Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Deaf.Read being spammed...

Image result for Block the spammers
Can't the DR moderators and owners zap these biblio idiots posting here?  It is supposed to be for and about deaf people. Who is using the NAD in the USA to spam youtube with ads for plants and teees too...?  Deaf and HI are being sidelined on own media...

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

If you have hearing loss you have Alzheimer's too ?

People with hearing loss caused by the brain's inability to hear sound are twice as likely to suffer forgetfulness, according to a study
Do these researchers understand hearing loss at all ?  Can you 'forget' something you never heard anyway?  There is a danger of comparing like with nothing like it. 'Confusion' can be simply not hearing all that is said or having an incapability to follow anyway. 

What are older HoH people expected to know?  Many are too isolated to keep themselves fully informed, so won't have that 'wider knowledge' they are expected to have.  Many deaf rely on each other for topical updates etc, again it is a case of perhaps 'Chinese whispers' so awareness can be distorted that way. E.G.  If we watch some 'quiz' shows on the TV the total lack of general knowledge of older events, issues, and people is staggeringly poor with our young people, what level of awareness should they display?  Can they do the 97 times table backwards from memory? or have they got Alzheimer's too?

Hint: just multiply by a 100 and take away 3 every time e.g. 2X100-6, 3X100-9, 4X100-12 etc easy peasy !

Normal 'hearing' people do better than us, I DON'T think so! (What is normal anyway?)  No-one ever defines it.

Hearing problems could be a warning sign for memory loss in older people. People with hearing loss caused by the brain's inability to hear sound are twice as likely to suffer forgetfulness, according to a study.

However, there is hope for older people with the beginnings of deafness who are afraid of losing their memory and potential dementia.  Those who have hearing loss caused by problems in the inner ear, not the brain, have no greater risk of becoming forgetful. Researchers looked at more than 1,600 people with an average age of 75 to determine the link between hearing and memory.

People with 'central age-related hearing loss' were twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment as those with normal hearing. These are the people who struggle to make sense of sounds, who say: 'I can hear, but I can't understand.'

However, those with 'peripheral age-related hearing loss', caused by inner ear and nerve problems which make it hard to hear, had no greater risk of mild cognitive impairment compared to people with normal hearing. The link is important because mild cognitive impairment, which includes problems with judgement and memory, can increase someone's risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Deaf order food, how ?

Personally, I use my voice and ask.....  Others tend to point at the menu.  Mostly, deaf move in packs (!) so there is always one or two that have few issues ordering.  You can come unstuck when there are 'offers', or 'extras' and you hadn't noticed.  Then you lip read or else!  Best to read the menus properly.  Don't expect restaurant staff can sign at all...

Monday, 26 February 2018

Meeting the deaf for the first time...

The reluctance of the deaf to make effort, how will they raise awareness if they won't engage until you are a fluent signer ?  No wonder they are isolated.

You don't know me (But do I want to ?).

Image result for I want to be alone
I could suggest you DON'T ask this person to be an advocate for inclusion! (Chip-Shoulder, geddit?).

"You may know someone who is deaf, but you don't know me. Unless you've lived with a deaf person, you can't relate to my experiences, limitations or desires. I am not your "deaf friend." And I don't want to be.

I'm not interested in your friends, or your parents' friends, who are deaf. If you tell me that one of your parents is deaf, I'd be happy to talk about that because I know that you'd have your own experience in what it is like to live with a deaf person. I can relate to that because my mother is deaf and that's something you and I would have in common. But if you just know "someone" who is deaf, that does not mean you know a thing about me.

When it comes to questions, the boundary between appropriate and inappropriate is even hard for me to discern. I guess it depends on how well we know each other, and whether or not we're friends, colleagues, or strangers. Here's what I can tell you in advance: I appreciate questions about how I manage to tackle daily tasks such as the telephone, public transportation and other things you may not realize are difficult for me. But please don't ask me personal questions."

Ireland: Deaf people can't access info to their rights...

Equality and access laws do NOT work.  Two-thirds of the Deaf community face difficulty accessing public information on their rights, a new report has found.

The Citizens Information Board (CIB) research report, published today, details the experiences of the Deaf community in accessing public and social services and related information on rights and entitlements in Ireland.

Members of the Deaf community who were interviewed for the report said that only a small fraction of government information provision uses Irish Sign Language (ISL).

They said that the standard means of communication that government organisations use, such as websites, printed documents (leaflets), or telephone are either difficult for the Deaf community to use due to the fact that the data is provided in English which is not their first language or, in the case of telephone-based information provision, virtually impossible.

The Deaf community is defined as people who are Deaf and whose first language is ISL. The Deaf community in Ireland has over 5,000 Irish sign language users and a wider community of over 40,000 users.

Lack of consultation

The members of the Deaf community and their representative bodies interviews as part of the study said they appreciated the efforts of public organisations to use ISL as part of their information provision, for example, through the use of signed videos on their website.

However, they would prefer if these organisations would consult with Deaf representative bodies on the format and content of such ISL-based information provision.

Where the input of the Deaf community is absent, the report noted that there is a perception among Deaf people that the public websites that incorporate ISL are merely a token gesture rather than a genuine understanding of their needs.

“The majority of public sector organisations profiled in this report do have policy and service provision commitments that specify that they will provide ISL interpreters for meetings involving Deaf people,” Angela Black, chief executive of CIB said.

“The Deaf community, however, say there is a gulf between public policy provisions and what they experience at frontline service level. Two-thirds of those surveyed gave a poor rating of their experience of accessing public and social services.”

Public places

The report also highlighted that accessing information in public places can be problematic for members of the Deaf community.

One example, according to the study, is visiting public offices where there is no signed information that can point them in the right direction.

The community noted that the lack of signed information in bus and train stations and airports can result in Deaf people not receiving vital information about their transport connections or being uninformed about safety notices.

Public services

One of the main issues raised by Deaf people and their support organisations was the lack of trained ISL interpreters to enable Deaf people to communicate with public officials.

The experience of the interviewees from the Deaf community was that, in the vast majority of cases, when they visited a public organisation to either obtain information or to access a service, there was no ISL interpreter available to sign the conversation or meeting.

In this scenario, the options open to the Deaf community are to have a hearing companion with them, or write notes, or resort to lip reading.

“Despite equality and disability legislation, public services have not always lived up to commitments to provide sign language interpreting,” Ann Coogan, chair of Sign Language Interpreting Service said.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

What Next ?

Image result for hearing aid angstLetter to a HoH Site, with the same concerns being raised with no real answers.

In 2016 I attended an ENT who informed me I would be deaf in 3 years, my hearing was on a steady decline and there was nothing I could do about it. She told me of a potential implant I could trial that may slow down progression. I was 25 and panicking so I immediately began researching and trying to figure out bank loans.

ATR Response:

We think it is good an ENT professional tells us how it is, or may well be in the future because this empowers us to go and seek out the necessary alternatives we will need to adopt when an aid will no longer cut it.  The desperation we read shows us that planning ahead is not an option the writer is considering taking up.

Sadly, that area of advice is so full of confusion there really isn't one area to seek out that will have an answer.  When your hearing has gone, it has gone in many respects, and how you use the interim time to prepare is paramount,  of course, choices doesn't really exist.  

You will first need to accept, that when you know in x amount of time nothing is going to enable you to hear, what you are going to do to offset the inevitable stress and issues that it's going to present.  However, as we know acceptance isn't the first emotion we feel.  How such issues affect you may not affect someone else the same way or require the same approach.  The reaction above is common get me a better hearing aid, not prepare for the future.

Hearing aids lull us into a false sense of security, in that we can still 'hear', and this leads us to feel stronger and stronger ones will prolong that ad infitum.  This results in us hanging on to the Hearing Aids for dear life and then having untold stress after when it stops being of use, you really do need to plan well ahead, and we aren't doing it. Some call it denial....... some are holding out for a cure instead.  If your ears fail no aid can help, that is the truism. Hope is good, but realism acceptances will help more.

Do I sign ? do I get an implant? continue to rely on technology/text approaches? Get a carer?  It never ceases to amaze ATR people with hearing loss wait until it is far too late, to then worry about what comes next. We know, we did it too......

Sadly Missed...

Died of natural causes at age 53...  I still cannot believe its really not butter but......

International Women's Day (Deaf).

Tour of the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People

The 'Hearing Impaired’ term doesn’t bother everyone, according to this reader....  I get my support, access, and inclusion recognised, you can call me anything...  Quite right, isn't access and inclusion way above arguing yourself stupid about which term to use?  Terminological warfare will be the downfall of the cultural community, their eye is way off the ball.

I read with interest Ms. Wertman's letter to the editor about what folks who have hearing deficits should -- and should not -- be called (“Deaf are not ‘impaired’ — hearing or otherwise,” Letters to the Editor, The News Virginian, Feb. 24.)

While I am sure she was well-intentioned, her reference group may not exhaust mankind.    I've been hearing impaired for many years. I'm grateful for "closed-captioned for the hearing impaired." Insulted and "low and uncomfortable" is not how I feel when good-hearted people are attempting to consider my needs. Instead, I'm grateful that they are trying to be helpful.    

More broadly, if a stimulus upsets (or enthrals) some folks, the response is not necessarily a ubiquitous one. People, even those who appear to have one or more characteristics in common, are heterogeneous critters.

Deaf-blind and still playing 4 instruments..

Charlie's musician parents Emma and Matt feared he would probably never enjoy music, yet now he plays the violin, piano, guitar and drums
He was born deaf and is slowly losing his sight – but that hasn’t stopped 11-year-old Charlie Denton learning not one but four musical instruments.

His musician parents Emma and Matt feared he would probably never enjoy music, yet now he plays the violin, piano, guitar and drums. Emma, 40, from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, said: ‘We were told Charlie wouldn’t even be able to hear a plane taking off right next to him.’

But, determined that he should get the same joy from music as they do, his parents encouraged him – and got Charlie his own violin when he was three. Although he couldn’t hear a thing, Emma said he ‘seemed to get something from playing’, enjoying the sensation of the strings vibrating through his body. His deafness was caused by problems with his cochleae, the tiny spiral-shaped cavities in the inner ear that should convert sound waves into nerve impulses.

Before his fourth birthday, he had implants of two synthetic cochleae, made by hearing-aid specialists MED-EL. These directly stimulate the auditory nerve, giving Charlie the hardware to hear. But he still had to train his brain to understand sound, which until the operation was completely alien to him. Despite the difficulties, he persevered – and last year passed his Grade 3 violin exam with distinction.

He took to the piano, passing Grade 1 when he was eight and Grade 2 last year.

Friday, 23 February 2018

On Autism...

As parents we never really understand how our Autistic children think, I believe that applies to all kids.  We may have an idea based on experience with us, but less idea how our autistic relatives perceive life outside that, and they can react very differently to the same situation with the same behaviour.  

Autism is so complex an issue no two with it have the same problems, general guides are like the one size fits all thing, not all that effective.  What we as parents do is treat every day as a new challenge to understand.  To know when NOT to accept 'this is what Autistics do,' advice from pros who are floundering in directions of approach themselves.  Over time we know some issues CAN be addressed with the right help, but as it requires major shifts in support approaches, you can get opposed for suggesting it.  

Does Dr know best?  Not always.  The UK Mental Health Act is not fit of purpose and based in Victorian approaches that assumes every welfare or medical view is right and everyone else's views are wrong or uninformed, it is the system perpetuating itself and guarding itself against progress and challenge.  There is a sense they are afraid of being challenged on their professionalism, and not accepting that with issues of mental health and Autisms, they are not much further aware than anyone else who lives with it daily, perhaps even less.

Some Autistics can overcome an issue for years, but then can suddenly and for no real or obvious reason, revert to it again. They can be stressed and find comfort in approaches that helped them many years ago, which you thought you had eradicated through support and probably only addressed because it was viewed wrong by others, (whose view of the 'norm' is not based on anything of real substance anyway).  

When you have special children like this, any suggestion a norm actually exists goes out the window pretty quickly, and you adapt or else watch your child suffer.  Medication is a moot point, many parents today are questioning the role of medication being used (Like Diazepam and anti-depressants etc), which are more to do with making the Autistic more manageable for their support, rather than addressing why that child is so stressed they need it to cope.  When in doubt 'drug 'em'.  Treating affects not causes, is perpetuating the problem. 

Recent educated surveys that suggest we give even more people medications like anti-depressants is like shutting the door after the horse has gone in many respects.  This is blindly following the 'Amercian Way' of dealing with issues, pop-a-pill culture. it's not addressing the causes, and given the USA is mostly private it's a cash cow for many there and became a cultural norm and acceptance.  The USA approaches veers from very good to downright lethal, because there is some 'competition' involved' or again' money to be made.

By far a bigger issue emerges as the autistic become pubescent and then Adult.  Having been supported over their birth to adult stages, they find support services tend to diminish very rapidly and ongoing professional support can cease in many cases.  They get hospitalised or removed from parental care and fed a daily diet of pacifying drugs and exposed to abuse.  It is the 21stc equivalent of the state institution, but with air conditioning and better seating with a TV.  

'Care homes' have become dangerous areas for some autistics, because again, the professionalism which is very expensive and difficult (And Autistics need),  is not there.  Neither are the staff, and the turnover of support means many lack any qualification apart from sweeping floors, cooking a meal or cleaning.  Maybe none posses a care qualification of any kind.  You get only what the LA can afford to pay for, that may or may well not be, the very help they need.

A lot can be down to the fact the Local UK Authorities concerned, have no money to hire them.   A number of care establishments/Schools  'mix' autistic people with non-autstic disabled areas, this can create friction and even more stress.  

Concerns and parental demands to specialise in Autistic-only homes/areas, can be met with 'you are discriminating against other disabled' or even 'Anti-inclusion', which must be the most ridiculous and unfair statement ever meted out to relatives already under the cosh of unresearched integrational approaches, pandering to myriads of minority demands.  They can tell you as the Autistic will one way or the other, they cannot cope with nor WANT inclusion, they need to proceed in a way that makes stress and communications less of a problem to them, they won't be interested in any PC argument at all and LA's should be held culpable for making the situation worse by insisting.

By far the biggest issue to new Autistic adults is the fact their communicational and emotional pro support ceases to be provided at all, no further education, no speech therapies, nothing, not even work-training programs, they are written off in effect, then the Autistic can react by creating more issues via the cessation of the regular help they had.  This also causes untold stresses to their relatives.  The UK is experiencing an epidemic of Autism and floundering.

Footnote for those who think Autistic communications can be solved by sign language, it can't, sorry.  If a hearing autistic struggles already with one language, it is going to struggle with another, like any hearing person would find it unrealistic to assume a deaf community could cope aith a massive Autstic influx because of totally different behavioural aspects.  Also the deaf has issues with disability as it is themselves.

A message to the PM...

Pro-Tactile ASL for the Deaf-Blind.

CSW's for the deaf

Are we for or against this, given many who are supporting deaf adults, lack care training qualifications or adequate communication skills?  There are reports deaf clubs are being targeted and friends are helping friends for a wage, uncertain of the nature of privacy when this happens as this encourages unemployed deaf to target their mates for work...  

It appears charities are doing this and encouraging lower standards too.  It is of concern these 'mentors' 'carers' are also calling themselves CSW's when clearly and according to the definition they are nothing of the kind.  Many local authority SS depts are utilising this dubiously qualified help to avoid paying professionals.  Quite obviously someone qualified in BSL would NOT be able to support a non-signer either.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

HoH: 'We are tired of ambiguous/false access claims'..

Related image

Lies, damned lies, and Politically Correct unbiased consulting.   The Arts Council access files are marred with many errors of access and understanding, one wonders if they have swallowed a BSL cultural printout or something, as well as 'gilding the lily' somewhat by claiming to have consulted widely, HoH/Deafened haven't been consulted in any number, nor non-signers, the first they hear about 'access provision' is via online blurbs.

The introduction on access was about culture/sign language,  issues, non-applicable to HI.  They compound the misleading bumbf by quoting the 1 in 6 statistic of 11 million, this stat is NOT applicable TO the deaf BSL user, and is near 4 TIMES the actual and entire population of Wales including the hearing.  Maybe the ACW has never heard of devolution either.  Are they even IN Wales?

While 110,000 may have a serious loss of some kind in Wales there is NO statistic that defines them as a majority, or even minority BSL using. It is impossible to amass such statistics.  Depending who you ask, it could 500, or 5,000 or even more.... Highlighting BSL shortages of access (Actually the BSL user is the BEST SERVED hearing loss area in wales with over 45 BSL interpreters available and 5 major charities to support, whilst HoH needing text and lip-spoken/other support (Areas of access ignored by the arts council), have just.... TWO text operators, and 3 unsupported HOH charities). 2 primary deafened charities have no welsh base at all.

The issue with accessible arts is moot, as they are near all concentrated in the Welsh Capitol (Cardiff), so if you cannot commute there what is the point even of access?  The Arts Council needs to provide free access online for the majority that cannot commute, Wales is a rural country..  Sadly most arts are still signed and nothing else so still inaccessible to non-signers, there is a distinct cut off via output too, dedicated signed arts are not watched by the HI..  Too much funding is going there which offers no access or content to many others with hearing loss and makes no difference if made accessible.

Finding an audience seemed to be centralised to asking Deaf clubs.  A damning acceptance the ACW like everyone else, has no primary or representative area to consult in the HI world, which is hardly making such access available the 94% who do not attend them. 

Engaging local areas is not possible despite an overwhelming majority with hearing loss, they have no central HI area to ask what is needed, as the HI/HoH/Deafened don't support charities or groups.  About the only truism of access is here:-

NOTE: Access can be challenging, as each service
has pros and cons for audiences and
they’re not always interchangeable.

A sign language user may not follow
captioning and a deaf person who doesn’t
use sign language won’t understand
interpreted events.

So they just concentrate on those they can see?  Or just do the same shows twice with different audiences? Access isn't going to work except for a sign user is it?  No objection to that, but please STOP quoting the access as for the MAJORITY with hearing loss.

FACT ALERT (1):  The 1 in 6 statistic ISN'T a welsh one, it is a UK national guesstimate.  (Which includes Scotland, N.Ireland and England too). 

FACT ALERT (2) : There are no verifiable facts to be quoted regarding BSL dependent/users in Wales, we would be interested to know WHO the ACW consulted, as the 'stats' appear to cut and pasted from BSL charities (Who should know better!).  Please don't suggest this is about anyone but the sign user.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Challenges for deaf children in other countries.

The Aidan Mack show...

UK tries to block welfare appeals based on human rights.

The DWP is using a bedroom tax case to challenge future welfare appeals
The DWP is using a bedroom tax case to challenge future welfare appeals. The government is back in court today in a second attempt to block a legal route used by many people to appeal against discriminatory benefit decisions.

Last year, it was reported that the DWP was using the case of Jayson and Charlotte Carmichael, who successfully challenged the bedroom tax at the Supreme Court, to try to stop other people from relying on the Human Rights Act when bringing a similar appeal.  The department lost that case but it is now dragging the Carmichaels back to court to appeal the decision.

"If we beat them this time, we hope the route that we used will be protected," Jayson Carmichael told


Social Media and Petitioning...

Image result for armchair warriors
If you are not a UK resident, do not waste your effort supporting a UK petition, it will be inadmissible.  Too many deaf sites in the UK on social media are appealing for petition supporters for BSL, and asking non-UK residents to sign up.  Having contacted the UK government petitioning sites they sent ATR these guides.

How petitions work

You create a petition. Only British citizens and UK residents can create or sign a petition.

You get 5 people to support your petition. We’ll tell you how to do this when you’ve created your petition.

We check your petition, then publish it. We only reject petitions that don’t meet the standards for petitions.

The Petitions Committee reviews all petitions we publish. They select petitions of interest to find out more about the issues raised. They have the power to press for action from government or Parliament.

At 10,000 signatures you get a response from the government.

At 100,000 signatures your petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

In response to a social media (Facebook) request on UK deaf social media to support a BSL campaign, which led to responses from USA deaf they would sign the petition.

ATR: This won't work. As a UK site are we even allowed to sign a USA petition? In the UK you have to be resident to sign any here so you would not be allowed to sign a UK petition (See rules above), on social media or anywhere else. This is to avoid outside countries affecting your own country decision-making. 

(A burning issue already I gather in the USA with the Russian thing!) There may or may not be a 'world deaf community' but they aren't allowed to mass lobby single countries or issues, regardless how well-meaning or supportive. I'd welcome views on this. Should we allow Brits to influence USA support areas or vice-versa? There are already heavy critics of online USA/ASL areas trying to influence support areas worldwide.

Also, petitioning seems a rather singular sign thing, on the UK petitions list only 6 petitions are there currently, 4 for BSL, none for the HoH or HI.  This is because HoH understands there is no chance of any success/support for a HoH petition, and/or group-lead issue in the UK, they have no organised approaches.   It was also pointed out (But ignored by the deaf), no petition they set up can succeed with the bottom line insisting on every single deaf person in the UK supporting it, (and 40,000 others), it was also untenable because more deaf didn't use sign language than did. 

It receives little or no support from the 10m in the UK with hearing loss, because lobbying is polarised.  Petitions are being used to raise more awareness rather than any suggestion it can affect any real change.  There are minor victories in devolved areas where far less support can get a petition noticed (E.G.Wales which requires less than 50 people to get debated), but not nationally.  It is unclear if such a low support area could really change things.

BSL had 'recognition' from the EU, it was given in 2002/3, but still not carried through via UK legislation in 2018.  The EU can recognise any language, but it is up to individual states if the put them on the statute.  With Brexit looming, the EU will have a lot less influence to push minority rights in the UK.  Many claim they don't have influence now.

Petitioning relies on the armchair warriors approach and won't work because when push comes to real shove they won't get off those armchairs.  They sign petitions and then forget about them until another request to sign one emerges. Online petitioning is worthless in real terms, and even when one regarding transport achieved 2 million a few years ago, it was rejected.

To achieve results you have to march or be seen.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


Does any of this really work?

Image may contain: text

ATR: If this fails then what else can we do? A lot really depends on lip-reading ability or hearing aids being really effective. Age has a bearing too. I class myself as a fair lip-reader and very aware what works and what does not, and yet to find area where the above advice actually works well for me. 

If your lip-reading is poor and your aid not a lot of use or you have an off day (Which happens more often as you get older or have a cold or something). Realistically we all lie about our own skill to follow, maybe honesty is the first thing to employ. You have to get over the assent 'nod' first, which is a way of saying we DON'T follow what is going on!

Comment 2:

I just wish more people were aware of my need...

ATR:  They can only do this if you are honest about what you can follow, and not let pride enter into it. Pride is the HoH Achilles heel, it took me many years to stop letting that attitude hinder me. If I really am struggling then I revert to what works best for me, mostly these days that is text. As people losing hearing we need to hone anticipation skills, plan ahead etc if you enter an unfamiliar situation or person/group and you don't or cannot plan ahead you will flee or impose self-isolation to avoid the stress, worse avoid the issue after, it is why we remain isolated, we need to get to grips with what is happening. 

Awareness cannot come from OTHERS you have to make them aware what is best to help YOU, as one size won't fit all. I'm still fending off people who ask why I don't sign, not that it is much use when THEY don't! I could have saved a paragraph here and just said get more confidence but.... technology these days offers a number or alternatives, we use those too. Given everyone and their pet cat lives on the phone these days, I doubt many people would care at all if you used those to help. The real trick is not to make yourself dependent to the point the person or area who is communicating with you, treats you as the 3rd party and not the first. I'm not an iphone, I'm a person :)

Declaring your disability to an employer..

Typical legal speak, but showing a huge misconception of the reality. How on earth can a blind person, or a deaf signer or someone in a wheelchair hide the fact he or she is disabled?  Why would they?  So that if an employer says they cannot accommodate them in an interview (Because the disability was not mentioned on a CV), they are wide open to being sued? That is not going to do disabled applicants or their peers any good is it?

Initially, a CV would have to be in braille for the blind person, and a request put in for an interpreter for the signer.... UNless both areas utilise someone NOT disabled to do the forms for them, then this poses issues of fraud!  DOH!  Just legals looking for work.  They are encouraging secrecy to make money and making deaf and others an issue to employers.

Buying into the deaf dream

The price for ex-hearing is far too high, and, unnecessary.

Just be yourself.  Once we start chasing our tails and get ID's confused we are all in a world of unnecessary pain.  The 'issues' of ID are political mostly, with allusions to cultural status, but neither of those or the communications we use, make sense if it doesn't facilitate effect communication to others and breaks the cycle of isolation.  You can lose your hearing friends of a lifetime as you 'assume the position'.

Isolation no matter how pretty the wallpaper is, is still Isolation.  We in the UK have noticed far too many areas of the deaf in the USA being obsessed with terms and labels, some too ridiculous and obscure to print here, and has developed its own extremes. Cult-followers of deafhood, (an ideology based on an UK fairy tale), and anti-CI/genetics/hearing aid areas e.g.  Moving inward to deaf areas is bad for hearing, you can develop paranoia, and 'why me' issues and get angry at anyone who has that you don't, be it a community or a few more db.

These things just confuse, upset, and depresses people, who cannot be what others want them to be or insists they are, it's made some who lose hearing, uncertain and vulnerable, just do what is best for you, you cannot be a born-again deafie just because you now cannot hear, so why spend a lifetime as a spectator looking on? Mastering sign language won't replace your hearing.  It's an ingrained part of you.

I find it a real puzzle really, an Interpreter would have any sort of struggle with an ID.  One assumes someone in that position would have few difficulties communicating to the deaf, but as we see, hearing outs doesn't it?  It's one thing mixing with and then going home to a hearing environment, quite different when you lose hearing too, decisions have to be made early on to improve hearing communications.  What you are, you stay.  Why would you want to be someone else when you were happy before as you were? 

Much more preferable we encourage erstwhile hearing to accept themselves, if only for peace of mind.  Chasing the dream is hard when you get to wake up.....

Monday, 19 February 2018

People of the eye tour...

Sign User undermines hearing aid providers ?

Is he DEAF or HoH ? make your mind up time!  Specsavers is the BEST Private provisioner of hearing aids and a leading supporter of HoH in the UK.  Poor show from the BSL user trying to score petty points to get a headline.  How many signers refuse captions to HoH...... HoH support Specsavers, not BSL opportunists.

Specsavers also support Deaf Rugby and DeafVibe and numerous other 'Deaf' areas. We don't need this sort of petty attack thank you.  Concentrate on institutional areas that deny us far more (except UK cultural deaf DON'T support HoH campaigns!).

A DEAF man has hit out at an optician for not fulfilling its duty to its hard-of-hearing customers. Darren Jensen, 52, from Hove, says Specsavers in North Street, Brighton, twice failed to provide an interpreter when a deaf person entered the shop over the last 18 months. Brighton and Hove City Council signed up to the British Sign Language (BSL) charter last summer, after the internal Fairness Commission recommended it adopt legally binding guidelines designed to stamp out discrimination.

Crucially, it promised to work towards two key pledges guaranteeing unlimited access to public services and a basic understanding of British Sign Language (BSL) among frontline staff.  But now Mr Jensen, who is the director of a Brighton-based social network and lobby group called Surdi, says enough is enough. “We in the deaf community are really fed up of having our access to services denied,” he told The Argus through an interpreter. “We are not getting the medical care that we need.

“I just want to make sure that people are aware this is happening. “There is a budget there from the CCG [clinical commissioning group]. “It wouldn’t cost them anything, so why are they refusing to help?” He said a woman from Saltdean had made an appointment in the North Street store around a fortnight ago – only to be expressly told no interpreter was available.


Respect sign and Culture.

Concepts with print: The Paragraph

When they teach sign in the UK, they remove captions so learners can focus on the sign, and sign users online remove captions and text to preserve their identity and culture, how does this equate at the coal face of education? Is this incoherent and ambiguous approach, the reason deaf 'prefer' sign to text and they struggle to read?

On-screen Avatars

Avatars may be better than real people in public awareness, and avatars tend not to think themselves as some sort of pop star at major events either!  The cult of celebrity regarding Interpreters is unhelpful.  It would encourage younger children to sign too.  Now, when are we going to see an avatar for HoH lip-readers?  After all, THEY are the majority deaf.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Elle's Story...

Empowering the deaf HI.

Probably the most puzzling headline you will read this week. Deaf and HI being the same thing, of course, dumb and mute are the norm terms there too. I suppose it depends where you live and if obsessions with ID's are your bag. We know the western world doesn't know who they are, so create a new ID every weekend..

Silence can be the most powerful sound. This is what one would have experienced at the ‘Deaf children’s mela’ organised by the Deaf EnAbled Foundation (DEF) at Diamond Jubilee Outdoor Stadium, Sports Complex here, on Saturday. There was no music and yet the children could feel the rhythm as they danced in a circle. At another corner, children laughed to the jokes shared in sign language by the joker. There were over 350 hearing-impaired children from five schools who participated in several events conducted throughout the day.

That silence can be hard-hitting was the conviction that brought together a group of individuals in 2009 to create the Deaf EnAbled Foundation, an organisation by the hearing-impaired and working for the hearing-impaired in realising their potential and utilising their education. Since then, DEF has been making steady progress in making a world of difference in the lives of the hearing-impaired in cities across India through training and awareness programmes and tying up with educational institutions. As a result, over 2,000 hearing-impaired students have been placed in companies or are self-employed and several others are reaping the benefits of DEF’s vocational training programmes.

First launched in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Vijayawada, DEF has now branched into cities like Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, and Indore. The organisation has a team of hearing-impaired instructors and volunteers teaching the youth English, computers, MS-Office, speed typing, Tally, architecture and soft skills. They also conduct leadership training, personality development programmes, interpreting services, sign language seminars, HIV awareness workshops and hearing-impaired women empowerment programmes, among others. “

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Canada: Needs not being met..

More countries adopting negligent and negative attitudes towards the deaf and disabled? one area where the UK leads the world in institutional discrimination against its own vulnerable and then demonises them.

TrueCall HL

Weatherspoons: We didn't tell mother and deaf baby to leave...

Reyanna Barrier told Isle of Wight Radio she was made to feel “small and embarrassed at S. Fowler & Co on Union Street in Ryde when she was her sister and her 11-month-old child yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

Reyanna says her daughter, who is deaf, began crying as their food was being brought to the table. She says she placed her daughter back into her pram in an attempt to settle her, without success. She says she was then approached by a member of staff who asked them to leave, claiming they’d had “a number of complaints” from other customers.

Reyanna says her daughter being deaf can sometimes present difficulties when trying to calm her as she’s unable to hear as other babies would and may struggle with recognising efforts of mother-baby communication.

In response to the claims, a Wetherspoon spokesman says:




Reyanna says “at no point” did staff offer her any help.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Welfare assessments to be recorded ?

Here it is mooted audio recordings must be made to ensure welfare assessors are accurately recording and following correct procedures in the assessment after the welfare agencies were forced to admit of large-scale fraud and inaccuracies via private welfare assessors subcontracted to the UK's DWP.  One contributor raises issues with that...

"I foresee issues with people that do not speak or use a visual language. From what I saw a deaf person just sits there passive and relying on an interpreter, and assessment questions not even being directed to them at all. To all intents and purposes just spectators... It is being left to interpreters to 'assume' or fathom what the deaf person means. 

Often such people have only just met the deaf client and not established effective rapport themselves. Another issue is recording a signed interview is invalid. It cannot be used in a court as evidence. Any dispute over understanding or intended answers that came out wrong,  you CANNOT legally refer to the interpreter, they are to all intents and legal purposes NOT THERE, and can refuse in a court to validate what occurred too.

From what we see of the UK's welfare agencies they will use that to prevent appeals succeeding.  Pleas to allow BSL interpreters to recall what was taking place in an interview where they supported a deaf person has fallen literally, 'on deaf ears'.  As Interpreters claim they cannot be expected to recall a signed interview in retrospect relying on memory.  

Apart from that revelation, it raises issues of what support deaf people actually HAVE when issues of contention arise, currently, none. Interpreters also fear deaf could suggest issues of their clarity and professionalism leaving them vulnerable.  Unless an interpreter is filmed as well, what protection is there?  Would it lead to Interpreters pulling out of that support area? We know in a number of UK areas, a lot simply did not turn up to support a deaf welfare claimant for PIP, despite urgent applications from the assessment agencies.

Partly for that issue, and partly because demands by welfare agencies for assessment support outstripped the availability of trained staff, it just wasn't possible."

Awareness or not ?

After these vids were shown to raise hearing loss awareness via humour, deaf complained it was derogatory, are they right or wrong?  Have the deaf become the 'New Puritans'?

What do we WANT cured ?

Image result for deaf do not want to be cured!They said in 1994/5 a cure for deafness would emerge in less than 5 years, unsurprisingly it hasn't happened with 46 different genes capable of destroying your hearing, various illness' making you deaf, and exposure to noise adding to it daily. 

There seems an acceptance of the inevitability of hearing loss and its issues, a complacency even  As if that wasn't enough, there are a sector of people deaf who apparently see loss and deafness as a born and cultural right and oppose research or alleviations that can help others. It's hard for us to accept anyone defending the right to not hear except, mainly made by those who had no choice or option anyway, and made a virtue of exclusive isolation. 

They insist it isn't a coping mechanism and made a right of that too.  Sadly it means disappointment and annoyances when those traumatised by the loss of hearing are then told to get a grip, quit whining, and to adopt second-rate status to signers and adopt a culture instead, where they are always viewed, outsiders. 

Related imageHoH/deafened must create a clear line between themselves and these people because they are losing the awareness battle to a minority who don't include others.  The conundrum is the remit to include deaf and HoH which was foisted on us in the 1990s as a sop to equality and claiming support.  Along with that was the right of recognising the individual need, which removed the ability of equality campaigners to insist on global equality options, each issue had to fight alone as 'each according to need' sidelined the statistical and numerical approaches.

Deaf were also quick to use the remit to include their campaigns with the numerical statistics of the whole, including those who don't sign and the HoH, so a minority became a majority overnight as the remit was openly abused, they took it a stage further by re-opening stand-alone cultural and signing areas and charities where HoH never went, but still used the national hearing loss statistic to push own need.  HoH who tried to push HoH issues alone were rounded upon and attacked as being 'non-inclusive of the deaf cultural person', 'paranoid and unaccepting' even, it was and is, very unfair bias and misuse of rights, and in part, one hearing loss sector attacking another.

Sadly the HoH and deafened decided to just go with the individual approaches and left the campaign lobbies wide open to an aggressive signing areas, so have themselves entirely to blame for lack of progress in hearing loss support and the defeat of hearing loss awareness and its issues, which is now reduced to the 'clinical/medical model.   A model being attacked as an 'attempt' to undermine the 'Deaf' community.

Online the HoH have lost the awareness gig too as ASL and BSL areas swamp online with their needs and issues.  There, ASL and BSL are linked directly, again via erroneous 'tags' which prevent HoH issues being seen without a signing input or even replaced by it.  Anyone searching online for 'HoH' or 'hard of hearing', or even hearing loss, will be directed to a signing site, and often without access for HoH.

The problem is the acceptance of the 'D' for the deaf, we cannot isolate that area need from the hearing loss one and an entirely different sector with alternative need. The HoH has been sidelined, lack leadership, and allowing it all to happen. In one UK survey, 94% responded they wanted to hear.  Sadly, unless they are mice or gerbils there is not much chance at present.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Coming to a welfare agency near you.....

Shortly coming to the USA, 'How to screw the disabled by removing their welfare support.'  

Republican senators are sending USA welfare reps to see how they can implement the UK system there, enjoy !  (Or not !!).  One way is sending printed forms to the blind (A great wheeze), or using oral phone numbers and physiotherapists to examine the deaf (Even better).... best is overrule medical opinion altogether, fill in the forms for them and say no thanks, we were only kidding...

And the USA thinks THEY have the biggest bastards... and a law that works.

Mistakes during controversial “assessments” of people with disabilities and long-term illnesses have destroyed confidence in the system, MPs have concluded. They urged the Government to consider dismissing private firms hired to carry out the assessments, which help determine whether or not claimants get benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

The Commons Work and Pensions Committee said it had an “unprecedented” response when it asked members of the public to get in touch with their experiences of being assessed. Some people said reports of their assessments included the results of physical examinations that hadn’t happened. Some reports left out crucial information provided during the interview, and some seemed to refer to entirely different people.

Around 10,000 will get an extea £70 - £90 a week in PIP payments. Publishing their findings, the MPs said the number of mistakes taking place, and the number of decisions eventually overturned on appeal, had created “a lack of trust in both benefits” and led to fears the system is deliberately rigged against claimants.

They said: “At worst, there is an unsubstantiated belief among some claimants and their advisers that assessors are encouraged to misrepresent assessments deliberately in a way that leads to claimants being denied benefits.”

Responding to the findings, the Department of Work and Pensions said it aimed to ensure every person feels they are treated fairly, with respect and dignity, and was looking at ways of making sure assessments were more transparent.

MPs published the conclusions in a 66-page report following a lengthy investigation, which included interviews with Government Ministers, assessors and claimants. The MPs received more than 3,500 written submissions from members of the public, many of whom had been through assessments, as well as almost 200 from organisations

It follows long-standing concern that firms such as Capita, Atos Independent Assessment Services and Maximus Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, who are employed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), are not doing a good job.

10 things you don't say to HoH people...

APD- why I wear a hearing aid.

Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a hearing problem where the brain is unable to process sounds in the normal way. It can affect people of all ages, but often starts in childhood. ... See your GP if you or your child has difficulties with hearing or understanding speech.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Scotland is leading the world in sign language recognition.

World Federation of the Deaf - 2017 International Conference - Summary from Deaf Action on Vimeo.

It is an exciting and interesting time for British Sign Language (BSL) and for those who speak this language in Scotland. The British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 placed a duty on public bodies in Scotland – both national and local – to set out how they will provide access in British Sign Language and promote this full, proper and now legally protected language.

This will be done through BSL plans – a national plan for national public bodies and authority plans for local public bodies.

BSL, as the name suggests, is used in Britain only; other countries across the globe have their own indigenous sign languages with their own associated histories. However, not all sign languages are recognised as BSL has been – there are varying degrees of recognition in different parts of the world. Sign language has constitutional recognition in Kenya, parliamentary in England and Spain, governmental in Australia, and Scotland now has its own specific legislation.


Unmitigated crap form an ignorant lawyer...

Is deafness a disability? This is mis-playing the rights card to pacify those who think all disabled are frauds and lazy, and bears no relation to the issues HoH or indeed deafened have, we do perceive hearing loss as a very serious disablement, I don't see the born deaf having a life of Reilly either!  

We all know about discrimination, but at the end of the day we cannot hear, and even with full access (Which none of us will ever have, or skills to manage without help), that it is a sensory loss, aka a true disability.   Even the fact some cope is no suggestion they haven't an issue at all!

We're fed up of deaf versus disability wars, and if there are deaf who insist they still have no issue then stop claiming disability money or support, simple...  The article simply shows us they still don't get it.

“Only The Hearing Impaired (And Some Doctors) Actually Believe Hearing Impairment Is A Disability”  These are the words of a hearing-impaired lawyer. So — is hearing-impairment a disability?

Deafness, or hearing impairment, as a disability, and the requirement of “reasonable accommodations,” is in the news because of a newly announced settlement of an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) lawsuit brought by the EEOC against the Cheesecake Factory in Seattle.

It was alleged that a dishwasher who is deaf was newly-hired then subsequently fired when the company denied his requests “for orientation training with either closed-captioned video or an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.” The case was settled for $15,000.

Reacting to the settlement, an EEOC attorney stated: “All [plaintiff] wanted was the opportunity to work at The Cheesecake Factory on a level playing field with hearing employees, with accessible training on how to clock in for his shifts and how to use the online scheduling system. These changes should help alleviate the isolation that a deaf employee can experience in the workplace, and equip the employee with the basic tools to succeed.”

This is not the first time I’ve written about the necessity of providing a reasonable accommodation under the ADA to people have suffered from hearing impairment or deafness.

Access to Work Cap goes to the High Court..

Are the UK's most expensive disabled (The deaf), entitled to an unlimited amount of funding and financial support currently £42,100 per year), if it gets them into work ?  Maybe we will soon know....

The High Court has ruled that a legal challenge of the Access to Work cap can go ahead. The restrictions were introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions to limit the amount of support that individuals can be awarded by the once flagship disability employment scheme.

The High Court has ruled that a legal challenge of the Access to Work cap can go ahead. The restrictions were introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions to limit the amount of support that individuals can be awarded by the once flagship disability employment scheme. (1) The launch of the challenge comes just a few months after the government published its disability employment strategy with the ambitious target of getting one million more Disabled people into work (2). It also follows publication in October 2017 of research commissioned by Inclusion London which found evidence of systemic problems with Access to Work (3).

The cap which will fully come into force in April 2018 (4) disproportionately impacts on Deaf BSL users and Disabled people with high support needs, effectively removing employment support from those with the most complex needs and placing them at a disadvantage when trying to get into, stay in and get on in paid work. The case is being brought under the Equality Act 2010 with funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Claimant David Buxton said: “I am extremely pleased to learn that my case has been granted a hearing on the basis that I have an arguable case that the Government has acted unlawfully. 

Been there, done it, wore out the T-shirt ?

ATR has been at for many years and reincarnated as a blog well over 16 - 20 times, the current offering, is the most read.  Change being inevitable.

During the period of the first 2 weeks of February 2018 we noted that it was the first time ever, that ATR was unable to post any viable news updates for 3 days running due to the fact nothing actually happened of note in the deaf world.  

Has it all been said and done to its ultimate end?  Are the deaf just constantly re-inventing their wheel?  Thinking back to the 1990s, and early 2000s Numerous campaigns and issues were filling up our blog space, but with nothing new happening, too many of us bloggers are just repeating ourselves with old news old issues and the same old responses it seems but with the latest technologies. Yes ATR does too... albeit we try not to repeat old posts.

Either nothing has changed, or the new deaf have better things to do.  A change in a few years ago saw wider coverage of issues allowed on to, a lot was pure trivia allowed in to fill blog space, and some complaints was 'all about issues' and not about deaf people, unfortunately this then led to vested interests posting their own cause celeb, trivia about cooking etc.. and relentless posts about how USA deaf are suing everyone about access to everything but still not using any of it. Fighting for a right, for the sake of it.

We lost many very intelligent debators and issue-raisers who felt had pandered to the trivivalists. 'Deaf' awareness has polarised so non-signers are excluded, and polarised cultural areas getting irate about cures, alleviation, genetic, idenities, hearing ads, CI's whatever,  just about anything that suggested sign and culture, isn't the be-all, end-all they think it is, but many deaf people have actually moved on from that, and want more focal point to integration and wider pespectives on acceptances, that include the bottom line we have to make real effort to include ourselves and move away from the navel contemplation of deafness as well.

We aren't included, but the blame doesn't solve anything, and legal avenues do even less except on an individual point.  ATR can remember when captions, subtitles were never there on a TV set, speech to text was only possible via an audio typist in the boardroom, and deaf schools were all called institutions. 

When Sign Language was consigned to 40 minutes on a Sunday morning on the BBC for just a few months a year and even then Hard of Hearing were excluded from participation.  It would seem that still far too many 'Deaf' areas want to preserve this status quo still, mainly because they feel deaf culture cannot survive inclusion.  Confidence in culture cannot be maintained and inclusion at the same time, they fear repeats of Martha's Vineyard where total inclusion collapsed when a means to break the isolation emerged.  Simple, we maintain our own isolation and call it something else. 'Culture' sounds good, and it gets profile too.

We don't get decent debates on this anymore, we used to with the old but the changes have killed the focus and let the more extreme and trivial input in to swamp output and distort who and what we are as people who just happen to have a hearing issue or alternative to speech. We don't want to end up a 'community' of martyrs to the cause.

Charities have changed from being state-inspired benevolence to corporate strategic care on a  shoe string, where those without any deafness or hearing loss determine what that support is.  Recognition of us as people is downgraded to highlighting the 'issues' and we face as disabled, and our 'need' for 'help'.  

In essence, charity is dead in deaf terms, awareness too, and so are groups we used to elect to represent us. With the net came a platform we could all represent ourselves with, but that worked against mostly as the sole campaigners on singual issues do nothing to enhance the rest.  And social media re-invented the closed shop.   It forced ATR to migrate to the USA.

ATR can also remember when deaf history wasn't.  Apart from a few clinical tome's on the issue of being deaf and a dust up in Milan  140 years ago, deaf knew little about it, virtually nothing was all the extant, and hardly relevant anyway because 9 out of 10 deaf had no deaf background to refer to, and still don't.  

A few posts about Beethoven or Jack Ashley as a politician was about it.  Deaf 'community' is a constant re-invention of the same wheel.  A constant need to stay together to avoid the stress of integrating into the mainstream, but it's a battle they are losing.

It is remarkable, the remaining 10% are flying the cultural flag, not remarkable they apply it to the other 90% without permissions. When the needs must, statistics are up for anything. Hard of Hearing and later deaf, suggested the concept  of the community never applied to them anyway, still doesn't, and they just have to get on with it.  Even suggested the 'Deaf' community was,  'just a response to isolation', and 'an inability or lack of support to break out of that vicious circle of it', whilst others defended the circle as a cultural preserve, and took the indignant offensive.

Isolation and poor education/support, doesn't really give the deaf social choice at all. Over the years ATR has noted, as have many others, a massive demise in deaf schools and deaf clubs, but little is really being researched about how the new deaf are doing.  Are they all on iPhones texting each other and avoiding deaf clubs? certainly most are, so community may need a new definition.  

Access hasn't taken the direction of integration just technological advance.  What do other readers see as happening in 2018 ?  Can the deaf community survive without its isolation approach? ATR thinks not....