Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Bias in the deaf community...

Good to see the silliness and bias of some Deaf views exposed, but it tends to make them more defensive about their ignorance sadly, so they retreat inwardly convinced they are being attacked by hearies or something.  

What these people need to understand is they display the very discriminatory attitudes they despise from others.  If such a  community exists, (and I don't think it does in relative terms), it is like we use the net to communicate to many parts of the world, they sign or not, we do or not, etc, but, we are never going to meet up with them or even socialise with them, and may well have issues so doing, then this area needs an educational program to sort out this bias against progress and inclusive policies, and oppositions to choice based on nothing much at all except it isn't your choice.  What DEAF have to do, is come out here.

The HoH experience

Virtual Signing avatars

Related image
Has to be a step up from face-pulling interpreters!  The region's largest provider of human capital information systems - MenaITech along with Mind Rockets Inc., a Jordan-based startup creating assistive technologies, developed a solution for deaf and hard of hearing employees. Through this collaboration, MenaITech users can have access to a virtual sign-language interpreter that translates on-screen content to sign language.

The system translates text on MenaITech's website and MenaME® platform - the employee and manager self-service gateway, to sign language for users who are deaf or hard of hearing, which allows users to access HR services such as leave and vacation requests, attendance and departure records, salary-slips and can easily manage their HR functions from anywhere in the world. MenaITech is the first HCIS company in the region to provide this feature to its clients and the general public.

CEO of MenaITech, Dr Bashar Hawamdeh commented, "We believe that technology should serve all people to help them accomplish more, whether in their professional or daily lives." He elaborated, "Working with Mind Rockets not only represents our drive to implement innovative technology, but also our ongoing commitment to make our systems more accessible to a greater number of people in addition to creating a more inclusive digital world in the region."

Mind Rockets system has been implemented on MenaITech's MenaME®, which allows users to access HR services such as leave and vacation requests, attendance and departure records, salary-slips and other core HR functions. With Mind Rockets services, employees who are deaf or hard of hearing can easily manage their HR functions from anywhere in the world.

The best thing about being deaf

John Cradden at Deaf Village Ireland in Cabra, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
You tend to lose contact with reality and wear your underpants outside your clothes by the look of it.  All of a sudden the deaf become disabled as well (You have to fess up if you want to write to a disability magazine or claim a disability benefit)... .  

Any 'social capital' has to be entirely relative surely?  Is this area becoming some sort of cult?  The reality, is that being unable to hear your own child, isn't really positive at all, cannot easily be shrugged off or joked about.  We are all for the positive spin, but not at the expense of truth.  True, the deaf get deafer when it's their round!  Being deaf isn't a positive for most, it's a life-long curse for many, including deaf who develop serious mental health issues, that don't get addressed by making jokes about it, this plays into the cultist deaf area of negativity.  For every happy signer there are a 100 far from happy other deaf.  I'd like to see this man now put the reverse side of the coin.

What are the good things about being deaf? Let me count the ways (Elizabeth Barrett Browning ...): 

I can pretend not to hear when someone tries to reminds me it’s my round; I can easily tune out of the cacophony generated in my home by my young children; and – best of all – I always get a good, uninterrupted night’s sleep.

I’m sure other writers in the Platform series will jokingly point to the incidental benefits of their own disabilities. But I say “jokingly” because most these so-called positives can’t be taken seriously; they serve merely to take the edge off things, or add humour to our stories, rather than balance out the many negatives of trying to navigate a world built almost exclusively for the able-bodied.

I could also point to a benefit of a different kind, which is knowing Irish sign language (ISL) and being a member of the strong-knit Irish deaf community. The beauty of this is that all the positives that accrue from knowing ISL and being part of the deaf community is not confined to deaf people.

To borrow a term coined by prominent Irish deaf academic Dr John Bosco Conama, ISL has valuable “social capital”.