Having read this judgement via a PIP appeal from a deaf claimant it seems some are, and being caught at it. The relevant part of the decision appears to be here:
"Her representative wrote “As has been explained [the claimant] is pre-lingually deaf and can only communicate via BSL. Because of this, she should have been awarded points for reading, and as budgeting requires the ability to read, points for budgeting. In addition, she should have been awarded points for planning and following a journey”. Of course, and at the risk of stating the obvious, the initials BSL stand for British Sign Language. Since the Secretary of State did not alter the AWARD upon mandatory reconsideration the claimant appealed to the First-tier Tribunal (“the tribunal”).
There was an oral hearing at which (unusually) both parties were
The claimant gave evidence with the assistance of a BSL speaking interpreter but it is apparent from the record of proceedings and the tribunal’s statement of reasons for decision (statement of reasons), that she would occasionally choose to bypass the interpreter and communicate with the tribunal by writing down on paper and in English, what she wanted to say.
This raises a valid point about how 'some' deaf activism is using culture and sign as a means to obtain higher 'disability' allowances, however, as we read, claimants 'Deaf' who can sign but ALSO have an added ability to use English, or was abusing the welfare system by claiming to 'prefer' not to, or even it is a right to refuse to use it on cultural grounds.
In essence, IF you are seen to be able to use alternatives that are effective, then you are expected to use those alternatives and not make yourself 'deliberately isolated, disabled, reliant, and unemployable' by choosing a poor alternative. The reason had to be challenged because it could empower ALL deaf from day one to refuse anything but sign use, even a flat refusal to learn basic English when they are able. The only puzzle is why this deaf claimant wasn't refused the claim outright for misleading the tribunal.
NOTE: ATR has been consistently refused text support because of a valid speaking voice by the system, why is culture an exception simply because they sign, when the deafness is the same?