Sunday, 25 November 2018

From the Fringe.

Image result for Mental health support for the deaf
With access to mental health support issues. ATR is not convinced some deaf want support at least not the ones who DON'T need it anyway, but who are quite happy to demand types of access that make help more difficult to apply for their more vulnerable peers.

In the UK We had one group of cultural deaf insisting medical staff not only sign but have awareness of deaf culture via Milan etc, which I think is just making for more issues with deaf mental health.  

Your average deafie on the street knows or cares little about the 'oral-sign wars', of  the1880s they live in the now.  I cannot help thinking culture is beginning to be entirely negative for many deaf people. E.G. Where the UK rejected Deafhood as a mish-mash of incoherent ramblings, and the 20thc version of the Emporers New Clothes written in some obscure dialect, the USA grabbed it with both hands and sold their own version e.g. and they still cannot make it comprehensible.   

What is important is effective communication between Dr and Patient, everything else is a red herring.  E.G. To see able deaf with skills to communicate other than sign and/or able to bridge areas of communication to turn around and then stop doing that in the name of culture and demand sign only cultural only approaches, I think is undermining access for everyone else as systems attempt to accommodate them, mostly they can't.  It is as if these Deaf are determined to be martyrs and for a cause they can't define.

Meanwhile what constitutes mental health is the deaf seems to be up for grabs, because deaf are confused about what communication skills they need as opposed to listening to those who tell them to state a preference instead, regardless if practicable or viable.  More martyrs emerge.

The UK has many mental health support areas, most of which the deaf do not attempt to utilise, but instead demand 'conditions' from the medical staff diagnosing them that has little to do with mental health or communication but something else entirely, with all sorts of demands for 'specialisations' in deaf awareness that appear to change via who is asking for it.  In response, health professionals are opposing translators in the room via some vague interpretation of the Hippocratic oath leaving deaf patients unable to communicate or the Consultant. Still, there is always culture!!!

The Deaf world has no unity of approach on their own 'chosen/preferential' communication approaches, no signing normal standards and a determined opposition to compromise anywhere.  Increasing demands for Deaf-Only systems, run on 'cultural' grounds is chaotic, not really supported, and random too.  Most is driven by financial advantage and individual Kudos, and not practicalities.

What we see are hearing welfare/support workers standing IN for a Deaf patient because the signing is too ineffective to effectively diagnose.  This has meant many deaf patients being sectioned, drugged out of it, and isolated from family support too.  Cultural adherents need to start concentrating on effective communication, not own versions of it. 


Not Makaton, Not BSL but Lamh?

Do the deaf children need more confusion given the disablement at day one isn't just deafness?  A video went viral showing the reaction of a young boy to the actor Rob Delaney signing a bedtime story on the CBeebies channel.

Delaney wasn’t using British Sign Language – he was using something called Makaton. Here in Ireland, we have our own version of Makaton. It’s called Lámh, and while it’s based on Irish Sign Language, it’s a different form of signing. The team behind Lámh welcomed the excitement about Delaney’s CBeebies appearance, saying they hoped it would encourage Irish children’s television to feature Lámh.

“Lámh is a manual or keyword signing system for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and communication needs in Ireland,” explains Mary Cullen, manager of Lámh Developmental Office.

It’s a signing system as opposed to a sign language. Irish sign language is the natural sign language of the Deaf community in Ireland and has evolved naturally as a language – it wasn’t set up or created by anyone. While Irish Sign Language (ISL) is a complex language with grammar and a huge vocabulary, Lámh is different. It’s mainly for children and adults who have intellectual disabilities, to help them with communication. It is not strictly for people who are hearing impaired in some way. 

“Lámh was created in the early 1980s – it is a system of a small number of signs that are less complicated [than ISL],” says Cullen. She explains that it’s a system, rather than a language like ISL. 

Deaf boy’s campaign may force introduction of sign language

Image result for GCSE in BSLThe UK Government may introduce British Sign Language (BSL) as a GCSE thanks to one calculated deaf schoolboy. Daniel Jillings, 12, launched an online campaign for change – and the education department is taking notice.

The Department for Education (DfE) will now consider making an “exception” after Daniel’s family launched a legal challenge, saying the lack of a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) duration in BSL may be “discriminatory and unlawful.”  GSCEs are a qualification earned in a specific subject, typically taken by high school students aged 15–16, to qualify for the final two years of high school.

“There are many foreign language GCSEs available but as a Deaf BSL user, I cannot achieve a GCSE in these because of the speaking and listening exams,” Daniel wrote on his fundraising page. Daniel’s mother has consulted with lawyers who believe the lack on a BSL duration may equal discrimination and be against the law.

The addition of a BSL duration would allow deaf children like Daniel to take an extra language in lieu of the ones they are presently excluded from and will allow different students to learn BSL – making the community more inclusive of deaf people as a result.  Previously, the DfE has said no new GCSEs would be introduced within this parliament, but it appears the UK public may witness one of those (quite common) backflips due to public pressure.

ATR: As regards to any confirmation from the DfE, they are still saying it may 'consider' in the future, there is no time-scales set and no promise of a BSL GCSE debate as yet.  Those BSL areas suggesting a BSL norm at day one of education are not going to get it.  This request is for 15-16yr old deaf youths.  

ATR does not believe there is much point to this given the mainstream is still unwilling to accommodate BSL use and the supportive area to empower BSL use isn't there, or teachers trained, which means a class for GCSE may well not be viable either.  Would we just see GCSE classes with just 2 or 3 deaf in them? and only in areas able to provide the staff to make it work?  This article came via Wales (UK), which has already, a dire shortage  OF BSL support on the street.

There are also challenges on BSL teaching where teaching staff of BSL lack the appropriate teaching qualifications of the curriculum.   This is just opposed on cultural grounds, where advocates want to dispense with the grammar side of English, which means the young deaf would be better signers but still unable to access the college/Uni tuition because of issues reading the coursework.

Doctor hears again after 30yrs deaf.

Professor Hamilton with his cochlear implant
A doctor's hearing has returned after 30 YEARS of being profoundly deaf A new hearing world has opened up to the 60-year-old thanks to new cochlear implant.

After helping heal patients despite being profoundly deaf, a Devon doctor can now hear again. For nearly 30 years professor Willie Hamilton was able to continue his career by lip-reading and relying on his wife or colleagues to help with phone calls. Professor Hamilton now enjoying the sounds of Dartmoor with his wife Ali.

Now a new hearing world has opened up to the 60-year-old thanks to new cochlear implant. Prof Hamilton said: “I always explain my deafness when I met patients, but now for the first time in 29 years after not hearing a thing, I can hear. “It’s just the people who have to listen to me that now have to suffer.” His hearing loss began after qualifying as a doctor in 1982, and with the help of hearing aids he was able to continue living a normal life. 

However, following a cochlear implant, a deep-seated infection in 2000 meant his hearing deteriorated further. Despite surgically successful re-implantation in his ear, the infection had damaged the inner ear causing further hearing loss year on year. 

Lip reading became Prof Hamilton’s way of communicating, together with FaceTime video calls and having colleagues who could take calls for him. In November 2017, he received his life-changing cochlear implant and he describes the first phone call he made without the need of a translator or visual aid to lip read as having felt ‘amazing’.