign areas and the majority, to accept difference in real time.  By the continued blurring of the hearing loss areas, we simply contribute to more differences and apathy appearing.  We should go our own way and adopt respect for those why want to go elsewhere, respect has to go both ways, and the end of the 'Deaf & hoh' remit.  The reality, is that polarised charitable support already operates, so we would be accepting the status quo anyway and dropping the pretence of inclusions that is so damaging. either include or move out of the way. 

There are many fears, mostly because of the forms of access we use, the education and alleviation we want to see, researches and medical intervention we also want to see happening, and they do not etc.  Deaf V deaf v HI yadda yadda has become a polarising negative in itself.   At every level it demands a two-way lobby on access making a mockery of the access remit, when one form of access is deemed a higher priority than another, resentment increases.  Equality is 50-50.

Inclusion isn't working.

There are clear lines in the sand already, just an unwillingness to accept them.  If I read one more live and let live excuse again...

Deaf Centre...

Hear it see it: Deaf on Music.

Karen Salter activating Ollie Miller’s radio aids so he can hear the teacher’s voice over background noise
If you are DEAF you cannot hear music.  Is the sum total of deaf appreciation just a bass line and drums ?   Music is about hearing all the instruments, and the skills of those playing them, also  understanding the beauty of a singing voice.


most of that is excluded to deaf who  avoid opera e.g. and why deaf who can still access some sound, see mainly percussion as a primary 'way in' , but it's not MUSIC. Signing popular music is a form of access, not music in itself, as it becomes a visual thing not an aural one.  Can they tell the difference between a pop singer and one who sings opera ?  or the differences between tenors and Bass singers ?

ARTICLE:

Deaf children not being able to enjoy and participate in music activities is a huge misconception. Having a hearing impairment alters the sounds but it does not stop the child-like desire to thump on a drum, or to feel the sensations created by different instruments.  At Lexden Primary School’s Unit for Hearing Impaired Pupils, music therapy is being used to help build confidence and resilience among its young people.

A £500 donation from the Colchester and Tendring Deaf Children’s Society means its 14 pupils, who have between moderate and profound hearing loss, will get to become rockstars for two days.

Although the ethos of the primary school is centred on inclusivity so ordinarily the hearing impaired pupils are not segregated from their hearing peers, when it comes to learning and playing music, solo, in a sense, works best. Debbie Newbold, head of the enhanced provision, said: “Deaf children are unable to access speech and music through their ears alone, they need it through amplification.

“Hearing sounds through a cochlear implant produces quite a metallic sound and hearing aids don’t enable a person to know how loudly they’re producing sounds.

“In the context of a music lesson, it means our pupils can’t tell if they’re singing in tune, for example, or if they’re playing a piece of music off-beat and it becomes hard for them to follow the pace and rhythm.

“Because the sounds are being amplified in their personal aid, whether an implant or behind the ear hearing aids, it’s hard to follow a tune and how music fits into the bigger picture when performing with others. “Within a school situation, this can be quite a challenge for them so we tend to find deaf children are quite inhibited when it comes to music.


Monday, 11 December 2017

150 years of teaching the Deaf/HoH to Listen/talk...

A G Bell in 2016

Through the eyes of the Deaf professional...

Deaf Scammer, wasn't !

Image result for Scam
'Sign of the Times' and because deaf tell people we DON'T knock on doors asking for money.  

The truth behind a deaf man knocking on doors and selling paintings in St Helens has been revealed. Hundreds of people posted on social media after people said a man, or possibly multiple people, was going around the town knocking knocking on doors on Sunday afternoon.

Residents took to social media to “warn others” about the man and claimed he was “pretending to be deaf and selling pictures as a scam”.  Those claims however have been proven to be incorrect.

When a newspaper asked Merseyside Police about the reports they confirmed that they were called out to “suspicious circumstances” yesterday and found the man that people were talking about, in Gorsey Lane.

A spokeswoman for the force said they “spoke to the man and found out he was legitimate”. She added: “We spoke to the man and he was genuinely deaf and selling pictures. “We gave him advice to stop what he was doing and he wrote us a note telling us he would leave the area and not return.

“No offences were committed or recorded.”

Lip-reading games go hilariously wrong..



Try it for real.....

Saturday, 9 December 2017

D&D 13... be there ?

It's...Human Rights Day.



Human rights for ALL deaf people, and HoH and deafened too.  Just who is going to enforce these 'rights' on the parents ?  Not going to happen.  While we are at it, why not national bans on CI's, Hearing aids,  and genetic research into deafness ?

Friday, 8 December 2017

Deaf unable to access Parliament TV.

Image result for Parliament TV
More deaf complaining they are being told by the BBC to search online for text coverage and to ignore televised Parliament (UK), output as its 'for hearing only'.


Poster on social media:

"I ran a campaign within the deaf community to get access, they said 'We don't want it, who cares about politics ?     boring !"  We got no backing from the AOHL/BDA or anyone else either.  I personally believe it is outright abuse of my human rights to have my access to my government ignored and told to use alternative access to what I use, or to go online and search for it, when hearing just switch on their TV set..    

The way programs are prioritised for access for us is random, initially you have to 'prove' there is sufficient demand for subtitled or captioned access, this defies the law that says access is a right.  However viewer statistics have to attain a certain number and the way they collate figures and the access requirements makes it all a lottery.  E.G. Programs like 'SEE HEAR' for the deaf or BSL Zone cannot be removed if they had NO viewers because the access law applies there on a  cultural basis.  This means deaf who use captions/HoH have no real access as they are classed as 'hearing' without a cultural access right.  Whilst such 'dedicated' TV IS captioned the content isn't relevant.

But doesn't apply to any program output that is bought in from elsewhere (Subcontracted TV coverage).  The welsh assembly e.g. has no direct hiring of coverage of what they do, but does have own  in-house 'Senedd TV', that isn't accessible either,we were unable to get sensory loss/deaf committees captioned or signed.  As a result the committees failed, after charities got fed up of having to provide own access for free.

We are further undermined by deaf representations that say we don't care if it is or not !   To ID who has responsibility to caption is a minefield.  Wales Assembly said not our problem, it is down to those that create the coverage, the overall responsibility to caption is not the obligation (moral or legal), of the parliaments or assemblies to ensure coverage of what they do is captioned or signed.  We suggested yes it is, as the BBC broadcasts it,it then is covered by their access legal requirement.  Demands Political areas should set the basis of coverage to fair access was ignored. Local authorities also defy access regulations as do MP's/AM's/SMP's etc who produce own blog coverage with videos.  

In essence Parliament, BBC/ITV/SKY et al channels and regional Assemblies pass the buck.

You are then forced to lobby the people who make coverage to provide captions.  No-one takes responsibility for deaf access, I have succeed to a very small degree in Wales where they put up 1st Minister question time up on youtube and it is captioned/signed, but the Parliament channel they don't want to know.  

I suspect the huge cost of captioning every committee or meet they have is astronomic so I targeted just areas that were relevant to our areas.  However when I suggested that approach as a compromise the deaf then turned around and said NO, not without sign language too, that killed the whole thing.  I said why would you want sign language access when they already declared you don't watch it, and opposed a captioned campaign ? 

The criteria for listing programs re numbers ignores minorities, and ignores regional variations.  If Scotland/Ireland or wales had low deaf figures then none would get access.  Because political coverage has low viewer base anyway there can never be a relative number identified that would justify captioned or signed access,it is why I went for specific access as a compromise, but the ambiguity of the deaf campaigns and their singular approaches to access combined with a complete ridicule of the political access campaigns, means we are never going to know what our politicians say unless we search online,and how many actually do that ?

The approach seems to be wait for the decision, then complain after, instead of taking an active interest in determining them and ensuring we are included."


ATR's letter to the UK Parliament TV:

As a deaf person there appears to be no sign-language or captioned access, when can we expect this TV channel to be accessible ?  I would have thought the voters access to its government was a right ?

No deaf access defined HERE





In the Land of the Deaf

Appalling service for Welsh deaf people

Image result for W.I.T.S. WalesPeople in Wales are probably unaware that in 2009/10 the Welsh Government gave a grant of £120,000 to a consortium of un-elected public bodies to set up a Welsh Interpreter and Translation Service (WITS). The aim of this was to provide a one-stop service for foreign-language interpreting for hospitals and councils to enable them to deal with ethnic minorities seeking their services. The service was run by Gwent Police until the summer of this year.

On the face of it this was a much-needed initiative to save costs and simplify the procurement of interpreters for public bodies. However, an ill-informed and ignorant decision was made by the WITS board to include sign language interpreting for deaf people in the service. Until then this service for deaf patients in Wales had been provided by the Wales Council for Deaf People and RNID. 

The deaf person would contact one of the charities, which would arrange for an interpreter of choice for the deaf person to attend the hospital or GP consultation and invoice the local health board for the pre-agreed service. This long-standing arrangement came to an abrupt end when some badly advised health boards decided to embrace the WITS system. 

Deaf patients were forbidden to discuss appointments with the Gwent Police-run WITS. Under WITS deaf people are not told by the health boards whether an interpreter would be present for an NHS health session and who the interpreter would be. Appointments had to be deferred if a WITS interpreter failed to turn up. 

Seriously ill deaf patients had to struggle with their GPs or NHS consultants without a promised interpreter and their health worsened in some cases due to miscommunication's. Gwent Police adopted a Pontius Pilate stance and refused to deal with complaints from deaf people, saying that it was the health board’s problem, not theirs. The possibility of corporate manslaughter charges against the WITS board could arise because of the appalling service to deaf people.

Sign language interpreting should never have been taken over by WITS. Cardiff Council now hosts WITS and recognises that sign language is completely different from oral languages. If Cardiff Council fails to get the WITS board to allow deaf people to directly discuss their appointments with WITS staff, then sign language provision should be removed from WITS and reverted to the charities of and for deaf people.

Cedric Moon MBE

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Life Skills ??

Saffron Lilley takes a skills class at RAD's HQ in ColchesterLife skills suggest it is an issue the deaf have to be educated in, not mainstream.  Surely a failure of access and a right to it is the issue ?    Most deaf ensure they plan ahead or have someone with them.  

Referrals from the Social Services is just passing the buck.  Real skills and getting around is better undertaken by immersing deaf with hearing people a lot more, they cannot learn to integrate while being apart.

For many deaf people, the biggest frustration is not understanding what is going on around them.

Communicating with other people can be a tiring task, becoming mentally, as well as physically, straining as one party tries to comprehend another.  But instead of lingering on what they cannot do, deaf people are being inspired to think about what they can do even better despite the challenges they face.

The Royal Association for Deaf People, based in North Station Road, Colchester, aims to help.  Kerry Cole, head of marketing and PR, said deaf people can be affected by seemingly everyday issues. She said: “Take Colchester station, for example.  “If a train is delayed, there is often an announcement over tannoy. “Deaf people cannot hear this and so may be standing there at the platform not knowing what is going on.

“What makes the charity different is we are not an organisation helping from the outside. “We work with the deaf community to make people as independent as possible. “We take the time to understand and deliver what matters to deaf people in their identity, community, heritage and diversity and what we do is develop services and partnerships that they need.”

The charity’s Colchester Life Skills Group, which specialises in helping to develop important independent living skills, meets at the Oak Tree Centre, in Harwich Road, Colchester.

Users can be referred by a GP, but the greatest number of referrals come from social workers.

From Theory to Practice...

Why did you give me a CI ?



Deaf kids taught by robots...


So what's new !   Makes a change from amateurs.... The way it is going with the deaf kids and adults, they will only interact with machines.  So who wants a cuddly tin can to talk to ?

This kid doesn't know it, but he’s kind of a big deal. Sitting in his mother’s lap, he looks at a mo-hawked robotic head, which periodically turns left to look at a computer screen with its big blue eyes. And the infant takes the cue, glancing at the screen, where a human avatar signs a nursery rhyme.

This boy is doing something remarkable on two levels. For one, he’s practicing a pivotal skill for his development—language—with a clever new platform that blends robotics, fancy algorithms, and brain science. And he’s doing what few humans have done before: communicating with a robot using facial cues alone.

In an ideal world, every child would get enough face-to-face communication during early development to build solid language skills, be that by way of sign language or the spoken word. The reality is, not all parents have the time to sit down and read to their kids. And for deaf children, it may be that the parents themselves have to learn to sign.

What researchers at Gallaudet University—in collaboration with Yale, the University of Southern California, and Italy’s University of D’Annunzio—have developed isn’t a substitute for interpersonal communication between parents and infants, but an experimental supplement. It’s meant to simulate the natural interaction between baby and mother or father.

What’s interesting about the developing infant mind is that natural language, no matter if it’s spoken or signed, stimulates the same areas of the brain. “The same neural sensitivities, they are processed in the identical swatches of brain tissue,” says Gallaudet neuroscientist Laura-Ann Petitto. “The brain tissue that we used to think was only responsible for sound is not the unique bastion of sound processing. It's the unique bastion of human language processing.”

With this knowledge in hand, the team can strap little brain-scanning hats to deaf infants and watch for these areas to light up. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Assistance dog ban NOT deliberately discriminating

The Village Inn, Llanfairfechan
If there was no discrimination why were they fined ?

The owner of a pub chain indirectly discriminated against two disabled people who were told they could not sit in a carvery restaurant with their assistance dogs, a court has found.

The Pen-y-Bryn group, which owns the Village Inn, Llanfairfechan, Conwy county, was ordered to pay £2,000 damages at Caernarfon County Court. But Judge Merfyn Jones-Evans ruled that it did not deliberately discriminate.

The restaurant said it was trying to balance hygiene with equality. Burnadette Clutton, from Llanfairfechan, and Ed Williams, from the Midlands, had booked a table at the pub for Sunday lunch. The court heard they were offered a table in the bar where their dogs would have to stay while they got their food.

The restaurant denied discrimination and said that dogs were not allowed in the carvery restaurant on health and hygiene grounds. Ms Clutton said the dogs were not pets but highly-trained working dogs that performed important tasks for their owners, including fetching and carrying and monitoring the breathing of people with respiratory problems.

"I want to be as independent as I can," she said. "I just want to live independently and do what any able-bodied person can do." Martin Mensah, who represented the pub, had told the court the test was whether the defendant acted reasonably and whether the plaintiffs had been substantially disadvantaged.

"They were offered a table. They were offered someone to hold their dogs and they were offered someone to go to the carvery with them to help," he said.


Deaf, Work and the welfare State...

Image result for states that receive the most welfare UKSocial media responses to cuts and redefining disability.

"It's a laugh really, having gone deaf the Welfare services nagged me for 4 years on a monthly basis asking 'When is your hearing coming back ?'  I said according to your own medical assessment, and clinical examinations, never.    It's like asking someone with a limb missing, when is it going to grow back.

Deaf got suggestions from them to have a cochlear implant or an expensive hearing aid,  then we could 'hear' again, and stop being  a burden on the tax payer,  but its medically impossible for me, you have to have hearing to be amplified, and anyway, my NHS does not fund CI's for ANYONE over 20, and rations hearing aids to one ear despite anyone having a need for two,  I could go private if I had £21,000 to spare but it still would not give me any hearing.  

Undeterred the DWP asked, why don't the deaf lip-read ? then they can 'hear' everyone, the deaf aren't trying hard enough was the next gripe, I said my area had no classes to attend and wasn't able to teach those deaf already.  Or even learn sign language, until they could not identify where I can actually use it if I did, I needed a reason, and would still be dependent on someone else.

Employers wouldn't pay for the support it needs to function properly in a job, notwithstanding, the DWP capped the ESA support and now it won't cover it... Social Services dedicated 'Deaf' systems, were removed 18 years ago, and you still cannot use the hearing version without an interpreter, they have  no access for any deaf person who used text, which was by far the most effective access there is. 

Technology is a hit and miss, but the DWP are now saying we should all be using these applications that translate speech to text or sign language 'immediately' and for free, but they are 15% effective, and speech was an issue because they believe deaf cannot speak, so those that do, were frauds and fakes.  We could suggest awareness wasn't really working at all.

Sign is far less effective than lip-reading (The wonder 'cure-all' for every issue deaf have..), but entirely impracticable to do a job with unless in a  BSL run charity or something..  But that isn't really an issue, once they know you are deaf, your CV is valueless anyway.  They never look beyond your hearing loss, you are marked as a liability from day one, and who needs it when there are 100s of hearing who want the job too and don't need any support or effort ?  

Some of our necessary support requires heavy investment of time and money from an employer, and as one said to me before kicking me out of the office,  'I could hire two people for supporting you, it just isn't viable..'  In the the work place, you could ask they learn to-communicate with you, that is more time an employer thinks is wasted too.  Unless the industry you are in is very large it cannot afford the expense, awareness, or time.  

Most of us leave whatever jobs we do have because we are just too isolated and unhappy, we get left behind and stressed, that invites the sack.  We go unemployed and resenting hearing people..."