Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Myth and Fact about hearing loss.

Navigating hearing loss

KBIA producer Kassidy Arena, who has hearing loss, explores what all this means for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

As a producer and journalism student, Arena wants to explore how radio is experienced for the deaf and hard of hearing. MU student John Coleman (left) and MU's Angela Branson (right) spoke with KBIA producer Kassidy Arena about the experience of deaf and hard of hearing students on campus and in the community. 

Angela Branson is MU's coordinator for deaf and hard of hearing students. John Coleman is a student at MU who, like Arena, lives with hearing loss. Kassidy Arena spoke with Branson and Coleman about the misperceptions, challenges, and triumphs they encounter as they navigate the hearing world.

Wish I could hear.......

'I wish I could hear my wife singing,' Dion Galea, from Sydney, said
A group of deaf Australians have revealed the one thing they wish they could hear as they answered upfront questions on popular ABC show, You Can't Ask That. 

Many agreed that 'deaf culture' is a privilege to be a part of and said they find great peace in communicating using Auslan (Australian sign language). But even those who have been deaf since birth would love to hear the voices of loved ones during memorable life moments. 

'I'd love to hear my children laughing,' Damo Barrett (pictured left), from Perth, told the ABC in their show.  Andy King, from the Gold Coast, said that he could wish for lots of things - his children's health and happiness among them - but he wouldn't wish for anything to do with his hearing. Some of the people, like teenager Rusty, struggled with their 'deaf identity' and said he often wishes people wouldn't think he was 'stupid'. 

Other questions brought to light some of the misconceptions around partial and complete deafness.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Did you Miss ?

Louder doesn't mean Clear

The show is fully accessible to Deaf & hard of hearing audiences with the use of English, BSL & creative captions.

A post show talk will take place and you would be more than welcome to stay and be included!

Meet Jonny: Teacher, father, artist. He loves music, festivals and nightclubs. He longs to sing. Jonny is Deaf. Created and performed by a deaf man, ‘Louder is Not Always Clearer’ returns to the stage after a sellout run in 2018!

Tour Dates

3/5/19 Galeri, Caernarfon hynt Scheme Accessible 19.30 

4/5/19 Small Word Theatre, Cardigan 20.00 

5/5/19 Y Plas Main Hall, Machynlleth Comedy Festival 14.00 

9,10,11 /5 Chapter Arts, Cardiff hynt Scheme Accessible 19.30

13,14,15/5 Bristol Old Vic, Bristol 19.30 

24/5/19 Pencoed Library, Bridgend 19.00 

24/7/19 Riverfront Studio, Newport 19.45 

The show is fully accessible to Deaf & hard of hearing audiences with the use of English, BSL & creative captions.  A post-show talk will take place and you would be more than welcome to stay and be included! The production company’s website can be accessed by clicking here  

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Myths and ASL.

A CONVO facebook video on ASL elicits ATR response.

We think the issue is more that once a child/adult uses sign be it ASL/BSL on any permanent basis then they don't want or show reluctance to access/communicate in any other form and opt out, and THAT hinders their advance since the infrastructure is not there within society to accommodate it.  Deaf awareness has failed.

Sign seduces, that's the reality, and deaf children take the easiest way forward.  Happy in that growing up to adulthood, there is back up of a kind from peers and peer groupings.  It's a naive approach to take since statistics, medical advance, and reality is going against that premise, as are aspirations of the deaf who understand you have to be there to make that difference and feel they lack the wherewithal due to language approaches.

The mainstream has to accommodate ALL languages hearing and deaf, all degrees of hearing loss and, all formats we use, sign is just one of them, so practicality suggests there must be a bigger picture seen here by the deaf in that real bilingualism is essential and not adopting the monolingual approaches and defying the realities.  If they want their culture or language to survive being dogmatic and about it is going to make for a lot of suffering for many.  Less than 2% of the deaf would be unable to adapt.  Choices and rights are a smokescreen. We have the other percentage fighting some rearguard action against progress that would help the deaf.

This isn't discrimination, it is empowering the deaf with more realistic options to manage outside their deaf bubble.  Indeed, we owe deaf children genuine bilingualism as a right and as a priority over sign initially.  ASL may well offer an 'in' to English too, but it isn't what the deaf are using after, and that is the problem, after all 'horses for courses', not one-trick ponies, as is unrealistically insisting everyone else will/must adapt to them, they cannot anyway as the reliance on sign language demands translation back up and less than  1 in 300 have it due to an acute shortage of trained people, and issues of training and costs.

Technology will eventually defeat sign reliance, it has defeated already the HoH reliances, hence the almost total lack of any Hard of Hearing access campaigns, they have embraced the technology.  Reliance on 3rd parties (People), cannot be maintained and the sheer costs of training such people cannot be met either.  It's not helped by an overwhelming reliance by deaf on untrained family support instead, 60% of deaf signers in the UK do this, killing own demand campaign points.   Demanding access they aren't using.

Deaf education/schools themselves have been decimated by inclusive policies.  There are (At least in the UK), NO schools using BSL as a primary means of education alone.  Again the educational structure isn't there to bolster culture for the deaf, it is about the effective communications deaf children need.

Many younger deaf are already getting out there, they aren't attending deaf clubs or groups either, it will be their generation dictating how the deaf child moves forward not back to the future campaigns.  Unless ALL deaf live in an area of concentration that would mean many others losing out, the want of the few outweighing the needs of the many?  The pursuit of deaf language and culture preservation has always ignored collateral damage and become elitist at that.  It is acting as a break on real advance.

The fact the FB video is promoted by people who rely on deaf using them has to be seen for what it is too.


Monday, 22 April 2019

New pioneering Surgery aids deaf children to hear...

Cochlea implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear.
Profoundly deaf children will be given access to pioneering brain surgery on the NHS, allowing them to experience the sensation of hearing for the first time. 

Children aged five years-old and under who are unable to use conventional hearing aids or implants as a result of their inner ears (cochleas) or auditory nerve failing to develop properly will benefit from the procedure. Specialist teams at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London will insert a device into the child’s brain to stimulate hearing pathways, bypassing the underdeveloped cochlea or nerve in a procedure known as Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABI) surgery. 

Cochlear implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear. Traditional cochlear implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear. (Photo: Tom Pilston) The children will require long-term support to listen and understand the new signals their implants are transmitting. “This truly life-changing surgery, which allows youngsters to hear their parents’ voices for the first time, will now be available across England for children who are deaf who have no other options,” said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director. 

Theo Sankson was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf during the newborn hearing screening programme and was deemed ineligible for cochlear implants following the discovery he did not have auditory nerves at eight months old. I’m the mother of a deaf child – this is why I’m constantly worried my son will become part of the ‘lost generation’ His mother, Imedla Sankson, said she was “eternally grateful” for the ABI he received from the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital when he was two years-old. “After discovering Theo couldn’t have a Cochlear Implant, all we could think about was how would he hear a fire alarm, how could we protect him from danger?” she said. 

“It’s now two years since Theo’s device was activated and he can hear me calling him from upstairs. His first word was ‘more’ and his second was ‘mummy’ – something I never thought I would hear. Every day he uses his voice more and more and now loves to try and sing.”

Blind and deaf Universal Credit claimants 'humiliated'

Would not work in Wales, they are closing libraries anyway, and libraries don't possess the equipment to enable the blind to use them, let alone funding BSL support!  

MSP Kevin Stewart has hit out at DWP chiefs over advice given out to those with sight and hearing loss. 

Kevin Stewart said blind people without internet access had been advised to fill in Universal Credit applications in a library. The advice poses security risks for anyone sharing financial details in a public area, the Aberdeen Central MSP warned. He also claimed people with hearing difficulties were told to book own sign language interpreters over the phone at potentially extra costs. 

Stewart demanded answers from the UK Department for Work and Pensions after a north-east charity raised concerns with him. He said: “I think many people will be absolutely stunned to learn that the DWP may be advising people with hearing difficulties to book sign language interpreters over the phone, that blind people are being recommended to use public libraries to input personal financial information – but this is the kind of monstrous indignity I have come to expect from the Tories.” 

“The process of applying for Universal Credit – or even making changes to it – is proving to be a painful experience for many people. “Some of the DWP practices outlined to me by charities show nothing less than humiliation being inflicted on people simply for seeking help they are more than entitled to.  “It is unacceptable that the DWP is treating their responsibility to deliver support with such blatant contempt.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Sacre Bleu!

Image result for Notre dame
Not much money coming from the Catholic church is there? Unsurprising as they hardly pay any upkeep for their churches the state does to preserve them as historic buildings. 

Any truth in the rumour they are updating Notre Dame with virtual reality? (So visitors can see what is what like when churches had a congregation). But just look at the areas throwing money at it.....  Didn't the celebs and notaries of old adopt the same stance? believing if they paid for the upkeep of the church they would get good seats after they died.  Far be it for us to suggest if they have money to burn (sorry for the pun), then housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, curing some cancers etc, would have got them a far better seat.   Will the Pope dig into his wallet?

France's 3 richest families lead $700 million fundraising effort for Notre Dame. The steeple of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris.  A fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris, potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site, the fire service said.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L'Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million) after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral. LVMH (LVMHF) and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised €200 million ($226 million). The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L'Oreal (LRLCF). The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering (PPRUF), has pledged €100 million ($113 million). 

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire. Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total (TOT) has promised €100 million ($113 million), while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million).

New Surgery gives deaf girl a voice.

Leia receiving support wearing her hearing implant which required complex brain surgery
Seven-year-old Leia Armitage lived in total silence for the first two years of her life, but thanks to pioneering brain surgery and years of therapy she has found her voice and can finally tell her parents she loves them. 

"We were told you could put a bomb behind her and she wouldn't hear it at all if it went off," said Leia's father, Bob, as he recalled finding out their baby daughter had a rare form of profound deafness. Leia, from Dagenham in Essex, had no inner ear or hearing nerve, meaning that even standard hearing aids or cochlear implants wouldn't help her. 

 As a result, she was never expected to speak - but despite the risks, her parents fought for her to be one of the first children in the UK to be given an auditory brainstem implant, requiring complex brain surgery when she was two years old. NHS England calls the surgery "truly life-changing" and has said it will fund the implant for other deaf children in a similar position. It is estimated that about 15 children a year will be assessed for the procedure and nine will go on to have surgery. 

Bob says opting for this type of brain surgery was a huge decision for them, but "we wanted to give Leia the best opportunity in life". He and his wife Alison hoped that after the surgery at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust she would be able to hear things like cars beeping their horns as she crossed the road - to make her safer in the world. However, in the five years since the surgery, her progress has been much greater than they ever expected. 

Saturday, 20 April 2019

VR and accessible classrooms..

Being Part of the Conversation.

When the morning announcements pipe through the walls of Santa Clara High School, students pause, look up for a minute, and listen to what the day has in store for them. But to 16-year-old sophomore Olive Howden, the morning announcements are a daily nuisance. 

That’s because she’s deaf and uses cochlear implants to help her hear. Olive tells us what it’s like to navigate a full day of high school while struggling to be part of the conversation. I’m heading to my first class of the day, journalism. There’s so much happening as I’m walking through the hallways. Simply talking to more than one person at a time is a struggle for me. If you asked me what word I use most often, I would say, "What?" As in, "Can you repeat that?" Because I am constantly missing half of every conversation. 

It's difficult for Howden to hear in crowded, noisy spaces. She prefers to spend time in the quiet, where she can hear the people around her more clearly. (Sruti Mamidanna/KQED) I was born deaf, but I can still hear. Just not the same way as the other 2,000 kids at my high school. Sponsored When I was 18 months old, surgeons implanted tiny computers in my cochlea, my inner ears. The cochlear implants work with processors to do my hearing for me. Basically, I have bionic ears. But apparently, the things I hear sound "tinny," like listening to something on the other end of a metal tunnel. 

At lunch, it's hard to find a quiet place to eat. My friends and I usually sit outside, in the quad. It's still noisy out there, but it's better than the cafeteria. My peers speak at what seems like the speed of light. Somehow, they pick up on things I didn't even realize the person next to me was saying. But my friends are amazing people. They seem to know exactly when to repeat what I didn’t hear.

No Interpreters available for Some Scots..

Complaints: Christopher Plummer and Eileen Cassells claim there is a lack of support for deaf people in the region
I doubt 25 part-timers attending awareness classes is going to cut it.  The fact remains BSL activism is constantly demanding more deaf use/access BSL primarily full in the knowledge there is no support for them to use it after.  Creating demand may well be the point but, do deaf use terps anyway? As many as 60% don't but use family instead.  Thus killing off the very demands they are making.  Catch 22.

"Deaf people in the region are being let down by the lack of a full-time British Sign Language interpreter, it has been claimed. 

Two local deaf people say many are being forced to leave the region as a result of the poor level of support on offer to help them. The region’s previous full-time interpreter, who had served the area for 20 years, retired in December 2017, and Dumfries and Galloway Council has so far been unable to attract anyone as a permanent replacement. 

It means that deaf people are left to face a lottery of whether signing support will be available for crucial appointments, with both the council and NHS reliant on the use of interpreters based at Glasgow firm Sign Language Interactions. One of those impacted is 28-year-old Christopher Plummer from Dumfries, who lost his hearing at just eight weeks old after contracting meningitis. Christopher, who requires the use of a cochlear implant, said: “The council promised us about getting a full-time interpreter, but they haven’t managed to find anyone and so interpreters are now having to travel two hours to Dumfries for appointments. 

“We need interpreters for things like hospital appointments, or the bank, social workers, that kind of thing. I can get an appointment tomorrow, but if they can’t find a signer to come along, then I might have to reschedule until one is available. “There can also be problems with things like bad weather, because the interpreters from SLI might not make it down to Dumfries if there is bad weather. It’s unfair on the signers to have to travel down and I don’t feel as if the council ever listen to us.” 

Those complaints are echoed by 52-year-old Eileen Cassells, who moved to Dumfries 23 years ago from her native Ayrshire. She was born profoundly deaf and uses a pair of cochlear implants, but still finds it difficult to communicate with people. Eileen told the Standard: “I was told when I first moved that there was very poor support for deaf people in the region. “I find trying to book interpreters pointless and I tend to rely on my sister a lot, but that is difficult because she works so I find myself having to cancel a lot. “When I went for an audiology appointment recently, it was frustrating that none of the staff knew BSL and were just shouting people’s names out. 

I strongly think audiology should have someone who knows BSL, especially when they are working with deaf people.” A council spokesman confirmed that it was not currently advertising a vacancy for an interpreter after an external recruitment campaign was unsuccessful. And a spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The board has access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and arrangements are in place for booking these. “However, we are aware that availability of interpretation and the supporting systems and processes locally needs to be improved. 

We are committed to doing so and a number of actions are underway to address these issues, including the planned introduction of video interpreting. “A number of awareness-raising activities are also underway to assist staff to manage interpretation requests. As part of these activities, funding has been provided to allow 25 staff to attend deaf awareness training.”"

Friday, 19 April 2019

Tail of the tape (UK).

The Complete Guide to Captioned Videos

Born profoundly deaf, I’ve depended on captions since getting my first big clunky decoder in 1983. It was a box about the size of the older VHS and DVD players.

Back then, captioned programs and movies were hard to find. Few things excited me more than seeing the caption symbol on the cover of a movie or at the start of a TV show. Thankfully, they’re easy to find when it comes to TV networks, streaming services, and movies.

But the same can’t be said for the many, many videos companies and individuals put out on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere. In recent years, captioning has gotten so much easier and more affordable. This guide will dive into why captioning matters, how it provides a huge ROI, 10 rules for creating great captions, and how to caption your videos.

Captions Guide Table of Contents.

Why you want to caption your videos
#Caption10 Rules


Deaf 911 App.

The good News top 10.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Laura Bridgman

The first Deaf-blind woman to receive a proper education. Often regarded as the smartest Deaf-Blind woman, she is often forgotten in history.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Don't label me?

Image result for Labels are for Jars?
Ongoing social media viewpoints that seem to continue being tired and frustrated with relentless drives for identities and the labelling of people.

#1  I agree personal choice 💜l just take a deep breath and a step back so over people telling me how l should describe MY hearing issues and other health matters😑

#2  Do you think for some people the trauma is so serious, adopting an alternative communication and culture is just a rather clever way of overcoming it and it isn't  'taking the easiest way out?'   

#3  We get 'born again' deaf/Deaf too who become rather rabid in defending an area they erstwhile never belonged to.  As the poster pointed out don't label me in the process.  Or use the word 'WE'.

#4   All of us tend to use the plural as it viewed we are mostly in the same boat.   But the ocean we sail on isn't the same one is it?   In my part of the UK hearing loss issues via health service (NHS)  'definitions' had 13 different descriptions of who, and what we are via classifications, obviously the system has a view on our ID too.   The primary area defined was 'deaf with a capital D.' and the next one a rather all-encompassing description of everyone else as ' 1 in 6.'  Deaf-blind were relegated in the priorities rather indiscriminately as an area and not really classified as an area with hearing loss at all.

The success of promoting the d/D (Whatever floats those boats), need or want, has driven down demand for anyone else's.  I did ask  why there was no system that was compatible support-wise for those with hearing loss, which I said did not really cover born deaf at all since you have to lose hearing before it becomes an actual 'loss', and there is a world of difference not having any useful or hearing day one, to have heard for years and THEN losing it, or losing it day by day etc... which I suggested was a more accurate description of the disabling aspect. 

The response was "We respond to individual demand, that is, how people present to us via need, that need may take many forms, e.g.  health, language, or cultural norms..' the areas you describe as 'non-cultural' make few demands on us of note, when they do we try to respond to those.  Other areas are primary drivers of need and support that cover more than the basic 'hearing loss' (which to us usually means hearing aids/CI's, assessing loss, even ear wax etc.). We apologise if that looks like labelling people, but it does seem reflected in the way other areas of support function in self-descriptions."  

#5  There is a challenge to disability there surely? since being e.g. born a particular way, it can be seen as a 'norm' for that person, and only a disablement via how others see it compared to them.  A preamble about models or something. It's a primary argument for those born deaf who reject the disability tag and is the basis of the 'social model' thing, which of course HoH may accept/adopt, or may well reject outright as an argument for disability too.  The more simplistic responses tend to suggest some 'blame culture' is attached to the point. People get put on the defensive, adopt the martyrdom syndrome, feeling they have to justify themselves.  Hearing loss as an issue gets lost altogether.  They would like us to think it was all part of some grand design to laud deafness and culture, but the odds are totally against that happening.

#6  Each assessment of own need is different, each patient in a health system is treated that way, they claim to have no 'politics' of care, but challenges to any label or 'model' happen, as areas of the system try to treat or support patients a particular way, e.g. using different languages etc... issues can be created before treatment takes place, then, the politics of rights come in to play.   The real issue is in creating effective and directed support systems geared to those demands,  labelling tends to define that,  rather than treat people as the individuals they are. THEN it becomes a problem of systems being unable to adapt to the relentless labelling and 'norms' they adopt (which appear to change day by day).

#7   They are just PATIENTS as far as medical professionals are concerned ! and they have enough work to do without messing about with people who don't know who or what they are, unless of course, it is connected to some mental aberration that requires clinical treatment.   I think some of them are confused enough without others laying down yet more terminological minefields to negotiate.  either you require medical help or you don't.

Deaf actor to understudy for a hearing one.

A Deaf actor makes RSC history by becoming first to understudy hearing role.

When Charlotte Arrowsmith played Vincentia in last Friday's evening performance of The Taming of the Shrew, she had more reason than most to feel nervous. As well as stepping into Melody Brown's shoes to play Vincentia on top of her usual role as Curtis, she was making history by being the first Deaf actor to perform as an understudy for a hearing principal actor.

Not only is this an RSC first, but we believe it to be a first at any major theatre.

It was important to Charlotte than she kept Vincentia as a higher status character, despite being Deaf, and used Prince Philip's mother Princess Alice as inspiration. By drawing on how the princess was able to learn to lip read in multiple languages, Charlotte found a way to keep her "higher status, richer and more powerful than the rest of the characters, as she is an intelligent lady who defied the odds."

The rest of the company embraced the use of British Sign Language by incorporating some signs and gestures into their performances, helping to integrate Vincentia into the scenes. Although they didn't have much time to prepare for the show, Charlotte was grateful for how hard the group worked: "It shows that nothing is impossible if we try as a team, and with more time it shows how much a mainstream cast can bring together BSL and diversity into the mix."  

Silent Laughs

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Romanian Alphabet in Sign.

They don't look very happy about it!

Man stole from Charity for deaf children.

Man stole charity box in aid of deaf children
A deaf school is a charity?  A NEWBURY man has received a suspended jail sentence for stealing a charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children. He would have gone straight to prison but for his early guilty plea, said a district judge. 

In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday was convicted burglar Michael Higor Da Silva, who lives at Northway. Matthew Gauntlett, prosecuting, said 37-year-old Mr Da Silva walked into a barber’s shop in Newbury town centre at around 3.50pm. He added: “He waited until no staff were present on the shop floor. “He then took the charity box, hid it under his clothing and walked out.” Mr Da Silva was identified from CCTV footage and later tried to claim the box contained no more than £7. 

But Mr Gauntlett urged the court not to take his word for it and added: “For obvious reasons, we will never know the true amount, but the barber shop owner said it had been three-quarters full and that he had been putting a fair bit of money in himself. “The defendant told police he stole it because he owed people money.” On another occasion, the court heard, Mr Da Silva went to Tesco in Newbury and stole a Panasonic DVD player worth £79.99. Mr Gauntlett said: “He went into the store around 11.30pm, went to the electrical aisle and removed the security tag from the item. 

“He then concealed it in a bag and walked out without attempting to pay.” The court heard that Mr Da Silva was again recognised from CCTV footage and on being arrested told police he had been “high” at the time and had no recollection of committing the offences. Mr Da Silva admitted stealing the charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children, based at Snelsmore, on March 14. He also admitted stealing the DVD player on January 23. Mr Da Silva also has previous convictions, including burglary. Simon Hammudi, defending, said his client came from a “very troubled background” and added: 

“He was an alcoholic at 12 years; by 15 years he was addicted to heroin.” He added: “He doesn’t drink alcohol any more, but he is still addicted to heroin. “He has a prescription and now takes 65ml of [heroin substitute] methadone a day. “I would ask the court to defer sentence to allow him to continue treatment at Swanswell [a substance misuse organisation].” But district judge Nigel Hodkinson said: “I’m not persuaded to defer sentence.” Turning to Mr Da Silva he said: “I could have sent you straight to prison today. “However, you pleaded guilty and the probation service say you are attending appointments when they tell you to. “But even with all that help, and a methadone prescription, you still stole things.” He sentenced Mr Da Silva to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. 

Monday, 15 April 2019

Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan
Born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts,

Anne Sullivan was a teacher who taught Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child, how to communicate and read Braille. 

Anne Sullivan was a gifted teacher best known for her work with Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child she taught to communicate. At only 20 years of age, Sullivan showed great maturity and ingenuity in teaching Keller and worked hard with her pupil, bringing both women much acclaim. 

Sullivan even helped Keller write her autobiography. Early Life Anne Sullivan was born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. A gifted teacher, Anne Sullivan is best known for her work with Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child she taught to communicate. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s. The couple had five children, but two died in their infancy. Sullivan and her two surviving siblings grew up in impoverished conditions and struggled with health problems. 

At the age of five, Anne contracted an eye disease called trachoma, which severely damaged her sight. Her mother, Alice, suffered from tuberculosis and had difficulty getting around after a serious fall. She died when Anne was eight years old. Even at an early age, Sullivan had a strong-willed personality. She sometimes clashed with her father, Thomas, who was left to raise Sullivan and her siblings after their mother's death. Thomas—who was often abusive—eventually abandoned the family. Anne and her infirm younger brother, Jimmie, were sent to live at the Tewksbury Almshouse, a home for the poor. Some reports say that Sullivan also had a sister who was sent to live with relatives. Tewksbury Almshouse was dirty, rundown, and overcrowded. Sullivan's brother Jimmie died just months after they arrived there, leaving Anne alone. 

While at Tewksbury, Sullivan learned about schools for the blind and became determined to get an education as a means to escape poverty. She got her chance when members from a special commission visited the home. After following the group around all day, she worked up the nerve to talk to them about sending her to a special school. Star Pupil Sullivan left Tewksbury to attend the Perkins School for the Blind in 1880 and underwent surgery to help improve her limited vision. Still, Sullivan faced great challenges while at Perkins. 

She had never been to school before and lacked social graces, which put her at odds with her peers. Humiliated by her own ignorance, Sullivan had a quick temper and liked to challenge the rules, which got her in trouble with her teachers. She was, however, tremendously bright, and she soon advanced academically. Sullivan did eventually settle down at the school, but she never felt like she fit in there. 

She did develop close friendships with some of her teachers, including the school's director Michael Anagnos. Chosen as the valedictorian of her class, Sullivan delivered a speech at her June 1886 graduation. She told her fellow students that "duty bids us go forth into active life. Let us go cheerfully, hopefully, and earnestly, and set ourselves to find our special part. When we have found it, willingly and faithfully perform it; for every obstacle we overcome, every success we achieve tends to bring man closer to God." 

Open letter to AOHL (UK).

Image result for access all areasATR did raise an issue regarding the AOHL forum posting events nation-wide that did not fully cover what access was available or in what formats, or even if the events were entirely relevant to various hearing loss areas the charity covered. 

Comment sent 2 months ago and never replied to is below:

While sign users will welcome updates on events there does seem very few events that are text, loop, iPad, or lip-spoken assisted etc, can we see a more balanced event posting approach that is a bit more inclusive?   

At ATR we continue to note many BSL assisted events do not include access for hard of hearing or non-signing areas, BSL, is also assumed to be a 'Deaf' assist and events aimed at them exclusively by many HoH areas, we need more details on access to identify if, it actually is there for us.  

Initially (and as a legal aside), many events get public funding/grants for access provision and we are seeing access is being selective, not inclusive.

Obviously, BSL assisted events won't mean HoH relative mostly. When posting event updates let us have more detail on access please. A BSL accessible video/event may NOT include textural/loop etc access or even content other hearing loss areas would be relevant to.    Horses for courses is fine, but please make this clear. If only so we can ask for that inclusion.

No one is objecting to BSL coverage but the fact such events (AND Hard of Hearing ones), do not always contain the appropriate access or content to suggest a site/venue visit is worthwhile.  You could turn up and find no access or content of relevance there.  Charities and support are still non-integral areas of real note and operate exclusively often, it is 'each to their own..' approaches and apparently covered as a 'right', yet charity advertising is leaving out details about access provisions, we are wondering if the reluctance to point these things out is so that areas that do these things, are not legally challenged for advertising inaccessible venues?  So far the law is unclear if particular cultural/minority areas can continue to enjoy a right to not include others. 

While we can understand the AOHL doesn't want to be seen as highlighting the fact HoH or BSL events AREN'T mutually accessible or inclusive, I think it is fair for AOHL (Or the BDA e.g. who will make no bones about the fact it is for BSL users only), to point out this reality.  I'm sure Hard of Hearing areas would be happy to do their own thing too, which currently they aren't able to.  

There is some 'assumption' we all 'know' to point out fact anyway, as to my mind, not doing this, suggests some areas are endorsing a form of exclusion, certainly practicing non-inclusive access by default, and that is a concern that throws doubt on the access/inclusion legal requirement.  All campaigns are directed at ensuring the mainstream includes us all, but that inclusion seems to be relative within the hearing loss area itself.  Areas that apply for funding FOR access provision.  Basically, if an area chooses not to include someone else publicly, this is discrimination, isn't it?  

Just because it is 'generally accepted' BSL and HoH areas are totally different does not mean you should be misleading readers about content that is not accessible to them or not relevant to their areas.   It's time to bury the mutual  'Deaf and Hard of Hearing' remit which stopped working as a concept some years ago.  It's ignored online and charity adverts re events etc.  Time to move on.  Either include the fact some events are for sign users only, and others are for hard of hearing only, is respecting what is the status quo anyway.  It's depressing to run up at an event for deaf or hard of hearing only to find the access formats are too rigid to include you.

Hearing cannot adopt the same exclusion concept so how can we?  Given, alternatives and mutual inclusion formats are there to be used?

Father of deaf daughters calls for deportation order to be reversed

 Mohammad Basharat, with  Samia (12) and Fatima (9),  says the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan
Mohammad Basharat warns Samia (12), Fatima (9) will not receive care needed in Pakistan. He states the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan.

(So he has brought them to Ireland illegally to get it?).

The father of two deaf daughters has called on the Department of Justice to reverse his family’s deportation order on humanitarian grounds, warning that his children will not receive the healthcare they require if they are returned to Pakistan. (could not an identical argument be used to illegally bring any child with hearing loss to Ireland? Be they from Asia, Africa or anywhere else?).

Mohammad Basharat and his wife, Sadia, were informed in September 2018 that their family would be deported to Pakistan despite medical advice that their daughters require specialist care for their hearing impairment. 

Both Samia (12) and Fatima (9) were diagnosed before coming to Ireland with sensorineural hearing loss and use cochlear implants to hear. Mr Basharat says the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan. He also warns that they will struggle to communicate as they do not speak Urdu. “They only learned English and they speak it fluently but their speech is delayed,” he told The Irish Times. 

“In Pakistan, it would be a disaster because they will not be able to communicate. They will not be able to read, write or speak.” The family arrived in Ireland four years ago after Mr Basharat’s brother, a UK citizen, moved to Oldcastle in Co Meath and bought a takeaway. Mr Basharat had been living in the UK where he was awaiting a decision on his appeal for a work permit after his initial application was rejected. His wife and children followed him in 2011 after it became clear that his daughters needed specialist care and were fitted with cochlear implants in the UK. In 2015 the family moved to Ireland as dependents of Mr Basharat’s brother under their treaty rights as family members of an EU national and were given a temporary stamp to remain. 

However, their application was eventually refused on the basis that the family did not meet the criteria as dependents of an EU citizen. In the interim, Samia gave birth to her fourth child, a son named Mohammad. 

UK government says disabled aren't entitled to human rights.

Tories in court claiming disabled people have no human rights.png
Already found guilty of the genocide of disabled in the UK,  and indicted for the deaths of nearly 120,000 elderly and disabled by the European courts, the Tory party extends further assaults on the disabled and deaf.  Currently, there is no disability minister either.

If you are a disabled Tory voter who thinks you still have human rights you’ll be shocked to learn the Tory Government apparently thinks you have none. In fact, they are in court right now apparently arguing you should have no human rights. This comes at the end of the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that the Bedroom Tax in the case of one couple – the Carmichaels – breaches their human rights. 

The Tory Government ran out of appeal options, which already cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds. Having lost that case the Tory Government is back in court spending more taxpayers money arguing no other disabled person in the UK has those same human rights. “Should the government win this case, it would severely curtail the powers of the social security tribunal,” said Lucy Cadd of Leigh Day solicitors, who is acting for Charlotte and Jayson Carmichael. 

This ruling will ultimately affect every disabled person in the UK – regardless of who you vote for. Read the source or our backup for more details Tories in court claiming disabled people have no human rights.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

The EU lies exposed.

ATR saw this on social media, and the response it generated.

"The real cost of these 'advantages' is complete control from Brussels by Germany and France, so the price is too high for me. 

With no borders a real threat to us all personally as well. The item suggests we get something for free, there is NO such thing. The EU has done most of this via charging the UK £Billions every year, again not exactly freebies! They have made a huge profit via trade on us too, the idea of this federalism is to asset strip member states. 

Only 6 of them had the wherewithal, the rest rely on handouts. Probably those other 22 are getting the most benefit, when did the UK become a major charity financing Europe? Or sending £14.2B a year to the rest of the world, no wonder we are in permanent austerity, and most of the EU member states bordering the Med are in dire straits too. 

The money we pay the EU is money stolen from our poor, our sick and our disabled, 120,000 who paid the ultimate price, they are dead, and our government, in order to feed this ravenous and greedy European beast, demonises them to justify it.  If we complain we are labelled racists, stupids, and out of our heads apparently. We MUST leave."

Breaking News: EU demands Swiss vote re-run again to overrule a majority decision.

Catch the Captions..

As a small group of students from Chatham University, we have found it important to address the issue of incorrect subtitles on online streaming platforms, which include but are not limited to Netflix and YouTube. Incorrect subtitles are a major issue, especially when talking about the deaf and hard at hearing communities. 

When subtitles and captions do not portray what the actors are actually saying, people who are deaf and hard at hearing do not get the same viewing experience as those who are able to hear. To combat this major issue, we created an educational blog, which highlights the importance of catching captions when they are wrong, as well as showing YouTubers how they can edit their own captions to give everyone a fair viewing experience. 

 use #catchthecaption spread the word

(ASL and BSL users please note!).

Faces of Mental Health

A Dundee charity for those with hearing difficulties has helped launch three new videos which are designed to raise awareness of mental health issues among the hard of hearing. Members of Deaf Links, based at the Tayside Deaf Hub in the city centre, helped to develop the Connect Us Too clips, delivered in British Sign Language (BSL) with subtitles and voiceover. 

 Each clip illustrates key information from the See Me campaign – designed to put an end to mental health stigma. The charity DeafScotland claims mental health issues can be up to four times higher in deaf communities. Its chief officer Janis McDonald said: “It’s important to point out that deaf people are up to four times as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety compared to hearing people. “I’m keen to connect deaf people together in Scotland, which is why ‘Connect Us Too’ is a vital project for everyone to work together and tackle mental health for all.”

Friday, 12 April 2019

Hearing First

Maggie is an easy-going fourth grader who loves karaoke, plays in the school band, laughs easily, and makes friends wherever she goes. After their daughter was diagnosed with profound hearing loss as an infant, Maggie’s parents assumed none of this would be possible. But with Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) and cochlear implants, Maggie is living a life beyond their wildest dreams, immersed in the hearing world and exploring her love of music.

The Silence, rubbish deaf film?

Netflix’s latest horror flick The Silence has only been out for 24 hours, but it’s already racked up a fair share of online criticism, and not just for being a lesser A Quiet Place. 

Viewers claim the film poorly portrays the deaf community—probably because its sole deaf character is played by actress Kiernan Shipka, who can hear just fine, according to PopBuzz. The film follows a family trying to survive in a world that’s been taken over by bat-like creatures attacking anything that makes noise.

Fortunately for them, the whole family knows sign language. That’s because the 16-year-old in the family, played by Shipka, lost her hearing three years prior. And, according to the deaf community, the sign language used throughout the film is laughably inaccurate. “If everybody knew sign language, The Silence on Netflix would be a comedy film,” deaf activist and model Nyle DiMarco wrote on Twitter.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Jehovah Witness' targeting the deaf.

I'm not a fan of DeafYou but must unite with them in the view these people are a direct threat to deaf and other vulnerable people. 

Over many years the UK deaf have been targeted too and using sign language to get in deaf people's homes to indoctrinate them, playing on their isolation.   Welsh JW bases centre around the Pontypridd area. These people are highly organised and know exactly how to approach people deaf.  They appear to knock on doors KNOWING there are deaf inside too, where do they get this information?  Deaf clubs have banned them attending.

It is believed the JW encourage those deaf converted to talk about deaf friends at clubs even to ask where they live.  ATR's own home was targeted and they still come to the door despite being told we have no wish to adopt their religious view or area.  It is the persistent and relentless approach that undermines a deaf resolve to prevent them coming, no matter how you explain, be it forcibly! or to give them the benefit of a polite no thank you, they keep coming.

They assume being polite as meaning OK but you need to tell me more! Some deaf get frightened and won't open the door and feel unable to complain or prevent these relentless cold callers targetting them.  Police seem to adopt the 'They are harmless' view they have not broken any law etc....  The very worse thing you can do is keep the door open after telling them thanks but no thanks.  They will hang around for ages, they ask for or give deaf e-mail contact to you, they will ask what issues, addresses, or names your family has because if they can not get at you they can target someone else in your family.

There are in ATR's view serious issues about the database the JW have which contain much personal info regarding those they managed to convert and also gained extra data on other friends and family in the process.  Which is illegal.    Apart from using such data to target those people, there are concerns about what other things they are doing with that data gained from vulnerable people who may not realise what they were asking for during their 'empathy' with own issue.

Dial 55 if you have no speech for help.

A new system has been put in place by Cambridgeshire Police to protect people afraid to talk once dialling 999. 

Dialling 55 after calling emergency services will alert police operators that you are in need of assistance but cannot speak. A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “There are many different reasons why someone may need to call the police. “In some situations, the caller may not be able to speak due to needing to keep the call private to protect their safety.

“Most people will be surprised to know just how many accidental 999 calls are answered by operators in the UK every single day. “Police operators will try to distinguish if the call is genuine or what is commonly known as a ‘pocket dial’ by answering a series of questions. “If there are slight noises such as breathing that lead the operator to think someone is in fact on the other end of the line and cannot talk, the call taker will ask the individual to dial 55 to make it clear they cannot talk. 

“Dialling 55 will then send the call through to the police, who can try to locate the caller and send out assistance if it is believed the call is an emergency.” The force spokesman added: “It is important to note the force does not automatically have details of the caller’s location so cannot send automatic assistance, particularly if the caller is using a mobile phone.” 

Deaf woman has job offer withdrawn 'She's a risk'.

Lacey-Rose Saamanthy
A deaf woman was offered a job at a hospital which was then withdrawn. Lacey-Rose Saamanthy, from Harlow, Essex, was offered a job in a cafe at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford after a successful interview. But after two months without any news she eventually received a letter telling her she could no longer have a job over concerns about a risk assessment. 

The hospital trust said keeping people safe was "really important". Miss Saamanthy said she had been "delighted" to have been finally offered a job after applying for "thousands". She said: "I asked, 'when do I start', but things seemed to get postponed and I didn't hear anything, so after two months my partner Maurice called them to see what was going on. Customer warnings "Finally I got a letter which said, 'I'm really, really sorry but we are going to reject your application because you are deaf'. 

They listed a few reasons, which I didn't think was good enough. I was upset, confused, it was just terrible." Among the hospital's concerns were Miss Saamanthy being unable to tell customers costs and give warnings about the temperature of drinks. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (MEHSNT), which runs the hospital, said it had contacted Miss Saamanthy to explore other opportunities for her at the hospital. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

NZ Video interpeting.

Deaf awareness and the Native Americans

Living in a hearing world.

More like explaining difficulties of doing that, the 'image' of support helps create those barriers, as it will when she leaves education, and whilst BSL support in school helped I don't think you can create or maintain a hearing-deaf social circle with that method. Whilst a terp enables in the school what happens outside that? Do her hearing friends encourage and include her?  As this is the only way to live in a hearing world and not just co-exist with it.

Growing up deaf

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Trump and discrimination.

Image result for feeding the beast

A UK social media view via comments and reports of white supremacists wanting to kill black people.

#1  There isn't denying that trump is a white supremacist. His language, actions and policies have all proven this. But you don't need to look at America alone... fascism and Nationalism is increasing. The neoliberal dream has turned into a nightmare and every candidate that bashes globalisation with a solution being isolationism is increasing in popularity in Every continent.... people want answers but too lazy or distracted to find them and demand politicians figure them out. So only ever wait for quick and easy to digest solutions. The issue lays in the fact no politician serves long enough term time to make systemic changes so end up being enablers to the march of globalisation. Just feeding the beast, hoping to just serve another term in power... IMHO.

#2  Black, white, striped, disabled, trans, straight, or ginger hair, there will always be people who cannot accept diversity or difference. As each area implodes or re-enforces itself doing their own thing so more discrimination exists or is created anew. The become own stereotypes with haves and have nots, as a result, recreating 'acceptable discrimination.' My own area of people with hearing loss and profound deafness is polarised and has been for many years. It is already an accepted norm via 'them and us.' mainly as a result of minority areas within the whole using different communication approaches, attending specialist education, and opposing alleviation etc. 

#3  They start life apart from the mainstream and never able to get into it after leaving education. Immigrants/asylum seekers, migrants etc gather together too and erect own systems on arriving the end result is they do own thing as well, multiculturalism covers a multitude of sins really. 

#4 I don't believe a level playing field is possible or wanted. Most will want to go one better or want more, its a basic drive within us. Nobody wants to be the same as everyone else. Obviously, hate is not acceptable, but, neither are supported 'go it alone areas' either which undermine real inclusion. Discrimination needs redefining but should not be all-inclusive, it sets up a situation whereby discrimination flourishes and new discriminations keep emerging.  The current 'Hashtag' approaches are 'feeding the beast' too.

Natilik Live; Deaf awareness week.

Deaf rights in Peru.

Turkish Sign Alphabet

But still no signs for 'Democracy' or 'Freedom' apparently.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Yee-Ha! (The weekly round up).

Deaf Theatre website.

My Deafness defined.

Deaf boy has IQ 'greater than Einstein'

A 12-year-old boy has joined Mensa after achieving 162 on an IQ test, a higher score than Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. Darren Toh, who was born deaf, is also an accomplished musician. He scored the highest grade possible for a child on the test. The boy from Aughton, Lancashire, said he thought he was smart but "not quite a genius".

Thursday, 4 April 2019

HoH phone relay system cuts.

Shirley Edwards has a phone transcription service for the hearing impaired
But, they INCREASED funding for sign language users, and in the UK offered them $1400 a week.  

Federal funding cut is a threat to hearing impaired phone transcriptions, providers say. Shirley Edwards has a phone transcription service for the hearing impaired and said she would be lost without her phone transcription service. 

Shirley Edwards was thrown into a world of confusion and frustration when she began losing her hearing in her 30s. Key points: The Federal Government wants to cut NRS funding by more than $10 million a year Senate estimates has heard the new tender process failed to deliver value for money Deaf Services Queensland said one in six Australians were affected by hearing loss The Brisbane woman, who has two cochlear implants, is able to handle phone calls on her own thanks to a service that converts conversations into text for people with hearing difficulties. 

But there are growing questions over the future of the National Relay Service (NRS), which provides the translations, with the Federal Government planning to cap funding for the service at two-thirds of its current cost. Mrs Edwards is among more than 4,000 people around Australia, largely hearing-impaired or elderly, who rely on CapTel handsets to communicate on the phone. The handset operates like a regular phone, except it connects to an NRS operator who translates the conversation and sends it back as text within seconds. "It takes away the isolation and gives me a lot of independence," she said. 

"I don't have to rely on people to make my phone calls for me." A range of phones for deaf people PHOTO: A range of CapTel phones for people with hearing difficulties. (www.nocostcaptel.com) A Senate estimates hearing in February was told it cost more than $31 million to provide the NRS in the 2017/18 financial year and $32 million in 2016/17. With the contract now up for renewal, the Federal Government has called for tenders capped at $22 million a year. 

Hearing loss therapy via your hearing aid.

Hearing out the deaf: IISc researchers design a smartphone-based therapy and hearing aid
IISc researchers design a smartphone-based therapy and hearing aid.

About 6 in every 1000 children screened in the world are born deaf, and for every 200 of them, only one speech therapist is available. The situation is even worse in countries like India, where most people are poor, and health services are not readily available. In a recent study, a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have designed a hearing aid that can offer substantial support, especially in the Indian context. 

The study, published in the Proceedings of IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, emerged from a course project at IISc, with intellectual contributions from Dr Ramesh A and Ms. Littina George Manalel, St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru. Speech and hearing therapy require considerable time and commitment from the parents of the hearing impaired. Besides, therapists are unavailable at many places across India. 

The cost of hearing aids, which range from INR 15,000 to INR 2,50,000, and regular visits to a therapist, add to the economic burden of these families. In the current study, the researchers have designed a simple smartphone application to offer therapy, integrated with an affordable hearing aid. The prototype of this hearing aid costs about INR 5000—a third of those available in the market. “We are working hard on the therapy application now and are hoping to strike partnerships for faster development of the hearing aid. We hope to raise some funding to start clinical testing of this concept within this year”, says Dr Manish.

Arora, the lead researcher of the study from UTSAAH Lab at the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM), IISc. The newly developed hearing aid can be connected to a smartphone application, via Bluetooth. The application is multilingual and currently supports English and Kannada languages. The app is designed to switch between two modes—a ‘hearing aid’ mode and a ‘therapy’ mode. In the ‘hearing aid’ mode, the ambient sounds are amplified and processed to enable the child to hear clearly. In the ‘therapy’ mode, pre-programmed audio clips, available in the application, can be accessed and therapy sessions can be conducted by the parents or caretakers of the child.