Friday, 9 November 2018

Deaf Connect get funding cuts...

Image result for Deaf Connect, based at the Dallington Spencer Community Centre
Isn't the real answer demanding the right to use existing advice areas? Specialisation means isolation.  The at odds system where deaf demand deaf access on their terms and in specialised supported surroundings, only undermines their other (Alleged primary), demand for access to the same as everyone else.  You have half demanding universal access for all deaf and HoH and the other half demanding deaf-only areas, get it sorted!

Deaf Connect in Spencer is facing having its funding cut by a quarter if the county council removes its yearly grant.  A Northampton service which helps around 300 deaf people in the county live independently could have its funding cut by the county council.

Deaf Connect, based at the Dallington Spencer Community Centre, helps put its users in touch with lip-reading classes, helps them to call vital services such as schools and doctors' surgeries and runs a job club among a long list of services. But as part of its ongoing funding review Northamptonshire County Council is to consider cutting the £18,000-a-year grant it gives to the service.

Chief executive Joanna Steer says the loss of the money, a quarter of its overall budget, will have a huge impact. "That will mean I'll have to consider cutting a member of staff - then how the heck are we going to deliver services moving forward?"  "Our demand is just getting bigger."

Deaf Connect runs a regular drop-in service for severely hearing-impaired people in the county to resolve a wide range of problems and operates with just 12 largely part-time members of staff.

You say To-ma-to I say Po-tay-to?

The author saying "I love you" in American Sign Language.
The trick is to not fall into the labels quagmire, or get sucked into challenging your own ID by those who can not do anything else.  Us Hybrid deaf don't need the angst the rest seem obsessed with.

I’m too hard of hearing to be considered part of the hearing world, but I’m not deaf enough to be considered part of the Deaf world. 

I was born with a moderate bilateral high-frequency hearing loss. According to my family, I had enough hearing to adapt to the hearing world and attend mainstream school. I struggled through school, not only to hear my teachers ― some of whom begged for my parents to get me hearing aids ― but also to hear my classmates. I felt isolated and disconnected from people most of the time, even though my mother is deaf and the Deaf world was part of my life. 

I experienced the jokes, bullying and rejections of growing up hard of hearing in a world where everyone can hear. Yet I did learn how to adapt to the hearing world. I learned to read lips, decipher body language, and find patterns in daily activities to predict conversations. (People are predictable.) I even use reading to learn new words so it will be easier for me to grasp words within conversations. 

I’m grateful that I understand at least 85 percent of most conversations around me. I can glide around mainstream culture and act as if I have normal hearing even if I’m not wearing my hearing aids. If I’m not wearing my hearing aids, I pretend I can hear everything when I really don’t, just to be part of the hearing world. The truth is I miss words and nod to inaudible conversations while smiling. Sometimes, I depend on other people to tell me what’s going on. On most days, that works. I use my phone flash for notifications and captions to watch TV. I ask people to repeat themselves, and I can’t follow a group conversation in a noisy restaurant. 

I can’t walk and listen at the same time. I need to see a person’s face to get the full conversation. I have to strain to hear certain voices ― like children’s ― even if I have hearing aids. The aftermath is that I get exhausted more easily. Then I avoid these necessary social interactions, even if I want to be a part of them. These challenges leave me feeling isolated, lonely and fatigued. The truth is I miss words and nod to inaudible conversations while smiling. Sometimes, I depend on other people to tell me what’s going on. I don’t feel like I fit into the hearing world. But I don’t fit into the Deaf world either.