Monday, 18 February 2019

Cuts to BSL make me ANGRY!!!

One way to  preserve support setups is to cease the over specialisation on particular modes, there are many deaf people who don't sign, many many others with hearing loss and needing alternatives, this suggests if a collective approach to support was in operation, areas would be more likely to fund that approach, mainly because sign is so minor an area regular help and usage can never be guaranteed.  

You can see much funding being poured into systems that aren't long-term viable and have too few deaf using them.  The writer fails to identify BSL users are virtually the ONLY deaf area with a national support extant.

They are costing us all too much money frankly and too many other areas are being ignored.  This can be offset by widening 'Deaf' awareness to people who don't just sign, winding up BSL charities, and replacing them with proper and inclusive support staff. 

Then there is more regular work available to maintain such a support system, and more inclusive too.  This suggestion is very widely supported by emergency systems e.g. who feel we and they would benefit from a 'one-stop' support area they can access and kill off complaints such systems are denying support to most with hearing loss.

At present, there are virtually NO dedicated support systems for Hard of Hearing, deafened, lip-readers, or text dependents,  a huge and potentially unmet need that could and should be addressed.  Less of the BSL hard-luck outbursts and start developing an inclusive support area instead.

Reading the said article the writer has already identified why such huge support for BSL is needed, maybe addressing that issue should come first? Mostly, it's shutting the door after the proverbial horse has already bolted... continually justifying areas that make access more and more difficult.   Deaf education is failing deaf people, and they want more failures as a right.

The Article:

I’m angry. In fact, I am incandescent. It’s said that the measure of a civilised society is how it treats its members with different needs. 

And today, in Worcester, we are failing to be civilised. Imagine getting a letter from your GP asking you to book an appointment by phone. Not so easy, as we know.  How many of us have waited and waited to speak to someone at the doctor’s surgery, patiently going through the indecipherable number of options: “Press 17 if you want to talk about your varicose veins!”. Now imagine that you live alone and are Deaf. 

Your main language is BSL (British Sign Language) and you can’t use the phone. So how do you book an appointment? It's even harder (or in fact, impossible). You see how the things we take for granted become barriers for those with specific needs. I’ve even heard cases of friends or interpreters phoning on the persons behalf only to be told that they cannot give the information because of confidentiality! 

But imagine it is even worse than that. Imagine you need to go to Accident and Emergency. Or someone needs to explain to you the complexities of your operation. Or that your benefits are being threatened and you need to fill out a form that is not in your language (just as BSL is different from English). 

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