Having watched part of a recent 'SEE HEAR' BSL program recently about deaf mental health and politically correct signing, one tends to despair at the way deaf media are approaching the issues and lives of deaf people with their confused and mixed/biased messages.
If we take the first issue of Deaf mental health (The emphasis being on the capital D which defeated the point at the start), A deaf mental health charity talked about the issues as they saw them with 3 people in the same room (The client, the professional and the Interpreter) with both the charity person and the client stating a terp in the same room was hindering the help point. 'We don't want hearing there..' she said 'Support works better one on one, aka both pro and client signing'. Are there any deaf professionals to operate such a service? no answer. Given the D4D charity rejected any hearing intermediary what alternative was there a charity of amateurs doing it on a cultural basis? Who would take that?
It was not stated if the charity representative was herself a qualified psychiatrist experienced in' Deaf/Cultural issues' or if that was even relative to an issue of the depression the item was covering, as the client stated the depression came from nowhere in particular not hearing induced. Why was the charity rep blaming hearing help? Their own chosen support?
It ended up with the Deaf charity rep pleading for a unity of deaf, Deaf, Acquired, deafened even HoH areas to unite to support an inclusive mental health set up together, but she had already advocated a 'stand-alone' BSL system it was the crux of her whole point (?) it just looked as if she was using the unity plea as a means to getting more support for her own stand-alone charity which would not be a system others not signing or non-cultural would use anyway. There has been no demand for such unity, indeed a unity unsupported BY 'Deaf' who want to do own thing.
By far those who struggle with hearing are those opposing hearing inclusion policies, endlessly creating identity crisis issues, and pursuing the politics of blame, at the same time demanding 'stand-alone' BSL educational approaches too. The item was highly misleading on SEE HEAR and sadly the people involved could not see that point or what they were even advocating. SHows lack of awareness or appreciation of what is going on in their own 'community'. Poor Show SEE HEAR, do better or leave it to others.
Are you signing the right way?
It would also appear the next item regarding what is the 'right sign' deaf should use when referring to ethnic or other areas of the deaf community, ignored what BSL is actually based on, which in the main and as regards to different races, is based on the visual images they present. Even 'sign naming' of peers is based on this. So referring visually to points that identify others as different from them are now not to be used, yet whole areas of the deaf community have clubs dedicated to those differing areas. Jewish deaf clubs, African deaf clubs, Asian deaf clubs etc.
Should we make those illegal too? They are hardly 'inclusive' areas are they? They use equality right to stand apart, as the 'Deaf' do (!). The hashtag culture maybe won't work with deaf people who 'sign what they see' not what they are told to see. The whole news item ignored a cultural truism, the signs are contextual not personal. I wonder how they tackle deaf who use signs for people with ginger hair it would become a minefield. The purists cannot see that the whole thing is divisive, not helpful.