Friday, 29 March 2019

Deaf Arts and Access to work, is it a scam?

ATR expresses concern recent increases to access to work support costs are being utilised to not advance empowerment of the deaf into wider access employment areas, but instead, being utilised to promote own cultural aspirations, and A2W is still not proving itself as a viable access medium for the deaf, and given the primary beneficiaries are in areas outside the Hearing domain and lesser being used to include the deaf outside it.  

Should A2W benefits have conditions of wider inclusion attached to it?  To prove the allowance is enhancing that wider acceptance?  To ensure the Deaf embrace the access mantra of support given as it was intended?

We often wonder if spending near £60K a year to hold down a job could be put to better use frankly.  Perhaps better education and communication approaches for the deaf so they don't need so much support?   ATR spent 2/3rds of his working life with no support at all let alone paid help to assist.  Today NI gave just one group there £16,000 to promote more BSL to the deaf area, despite the huge costs in enabling its use (admitted somewhat belatedly by the DWP).  Deaf still cost the most to support.

ATR hasn't yet done a real survey but:-

(A) Who are these deaf claiming maximum A2W allowances?

(B) What 'jobs' are they actually doing?  

(C) Who is making the real money?  The terps? the charities? Just the arts areas in major cities?

(D)  How far is the A2W allowance proving a real gateway to wider inclusion?

A bugbear of ATR are the  'deaf arts' luvvies, who did most of the complaining about support caps on A2W. A2W  being more about underpinning the cultural aspiration than empowering the deaf to move out into the world or learning wider necessary skills.  Less than .002% of deaf people are in that arts area.  A2W in that respect is unhelpful to most.

ATR contributing to one deaf site and pointed out a fair proportion of the site members were in the deaf arts area and claiming A2W grants, some getting the help to advise hearing to sign, and duly got banned for asking these questions.  Members there would not justify A2W in inclusive terms, despite admitting not wanting part of the hearing world or to work in it(!), as it is 'too hard for the deaf.'  So they co-exist reluctantly with 'Disabled' because the funding had those strings.  A wider query ought to ask why disabled/deaf funding was that exclusive?

You have to in it to win it holds true.  A2W in ATR's view has been about empowering deaf culture, and not empowering deaf to move out into the wider world to advance skills, it is not even mentioned in the rules about qualifying for it in terms.  It was designed to empower deaf people to manage outside own areas to progress and enjoy wider inclusion with support, the Deaf have seen this as an excuse to capitalise instead in cultural progress via the arts and maintaining own areas, enhancing their own status quo, while still is reluctant to embrace real inclusion.

At the Deaf Club..


Access to Justice for the Deaf Inquiry.

Its rather a shame the ECHR is involved as it is a disgraced organisation, that has many anti-human rights/Anti-women members. An organisation the United Kingdom wants out of via Brexit, and criticised by the USA too.

Deaf/Disabled to get £1130 a week to work.

From 1 April 2019, workers can claim up to £59,200 annually from the Government to help support them in the workplace
And wages, WOW!  There is a catch but can you spot it?

Million of employees with long-term health conditions and disabilities will be able to benefit from up to £59,200 a year to assist them at work, with the grant increasing next month. 

From 1 April 2019, those who qualify will be able to claim up to £59,200 annually from the Government's Access to Work benefit to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace. Access to Work provides financial support to ensure someone's disability or health condition doesn't hold them back at work. This includes providing adjustable desks, special IT equipment and voice-recognition software. From 1 April 2019, workers can claim up to £59,200 annually from the Government to help support them in the workplace

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: 'Access to Work provides tailored support to thousands across the country, ensuring a disability or health condition is not a barrier to achieving someone's career aspirations. 'By extending this grant even more people can benefit from this personalised scheme, and more disabled people can thrive in the workplace.' 

A spokesperson from the DWP said: 'The cap has been updated in line with the annual survey of hours and earnings published by the Office for National Statistics. 'The cap is set at two times the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees.' Disability facts and figures · There are over 11 million people with long term illnesses, impairment or disability in the UK · Impairments that affect mobility, lifting or carrying are the most common. 

Prevalence of disability rises with age. Around six per cent of children are disabled compared to 16 per cent of working age adults and 45 per cent of adults over State Pension Age (66). It's claimed that now even more people will be able to benefit, especially those from the deaf community who can get British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters through the scheme. 

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Conwy Translation and Support services.

Local authorities removing fiance for deaf support is the norm now, bearing in mind, those who don't use sign language and are deaf never had it anyway. Where is their support still?  Is the Welsh assembly using funds to discriminate by format used?  The irony of using sign language and subtitles that non-signers cannot get access to anyway. One acquired deaf person has never had text access or lip-spoken access because his partner had sign support already.   Effectively using one partner's mode to prevent the other from obtaining theirs. They also refused access for deaf parents to have assistance to visit a son in care because 'It's social access, and we aren't obliged to empower the deaf with that...'  Clearly, they aren't feeling any obligation to provide deaf with BSL either now.


Staff at the University of Birmingham have been investigating humans’ capacity to communicate without speech and relying only in their gestures, and how comprehensible these body movements are to an interlocutor. 

Dr Gerardo Ortega at the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham and Professor Asli Özyürek at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands created a database of gestures by investigating how people represent certain concepts with their hands and body. Different people were presented with words like ‘spoon’, ‘eating’, ‘pyramid’, ‘deer’ and they had to produce a spontaneous gesture to represent the same word. 

The study found that instead of producing different gestures, people were surprisingly systematic and for some concepts, they made the same gesture. For example, for ‘spoon’ most people produced the action of bringing a spoon to the mouth. For ‘pyramid’, most people traced a triangular shape. An interesting finding is that most of the times, people used actions to represent all concepts. Instead of tracing shapes in the air there was a high prevalence of gestures showing how the body interacts with the concept they are referring to. 

Dr Gerardo Ortega said: "When we think of language we immediately think of a spoken or written word whose orthography and meaning can be searched in a dictionary. But the reality is that humans developed the capacity of language during face-to-face interactions where the body is a fundamental tool to express a message. If you are in a noisy bar, you’d probably produce a gesture recreating the action of bringing a glass to the mouth to tell your friend that you’d like a pint. 

This example shows that we have the capacity to communicate without relying on speech and using our bodies. Gestures have this communicative power because they have the property of iconicity: they recreate the form of the concept people are talking about." 

Note: One gesture they could include equally valid... do they actually pay people to state the obvious?

Image result for two finger gesture

Brexit or Bust.: The shame of 'Deaf' involvement.

Image result for bexitRemainers cannot agree to stay either.  Deaf or Hearing! The disgraceful political shenanigans and pointless remainer protests still carry on as the UK plunges to new lows after the demand for MP's to 'Take Control' of Brexit negotiations via 8 options descended to chaos too and resulted in all 8 'alternatives' getting no consensus.  But the sun is shining the weather's good, let's march!

For those who want a deaf UK angle we recommend you don't, they are blatant and oppressive disinformation sites that block Brexit responses and oppose free speech.  We deplore pro-deaf remainer sites leading the disinformation dissemination, hey ho they are from London too!  Probably the same people who attack CI's, alleviations, genetic research and approaches to education too... while supporting a Russian sympathiser and terrorist friend who is anti-Semitic and who would refuse to defend our country in the case of a hostile attack on us.  Deaf groups worship him because they are stupid too.

As for marching the streets, the claim of 1m was challenged allegedly, as false and nearer 300,000 and the 5m who posted to a petition was challenged as ably assisted by 'bots' to flesh out the opposition in as much as it is all 'fake news'.  Notwithstanding no petition in recent memory has ever succeeded in parliament.  There are no facts, only opinions and who you believe.  

Mrs May is still the only person WITH a plan on leaving the European Union the EU itself agrees with, after yesterdays' obvious display of disunity and a disgraceful plea by Komrad Korbyn to ask for schoolkids to vote to get him in, Mrs May used him as a doormat and resident loony...

Now they are, despite the clock still ticking toward April 12th, arguing and planning for a new PM or election.  It is  London and the MP's against the UK electorate.   MP's who have defied the voter, their leaders, a national referendum decision, and their own party manifestos.  drunk with the power they have, but drunk all the same with all the nonsense and incoherence that goes with it.

What if pro-EU wins? Do we all adopt the same view it makes no difference what a majority is,  we want a re-run again until we win again?  After all that is what remainers are demanding, we could be arguing till doomsday and enmeshed with relentless 'people's' Votes which yesterday too they couldn't agree with!   If you want to remain you have to be happy being a laughing stock in Europe and told when to wipe your own backside.  Who will they replace Mrs May WITH? given none of the MP's or parties we see can agree on anything?  You would need to replace those there first.  They all accept a new election will result in the same thing happening again.

Unless Parliament is dissolved and a new constitution is put in place that prevents the idiots and incompetents ruling us it will just be more of the same.   Enough is enough and a majority voted to leave the EU if we reject majority decisions in favour of minorities where is the hope for democracy?  A country run by the hashtag cultists and Snowflakes?  God forbid we end up like the USA where extremes run the place.  As for sites like Limping Chicken a travesty of fair play and sheer Bias supported by charities with a vested interest, and pro-remainers, posters with obvious bias, does nobody check?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

As its a no-news day...

Britain’s only deaf full-time football coach

Ben Lampert says: ‘Deaf people can do anything – they just can’t hear.’
From what ATR can see even home-grown UK hearing talent is taking second place to foreign imported players.  I suspect hiring a deaf player for no other purpose but he or she is deaf isn't on. 

Ben Lampert, who works with Brentford and England’s deaf team, wants a place for deaf players and coaches in the professional game.

Ben Lampert, who played for the England and Great Britain deaf teams, says: ‘Deaf people can do anything – they just can’t hear.’ Ben props up an iPad on a table in a Griffin Park lounge and loads FaceTime. At the other end of the call is a British sign language (BSL) interpreter who enables Lampert, born profoundly deaf, to conduct this interview about his work as the only deaf full-time football coach in Britain. 

Lampert’s primary role is at Brentford FC Community Trust but he also took a job as the England deaf football team’s assistant coach recently. After a 15-year playing career during which he represented England and Great Britain across the world, winning gold at the Deaflympics in Melbourne, he is helping inspire the next generation before the European Championship in Crete this summer. 

Lampert’s can-do attitude is clear, his mantra throughout this conversation is simply: “Why not?” In the same way that he speaks so optimistically about Brentford’s chances of lifting the Championship trophy next season, he shares the positivity when asked whether there could be a deaf professional footballer in Britain any time soon. “I can’t see why it can’t happen, but only if the clubs are deaf aware,” he says. “They have to know about the communication. 

A professional deaf player would be a huge statement for the deaf community. There are deaf players out there but they just need the opportunities. The problem is that people get judged. They think you can’t do it and they tend to be a bit patronising. We need to take that away and judge people on their skills and ability rather than their deafness. It is similar to foreign managers in the Premier League who cannot speak English. They have to use an interpreter to translate and it would be the same for a deaf person. If you speak Spanish, you might need an interpreter and it would be the same for deaf people. It should be possible. That is my big dream.” 

How do the deaf and HoH contact 999?

Seems the minister and MP have no idea despite every major police force in the UK has a text access system already!  Even some with BSL access.  The primary issue is no demand for a national BSL aka 999 system from the deaf.  It's 'access for access sake..' rather than an unmet demand.  It should also be noted Deaf have refused to register for 999 services access on the premise hearing don't have to, so why should they?  Completely missing the point the police would need to know what formats they were using to assist them.


Monday, 25 March 2019

Curing Deaf Canutes

ATR despairs at THIS BLOGGER and those like them that use any excuse to rail against assisting those with hearing loss, or even this case which was about repairing a hearing patient's middle ear after a car accident and had nothing to do with deaf culture or undermining it.

ATR suggests the errant blogger reads the items it comments on and not abuse the item and spread disinformation so that worried deaf believe their culture is under threat.  Next time deaf break a leg he will suggest it is anti-culture to have it seen to perhaps?

It's OK to have a view, but make it an informed one!

Deaf kids, then and Now.

Paddy Ladd: For one night only.

After the debacle of deaf waiting over 2 hours for the streaming to start and captioning stopping and starting, deaf were fed this rubbish, instead of learning the BDA was on the skids and losing what members it still had whilst facing funding issues. Sell them the cultural angle instead.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Anti-Democracy marchers in London.

Protesters at the People's Vote march

How a million misguided anti-democracy marchers made a fool of themselves and ignored the reality of the  EU approach to freedom of speech of demanding marchers must ID themselves first before they can march, and, French troops given live rounds when facing marchers, is this the future UK people want?  The collective madness of those who want to stay in the European Union is out of control.

The UK democracy is based on 'first past the post.' in that the candidates or issues that gain the most support win the day, in the USA this follows that same premise (to an extent!).  What we see in the UK is those that LOSE the vote demanding re-runs because they didn't like losing.  ONLY in the UK does this happen because their political representatives (For or against), have refused to respect the vote, their party, their leadership, or accept any sort of deal except one they cannot agree on, nor the EU will anyway.

The response has been 'let us keep voting until the result is with the minority'.  Stay and accept the UK no longer runs itself, and pays billions for the privilege whilst Germany and France carved up the spoils?  The UK saw no 28 European reps just videos of Mrs Merkle and Macon.  We know who really runs the EU, a defeated 3rd Reich.  We cannot stay in the EU? and we cannot leave?  What sort of decision is that...  The UK could face street strife as a result.  Why vote if politicians have no intention of respecting it?  London isn't the UK. 17m voted to leave.

The Echo...

Trial to reverse deafness to start soon...

World first transplanted middle ear.

Cured the deaf.  Those who are afflicted with deafness usually have no choice but to live with it. Granted hearing aids have improved greatly over the years, but in terms of a full-on cure, that is still something a little out of reach, or at least until recently. 

According to a press release put out by the South African Government (via Disclose.TV), it seems that doctors in the region have performed the first-ever middle ear transplant which in turn has cured a patient of deafness. Through the use of 3D printed middle ear bones developed by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Health, it seems that they have successfully cured the deafness of the patient involved, allowing him to hear again after his middle ear was damaged in a car accident. 

According to Tshifularo, “By replacing only the ossicles that aren’t functioning properly, the procedure carries significantly less risk than known prostheses and their associated surgical procedures. We will use titanium for this procedure, which is biocompatible. We use an endoscope to do the replacement, so the transplant is expected to be quick, with minimal scarring.” The best part about this surgery is that it can be performed on anyone and everyone, including new-borns who might be born deaf. 

It also reduces the chance of facial nerve paralysis which can occur if the facial nerve that passes through the middle ear space is damaged during traditional surgery. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Charity 'Battle Bus' to aid deaf children.

Is nobody asking why schools are being asked to accept charity to educate and support deaf children?  I thought education was a right... ATR is pretty certain the BDA and AOHL did this too.

The National Deaf Children’s charity has received a £39,000 grant expand the reach of its mobile high tech classroom into more schools across the UK. The grant has been awarded by Scottish Power Foundation to ensure that the charity’s eight-ton purple lorry, which turns into a high-tech classroom for staging workshops for pupils and showcasing specialist new technology, can visit more schools across Scotland over the next year. 

The money will be used to train more charity staff to deliver workshops, which feature digital inclusion technology such as a vibrating alarm clock. During 2018 the high tech classroom visited 15 schools in Scotland, meeting 150 deaf children and 1,400 of their hearing peers. “This incredibly generous grant will help us to continue taking our roadshow around the UK, said Kerry Ross, who manages the Deaf Children’s charity’s Roadshow. “In the past year we have made over 100 school visits, run over 500 workshops and met nearly 2,000 deaf children around the UK. 

“This year, thanks to the support of the Scottish Power Foundation, we have ambitious plans to see even more schools and even more children. We are working harder than ever to help empower deaf children and raise awareness of deafness among their friends, family and teachers. “When a deaf child is struggling with their confidence, independence or communication, a visit from the Roadshow can make a real difference. We want to remind every deaf child that they have incredible potential and should be aiming high. “With the right support, they can do anything other children can do.” 

Among those visited by the high-tech classroom is Molly, a deaf pupil at Lochinver Primary School. “I was buzzing after the bus came to my school,” she said. “It was great for my friends to see some of the things I have to help me, like the vibrating alarm clock to get up in the morning. All my friends thought the technology was really cool.” 

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Story SIgn...

For Or Against Deaf community membership?

Image result for for or againstHard of Hearing respond to ATR...

#1 I’m one hard of hearing guy joined the Deaf Community and became a member of deaf clubs. Hearing loss is the same regardless. The issue is to understand Deaf culture. That’s the only difference. Now I’m involved in advocating for a deaf organization as well as a member of a local HLAA Chapter.

#2 I would be hesitant because I don’t think I would fully be accepted.

#3 I felt that but most deaf are really nice. The only rule is to accept their Deaf culture.

#4 I want to clarify I did to say I did not think they where nice people I just don't think I would be accepted. I wouldn't even know how to begin going to a deaf club. I also want to respond to your comment about " Not everyone will accept the deaf culture". I personally accept everyone and anyone that's a good person. Personally, since I have found out I'm hearing impaired I notice how others treat the hearing impaired & it makes me very sad they are impatient with them. I also see how the hearing impaired might tend to withdraw because of this. This is all just my humble opinion.

#5  I do not know sign language, so I do not think such clubs would accept me. But: I would if there were courses for SL, for instance. Or if those clubs were more hard of hearing, when one could discuss things together in different ways.

#6 Deaf people taught me sign language. If you are interested, there will those who love to teach only in social settings. That’s the best place to learn. Not just in the classes.

#7 I would LOVE to be in the deaf community and plan to be when I learn to sign.

#8 I’m a board member for a deaf nonprofit and I also help run Greater Columbus HLAA Chapter. I try to be involved as much as I can.

#9 Not if the only thing in common is hearing loss. I'm in this FB group. That'll do. Never had anything to do with the so-called Deaf 'culture'.

#10 My problem is I do not use sign language. It's already hard enough to adapt to the hearing world. I don't want to use more time to try to adapt to the deaf world. What we need is a group for the in-betweeners. The hard of hearing/deaf who live in hearing world culture. I've already done enough of trying to adapt. Just want to be accepted for me as I am.

#11 Same here! I’m living in the hearing world all my life. Hardly have any deaf/hard of hearing friends. All my friends are hearing and I’m happy to be part of their world

#12 Not everyone will accept the Deaf culture. That’s fine.  We all have one thing in common. The inability to hear. I can hear well with hearing aids. Without them, I’m deaf.

#13  It bugs me when I see people using is written ASL rather than English. Don't Deaf schools teach written English? If students need to submit any assignment, whether college essays or job applications, it is a skill they must have.

#14 It is always difficult to address why there are diverse areas within the hearing loss and deafness ones. Diversity means we are entitled to own choices and give reasons for those. The reality as the blog pointed out, is already a remit exists that recognises that diversity. However, the way that remit is used is not strictly adhering to that diversity concept and tends to attempt encompassing all. Of course those hard of hearing who do choose to learn sign language and enter deaf clubs will know what the price of that is, there is no such thing as something for free. If hearing loss already isolates to a huge degree then the prospect of some social interaction and community looks a welcome positive. 

#15 You are isolated already what's to lose? What needs to be taken into account is the life long members of those clubs had no options or very few others, they won't welcome those joining deaf clubs because nobody else will accept or include them, they aren't a 'consolation prize' for the failed acceptance by others!

#16 The reality is most clubs only exist in the city or concentrated areas of the population so outside of that choice is relative. Putting own cards on the table accepting hard of hearing lifestyles mean this doesn't include cultural deaf and signing areas. Should we not just accept the reality anyway and enhance own choices? It doesn't have to be part of or not of anything and it doesn't mean unacceptance, horses for courses. 

#17 The UK has no HI/Hard of Hearing system of support of any note, the USA version portrays Hard of Hearing with an ASL 'front' as being 'inclusive' HoH don't see it that way.  That was ATR's annoyance with the 'Deaf & HoH' remit, which the blogger claims was being widely abused, even the USA areas fail to clarify, suggesting a unity that isn't really proven at all.  Yes we all have hearing loss, but, there it tends to end.  There is no HoH 'community'.

#18 The die is cast already apart from the few who believe sign language is their own particular salvation.  The HoH prefer own ways of dealing with it.  Mostly, this will not mean going to deaf clubs or adopting sign language.  OK, these deaf have a culture, so? how is that relevant to us?   It's pointless suggesting this is 'anti-culture' or something.  The ATR blog tends to be contentious, I don't always agree with it, but if that's the only way to address issues I suppose you have to risk it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Welcoming Hard of Hearing to Deaf clubs?

 John Cradden (right) signing with Amanda Mohan   at the Deaf Village Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
A common statistic quoted by organisations working for deaf and hard of hearing people is that about one in 10 of us has a hearing loss to some degree. 

That’s a lot of people. Of course, the condition of having a hearing loss can range from very mild loss to profound deafness, with far, far more people experiencing losses at the milder end of the scale. Indeed, according to Chime, (formerly Deafhear), about 300,000 adults here have a “significant” loss (meaning moderate or greater), and only half of them have ever gone for a hearing test, never mind be prescribed hearing aids. 

By contrast, it is estimated that there are about 5,000 who use Irish sign language (ISL) as their first or preferred language, and who would tend to be predominantly – but not exclusively – profoundly deaf. It’s always struck me that, of those deaf or hard of hearing people who choose to be part of any community of people who all share a similar disability, they would gravitate to either the strong, closely-knit deaf community or one of a number of hard of hearing support groups or organisations. 

ATR Comment:  "But you DO have to learn sign language.  Statistics worldwide suggest that despite deaf signers being outnumbered 100s, or 1000s to 1 by others with a hearing loss, there has been little or no attempt to integrate with them in their clubs.  The annoyance still remains of Deaf people using the 1 in 10 stat when it does not include them to gather support for their own area where HoH are not.  The article looks more like a veiled plea to save a diminishing Deaf community by opening the doors to people, who on the face of it, would prefer not to use sign language or support deaf cultural aims or directions either.  Both areas are currently polarised by the clinical v disability approaches and as a preference, and these are the primary divisions that prevent real integration, also, HoH would prefer to reintegrate with hearing.  

ATR has covered numerous debates as to "Where are the HoH now?"  as their previous campaigns to get access via their modes appears to have ceased or barely registering.  Many suggest the reason is technology has replaced access campaigns almost entirely.  Other less advertised 'contentional' views are an aversion to sign itself, and being re-identified as Deaf.   Mutual acceptance hiding a multitude of real sins by omission.

Most have already accepted polarised support, charitable and social systems too.  While there is no direct 'conflict' between the minority and majority areas, there are still skirmishes and some heated disagreements on how to approach issues of hearing loss and profound deafness, CI's and the closure of deaf schools just two of them, the 'cure' being another.  HoH etc would be asking what is in it for us? and would deaf adapt as they expect HoH to?  There is no indication deaf signers would adapt to HoH social aspects and even suggestions it isn't possible hence why they are inviting others in instead of them moving outward.

Sadly an acceptance the twain does not meet combined with a pretty pathetic 'cest la vie' attitude that accepts integration isn't currently possible or preferred, still reigns supreme.  The only level we see some partial 'integration' is via deaf clubs with predominantly aged and infirm people.  These are a struggle to maintain because they aren't managing to survive, LA's closing them down for cost purposes.  The Deaf community has lost over 376 in the last 20 years mainly due to local authorities withdrawing funding for them too, and deaf unable to pay their way to keep them open.

The deaf culture such as it was, remained very reliant on the system paying their rents and building clubs for them, and that is no longer viable.  The nature of deaf clubs led to many a downfall, because of the nomadic nature of memberships of deaf clubs, deaf would go from one to another to maintain their socialising, but the last 10 years Local authorities demanded they would only fund for deaf living within their areas and insisted other areas have to provide for their own deaf.  This exposed the reality where only a minority of deaf signers existed and were supported by deaf from other areas, meant in some case an 80% reduction in deaf people a local Authority was obliged to support.  100s of clubs closed overnight because locally there wasn't enough to maintain a club for.

HoH clubs were/are notorious for being unable to attract members at all.  Many struggled to get 10 through the door once a month.  HoH don't want clubs just for them.  Some LA's started demanding Deaf clubs  HAD to accept HoH and hearing as members, or funds would be withdrawn citing such clubs were discriminating.  It was only stopped because the culture card was used.   The HoH view fed into the reluctance to go to deaf clubs too.  It is said the HoH still do not see the value of sign language to them because the deaf area remains isolated despite its use.  The Deaf community has never managed to attract HoH, is it far too late to start now?

ATR would question if it is the hard of hearing obligation to save the deaf community."

Testing your hearing loss in the 1950s...

In this photo, psychologist Mr P C Kendall is seen banging a drum beside the ear of a young girl in a rudimentary hearing test at the Department of Education of the Deaf
A series of fascinating photographs has revealed a behind-the-scenes look at the former Department of Education of the Deaf. The department, which was in Manchester until 1955, is shown in black and white photos taken around three years before it shut. 

The pictures show children interacting with medical professionals and parents at what is believed to have been the first facility of its kind in the UK. In one strange image, a psychologist, Mr P C Kendall, bangs a drum beside the ear of a young girl in what appears to have been a rudimentary hearing test. 

Other photos show a boy playing with farm animals as he is having his hearing assessed, and a 14-month-old child being taught to lipread by her mother. Another shot shows a little girl fiercely concentrating on her wooden toy as a woman tinkers with the testing equipment in the background. The Department of Education of the Deaf was a department of the University of Manchester and the first of its kind in the UK, according to a report published in the British Journal of Educational Studies in 1956. 

It was founded by Sir James E Jones, a cotton merchant from Lancashire whose son, Ellis, was born deaf. Ellis was so well educated by a private tutor that, at a time when most deaf children were taught at poor quality special residential schools, he was able to attend the University of Oxford when he grew older. Sir James became so knowledgeable – for the time – and impassioned about the education of deaf children that he was able to set up the pioneering school. 

The department is believed to have been the first official centre of its kind in the UK. Sheila Hadfield has her hearing equipment adjusted by an audiologist at the Department of Education of the Deaf in Manchester in 1952.  Noreen Buckley, just 14 months old is taught to lipread by her mother. Lip reading involves watching a speaker's mouth and face movements to work out what they are saying without hearing them and is commonly used by people with varying levels of hearing impairments .....

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Sign it!

Image result for petitionATR today launches a petition to end charity telethons in the UK like Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.  ATR objects on 4 grounds.

(1)  Participants/celebrities are promoting personal and own political views as an agenda with no agreed assent from charity, the disabled, or its recipient members.

(2)  That such events on Television promote pity, 'heroic' images, and negative attitudes towards disabled and vulnerable people.

(3)  That such output is against the interests of vulnerable people with regards to their human rights by suggesting charity should replace that with dependency formats instead.

(4)  That participating charities are undermining disability rights.

You and the Police (Australia).

Needs of deaf children unmet and in Crisis.

Almost half of specialist teachers for deaf children feel pupils are performing worse than five years ago, a charity has said. The Deaf Children's Society claimed the system is in absolute crisis and teachers are being overwhelmed by the demands of their role. 

It warned that staff were battling stress and having to deal with spiralling workloads and excessive hours. The warning comes after a survey of 625 specialist teachers, carried out by the charity and the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf, revealed that almost half experienced stress in their role on a weekly basis, with one quarter affected every day. The charity has previously called for more specialists to be trained. 

It also wants Northern Ireland to be included in a UK bursary scheme to fund a new generation of teachers. New specialist teachers for deaf children, it warned, need to be trained now. The number of young people with hearing loss in the north is increasing while the figure for specialists is in decline. According to the latest poll, more than four in five are now working longer hours due to increasing workloads, with almost two-thirds forced to work an extra day every week just to keep up. Around six in 10 teachers surveyed said there was less support available for deaf children than in 2014. 

Almost half felt pupils were now performing worse. Susan Daniels, chief executive of the charity, said the results of the survey "show a system in absolute crisis". "Specialist teachers do an incredible job in exceptionally difficult circumstances and play a vital role in the lives of deaf children," she said. "However, they are being crushed by the demands of a role which has become simply unsustainable. Every child deserves the same chance in life, but unless specialist support services are adequately staffed and funded, teachers will remain overworked and under pressure while deaf children's futures hang in the balance." 

UK Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said government's ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities, including those who are deaf, was the same for any other child "It is up to local authorities to work with the schools in their area to identify the nature of specialist support services they commission, according to the needs of schools in their area," he said. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

Teaching BSL in all schools...

Triggered a social media query from a husband of a hard of hearing spouse, who asked about BSL acquisition in later life... Some responses below.

#1 "As an adult deaf person who doesn't use it as a primary means of communication, I am unsure of its benefits except to the sole users of it from day one, who tend not to mix usually. Kids adapt pretty easily and include, but all the research suggests come post 7 years of age when they move up a school, these things stop pretty rapidly as peer pressures take hold, and it isn't 'cool' to do these things etc."

#2 "I'd prefer a wider awareness program that includes a much more diverse inclusion of people with hearing loss, and the different means they use, since, the sign using area is an actual minority, it benefits the few not the most.  300,000 with hearing loss in my area would probably not see this as a benefit for them. Of course, using it in schools is one aspect, but outside? Where are they going to use it then? I can walk local streets 24/7 and never see anyone using it. The practicalities of it and the over-focus on the minority rapidly becomes an image of the majority when unchecked. E.G. no system exists in my area to support deaf or Hard of Hearing who don't sign, or even if they lip-read."

#3 Due to the cost that it will involve and school budgets at breaking point, it is very unlikely BSL will become a norm as a curriculum class... so for those who are deaf.. they will continue to be excluded from activities. 

#4 "There are various debates regarding deaf communications that get distorted via a 'right to culture' aside, of course, less access to sign means no culture so the pro and anti areas argue constantly. The drive is to encourage hearing to learn on the basis the deaf cannot reciprocate in the hearing modes.  Not much commonality of agreement sadly.  One area favours sign only approaches, another an oral approach, yet another a combination of both, or the practical approach 'which works best'.  It's all tempered with the reality mainstream hasn't gone with any to a real extent and argue signing inhibits the deaf ability to integrate or work effectively.   It all comes with a financial cost they don't want to bear."

#5 "Its clear everything hinges on their educational areas. So far the pro exclusive sign lobby is winning their point despite concerns it is enabling a deaf alternative to mainstream instead of empowering these deaf to move into the mainstream, (the only area they can really attain real equality or its simply relative.)  Its argued the Deaf approaches to integration is becoming secondary to empowering their own areas where disadvantages are far less and communication is not an issue. to that end, their socio-communicational preferences come before anything else, even education at times."

#6 "I am aware that there are different streams debating what is the right approach, my wife is hard of hearing (depending on the level of noise and I suffer from frequency loss in both ears), I would have liked to have learnt 'sign language' at a certain level. Jennie can learn lip reading, perhaps that could be something that could be encouraged more in the educational system if signing is too much of issue to teach."

#7 " The issue with sign use for others is the way it is intrinsically bound up with the Deaf social culture.  Lip-reading has its critics too, and it is a difficult mode to master because the tuition is pretty random.     Basically, it is if others like HoH/acquired deaf e.g. are prepared to adopt the social aspect with the sign, also to accept that a fair amount of reliance on others outside that area is an accepted norm for reliant signers, but a negative to HoH."

#8  "I don't know of many hard of hearing who succeeded.   The deaf have different social structures, norms, and clubs as well as charities and support, you have to buy into the whole concept or it doesn't really work well."

#9  "The ongoing theme suggests still far too many have some 'identity crisis' that inhibits wider acceptance, even inclusion with other deaf.  I suppose at the end of the day it depends on how much will there is to risk moving away from the comfort area,  HoH have the same issues, they may want the sign but not what goes with it.  In learning sign language, mastering it is only half the job for the HoH, the very difficult half is finding ways to integrate that OUTSIDE the deaf areas where HoH prefer to be."

#10 "What it tells me is they should not be teaching BSL in isolation at all and agreeing instead to a communication program instead that is more inclusive and less exclusive...."

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Red Nose and Comic Relief

Image result for red nose day
ATR posts the view charity and TV telethons like these are unsupported by the proposed beneficiaries after a  newspaper  posted of charitable and celebrity overload and hypocrisy, along with left-wing celebs promoting Jermy Corbyn chapter and verse.  Time for red nose days/comic relief to end?  They aren't funny any more.

Like most with a disability or issue, CR and Red nose days mean nothing at all to us. It is a mainstream view of benevolence/charity and do-gooding that annoys mostly. We saw in the past left-wing celebs promoting political agendas. People like Sting and Bono to Bob Geldof and decided we didn't want to be told by self-indulgent millionaires what others should be doing for us and the antics of red nose day celebs last week were carrying on in the same vein and caused people to turn off and stop donating.

It pretty much mirrors the USA approach where celebs use their exalted position to attack their systems. Of course, to suggest charity is a myth and mostly NOT supported by the people who could benefit causes much angst, how dare we! etc... its a day out for the kids to dress up etc...but it would help if they asked us first, do we want this? 

The media knows there is a groundswell of militant disabled and such and counter it instead by using children, celebs or even animals to push home the message of how deprived/disadvantaged we are, but without accepting access and inclusion requires their participation 365 days a year not twice a year and blaming someone else.  The BBC took more drastic steps and removed the disabled input on their website after considerable pressures were being put to the BBC to stop doing what they were doing on our behalf and without our consent.  They also responded by vetting their own sanitised version of disability output by installing disabled luvvies who wouldn't challenge them.

Whilst this current crop also appeared to be politically left-wing it ignores why deprivation exists and promotes instead the need for lots of money to enable charities to keep us reliant on them because the state has dumped them or removed their care. They don't see the obscurity of that idea.  If they donated the money to lawyers we can employ to ensure our rights, it might be viable and acceptable and a lot less need for charity at all.

As it stands, such celebrities/charities are going for royal recognition for themselves on the back of 'brave disabled people' (Cue vids of poor disabled kids who don't even live here, and not our own poor who don't get 3 meals a day or an education either).   Charity doesn't begin at home because we are alleged to be too wealthy for that to happen.  Tel that to 2m families on the breadline and 2.5m children in poverty.  Obviously, anyone who delves into the realities of care or support or inclusion will know they deprived get less and less of it as the days go by despite these millions being donated nothing changes. 

If celebs want to push politics let them join a political party, and IF they want to help the disadvantaged lobby for their rights instead, do not underpin the national neglect and their own moral and governmental duty by sitting in a bath of baked beans or trotting out celebs past their sell-by date to make the point.

What you may have missed.

The Google transcription app launch.

Why americans should NOT support HB 2137.

E.G does this person reflect you? Here we go again another snowflake alert, this term regarding identities and naming people. It is not for deaf groups or HoH groups or their respective representations and charities to lobby for what we should call ourselves. There is no background to the support for this idea from grassroots.

The entire 'Deaf' area continues to indulge in navel contemplation and which word or term should be or not used for everything when the reality is these lobbies are to enforce the 'Deaf' view of themselves and their cultural ID and the 'Deaf' are the arch promoters of their own stereotype (Sign equals culture etc).. 

Time to fess up why these lobbies operate as they do, and stop including people who adhere not one iota to their 'deafinitions of ID or their view on what people with hearing loss prefer to be called, which is basically a lobbying ploy to enlist hard of hearing or HOH or whatever non signing support is out there to endorse THEM.  In the end such lobbies divide people not unite them.  I don't want to be forever correcting systems who use half a dozen ID approaches to talk to me.

Services for the Deaf and HoH.

The many many youtube awareness videos we see, private and system, vary considerably in emphasis and content.  Here is a stereotypical 'inclusive' video on access in Canada that pretty much mirrors USA and some UK approaches to raising awareness.

There are many at a grassroots level that doesn't see such videos as representative of them or their area of the format of communication, and online they are in stark contrast, a segregated output on awareness based on mode, not 'ideals'.   The fact 2 or 3 formats are included apparently covers the access issue but ignores the visual one and overall image that presents, seeing is believing or is it?

It shows a lack of real understanding of how access formats actually work for us all in a  society where the image is everything.  E.G. Deaf ASL/BSL grass root areas preferring non-inclusion of modes they don't use (or prefer not to!).  It would appear a glaring breakdown of real awareness approaches being undertaken by the system and the realities as they exist.

There are those who suggest we should be recognising the realities of this and instead NOT produce 'inclusive' videos, that while they reflect the global ideal, do not reflect what actually goes on. In recognising difference we recognise what that is in real terms.   Aka sign videos for signing people and lip-spoken and captioned/subtiled videos for the other hearing loss areas etc, particularly taking into account the signing area is promoting a cultural/language approach as averse to the hard of hearing and others who simply want the basic 'English' access to reflect their perceived 'norm' and advances n cures/clinical approaches.  Where obviously there is no 'twain' to meet with cultural areas.

Should we be promoting non-inclusive realities and not a 'percieved reality' the system prefers?  If only to ensure alternative formats are portrayed properly? seen to be used in context? and awareness becomes a true reflection of who we are? As diverse as the mainstream is.  Or do we do nothing because it could be seen as 'anti-inclusion' thus leaving (In the UK at least), 10m with no contextual awareness online, and stereotyped as someone else entirely?  

ATR apologises for not really covering the deaf-blind and accepts it is as guilty of poor inclusion as are the HoH and the Deaf, but again, we accept that reality, not the reality between deaf and HoH? go figure.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Supporting Success.

'The Champion' by Carrie

An 8-year-old girl who is deaf has earned raves for her performance signing along to Underwood’s song “The Champion," which the country singer recorded with Ludacris. Savannah Dahan from Frederick, Maryland, cites the Grammy-winning superstar as her favourite singer.

Savannah, who sometimes uses hearing aids, signs the lyrics while the music video plays in the background. “She asked us to record her because she likes to see herself perform,” the girl's father, Richard Dahan said. Savannah who is deaf went viral after signing to Carrie Underwood's song "The Champion" Savannah's signing to Carrie Underwood's "The Champion" has won her many fans.

Richard Dahan Savannah's parents and her two siblings are also deaf. “She was born with moderate/severe hearing loss,” Dahan said. “Because everyone is deaf in the family and uses ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate, she identifies herself as deaf. She uses hearing aids at times at school and home.” That's why Savannah has to go through a different process than most to hear the music. 

Crisis of nil support for the Hard Of Hearing in Health

Image result for freedom of information request template UKATR reading social media comments sent this one to the UK's leading charity for the deaf and HoH.

"Can AOHL research into what access and support is available to those with hearing loss who DON'T use sign language?  I am getting told none of the 7 trusts in Wales provides any established service?"

If you are from Wales NOT a sign user but using other formats, and reading this, help ATR research the NHS trusts in Wales by using an FOI request for answers to this question.  Maybe the Welsh NHS trusts will respond to you where they have NOT responded despite the law, to ATR.  We know sign users have a national and regional supportive set up for their needs, we are not seeing any such set-up for anyone else.  Don't be re-directed to the Welsh government their FOI data is an overview, not a localised source.

Be SPECIFIC in what you ask for, (no diverse mentions of 'deaf' or 'Deaf'),  not even BSL will get HoH their data specifics,  as health statistics are focused on the disability and treatment, not the social aspect, access, or rights areas, in short, the clinical aspect.  All trusts should be keeping records of what communication and language support they provide, again be specific as to what format you require data ON.  

Do not state deaf access or HoH access but e.g. lip-spoken access, text support, note-taking support (And contacts) etc in this case.  Including BSL will defeat any HoH FOI point.  Sadly many system areas think BSL and deaf and HoH are one and the same thing, awareness in Wales is as poor as elsewhere in the UK.  If they respond in that 'Deaf' 'inclusive' vein send in another FOI which is more accurate to your need.  

NOTE: Although some BSL interpreters do provide lip-spoken support, records suggest only TWO out of 49 of them are suitably qualified to do so in Wales.  Wales has over 300,000 patients with hearing loss issues.  Another note to remember is some areas may ask for a fee, albeit ATR believes there is none to be paid in this case as this isn't a medical data FOI.

Use the information below, as a start point. The seven Local Health Boards (LHBs) in Wales are:

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

CONTACTS:   To submit a Freedom of Information Act request please email: or alternatively, you can contact: FOIA Team, ABMU Health Board, ABM Headquarters, 1 Talbot Gateway, Port Talbot, SA12 7BR.  

Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board.

Freedom of Information - Contacting us and submitting a request for information. If you wish to submit a Freedom of Information request, you can contact us in a variety of ways:

By Email:  Please email us at  Your emails will be opened during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.

By Post:

St Cadoc's Hospital
Lodge Road
NP18 3XQ
By Phone:
Tel: 01633 435956

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

CONTACTS: Freedom of Information Requests and Subject Access Requests can be sent by email to

Or write to:

Information Governance Office
Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board
Wrexham Maelor Hospital 
Croesnewydd Road
LL13 7TD

Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.


By Post.

Cardiff and Vale UHB Headquarters
University Hospital of Wales (UHW)
Heath Park
Cardiff CF14 4XW

Tel: 029 2074 7747  or Fax 029 2074 6406

Cwm Taf University Health Board.

To make an FOIA request. 

Freedom of Information requests can be sent via:


Post:  Freedom of Information Officer, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Ynysmeurig House, Navigation Park, Abercynon, CF45 4SN

Contact  01443 744800 if you wish to speak to a member of the team.

Hywel Dda Local Health Board.

Requests must be made in writing by letter, fax or email to the Freedom of Information Officer: 

          The Freedom of Information Officer
          Hywel Dda University Health Board
          Corporate Offices
          Ystwyth Building
          St David's Park
          Job's Well Road
          SA31 3BB       

          Tel: 01267 239730   or   Email:

Powys Teaching Health Board.

A difficult contact to locate, although there is a link to the FOI rules, ATR initially got 3 'Not FOUND' result for this trust.  Rooting about for 20 minutes (!) we found these contacts.

Please email us at or write to us:

Information Governance Team
Monnow Ward
Bronllys Hospital
Powys LD3 0LU

Tel 01874 712642/2763

Thursday, 14 March 2019

OiA and SignVideo


Black background with orange words saying where are the subtitles? Image of a telescope in background

4 things they will never know about the deaf!

Primarily because it has no captioning or subtitling, so the hearing will NOT know what this person is talking about.  Seems the main thing deaf don't know is how to provide access to get their messages and lectures over. We despair at deaf awareness we really do!

Teaching the deaf to write.

BSL and the welsh Anthem.

MEMBERS of Pembrokeshire's Sign and Share Club celebrated St David’s Day by creating their own version of the Welsh National Anthem in British Sign Language. In an event packed with craft, bara brith and Welsh history, members learnt about the meaning of the national anthem and had the opportunity to learn how it could be signed. 

 The club was supported by local interpreter Suzanne Scale who said: “It was a pleasure working with Sign and Share Club and signing some Welsh history.” New member Linda Rawlinson added: “Welsh, deaf and proud! "I absolutely loved it and I’m so proud to be able to sign my national anthem with passion and confidence."

ATR:  Great Welsh singing, unsure if BSL cuts it as a translative medium 'though.  especially as they didn't use Welsh regional signs to give more authenticity to it.  Purists will see it as yet another 'English' portrayal of Welsh culture by default by using BSL you are endorsing English..

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

DWP staff to be sanctioned for abuse of claimants.

This is a long overdue attempt to bring to book welfare agency staff who abuse claimants and cause severe hardships, loss of homes, and even premature deaths by a failure to do the job they are paid for.  But would a gaol sentence be much more effective?  

Claimants are also asking if the DWP acts against the law of the land by abusing data protection act rules so those who abuse claimants cannot be identified.  Can anyone trust an 'in house' investigation, where identification of culprits is deliberately blocked?

DWP staff get a taste of their own medicine as think tank recommends tracking the prospects of claimant compensation where benefits are paid late or training and skills courses are not delivered. With the Work and Pensions Select committee due to debate the benefit freeze, we believe it unfair that claimants are sanctioned if they failed to look for work or missed appointments, while jobcentre staff face no penalty if their errors cause claimants hardship. 

The report acknowledges widespread cynicism about the intentions of Universal Credit (UC), with many believing it had been made deliberately complicated to discourage claims. As such, the report recommends victims of DWP error or maladministration be given the right to appeal to an independent case examiner, who could award compensation equal to the sanctions levied on claimants judged to have breached rules.

Overcoming disabilities