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.