Saturday, 30 June 2018

The UK's NHS (Aged 70).

Not usually a great fan of the charity that produced this, but, I'd really like to see more promotion of those with hearing loss and deafness that DON'T sign at all, and their issues made more prominent. The neglect of the majority who are deaf and with hearing loss is a scandal, we aren't seeing their issues raised at all because it is being swamped with minority BSL issues instead and biased distortions of need.  

There is life beyond the sign, believe it.  The only niggle is AOHL focussing on things/alleviation/medical, not the people, they need to take a leaf out of the BSL book and let us see those. 10m WILL get their entitlement that way.  Yes the old AOHL/RNID were indeed, groundbreakers in pushing our rights years ago, but, now they don't, that's the problem because they went into the care business, and shop sales approach instead and had to sign a non-critical response clause to bad support from the state in order to get funds, as did other major charities.  

AOHL has shown they have that capability, so why aren't they using it to counter huge discriminations against us? and the recent NHS approaches of limiting testing, issuing hearing aids, waiting until you are deaf before giving you an aid, then today banning ear grommet provision putting children at risk of further hearing loss and even deafness, isn't telling it how it really is.

The cost of going deaf is far far higher than addressing it day one. The astronomical costs of supporting deaf and those with hearing loss, in work, in education, and with aftercare, is higher than supporting other disabled areas. In employment the highest UK support cost.  It is totally a false 'economy' to cut research, hearing aids, and implantations.   You just create more deaf people with more reliance on others.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Deaf centre with no deaf, may close.

The Early Years Centre for Deaf Children in MackworthWhy are they complaining when no deaf are actually using it?  How can it be 'hugely popular' with no-one there?  (I blame the hot weather personally.) A Derby early years centre which caters for deaf children and their families is at risk of closure.

The “hugely popular” Early Years Centre for Deaf Children, in Brentford Drive, Mackworth, was established more than 20 years ago. It provides assistance for families in Derby and Derbyshire, including weekly sign language and communication sessions, taught by deaf tutors, to help parents converse with their children.

The centre, based in a residential house, contains a family sitting area and playroom, kitchen, baby changing facilities, soft play, sensory room, resources room and outside play areas. However, due to declining attendance, the county council says that it may pull funding if the number of families using the service does not increase.

This puts the centre at risk of closure, says a national deafness charity, which has asked that, if the site is closed, any savings are pumped into other services for deaf children.

In 2011, when the county council brought its social care in-house, the authority pledged to fund 40 per cent of the running costs for the service - on the basis that it is used by Derbyshire families “in sufficient numbers”. It remained a leading stakeholder, along with Derby City Council and the National Deaf Children’s Society.

At the time, 17 Derbyshire families were making use of the service. By October 2015, this figure had dropped to just six. A further review in May 2016 found that only one Derbyshire family was using the service. There are no longer any Derbyshire families attending the centre.

Pornographers target the Deaf.

Degradation of men, women,  and children, perversions, assaults, and using access to spread it. What we need are online bans on porn.  We have all the perverts we need. Anyone who thinks this is some sort of romantic sex is deluded. Pornhub is Introducing Closed Captioning for the Deaf Porn Lovers of the World

Over the years Pornhub has done a lot to make itself more inclusive for the differently abled. Because everyone loves porn, and not being able to experience it in the exact same way as an able-bodied person doesn't mean you should be left out. Plus, the more people watching Pornhub videos the more money it makes. 
Image result for no porn!
In the past, the site has included features for the visually impaired, including described videos. Now it's added closed captions to over 1,000 popular videos from its many categories.

The launch of the dedicated 'Closed Captions' category comes Pornhub Cares, the site's philanthropic division that has taken on the responsibility of making the site more accessible for a wide range of porn connoisseurs. Initially, the category features 1,000 videos, selected from the top viewed videos in Pornhub's straight, popular with women, gay, bi and transsexual categories. And it's important to note that they're closed captions, not regular subtitles, so the on-screen text is going to show off a lot more than each video's hokey plot.

Pornhub VP Corey Price said:

“Here at Pornhub, it’s important that we continue to service all of our users’ needs and make content accessible to every individual. By integrating our new Closed Captioning category, we are now able to render some of our most popular adult content more enjoyable for our users who are hearing impaired. We encourage them to check out our newest category and provide feedback, which is especially important as we seek to continue to offer content with the differently-abled user in mind.”

It'll probably be quite useful if you want to watch some actors go at it when there are other people at home and your headphones have gone walkabout. See, accessibility benefits everyone.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Deaf-Blind Awareness week...

Transcript / Visual Description: 

Short Video of Heather Quayle jumping down onto floor from indoor rock climbing. Short Video of Heather driving a Landrover off-road. Short video of Sophie Nanthabalan (Deafblind Ushers lady signing ) My family pick up bit by bit by bit and learn more. Glen Tamayo (Deafblind Ushers man signing) One time I was using my cane and I accidentally hit another man in the face! 

Hi everyone my name is Heather Quayle (finger spells her full name ) Next week is Deafblind awareness week. I am Deafblind myself and next week I plan to upload different videos onto my Facebook page. The videos you will see are that of my Deafblind friends from all over the UK as I’ve been busy flying here, there and everywhere to get these clips. The videos will show a brief insight into their lives, their different activities and their views of being Deafblind. You will be able up to watch, read and learn about Deafblindness. 

I grew up with a Deafblind father and my Auntie was also Deafblind so for me, my life was pretty normal seeing and being in the Deafblind world. It’s funny though when sometimes you step into the Deaf community or meet a Hearing person and they’re surprised as they’ve never experienced meeting a Deafblind person before. So that’s why the clips this coming week are to show you the differences in Deafblind people and make it easier and clearer to understand. 

Next week whenever you are watching the different video clips please can I ask if you have any burning questions or perhaps you feel embarrassed to ask or think it’s an inappropriate question or it’s discriminatory please have the confidence to ask as I’m happy to answer any questions. Remember it’s Deafblind awareness week so it’s your opportunity to ask me for more information. I hope you all enjoy watching the upcoming clips next week. Bye bye (Heather waves goodbye)

What's in a term?

Image result for Moray Council
Where is the actual 'Hard Of Hearing' Access? (How access campaigns distort communication needs.)  Does BSL and deaf equate with Hard of Hearing?  The BDA did not state the Hard of hearing access was there, only that its own estimate was that 7.000 Scottish DEAF wanted access via BSL).  Yet, the Deaf refused to support captioning of the UK parliament, via 'who cares what councillors or politicians say)?  

It will be interesting to read if Scottish deaf log in for their BSL access.  interestingly a mother of a deaf CHILD, welcomed the access, (they start 'em young up there!),  she substituted deaf for 'hearing difficulties' so confusion reigns, the terminology is redundant, and bias/chaos rules.  Maybe the BDA can tell us how many Hard of Hearing in Scotland actually rely on BSL?  Or even if the BDA represents Hard of Hearing at all?

Moray Council becomes first in Scotland to broadcast meeting with sign language.  A council meeting in Moray will be the first in Scotland to be accompanied by sign language. The council’s communities committee will meet tomorrow to discuss its sign language policy, and an interpreter will be on hand to make sure that residents with hearing problems don’t miss out on the debate.

Vice-convener of the committee, Theresa Coull, is a proficient user of British Sign Language (BSL) as she has a 40-year-old daughter who is deaf. The Keith and Cullen councillor yesterday demonstrated the form of communication in a video for the Press and Journal’s website, as she welcomed the move.

Mrs Coull said: “As a mother of a deaf child I’m delighted that BSL will be used for the first time to translate the council meeting to the deaf and hard of hearing. “This will be of huge benefit to those with hearing difficulties, as it will keep them updated with council matters.

“The deaf and hard of hearing have much to contribute to this area and should not feel that they are being left out. “We really hope that they will contact us with their opinion of the service or any ideas they would like to share.”  The sign language translation will be captured on video using the council’s webcast system, which can be watched live from 9.30am tomorrow or anytime from the day afterwards.

Helping with hearing loss advice

Friday, 22 June 2018

Deaf-Blind Awareness week (UK)

Cops ridicule deaf and their dogs.

Hearing aid basics and troubleshooting.

Identfying as deaf.

Me giving the graduation speech at Gallaudet University.
It is amazing adults are still struggling to ID themselves, but the struggle to be someone else will always end badly.  It is a fact such people are being defined by their communication and not as themselves. So how can an individual ID exist?

When I was 5 years old, my parents found out I needed hearing aids. They weren’t told I was deaf, Deaf, hard of hearing, hearing-impaired; there was no label. They were simply told I needed hearing aids, and that I would need to sit close to my teachers in my private school.

We didn’t know why I lost my hearing, and we still don’t. All we had was my audiogram (a hearing test) telling us that I had a moderate “hearing loss.” I was the only one in my entire school ― which serviced preschool through 12th grade ― who had hearing aids and the only one who was Deaf or hard of hearing. I was often teased, questioned and “tested” for how much I could hear by my peers. They’d cover their mouths and ask, “Can you hear me now?” like the Verizon commercial. Back then, being deaf (though I didn’t identify as such) meant to be different or abnormal.

When I was older, around 13, I still had never met another deaf or hard-of-hearing person. I had only hearing friends. I went to sleepovers, swimming parties and get-togethers where everyone spoke and it was noisy. I struggled to understand what people said, especially when I had to take my hearing aids off for a pool party or when it was time for bed at a sleepover. I had lots of good friends and I enjoyed hanging around them, but it was still work to catch everything they said.

I used to pray that if I behaved well enough and was good enough, I would be fixed. I would no longer be embarrassed when I didn’t understand what someone was saying. I never wore my hair up in fear that someone would see my hearing aids and call me “retarded.” I was tired of being asked if I was “like Helen Keller” or why I had these huge things in my ears. Then, being deaf no longer meant that I was just different, but it began to mean that something was wrong with me. 

When I was 17, I started to get angry. I was tired of lip-reading teachers and people and going to loud places where I couldn’t understand anything. I was tired of feeling like I could not be a part of parties and the typical teenage experience because it was too hard to hear. I avoided loud, dark places and settings where it was difficult to read lips and match what little I could understand to what I could hear with my hearing aids.

I was dating a hearing guy at the time. Whenever we would go to friends’ houses or go out, I started getting angry when he begged to stay. I wanted to leave because I couldn’t hear other people. Most of the time, I just faked it by laughing along and smiling, but eventually, I started losing more hearing. Being deaf for me then meant being angry with everyone else because I couldn’t understand them, but they could understand me.

When I was 18, I was turning in my car and signalled my blinker. I couldn’t hear it, so I thought something was wrong with my hearing aids. I called the audiologist for an appointment and later found out that it was actually my hearing levels decreasing. “Sometimes it’s progressive,” the doctor said, unable to explain why the change in my hearing occurred. I went from moderately hard of hearing to severely hard of hearing/profoundly deaf, and in my mind, that meant my identity had shifted somehow.

I googled “What do deaf people do” and found an online message board that talked about rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, interpreters, captioning and vibrating alarm clocks; I had never heard of any of these things. I thought subtitles were for foreign language films and never knew I could use captions for regular movies. I had been using my phone as an alarm and constantly missed the weak vibration of it, resulting in me being late for class or work occasionally. I thought interpreters and sign language were only for Deaf people who did not talk.

I began to think better of it, and I immediately got my audiogram and went to my university’s disability services office. I found out I was eligible for captioning services and was referred to a captioning telephone company, as well as classes in sign language at the local school for the Deaf. I suddenly realized that being Deaf meant I was not alone, not anymore.
I began learning American Sign Language (ASL) at 19 and met my first deaf friend (actually, the first deaf person I ever met) not long before starting classes.  As I started meeting more people who were Deaf, I was the happiest I had been in a long time. Finally, I met others who were like me. I maintained my friendships with my non-signing hearing friends who made the effort to sign and who accepted this new part of me, and I found, more often than not, my non-signing hearing friends were supportive.

At last, I could understand other people conversing with me, without working hard and without needing to rely on my hearing aids. Being deaf no longer meant darkness. It meant Deaf pride, confidence, access and support. I soon decided to explore the idea of transferring from my hearing university and going to Gallaudet University or the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, two schools created for Deaf students. I visited both schools, and after some coaxing from friends, I decided to transfer to Gallaudet. With the support of my parents, I was ready to start my new journey. While I was at Gallaudet, they began their own journey learning ASL and attending Deaf events and Deaf education rallies.

I went from not knowing ASL or any Deaf people as a child to being the graduation speaker at the world’s only Deaf university.
At Gallaudet, I found a wide variety of friends. Conversation was never a burden, a hardship or a tedious task. There were many others like me who were new signers, and I had never felt so warmly embraced in my life. I had started to find my Deaf identity before Gallaudet, but once I had arrived, it began to solidify. I was in my element. Learning became easier, socialization was natural and my happiness was inevitable. Being Deaf meant freedom.

At 22, I graduated from Gallaudet with honors, summa cum laude with a 4.0. I went from not knowing ASL or any Deaf people as a child to being the graduation speaker at the world’s only Deaf university. I was soon headed off to graduate school for Deaf education and aimed to work in early intervention. After a few months, I moved back home and began working at a Deaf school as a substitute teacher. Seeing young students like me every day made me realize all of the opportunities I had missed out on in my mainstream school. Seeing all of the staff signing, seeing the access available all the time, was incredible. Deaf schools and settings felt like home to me.

Being Deaf now, at 27, means fighting for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children to have the rights and access I did not have growing up. I now teach at a Deaf school and I am a second-year doctoral student at a hearing university. I engage in research in hopes that I can support early intervention services, identity development and more. I want other Deaf and hard-of-hearing children to have what I didn’t. Being Deaf means supporting the Deaf community in all of our fights for access, but especially in ensuring the future of our Deaf children’s success and happiness. I now have a mix of Deaf and hearing friends, and some sign while some don’t. We work together in all that we do and embrace our differences. We all know that being Deaf is more than audiograms and hearing devices. Being Deaf now means being part of a community and a culture that accepts and respects the Deaf identity and Deaf journey.