Monday, 31 December 2018

2019 from ATR

Lip-reading a defective format?

Related imageFor all but the few.... More realistic responses to ATR's original post on lip-reading approaches in the UK from social media. Starting with one response thanking ATR for the candour and honest debate on lip-reading...

"So interesting to read this and it makes pretty depressing reading to be honest. I’ve become progressively deaf over 35+ years. I am now profoundly deaf and without lip reading skills my life would be pretty miserable. As an illustration of the potential, there is in lipreading my score in a recent test wearing HA’s but NOT lipreading was 0% word/sentence recognition. 

My score WITH lipreading was 98%. Not saying everyone would gain that advantage but a more structured system of education for the deaf and in particular, the more severely/profoundly deafened could make a huge impact on the quality of these people’s day to day lives. Cut off from interaction with others deafness so often results in isolation and desperate loneliness. Thankfully, technology is now coming to the aid of the deaf and for that, we should be grateful, yet there is already an amazing tool available which, properly taught, can transform people’s lives. 😁"

"Yes I did cover the issue at a few points regarding HoH/deafened issues and why they do not appear to be all that worried about access or, support as much as the sign user.  As you suggested technology has apparently filled that support gap without a need to acquire face to face skills.  I had hoped the post was not seen as an assault on lip-reading itself, but so many factors need to be in place to learn and use it effectively I don't see there.  As you also suggested (And I also covered some time ago), there is suggestion isolation is replaced or countered with technology, it's not a view I entirely share or entirely support, mainly because I feel people need other people and interaction by remote isn't that.  The strength of the signing area is their communications rely entirely on face to face and with other people, they have a community and meet up area etc the HoH do not have, or apparently, need now, despite we read people still feel isolated. "

"Technology, doesn't really work with those with full hearing as we often read their interactive communication skills with other people is suffering, so are their children's.   It's a society by proxy.  ATR tried many attempts to do surveys of the HoH and non-signing areas to no avail at all, apart from nobody doing surveys except the bored, clearly, HoH/deafened have found alternatives to sign language and lip-reading.. the jury is still out that is what is happening."

"I think the ability to lip-read relies too much on tuition that doesn't encourage those who need it, or teachers with training who can devote the time to it.  Yes, there are excellent lip-readers around, but most, are hearing!  Or indeed they have the technology to do it.  Which I suspect is the next gizmo we will get offered... then get accused of spying on people!

Related imageAs we saw, most have some useful hearing, indeed the tutor ads suggest that is necessary to acquire the skill (Which I suspect is an acceptance they cannot help those without it).  One query I asked the teachers was, 'What happens, when e.g. a pupil, loses ALL useful hearing, and they can no longer rely on that 'in' ?'  Teachers respond with "We encourage pupils to remove aids and practice.." Which they never told me when I went, and peers said they don't do it either, huge almost total reliance was on using the hearing aid, they didn't really want to be 'deaf for a day' to hone skills.     The survey response (Such as it was), is that they do encourage those with residual hearing to remove aids etc and practice because they know hearing loss is mostly a progressive thing.  I said this doesn't happen does it?  It didn't when I attended the classes.  We change to text-based technologies and still don't lip-read or adopt sign language.  

Many students were missing the point entirely, or, were afraid to risk removing the aids.  My own parent had panic attacks when the battery failed.  The point being the lip-reading skills being hugely dependant on aid support, meant pupils were unprepared when aids no longer worked for them. Of course, residual hearing requirement and the problems of tackling the trauma hearing loss has presented, complicates the lessons, as does the 'mix' of young and the elderly, not really working.   The latter an increasing issue, given so many younger people are suffering hearing loss now, it's no longer an old age problem alone.  Awareness areas need to replace that image of an old codger with a hand cupped to the ear and join the 21stc....

It's a bit like, watching sign language with captioning really, in that 99 out of a 100 of us would ignore the sign and read the captioning instead, its a bugbear with sign language users and awareness, in that, it is why  they often refuse to caption signed output for that very reason, they know we don't watch the sign.  Text is pretty much King as we are concerned."

Sunday, 30 December 2018

ANYTHING but sign language?

Image result for Lip-reading files!ATR's response to HERE on lip-reading.

"The thing about lip-reading is that with most being older people, the skill is more difficult to acquire, and like everything else you need pretty ideal situations for it to work effectively which don't exist in real time.  Street-wise tuition is still in its infancy, so no 'real-time' situations and how to deal with them.

By far the biggest drawback to lip-reading is the tuition of it, (Which is hopelessly chaotic and nobody takes it seriously), notwithstanding, those most deaf are frozen out of classes by the more able with hearing, of course, the total lack of any UK system to support it, makes it pointless except for those more able to hear something. Lip-reading mostly demands some sort of effective hearing class-wise.

BSL has a national support set up,  BSL interpreters can often be lip-speakers too, albeit few if any of them operate in that respect AS lip-speaking support to HoH etc.  Like most awareness advice, it totally relies upon specific circumstances for it to be most effective, and often understates the ideal circumstances for it to work.  

The 30% thing often quoted by signers to justify SIGN use, is always misquoted, the 30% figure applies to HEARING people too, in that nobody understands 100% of everything, sign usage was stated as near 5% or less effective outside its support area and effective circumstance, so lip-reading still appears a more effective deaf format to have. The primary 'attraction' of lip-reading is it suggests you are more independent you can dispense with the middleman.  I like the idea of the DWP accepting the 30% statistic lol but they don't adjust the welfare awards for the 70% you can miss they!

I did notice with lip-speakers they have a lower limit on timed support, usually, 20 minutes max, and they need a break, whilst sign users claim their help can continue for hours and requires little or no effort to follow.  All these claims offer a lot of negativity towards lip-speaking and its application, and facts often get lost, not least sign fails too after a time.  

I found personally those with serious loss are unable to make use of a class on lip-reading because the tutor cannot concentrate on those needing the most help, classes then polarised with those with better hearing on one side and the near deaf out of it and told to seek social worker support instead.  This is utterly ridiculous because a Social Worker will have no language assist short of a pencil and paper to build upon to help.   

Those rejected pupils abandoned lip-reading altogether, full well in the knowledge the Social Services would at best direct them to deaf clubs or even advise them to go back to a lip-reading class again to face more failure and stress.  Nobody is really tackling the issues.  The high drop out rate of those most deaf, is most evident less than 3 weeks in.

This to my mind suggested those needing lip-reading help are just not going to get it, or even utilise a free class.  It's also a fallacy to my mind a teacher of lip-reading can teach up to 12 or 15 people and expect ANY of them to master it to a useful degree given the issues involved of age etc.. You would need one on one and lengthy tuition to make it work, and that isn't currently available or possible.  If a teacher is faced by someone who has NO effective way of following speech, is struggling on a psychological level too, then this defeats the tutor approach immediately, they can be out of their depth, such individuals would stop a tutor in his or her track.

What little I acquired was by sheer pain and stress really, self-tuition via trial and error and having a  quiet hour every day for a scream or two.  The 'attraction' of lip-reading continues unabated, mainly because of sheer denial, those who have severe loss will still try to lip-read or make use of useless hearing aids, use technology ANYTHING rather than be ID'd as deaf. Clearly, there is a deprived sector of people with hearing loss not buying the sign message at all.

The situation whereby a lip-reading class is viewed as some sort of 'hobby' class, and great! if you can learn, no bother if you cannot, as there is no qualification to attain either, makes the whole thing a lottery not to be taken seriously."

10 things you need to know about lip-reading.

Related image1. There appears to be no scientific basis for the frequently quoted claim that lipreading is only 30% accurate. If you think about it, there are many differences in time, place and ease of understanding. Two lipreaders conversing together would get 100%. Nobody can lipread in the dark. 0%. It isn't even a ballpark figure.

2. There are specialised interpreters called Lipspeakers. They are people who are trained to repeat English in such a way as to be very easy to understand. Mostly you get every word but occasionally they may paraphrase to keep up. They can be booked, for example for your PIP assessment if you don't sign. Quite often they are BSL terps as well although the two skills are separate.

3. Lipreading lessons are available all over the country but because it is so specialised you may have to travel some distance to find a class. There is some doubt about whether these are helpful but people do ask for them quite a lot.

4. If you have some hearing then lipreading and your residual hearing will work together to give you a much better comprehension rate. Any amount of hearing however small adds to the picture of speech that you are getting. It all adds up and it is a good reason for using hearing aids. Put it all together and your life is much easier.

5. You can lipread the TV if the picture is clear enough. A large screen TV is easier than a small one. Now you have an excuse for getting that 60 inch job. News programmes are good lipreading practice because the newsreaders are trained in speaking clearly and they usually face the camera all the time.

6. To maximise your lipreading potential try to make it easy for yourself. For example in a lecture get right down the front, close up. Nobody likes to sit in the very front but you have the best excuse in the world.

Try to arrange things so that you are face to face with other people in a good light. The worst place in the world is a dark nightclub with a band playing in the background. Try and pick a table with a candle...

7. People will forget. Oh yes, they do! Even your children will forget to face you and speak clearly. Try to be patient and not throw things at them.

8. Deaf people are usually able to "speak without voice". This is a peculiarly deaf thing and essentially it is 100% lipreading, no sound. Deaf people learn at school to turn off their voice and speak soundlessly. Very useful in a deaf group for making sarcastic remarks about hearing stupidity.

9. Lipreading is often done by hearing people. It isn't a specifically deaf thing. For example, many rock musicians are quite good lipreaders because they learn to talk despite the ear-shattering noise. Many factory workers rely on lipreading because of noisy machinery. Hearing people often talk to each other through a closed window like a phone booth. A lot of hearing people watch each other's faces. That is lipreading.

10. When you make an application for PIP remember that the DWP does not regard lipreading as a reliable means of communication. If you put on your form that you are 100% reliant on lipreading, as many profoundly deaf people are, then you will be treated as if you cannot understand at all. This scores you points because you cannot communicate "safely, repeatably, to a good standard, in a reasonable time for most of your time."

App interprets baby cries for deaf parents.

Santa finds deaf boy's CI for Xmas...

A doting mother has shown the moment her meningitis survivor son received cochlear implants from their elf on the shelf. Ben Farrimond, 13, almost died when he contracted meningitis at just 10 months old and has since been left profoundly deaf due to the condition. 

To assist his hearing, the teenager wears two cochlear implants which enable him to have almost perfect hearing. But after he lost one of his £3,500 (about $6300) implants on December 16, Ben was left in disarray and unable to hear out of his right ear. However, when he woke up on December 19, Ben was shocked to see his elf on the shelf had ‘found’ his ‘magic ear’ and returned it in the form of an early Christmas present. 

“Ben was with his grandparents laying wreaths at the cemetery when he lost the implant whilst messing around with his brother,” Ben’s mother Samantha, from St Helen’s in Merseyside, said. “When he came back for dinner later that evening I noticed that the implant had gone and immediately I went into a panic. “We immediately went and searched the cemetery, but didn’t find anything for two days. “Luckily when we returned on Tuesday night, I managed to find the implant and quickly hide it so that Ben didn’t see it, as I had an idea. 

“Then the next morning, when he ran downstairs to see what the elves had been up to, Ben was so shocked that his ‘magic ear’ had been returned and couldn’t believe how magical it was.”

Friday, 28 December 2018

Sex offender: Neither deaf or signing...

A convicted sex offender from Belfast who claims to be deaf-mute has again been refused bail, after a judge ruled his conduct toward the court amounts to "wilful contempt"
Northern Ireland 'Deaf-mute' sex offender denied bail again as judge brands conduct 'wilful contempt' A convicted sex offender from Belfast who claims to be deaf-mute has again been refused bail, after a judge ruled his conduct toward the court amounts to contempt.

A Belfast man who claims to be deaf-mute has again been refused bail, after a judge ruled his conduct toward the court amounts to "wilful contempt". Abraham Jakobovits is currently in custody and appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court by video-link for an unusual committal hearing where his lawyer responded on his behalf. Most committals for prisoners involve the individual being presented in person to reply to questions put by the court. 

However, because of Jakobovits' ongoing claim that he cannot hear or speak, the judge ruled proceedings could be conducted by video-link. Jakobovits, from Fortwilliam Gardens in Belfast, is charged with dishonestly receiving a Sony Camcorder stolen from Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church between December 18 and 22, 2017. Although unrelated to this, but discovered at the time of arrest, Jakobovits is further charged with breaching the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) between October 10 and December 22, 2017, by failing to notify police of his home address within three days of release from prison. 

This meant as a convicted sex offender, Jakobovits' whereabouts were unknown to authorities for two-and-a-half months, and only established on his arrest for the alleged camcorder theft. The charges were read to Jakobovits, who remained silent. Responding on his behalf to both counts, his lawyer said: "I can confirm the charge is understood." District Judge John Meehan ruled there is a case to answer and ordered Jakobovits to be committed for trial to Dungannon Crown Court, with an arraignment date to be fixed in January. 

At a separate recent hearing, a judge rejected Jakobovits' third application for a sign-language interpreter, stating: "It is my understanding this defendant is selective in his claims to be deaf and mute. There is no evidence to show he is either. Nor is there any evidence he understands sign language."

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Assistance Dog bans increasing...

Image result for no assistance animalsAn event in Westminster held by the Guide Dogs charity, where we learned 75 per cent of guide-dog owners in Wales had been refused entry by businesses.

The legal aspect suggests It is against the law to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog, except in the most exceptional circumstances.  But nearly half (42 per cent) of guide-dog owners surveyed by the charity said they had been turned away by a taxi driver or similar private-hire company in the last year.

Does anybody know which section of which law is being contravened when this happens? Might help those affected if they can quote this along with the possible penalties?

Health and safety with regards to food, and insurance issues mostly, when clubs and restaurants are crowded, if anyone trips over a dog, the dog is not on the leash and wandering about, or trying to illicit food from other customers, etc... I gather bans on them after 6pm are a norm for obvious reasons, drunks etc.... the same rule that applies to children.

Another issue is confusion when people can see the owner ISN'T blind at all but sighted, or partially sighted, they are not aware the deaf use them too, and its highly contentious the deaf should be entitled to the same rights as the blind as some were with own pets not trained dogs. There are cases too where people have pets with them claiming disabilities they don't have, e.g. the law allows 'emotional support' animals too, public areas then can decide banning them all covers most of the potential issues that can arise.

One answer seems to be the OWNER carrying proof of entitlement to an assistance animal public domain restaurant/cafe owners can refer to.  Or even as some suggest designated areas for them.  Although this seems highly impracticable in reality.

Pets are obviously untrained dedicated animals. In the local club dogs for the deaf are often there and roam loose, and they are after food and everything, we humour that, but obviously in a public restaurant completely unacceptable. Just because they alert a deaf person to the front door, doesn't qualify them as being bona fide assistance animals.

Of course, people with dogs will not accept their dogs are ever a nuisance or problem or ever will. Maybe the dogs aren't, but their owners are, should we ban them?

Look whose talking... NOT!

Image result for bad talking etiquette
Do you have people who don't even face you when talking?  Is there any real answer to poor awareness?  The systems we use now depend not on mutual goodwill,  and cooperation, but biased 'advisors', and legal enforcement threats.  A sure-fire fail.

Another view of it:

I give few if any indications I am deaf, as my voice is OK, and I am very aware of issues, I can spot almost instantly when I need to point out I am deaf and not following.  Other than that I don't feel any need to make it too obvious.  I cannot get angry with people who don't know I am deaf.  The aid wearer has the 'nod' ATR does not seem to fit any particular category of deafness or loss really.  

It is usually the deaf that sign all the time and those who obviously wear hearing aids that have issues, so this suggests drawing undue attention to the loss, is counterproductive, and its area reluctant to pursue that option, for sure if we get aggressive that works against us. That is not to say like everyone else with a hearing loss I didn't get angry all the time at the start.  

Deaf awareness has never worked for any of us and its all bias and disinformation what there is.   

I don't hide my hearing loss, but neither do I make a point of it except when there is obviously a communication breakdown of some sort.  Awareness otherwise can become a cross to carry, I leave that to that bloke from 2000 years ago, and it didn't end well for him...

What the Deaf should NEVER do..

Eat, drink, or sign at the same time!

Did he say 'stupid'?

For the lip-readers among us.  The biggest loser of 2018? Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn. Caught lying over his ‘stupid woman’ aside in the Commons last week, the Labour leader capped a year of ineptitude. Lacking the wit to tap dance his way out of the insult to Theresa May, who was wiping the floor with him at PMQs, he tried to pretend it hadn’t happened. “I said ‘stupid people’,” Corbyn protested, but any amateur lip reader could see he was fibbing. 

His shiftiness was sealed when Dame Evelyn Glennie, the acclaimed, and deaf, Scottish percussionist, was shown the footage and declared she was very certain he said ‘woman’.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

IDS may close....

The Irish Deaf Society is at risk of closure as Government does not decide on funding from Irish Deaf Society on Vimeo.

Why can't the deaf fund it themselves?  Could it be, that like the UK Counterpart the BDA, they simply do not have the membership?  Is it not time the 'Deaf' community stood on its own feet, and not continually held out the hand for charity?

10 facts about BSL....

Image result for BSL Ban sign language

10 Facts About BSL, from THIS site (The UK's largest HoH charity)...

1. It is a basic language with a tiny vocabulary.

2. If there are no other sign language users around then it is no use at all.

3. It cannot deal with the abstract. 

4. Very few deaf people are really fluent in BSL.

5.The best qualified people in the Deaf world are hearing interpreters.

6.It is impossible to convey fine shades of meaning.

7. There are no tenses, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions or other grammatical forms.

8. Although sign languages go back hundreds of years, BSL does not. It is a 20th Century amalgamation of a number of traditional sign languages.

9. The majority of BSL users can also speak, read and write in English. It is very rare for an individual to be dependent entirely on sign.

10. Because BSL was traditionally taught in Deaf schools its use has declined quite severely because deaf children are increasingly taught in English.

"It's always been a complete mystery to me they teach a form of communication only THEY can follow, and then expect everyone else will comply with it.  The cult of signing aspects is also a retrograde step in the advancement of deaf people.  

They dream of the days of old when deaf schools were breeding grounds for sign language and community,  it created a huge inter-reliance on each other and created a huge reliance too on hearing to assist them, the way it is marketed as enhancing independence, has to be the cruellest aspect of most of it, given the mainstream uses none of their approaches or trains people to work using it leaving deaf with very few opportunities to pursue a job with a wage, and resentful sign hasn't worked for them except in disability funding and assisted job opportunities via welfare so they blame hearing and mainstream again for not adopting BSL too.  

The reality there just are not enough support workers to aid them goes over the heads too, but, they still demand them while using family support most of the time, thus killing the very demand they say they need..  The glaring gaps between reality and preferences is there for all to see, but the biggest issue isn't just sign language but ignorance...  Some never-ending desire to be a martyr without a real cause or aim.  Then they kill challenges that expose those realities by labelling it discrimination.  If they continue in the same vein then isolated and non-inclusion will be a norm ALL the time.  

They aren't adapting and that is a death wish of opportunity and education, offering the deaf child little or no hope but that 'The community will provide..'  Fortunately, it is a minority of biased self-interest loosely titled deaf activism, a small but highly motivated area determined to control the deaf by feeding paranoia, and openly profiteering by deaf reliance, a direct challenge to their claims of liberating deaf people from 'oppressive hearing', what is one more lie amidst many?"

Sunday, 23 December 2018

The Sign Gene

There is no such thing, as sign is acquired/taught to supplement a deafness gene, 46+ in fact...

5 things they can do but we cannot.

It's very much do as we ask and not what we do ourselves, isn't it?  Having attended the recent Xmas celebrations at my local deaf club the total absence of any hearing or family members was plain to see...  The question asked, is how many hearing will actually SEE this vlog?

Keeping Quiet for Xmas...

Why Christmas can be tricky for deaf children - and what you can do to help Two families explain what Christmas is like for a deaf child - and how to make festivities more inclusive 

Christmas a very exciting time of year for children, as they love the magic of Santa, the decorations and celebrating with family and friends. But amid the chaos and noisiness of festivities, it can be a tricky time for deaf children who may find it difficult to participate in all the activities - and feel like they're missing out on the fun. 

Lynn Chipperfield, 41, lives in Manchester with daughter Freya, eight, who is profoundly deaf and has been fitted with cochlear implants. She says for Freya, pretty much every element of Christmas is affected by hearing loss, whether it's films without subtitles at the cinema, visiting Santa or increased background noise at events. 

Mum Lynn says it's important to repeat if necessary to make deaf children feel included. "We find the sheer volume of activities causes so much fatigue. Each event is harder at Christmas due to increased noise levels, the concentration required and amount of people asking her questions," Lynn tells the Mirror. 

"A hearing child can absorb the conversation even if it's not directed at them by overhearing, but Freya will ask what has just been said. Even if it wasn't a conversation directed at her it's important to repeat it as she has the right to be included. "'It doesn't matter' is a banned phrase in our house - it always does!" Lots of us take for granted how easy it is to follow conversations with family and friends, so willingness and patience to repeat phrases for deaf children is crucial.

New Year's Day and Christmas Lynn says some of their favourite activities at Christmas time are dressing up the dogs and watching their favourite festive film The Polar Express - and they can connect it directly to Freya's implants.  Although aspects of Christmas are a challenge for Freya, she still says she loves it. The eight-year-old tells the Mirror: "I wish Christmas would be quieter so I could hear everything but Christmas is very fun and I have been extremely good this year." 

Friday, 21 December 2018

Looking for deaf curators

Looks like they don't expect BSL to last....

How many read the signs?

How many Used the  Captions?

Keep calm and include everyone...

Image result for include!

A decent article with a broader approach to awareness than most we read, undone a little by using the term Deaf 'though!  What needs to be done is NOT using the term 'Deaf' to describe people with hearing loss.  This switches emphasis AWAY from them.

Contrary to stereotypical community perceptions, not all hearing impaired people are simply deaf as a post and unable to hear anything, and most certainly, they are not stupid or dumb!  Government, big business and private enterprises tend to ignore the fact that deaf and hearing impaired people are clients and customers too who need equal access to services, goods and support, but sadly a majority of service providers have no policies, procedures and practices in place to meet even the basic needs of hearing impaired people.

Deaf people have interests, likes, wants and of course, money to spend too just like everybody else. Congenital or acquired, there are varying degrees of deafness: mild, moderate, severe, profound, and complete, or total.

Common across the spectrum of deafness is that: many have trouble hearing and discerning sounds; they find it hard and struggle to understand clear speech; they have difficulty engaging in conversations, communicating and interacting with other people, and being understood; they find it very hard and exasperating to engage with people in public places; they will turn the television up and often avoid talking to people on the telephone.

You probably wouldn't be able to spot a deaf person in a crowd, but there are both subtle and obvious signs that a person is hard of hearing.

Hearing impaired people might ask you to repeatedly say something over and again; their voice could be considered loud and their speech might sound 'funny' to you; they'll insist on texting you rather than talking on a phone; they might appear to be rude by staring at your face; they might appear to have ignored something that you have said or an instruction that you have given; they might cup their ears or utilise subtitles; you might spot a hearing aid; you might notice them signing, or they will just simply tell you that they can't hear you.

Community, communication, participation and social interaction are paramount social norms which are the mainstay of any society; unfortunately though, government entities, big business, commercial enterprises and service providers, the community, and family and friends are generally oblivious and inconsiderate to the difficulties faced by deaf people.

Deafness is a disability fraught with negative experiences and discrimination associated with erroneous community perceptions where hard of hearing people are denied the same courtesies and equal accessibility to services, goods and support as any ordinary person would expect.

All too often, hard of hearing people become marginalised and isolated; more so because many without hearing difficulties can't empathise, let alone understand the many frustrations faced by those with hearing loss on a daily basis.

Mouths are covered, backs are turned, faces are masked, kettles are turned on, televisions are blaring, fans and air conditioners are on full, background noises mask conversations, car windows are open and shopping centres and restaurants - with all their hustle and bustle, and screaming children - well, they're are a bloody nightmare!

Notwithstanding the fact that people with an unaffected level of hearing are often referred to foreign client and customer service call centres and complain that they can neither hear, nor understand what is being said to them, no thought is given to the plight of the hard of hearing and deaf people who are alienated and discriminated against, occasionally ridiculed, patronized, and even mocked.

Little thought is given to the reality that a deaf person cannot hear the whisper of one's name being called out in a crowded medical surgery; that they can neither hear, nor understand public announcements at public venues, public transport hubs and at airports where there is significant background noise; that they can neither hear the voice of a customer service officer in a crowded retail hub, nor hear the hello of a passing friend in a crowded street; the voice of a loved one in a noisy public environment, or the ever tender I love you of a lover whispered in the ear.

Some of those difficulties faced by hard of hearing people include getting service at shopping centres where background noise is all around and diversionary; at coffee shops where conversations are loud and many, and where espresso equipment is constantly being used; at railway stations and public transport hubs where ticketing offices are often screened and traffic abounds; at airports where announcements are repeatedly quick and the content lost to a noisy environment, and at take away establishments where crew members talk and serve quickly amidst clanging dishes and cutlery.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

How the UK removed lip-reading choice.

Image result for no choice!
In the wake of Sign Solution getting negative feedback on BSL only access, and about poor captioning dedciation for BSL output, a leading UK charity has advertised their non-inclusive approach as a way forward too.

Well  SignSolutions is an area that provides... sign for cash. It makes a living promoting BSL.  As a reader said:

The question here really is, did deaf people ask for this?  Or did a sign language organisation decide to supply this service because they thought deaf people ought to have it? (and of course, they get paid for supplying it). The fact is that there are far greater numbers of oral/lipreading deaf people in a hospital and they need every bit as much help. But strangely enough, they don't get it.

As regards to lip-reading/spoken access, there is no record of any UK area providing it, or UK systems designed to support it on any sort of organised basis. We know BSL people refused to include that too, mostly on the grounds speech is 'oralism' and insulting, even offensive, to the deaf.  

It can be clearly argued lip-readers are being dumped out of it, regardless of views on its effectiveness.  Which raises the question why bother teaching it, when there is nowhere they can effectively utilise or get support for it?  

Between this biased approach to captions and a blanket non-inclusion of lip-speaking, this allows huge awareness of hearing loss need to be consigned to the bin in the pursuit of populist sign approaches, most haven't asked for, and really the UK's leading hearing loss charity should be refusing to air or support such output on the grounds it challenges awareness and distorts it, while oppressing other deaf people who prefer to lip-read or speak.

It also suggests the UK's leading Deaf school that uses oral tuition is being undermined too by removing choice on access provision.  Less than subtle assaults on oral tuition to encourage more signed approaches, again that aren't going to happen.

Perhaps ATLA or the AOHL would like to respond on the issue of lip-reading access? Or have they abandoned it too?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Advocacy! Decisions, decisions!

Differentiating on choice options. Use remote interpretation? or demand people-centric support? Looks more like Deaf versus technology. Technology will replace the terp on the street simply because of sheer non-availability of them for all. Of course, systems see VRI as a much cheaper option too and let's face it, access is cost-driven not rights driven anyway.   I would never use such a system because I prefer text and feel VRI is not helping me that way.

We have seen much evidence the past few years of supportive systems switching access to alternatives that remove the 'man/woman' in the middle or indeed removes text access in favour of the sign access. In part, VRI is more welcome, as it forces the situation and people to relate more directly to you. I don't think VRI works well because centralisation of support tends to be poorly adaptive to the deaf user, and such centralisations tend to establish a one size fits all approach.  Deaf receive no training on how to use VRI support, it is not a case putting one on a screen and assuming it is the same as having one there in real time.   Deaf can get confused.

A lot of deaf signers use terps to avoid directly dealing with the situation too.  Most don't really know HOW to use an interpreter, a particular area also relies on a terp to help them make decisions too, which is borderline illegal and not in the deaf interest.  There doesn't really appear to be a body as such monitoring how a terp interacts with a deaf client or to set proper rules.  No-one is monitoring VRI help case by case or indeed person to person support...  

So much trust in a terp being neutral may well be not the right Assumption at all.  Terps well know about limitations of understanding with clients and step in to assist.  Few will state 'I'm sorry I don't feel the client is following at all..' because the terp feels it reflects on them.  There are numerous concerns deaf cannot follow VRI support effectively. Also, concerns systems are saying we can't get a local terp so take it or leave it.

Self esteem and advocacy for SSD.

Monday, 17 December 2018

The disabled and benefit denials..

Image result for deaf refused welfare payments

I think it silly they re-assess on a situation that cannot change e.g. people deaf for life, blind for life, unable to walk, unable to communicate, have terminal health issues etc.

The UK welfare system argument seems to be, that as medical, social, technological, legal progress advances, then the old arguments about access and support are no longer valid.  E.G getting financial help because someone provides no access or support for you has been 'undermined' via the suggestion laws now exist to enforce that access for you, but the reality is the issue of forcing precedent, area availability, and basic staff available.  

Welfare awards only work if awards match the COST of buying in that support, because outside the established system there is no real onus or way to demand others provide it because access laws insert 'reasonable' into the terminology of rights, ergo it is 'unreasonable' to offer access in a listed building if it alters or changes the reason for its listing, also, there is no parity existing between welfare awards and the actual costs of that support.  In some cases the reverse!  In that BSL demands for employment and further Uni/college support, exceed by double the amount they could ever earn.

This raises issues in that welfare arms are saying 'compensation' is no longer the right way to allocate welfare, and lower awards are just 'pocket money', but the real issues as stated are that the awards never meet the cost of help.  Compensation also needs an area to 'blame' for your issue. Welfare systems say they should not be paying for what is a legal right anyway, so it is up to the disabled or deaf to instigate their legal right.  

This is dangerous territory for the disabled and deaf as it is an 'argument' where legal rights can be used to prevent support being provided when we know the legal approach is not working.  Local Authority provision can and is, simply withdrawn altogether and are, because there is no money to pay for it, but the welfare agencies say this has no bearing on your legal right to it or any obligation on them to give you the means to pay for it.

Direct Payment (A welfare system designed to offer selected severely disabled areas the finance to buy in help direct), rejected deaf applicants.  However legal challenges are not possible in most cases because the state took away the right to subsidised legal support (Legal aid).  This is the state cutting the vulnerable out of it, as legal aid should be our right and any costs paid for by those who refused to obey those access laws. Deaf and disabled are headed off at the pass.

If most welfare is purely an antiquated system of compensation, and a poor compensation at that, it is not a pathway to access or support either.  It also reminds us again, service/sign interpreting provision is against the 'client' having control over who pays them.  They don't want us as 'employers' they don't trust us, and say we lack the capability to manage it, and its too random.  Non-signers have no system set up to demand help with. There are examples of BSL employment support grants/allowances being cut or have a cap put on them, and no longer covering support wages forcing deaf signers back into unemployment and out of further education.

Some areas can refuse to offer access on the grounds it is financially impossible (LA's, even charities e.g.), or even they have no record of anyone disabled asking for such access.    One can have some empathy with a few employers under the cosh for access where the demand is simply one based on the legal and not on the actual demand by people.  Some semblance of common sense has to exist. We need to pick our fights.

Many complaints are access areas being blocked by 'alternatives' being offered, that discourage choice, so instead of demanding a ramp for a wheelchair user, the area offers you a telephone number to call instead, they are still 'technically' offering you 'access'. Moving the goalposts constantly.  Recent concerns were aimed at Sign Solutions offering narratives instead of captions to signed output that also 'comply' with the access law but in essence, blocks captioning others need and that comes from our own area.  There is no black and white rule to use.

As regards to defining IF the deaf are entitled to welfare, many assaults are taking place via assessments convinced deaf don't have a point to make, because all sorts of aids and options are available now.  The blind in the UK were told they had no clear case for support to go shopping, as they could go online to do that e.g. They were told basically they had no inherent right to leave the home and claim support.  The deaf also obtained free public transport options in areas, via the terms 'issues with mobility' there are demands for deaf now ceasing to qualify for this welfare 'perk', after deaf students were reported to be saying its extra beer money for them.  Deaf had claimed they needed help to travel etc..

We can forsee a time when welfare depts state the deaf are no longer entitled to financial support at all, just because they cannot hear, and the issue of communication support is legal, and no longer welfare based.   The upsurge of deaf and HoH campaigning, where many are actually rejecting the term disability when applied to them, further enforces the welfare view of no entitlements by default.  Didn't we just state we aren't fitting that criteria?

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Do deaf need emotional support dogs?

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ATR has avoided using pictures of dogs because it detracts from the actual topic.  The alternative views on deaf and HoH from social media most never look at!  This time it's asking us to sign a petition for more emotional support trained dogs for us in addition to those that are 'hearing dogs'.  I've NOT included the petition because I don't agree.

#1 I fully support the need for Emotional Support pets to be recognised and a proper training scheme set up for both the pet and owner. My dog is always the first to realise that i am feeling down and makes his presence felt to say i'm here for you. I have trained my pet dogs to a high standered since a child because an untrained dog can be a danger. I would sign your petition.

#2  Yes I have a cat whose 18 now but if ever I'm more unwell than usual and in bed, he knows and gives me more affection.

#3  I don 't really go with emotional support pets. We should be including and helping vulnerable people not giving them dogs instead. People who struggle with inclusion and communication or have MH issues should be given treatment and support. At the end of a very lonely day, dogs are poor conversationalists. 

#4 It's the 'lady with 10 cats' thing, those that prefer animals to people. There is no answer to this because many people with social issues prefer something that makes no demands on them and approves whatever they do or indeed don't. It's a furry opt-out.

#5 They should be used along side treatment and support not instead of it.

#3 Not sure, people who need/use animals to get by will struggle with people. I'm all for those who want pets but there is a real difference between social exclusion and non-participation that a dog won't solve for you. You just get dog/cat lovers et al ganging up and opposing for reasons that have NOTHING to do with social problem-solving. Dogs in hospitals even horses! because people are lonely, but they still go home and still lonely after. People need people.

#6 Our Phantom got my partner out of bed, and outside, even on some of his worse days. They'd go off, my partner would take his camera at my urging, and they'd go wander. My partner would almost always come back in a better frame of mind. He took some Amazing photos too! Oh and he is getting medical, and psychological, help too. My partner can just about handle talking to 1 or 2 people, but going out to places where there are more than that just doesn’t go. We are thinking possibly Asbergers, he fits quite a lot of those signs/symptoms. So as for "social problem solving" Phantom was a great help, keeping my partner close and being there for him like an anchor.

#3 The same thing a hearing dog would do or your average pet. It's a retreat from dealing with your problem.  Can you please justify an emotional support trained animal? and HOW it actually helps the person to include themselves socially?  It's going the doggy way again as it always does...  I don't think pet lovers are able to or want to justify these animals at all, of course, they don't have to as pets, but I think DO have to for a particular reason of training.  There are overtones of deaf having social-mental issues some areas will object to and such dogs identify them with.  E.G. Many don't agree with 'hearing dogs' because they don't feel them justified as they are for the blind as 'working animals'.  

#7 This is really about mental Health issues NOT hearing loss. Try SANE or MIND

The Pantomime in the Dark...

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Samuel has been to several pantos, but being blind, he has not always been able to follow all that was going on. This year the tables have turned. 

He will be the star of a panto – the first of its kind – where all the audience will start off on the same footing: none of them will be able to see anything. Every person in the audience will have to rely on their other senses while in pitch darkness. The ‘magic’ will be taking place in a 3.5 by two metre cubicle in the adjacent room, where a cast of four actors will be performing some 30 different characters. 

Despite its name – GawGaw a Panto in the Dark – it is not a horror performance. Script writers and directors Marta Vella and Vikesh Godhwani wanted to provide the audience not only with a completely new theatrical experience, but also a Maltese fairy tale that not many have heard of. The story was inspired by and influenced by Samuel Farrugia, who lost his eyesight to cancer. The 13-year-old provided the scriptwriters with a very detailed description of the GawGaw – a person who transforms into a monster and roams the streets terrorising people on Christmas Eve – which also happens to be his birthday. 

“This is a world’s first panto in the dark that uses binaural technology, which creates a 3D stereo sound sensation for the listeners, making the spectators, who will have headphones on, feel as if they are in the same room with the performers,” Ms Vella noted. “Except for people who are completely deaf, accessibility was not an afterthought, but the actual starting point of our panto. We wanted everyone to be on a level playing field.” Most of the time, people with visual impairment are provided with audio-descriptive performance. 

A narrator would explain what is happening on stage, meaning that the blind person sometimes misses out on the singing and dialogue. For Samuel, who is keen on drama and theatre, this is a once in a lifetime experience for a 13-year-old. He hopes the panto in the dark becomes an annual feature so that people “can walk in the same shoes of a visually impaired person – if only for an hour”. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

When pupils disrespect HI teachers.

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As Deaf.Read increasingly appears to veer away from deaf issues to trivia perhaps time to get back to issues that really concern the hearing loss areas.

Like on social media:

Query: "Any teachers in the group have tips for classroom management when you're missing snippy things that students are saying under their breath? My principal has spoken to me about missing things that students have been saying. He was very understanding and asked if there are any accommodations the school can make, but I'm not even sure what to ask for."

#1  I have the same issue in my classroom :(

#2 Use a Bluetooth streamer and remote microphone..both paired with your hearing aids.., either PHONAK or OTICON  e.g.

#3 They will just do the same outside the classroom in my experience, I don't think bugging them helps. The only course then is stern letters to parents about disrespect, the media snowflakes getting more coverage and confusing the whole thing, and the parents hitting back with spying on kids allegations, punishing the kids won't help at all, spying on them worse!

#4 But you need to make them understand it is upsetting to the teacher with hearing loss and notify the head and parents to make their children aware it is hurtful...

#3 I'd resist the lecture personally. The fact people are saying or whispering things does not prove they are saying it about your hearing loss, by definition the teacher doesn't know what it is said.  The teacher needs to find a better way to reconnect to the kids. Kids could be talking about nothing to do with the lesson, the teacher or the school. Wouldn't be the first to assume what wasn't said! 

#5 No awareness lecture, threat, or law has ever succeeded, because people don't like being told they are wrong, even when they know, so I agree, you need more subtle means to inform and educate. 

#6 Make light of it?  find better ways to ensure they connect to the teacher etc includes them, don't establish a defensive position, kids like a battle and there are more of them!  Do not tell them off as this establishes another barrier. Most sniggers (If that is a proven), are down to embarrassment and ignorance, not deliberate design. As with all such issues, there is a hardcore, so you ID/isolate those, but don't isolate the rest as well!

#4 The head needs to inform children and parents what they are doing is discrimination against the deaf.

#5 No! it makes things worse, and, the teacher posting here isn't deaf, did you even read the comment?


Once upon a time in the Deaf World.

Image result for fantasy artHi! (Looking for deaf fantasy fans and books).

I'm a novelist working on an urban fantasy novella featuring a deaf protagonist that I'd really like some feedback on. It’s a rather specific genre, so I'm trying not to waste the time of people with no interest in these kinds of stories, but I'm struggling to find an area in the deaf community specifically catering to SFF media. In brief, it's an urban fantasy thriller with a deaf protagonist stranded in Tokyo after an implant causes her to hear things no one else can. (Bad things, taking us into fantasy/horror territory.) 

This novella connects to a wider series I’m writing and I’d really like to bring this character into the main storyline, but not being deaf myself I'm wary of presenting her correctly. I’ve had admittedly little involvement in the deaf community so far, but it’s been an interest since I worked at a company developing an app to assist communities with disabilities.

If this is something that might appeal to you, or you know somewhere that I might be able to find someone who can help, please get in touch! Ideally, I'd like to find some beta readers for the book, but even if a little discussion over a few factors of the story would be a great help.

Thank you for your time either way!

Best regards,

Phil Williams


Have you tried 'Deafhood' by Paddy Ladd?  A bigger fairy story and horror fantasy about the deaf would be impossible to find.  Or even 'Really Not interested in the Deaf' by Doug Alker?

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Human Rights Day 2018

An abject failure mostly, with both the USA and the UK accusing the UN et al with allowing Human Rights abusers as members and wanting out, as the Human Rights Law is 'Unfit for purpose' in the 21stc and empowers only the extremes..

As regards to the rights of the deaf child, omissions of reality are a bit unfair here.  Initially, education of the deaf child (Direction), is primarily a parental (Legal), responsibility and dependant on state provision.  The issue of choice is also one of human rights, so there is no one deaf size that fits all.

We should be stating it is important a deaf child is enable to communicate as effectively as possible, and those still unable, to have the appropriate support in place.

As to teaching a  deaf child how to do that, it also varies child by child.  There is still a huge debate on the value of sign appropriation in regards to it being a really viable tool as an adult or an 'in' to other languages.  Or, that sufficient language and cultural teaching support exists to make any of it work, with teachers to the deaf pandering to activism demands, and demanding non-curriculum approaches.. again, leaving the deaf child without the same knowledge as their hearing peers get, or the literacy equivelant.

At present emotive campaigns exist based on promoting the deaf cultural membership, which is rooted in sign use, and not as such, enabling the  deaf child to have much more than just a singular option to sign to another deaf person using the same mode.  It's a policy of perpetual reliance and dependence on others whilst the back up systems of deaf schools and clubs is diminishing as we write and the deaf youth preferring text as a medium.

The idea of educating any child is to assist independence and provide options, deaf education as proposed does neither and may well induce a tiered approach to the deaf child's education creating have or have nots, dependent on sign use, teaching availability,  and post/Zip code, we would be back to sending off the deaf child to boarding schools stuck out in a  field somewhere to enhance their isolation with some 'back to the future' approach that has already failed....  

As stated the expertise with the deaf went with it so would need to be re-trained, and still have to comply with with the inclusion laws which deaf schools don't.  Access to the world outside the deaf one requires as many  options taught as possible to follow the spoken and written word, whether other deaf agree or not, does not count because this is how the world works.  I don't believe the deaf want to wander off to a world of their own.  It is restricting the deaf child to one mode with no options but to rely on support for it to work.  This is NOT choice or empowerment, and the rights argument is a smoke screen.

There are many alternatives and additional means which may be taught to the deaf child to enable them to use alternatives when sign use fails, but, this is being opposed and the reliance on sign inhibits the will or option for the deaf to attempt anything  else, to add to their misery, cultural activism assures them its hearing people's fault not theirs (The activists) for corralling the deaf into a corner.

Children who rely on sign do not seek other options, that is the reality.  So it kills access to a large degree by restricting its formats so other means cannot work.  It is pretty below the belt, activism of the 'Deaf' variety is using children as a blunt tool to get what THEY want and not, what the deaf child needs to survive a hearing world.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Deal

Deaf Studies: Sign not young deaf preference.

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When it comes to communication it seems our young deaf prefer text to sign language for most communications.  Deaf should listen to this since it comes from their OWN research.  Or will the hard-liners still tilt at windmills?  It clearly identifies sign use as 'strictly for social usage only'.  It's of concern older deaf exist who do not understand how to do a text.

This study is the only comprehensive survey to date of the text communication preferences of deaf people who cannot or prefer not to use voice telephony in the United Kingdom. Respondents covered a wide age range, became deaf or hard of hearing at different ages, and had different communication preferences. 

Generally, respondents used several forms of text communication, selecting them for particular purposes. E-mail was the most widely used form of text communication, but SMS was the most used by younger respondents. 

The most prominent reasons for liking different forms of text communication were that they were easy or fast. Older respondents were more likely to give “not knowing how to” as a reason for not using particular forms of communication and would have liked more information about what text communication is available.

Monday, 10 December 2018


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I'm just saddened at the complete disinformation and bias this post has aired.  

All this 'hate' about CI's and the deaf that have them is not good an image for the sign user, or for its perceived culture. It's barely a step apart from the 'deaf wanabee' views of old.

It's hate messenging passed off as 'fact'. We know CI's do not restore perfect hearing it's old news, but advances are coming on a regular basis.  We should be happy for those deaf who now have some semblence of a world outside their silent own, and, the opportunities CI's will help them to achieve, including the deaf child able to advance far quicker than just left with poor and random sign educational tuition that isn't helping deaf much either.

In all this 'Audism' nonsense and bile, fact is in the mind of the writer more than anything.  As a blog to encourage unity, an absolute non-event, irrrelvance, and an annoyance.  Notwithstanding, a complete side-lining of parental input and view and an assault on choice. 

Omissions that born deaf adults have taken up CI's too are too inconvenient for them to include also are damning.  Even 80yr old born deaf taking them in the USA.  It is suggested near 60% young deaf now have them.  There is no proof they withdraw from the 'community' either, or, that this community objects to them.  The danger of 'purism'  is it becomes divisionist, and our deaf are too ostracised now.

Whilst the poster rants at CI's, a far different scenario is more a threat to such people, that of increasing success in mapping the genome sequences and identifying traits and issues that disable or kill.  By far this area offers an opportunity to prevent deaf being born via identitifcation of deafness genes, but, without re-sequencing options. Choice is then simple no baby or a deaf one.  

It should be pointed out the USA is the leader in such choice taking and already has prevented deaf baby births.  Deaf women have prevented disability births by choice.  Recently in china it is alleged gene splicing to remove deafness has already taken place.

Parents would want same choice, world-wide it affects far more than deafness.  The reality is that IF a parent has a viable choice for a deaf/disabled child (they don't at present and that's the issue), or, one with neither issue they will take the latter painful as it is to those for whom choice comes far too late.  

CI's are the last of your audism trouble.  It's not audist to offer the deaf alleviation from silence, its a gift. And, they are still deaf without them. So what's the beef? they don't 'look deaf'This is audism in reverse, deafism.

Virtual Interpreting project.

Sign Solutions Forced into access U-Turn?

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But still resisting captioned access.  Following ATR's complaint some BSL videos by SS were not captioned or subtitled they have agreed to provide a text narrative.  

Whilst ATR has reservations videos will STILL not be captioned directly.  What is the BSL justification for blocking access to videos direct by captioning and subtiling?  The 'Deaf' cannot read?  The 'deaf' don't want to know? But Sign Solutions is just one of many BSL areas that are not requesting inclusion of captioning for all.

Read Below:


Thank you for responding.

There will be English and welsh written translation when these clips are made live on website and press.  So accessible to all.

Clare Vale
Sign Solutions (SLIA), Ltd.


Still not happy as this still suggests a refusal to caption BSL output as a norm.  It doesn't answer the query, why they never offfered such access until ATR complained?  They would still have offered no access?  Also the videos were already live on youtube.

It appears a fudge/sop to access while  blocking captioning in reality.  ATR has noted a number of Public Informational health videos in BSL also not captioning output in Wales and even BSL interpreters endorsing and participating in this obstruction, but also a number of videos not having a  narrative for non signers to follow either,  including 2  sites blocked auto-captoning, others turned the sound off so it couldn't happen.  

It appears Sign Solutions is only providing a narrative  now because of the equality in Law of the welsh language, and not because SS wants to caption for other deaf.  This is by-passing inclusion as some 'sop' to culture, and/or a fear BSL cannot compete with text. If BSL users have a right to signed access, then so do text users, there is no opt out to access.