Sunday, 30 June 2019

ISL. What is it for?

#1 Is International Sign Language universal ?   

Someone has asked.  There were numerous replies that said yes but ATR disagrees, especially when he asked what was being said and there were no captions or narrative supplied and few of that watching could explain.. No it isn't.  ISL is barely understood by most who use own country/area signing. These videos are unviewable outside the European Union who promotes sign as a matter of rote more than in support of it.  The WFD is a joke mostly.  Omitting speech and captions is depriving most deaf of actual access UNLESS they use this 'ISL' (Which is discrimination actually).  It's a novelty concept a 'one sign that fits all..' but is unlikely to happen given the growing demands for own country recognition and the considerable variation of skills and education.  

You have to be pretty expert and fluent in at least one signed access area to be 'bilingual' in another, or you have no 'in' to it. Since when did sport need a signed narrative anyway? 

Those of you who can remember 'Deaf Mosiac' will recall it took SIX interpreters to hold a discussion when just 3 signers were discussing world sign language access, the cross-translation issue dissolved pretty much to Farce when after it finished deaf asked what on earth the debate was about and the ASL contingent complained mainly because demands for a signing 'Norm' are opposed via the Deaf on the grounds it opposes regional signing and norms.  It's like asking us all to learn Chinese/Spanish/English after all, more people speak that so...

Attitude changes and deaf culture.

Deaf Culture; An Atitudinal Change from Ed Video Media Arts Centre on Vimeo.

A fact she forgets to mention is the huge financial and translation support costs for their inclusion and acceptance is a reality e.g. Here.   We know a right to work is essential, but her suggestion everyone ignores the reality of being deaf and accept it is some 'cultural' phenomenon needs to be clarified.  It's as she stated a NON-Hereditary issue given families are predominantly hearing not deaf.  It's easy to suggest people look beyond the disability or accept there isn't one (!), but the visual proof is in the proverbial pudding.  Whether the 'deaf clubs' can replace deaf schools re-education is debatable.  What they are acquiring in the few deaf clubs left here in the UK is a culture based on Chinese whispers and where the more able pretty much determine what that 'education' is.  

Whilst discrimination does exist (It exists for all disabled, not just the deaf), it doesn't help to heap 'blame' on the very people you need onside.  Of course, what isolates the deaf is sign language, and a lack of confidence to integrate or even attempt to, mostly it's a long list of pre-demands first before they will try.  The fact they prefer not to and stay 'with own people..' is self-defeating too.  Only by deaf creating own demand and pitching in where they can, will break the vicious circle of adopting the position of martyrdom frankly.  The world is 'out there' not just in a deaf setting of sign users, who, are a minority within own deaf area.

At the core, ATR does not feel preaching 'everyone is against us..' is any help at all.  We all need to bite the bullet and step out of that comfort zone, who knows, maybe then the hearing majority will feel if they try, then we will.  Deaf awareness has failed and continues to fail, and the more we 'demand' the less empathy we seem to get because there are literally 1,000s of areas demanding their 10 pence worth too, what makes YOU so special?  Making more effort?  There are many with hearing loss who never use sign language at all, never have access to work and just get on with it. Hard of Hearing don't even create their loss awareness any more, and appear to have solved the access questions, are these 'Deaf' just creating a barrier because it tends to highlight sign and culture, ergo if everyone signs then its not a novelty, and culture ceases to have major relevance.

Is it even in the 'Deaf' interests to be included?  Culture or the pursuit of it, has actually created jobs for the deaf, and, also created a questionable area of deaf people whose motives are far from culturally driven.

Stormzy and BSL

I've no idea what grime is but.... The U.K. grime star Stormzy staged an epic Glastonbury Festival set on Friday night, but the real star of the night was out in the crowd.

Tara Asher is a British Sign Language interpreter, and — according to the BBC's Colin Paterson — is also one of only four who specializes in signing grime. On Friday, Asher brought her talents to Stormzy's Glastonbury set, where she translated his entire set into BSL.  (For anyone who might not know, "grime" is a musical genre born in the U.K. that's like a blend of dancehall and hip hop.)

Asher's performance — there's no better word to describe her contribution to the show —  is a delight. She apparently spent an entire day rehearsing for each of the songs she performed. It shows.  Only 4 British Sign Language interpreters in the UK are specialists in Grime. Tara Asher signed Stormzy’s Glasto set for deaf festival goers. 

She rehearsed each song for a day. This is joyous. She LOVES her job.

More videos on Link.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Theatre Access for BSL in Wales

Wonder how the Welsh language society sees translations in Wales via BSL using ENGLISH? Given Welsh BSL users don't know their own signed or spoken versions.  Will be interesting to see how the BSL terps re-translate to English, the Welsh language input!  Methinks neither the deaf nor the access areas understand the issues at all.  Didn't BSL get banned from the Eistedd for using English?   It seems in the cultural battlefields Wales is losing out to a disabled culture by default and, via nil real demand.

Friday, 28 June 2019

10 things U need to know about hearing loss.

A word to our Viewers... PEP!

Image result for ridiculous adverts

Basically it is to highlight that Deaf.Read is allowing adverts in, none are even deaf-related. Are the mods on Holiday?

How to film sign language

How to Film Sign Language from Ed Video Media Arts Centre on Vimeo.

Sign coverage and presentation will always offer up a visual distraction and compete for our attention.  The reality is apart from a minority of deaf people, subtitling and captions are more than adequate.  When 'demands' for access go in, they almost entirely state it is as a 'preference' and not as a need anyway.  

The old days of everyone assuming the deaf are illiterate and cannot read  (Or even prefer not to!), are long gone, and ATR deplores deaf areas that are still saying this and fudging the issues with competing grammar claims.  Our levels of literacy can be the envy of many disability and hearing areas.  We need to stop dumbing ourselves down in some misguided drive to support sign and culture.  'We can sign too..' is a bonus, not a be-all, and end-all for most.

The issue is about where to place/size the sign more than anything, and anywhere on screen where it is a real distraction to what is being covered needs to be addressed, ideally,  a system of being able to remove sign from the screeen is the best option for the majority of hearing people, we have that option via text, (The UK is the 888 button), it is why subtitling is so successful and acceptable, and in most part removed the need for sign access,statistically demand is virtually nil in the UK for it if we peruse media viewing figures for areas already signed. We need a '888' for sign too.  

We don't see a need to place an Interpreter on the same level or stage as the person speaking either.  It may be great to plug sign language but annoying in most part as this presents a conflict of viewing.  Surely the technology already exists for an '888' sign option? From across the pond, we at ATR tend to view the USA approach as both overkill and theatrical mostly, the upward scrolling of text is a distraction too. We suspect this is the strong USA deaf lobby being able to use their ADA a lot more effectively than the UK deaf can use their FOUR versions of it.

A lot of news output is a mess of scrolling and text placing entirely unnecessary and distracting.  Less, is more.  Adding sign on screen to those can make viewing content impossible to follow. Addressing the presentation needs some work too, it is about translation not making 'celebs' out of the more extrovert Interpreters, who are another huge distraction we don't need.  Deaf ignoring the hearing need is fraught with issues, they need to compromise and text is acceptable to all.

The Truth Bomb

Kathy Buckley. Deaf comedian drops truth bomb. from Melissa Delaine on Vimeo.

I do wish people posting videos up would stop filming through letter-boxes... Why spend $100s on a phone that cannot take a proper photo?

Introducing those with hearing loss to Music.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

NUBSLI: the first 5 years

It was difficult to determine just how many BSL terps were actual union members, or if there was any sort of regulatory system to remove bad terps.  Currently, 908 exist in the UK, and about 234 trainees.

How is the distribution?   66 In Scotland, with 9 trainees.  Wales has listed 47.  Do we assume Northern Ireland and England have the rest?  It's a lottery really nobody really knows for sure.

Most are almost entirely freelance and unregulated, and please themselves who they support and when, having a  captive client base, a lot are literally 'At their W.I.T.S.' end, as they row over the systems trying to organise them into a viable and regular/fixed identifiable access area to access for deaf needs of sign users, and answerable for their work (Regulation), along with an attempt to regularise wages.  It is astounding that no such system really exists, putting deaf people at some risk.  These scarce professionals are also migrating to areas where there is more work for them leaving more remote or rural areas with no cover for their deaf.  They are following the work and money.

Recent and ongoing issues of UK welfare changes have left 2/3rd of deaf signers with no cover.    There just isn't enough of them to deal with that and the 'bread and butter' Terp work of GP's, clinical areas etc...  Deaf sign users wanting help to claim benefits were told BSL terps aren't there for the DWP to book.  60% in one area of Wales were then unable to claim any.

Nobody is questioning the bias these people have in promoting 'access' campaigns either.  There have been complaints BSL interpreters are playing down the inclusion of captioning and subtitling to gain more work for themselves and by splitting up public information access videos into the BSL-only ones e.g. playing to the cultural gallery,  and 'the rest' which is forcing systems to choose who gets the priority, or even assuming 'all deaf people sign.'.  Non-signers are then being marginalised as they don't have the representation or organisation the deaf do, or indeed, the professionals to support THEM.    It is a conundrum the minority are being more supported than the majority are.

Only TWO people were qualified in Wales to assist lip-readers.  There are no records of any being used in the health areas, a lot said to be included (But not identified), within BSL statistics.  Which actually bumps up BSL stats not includes non-signers.  The overall image being there is no demand except that for BSL.  It also suggests the non-signer needs to get organised or lose their access altogether.  You don't demand you don't get.

UNITE cannot regulate this union either.  Like other insitutions, nobody wants to challenge 'Disability' areas, their support, or their setups.  By far the only way the deaf who sign, can get the support they claim to need is to stop bypassing the professionals and create the demand, even then they would be looking at another 10 years for that to happen.   The huge cost of qualifying and the low wages are not making it realistic to many potential trainees.  Short of the system making BSL training a free option or subsidising it.....  not much will change.

It is alleged (There is no proof), that 125,000 deaf use sign language, albeit the census asked them and less than 1/5th claimed to be any regular users of it.  This suggests most deaf don't want or use BSL, and/or as some suspect, they are ignoring Interpreters to utilise family instead or found alternatives to  BSL Interpreters.   We can only hope it may mean less reliance on BSL itself and they have more options available to them,.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Mock News Conference

Americans do seem to place their interpreters don't they? An immense distraction to anyone not deaf, the terps should not be obstructing others on the dais or challenging the speaker image.  It's not all about the signer.

Designing for Deaf people....

Video HERE:   Websites are a very visual medium. You, therefore, might think that they will work for people who are Deaf. But is that true? Marie tells a personal and entertaining story about things you’ve never realised. About four-dimensional language, the pros and cons of video captions, the recognition of exclusion and, of course, the importance of inclusivity. 

If you think about improving the usability and accessibility of your website, there are some points of interests that are already well known. For example, use enough contrast to make text readable. When using colours in your designs, consider people who are colour blind. Do not write complicated text, and so on. But there are so many more things you can do. In order to find out what these things are, you really need to listen to people who are dealing with a particular ‘disability’ or situation. 

People will tell or show you things that you never considered before. If you want to reach a large or a specific group, you have to involve people from that group in the design process. Listen to the people who are the real experts, to those who are in a particular situation and run into their particular problems daily. They are the real experts. In my presentation, I will sign about how sign language is an intrinsically different language and how to make your website accessible for Deaf people, but actually for everyone.

Women who make music accessible

Raising awareness of the deaf condition.

CHALLENGE: Friends Mark Hodgson, centre and Danny Dorney, right, with team driver Chris Potts are walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise awareness of the issues surrounding deafness
TWO deaf pals are walking the length of Britain to raise awareness of their condition and other issues deaf people can face. Danny Dorney, 50, of Huntington, and Mark Hodgson, 43, from Nottingham, along with team driver, Christopher Potts, 41, from Pocklington, have embarked on the almost 900-mile route from John O'Groats to Land's End. Both have faced mental health battles due to the difficulties of coping with their condition. 

According to statistics, the deaf are twice as likely to experience mental health issues compared with those who can hear. The duo set out mid-June and their epic journey is expected to take eight weeks to complete. They have battled injuries and stayed in tents and hostels, but the deaf community has helped them on the way, providing food and moral support. They are aiming to raise £10,000 for sign language counselling services.


Monday, 24 June 2019

Deaf-Blind Awareness

Description: DeafBlind woman with brown hair being pulled back, is wearing a maroon shirt with 3 buttons on front and 3/4 length sleeves with one button on each sleeve. She is standing behind a yellow door with eye hole and tan wall on the right. 

Transcript: This year, Deafblind awareness week will take place from June 23-27 2019. This annual event draws attention to Deafblind individuals throughout the United States. This week coincides with Helen Kellers birthday which is on June 27th. We have been honouring Helen for over 25 years, and she is a role model for the Deafblind community. Helen has served as a prime example that Deafblind people can be successful and independent. Her story has been the spark behind empowering those who are Deafblind to achieve their goals. This includes job training, learning braille, living in the community and becoming gainfully employed. I encourage you to celebrate this event, and remember that people in the Deafblind world are capable and successful individuals within your community! 

Thank you.

Inside Bali's deaf village

Stuck in the middle

It really does not have to be this way. People can just be themselves and do not have to fit anyone else's' criteria or identity. It is those 'pressures' (Mostly social I suspect), that makes life miserable for those with hearing loss who either acquire it after formative years or on the cusp of educational areas or struggling to find the most effective means to communicate.

Firstly its as much about confidence as it is about communication if you lack the former the latter is much more difficult to attain.  To 'fit in' requires compromise as it does everywhere, but don't let that compromise stop you being happy with who you are, or you will never attain it.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Concert for the deaf

Sherrie Hewson on her struggle to hear

 Sherrie has revealed she's going deaf
I don't think UK charities will need to approach her to champion issues of hearing loss!  So many misconceptions about hearing loss and those with them, trotting out the archaic view of 'only oldies wear hearing aids', and then compounding her unawareness by hiding her own hearing loss, and her hearing aids in case her peers stigmatise her.  Wearing glasses was OK.  Try joining the 21st-century love, or even the 20th!

Sherrie Hewson has revealed she's going deaf and is reliant on hearing aids. The Benidorm former Coronation Street actress, 68, found out her hearing was deteriorating after popping to her local optician for an eye test. Sherrie has revealed she's going deaf.

“That’s when I remembered my eight-year-old granddaughter Molly saying: ‘Nana, why are you always shouting?’. “I’d had a test five years ago but I’d done nothing about it.  “It would have been different if it had been my eyes. But there’s a stigma attached to ­being deaf, isn’t there?

Wearing an aid makes you feel like an old person. “They solved any stigma attached to glasses by making them funky. They’re like a fashion accessory now. I know people who buy them with plain glass in them.” The actress has played Benidorm's Joyce Temple-Savage since 2012.

Sherrie says she isn't bothered about wearing the aids because they're so small she can barely see them. She said: “They’re so small you can hardly see them and especially if you wear your hair to your jawline. I had the wire dyed to the colour of my roots which hides them even more. “I couldn’t believe the difference. I can hear everything now. I’m only wearing them at home at the moment. I tried them outdoors but the traffic was too loud. It was a shock. “What people don’t understand is that, if you’re deaf, it’s not the volume that you miss so much as the clarity. I must have spent half my life lip-reading without realising it. I was forever accusing the family of mumbling.

Saturday, 22 June 2019


Image result for 2 million

ATR extends many thanks to the followers of ATR for helping it reach 2m views on Deaf. Read alone.  This is a true reflection of your interest as ATR blocks return visit and views being counted to 'bump up' audience figures too.

ATR is a blog produced by 'MM' from Wales in the United Kingdom.  It is not culture or 'Deaf' specific in nature but does have own views on that area, it covers wider areas of the hearing loss community and world news/views too.  We don't feel deaf culture is all there is to our world.

ATR had and still has, many opponents and much opposition in the UK itself, who feel ATR is negative and oppositional to the signing deaf and their culture.  Involvement by ATR on UK social media sites were eventually blocked wholesale such was the opposition to ATR input.  It meant if ATR was to survive it would have to seek a more democratic and open area to express a view, and to challenge if need be, established attitudes that ATR felt are neither helping the deaf or HoH community.  The rise of the clique being a direct threat to harmony and a threat to democratic discourse.

It found that alternative in Deaf. Read an American aggregated site who were more (But not entirely!), open to input from other deaf around the world.  Initially, UK opposition followed ATR to DR too, and tried to get it banned.  DR eventually started removing that opposition, being exposed as abusive content and a phishing scam that pretended to be ATR and was filled with homosexual porn links and disgusting personal abuse. 78  posts on one blog saying ATR would be gang-raped unless he left. 

Image result for party  cartoonATR being only the 2nd UK site involved at the time.  ATR then went on to attain the 1st position on the DR blog rating list, as far as we know still unchallenged by any other UK blogger.  But, ATR isn't about being best or first, it is primarily a micro 'news' blog.  We aren't a 'website' as such only a blogger format if ATR wanted glory (!) it would be using extensive Social media options and a dedicated website Google would actually see or flogging ad space to charities to engender more views.  ATR ISN'T primarily a 'social' site, the area is too much of a vested interested minefield to get involved in without us wanting to throttle some people!

ATR is by definition 'at the edge' of the deaf community. The owner is deaf and signs but also lip-reads and with a born deaf signer of the community as a partner who hasn't forgotten his hearing roots despite not really having anything useful after the 13th birthday...  Profound deafness kicking in at 21.  ATR's experience covers a lot of areas, from the early disability movements to now.  ATR also solely represented UK deaf people at the launch of the UK 1995 disability Act launch in Manchester, England.

Since ATR started blogging we have seen many access and inclusion issues, technology advances, and ATR was there when the first captioned CC video was aired on youtube, indeed was the third party as a grass root deaf person to have a go at it himself despite claims CC was some fad at the time.  ATR also saw the first subtitling on UK TV sets.

Related image
ATR saw the introduction in the UK of minicom access to the telephone, another 'fad' the deaf and systems at the time thought would never catch on.  ATR also campaigned for and had installed 40 of them in his area to be installed at the police, hospitals and welfare and SS depts enabling deaf to communicate direct themselves as well as a designated office and accessible hospital area for deaf alone.    There was no widespread use of the mobile phone then it was strictly dial-up.

The primary opponents to such access were the Deaf community themselves, and the systems who assumed the deaf could not use the telephone system namely because they couldn't read, so how could they text? (that statement came from their own dedicated social services), and the Deaf said they had no phones to make a call.  Not everyone at that time saw the phone as a future option, how times have changed!

As a short overview today, we see much less deaf or HoH access or innovation than we see now, huge concerns deaf and the disabled are under wholesale attack from UK systems who think we are too expensive to support, and too lazy to help ourselves, combined with major closures of deaf clubs, deaf schools, and withdrawals of basic access to deaf welfare and care support and caps on our support to work.  we have gone back not forward. 2020 looks like more of the same.

We have less than we had 25 years ago. Technology usage has masked many realities, and the claim we are an online community has mixed feelings with ATR, given the deaf and HoH need face to face to make communication really work, ATR feels people need other people.  Deaf attitudes and direction have changed too, many areas have polarised into cultural communities and 'rest' doing their own thing pretty much, ATR doesn't see that as unity or inclusion or these as a deaf priority anymore.   

There is a singular idea of what progress and access is, that does not look very inclusive to ATR.  That was always the basis of ATR challenges to culture, it never challenged the people on the ground, who look entirely puzzled at what passes for their representations online and far more realistic and inclusive.  They want to get to the next day and really less concerned with projects that are ideological more than practical.

ATR also is challenging to charities, which it feels limit the advance to independence.  There is a corporate stitch up of who directs that support too, with us an image, but without any real clout at all.  What ATR leads on DR and UK sites is basically that little has changed in real terms in the UK at least, and the community ethos has become part of its own view of an 'establishment' but still hasn't managed to divorce its social from medical attitudes because of the basic realities of need, both financial and supportive.  Hopefully, ATR won't change in the future, again many thanks to that who have persevered with ATR regardless!


Friday, 21 June 2019

I'm not racist... really!

Image result for im not a racist
While the USA, a country built by migrants that also has controversial views on who and how many to admit has its issues, here is a typical UK view.

#1 London lets them all in, then they 'export' them to Wales and Northern England etc after. It is time they examined the criteria for refugee status, starting with a refusal if they come here illegally or pay to do so. Genuine Asylum seekers don't need to violate our laws to get admission, and, the refugee/asylum rule states 1st port of call not last.

#2  Right, a number have crossed 3 war zones and 11 countries, which suggests they don't at least, feel Europe is a safe haven if they are intent on coming here to the UK. Many from Northern African countries come to Europe for a better life, i.e. they are 'work' migrants, not refugees, and tear up ID papers if they feel we demand proof and assume then the refugee status.

#3  I doubt the genuine refugee really exists as such as we understand that definition. The ridiculous blurring of 'oppression' and 'discriminations' terminology by the ECHR, the EU, and the UN has left world borders wide open. If all else fails when caught out, insist you are fleeing persecution, its ridiculous.

#4 The reality, is that Europe has no borders enabling anyone with a rubber dinghy to get here must suggest the EU is to blame for a lot of it. As I understood this 'freedom of movement' gig, it applied only to EU member states, did they simply think these immigrants/asylum seekers/work migrants or plain randoms would not see that actually, Europe has no border controls at all? Apart from anything else the middle east issues leave Europe and us, wide open to people you really do not want here, terrorists and IS supporters e.g.

#5  Many come here with language, health issues, different ideas and alternatives to UK lifestyles, and with a lot of educational need, that puts a heavy strain on current provision for our own people.  The law such as it is in the UK also enables them legally to pursue options that don't really encompass integration or inclusion at all, but enables sectarian and 'stand-alone' areas, that defeats multiculturalism as a format supposed to integrate us all.  Lots of different people lots doing own thing etc.  Integration is about inclusion primarily, not going it alone and doing whatever you want.  That's taking advantage.

#6  I'm fed up of it, and it is frustrating to get racists and discrimination jibes thrown at people who state these simple facts. Sadly, the huge influx of immigrants means the very services and things they come here for, will collapse under the weight of their own need demands.

#7  Europe is a continent we are just an island, and a number of islands in the med have been flooded already, replacing or outnumbering the local population, I fear for the British way of life. 

#8 In the end, those nearest the flood of immigrants are re-establishing individual country borders again, so the European 'Union' is accepting a tiered approach to things and that some countries have a right to re-erect borders within that union, which ultimately means nationalists can and will, undermine the basic freedom to roam rule with impunity, I don't see the EU lasting long at that rate, and annoyed the EU and well-meaning here,  is insisting only the UK has to comply with anyone can come here.

Sweet (But uneccesary), charity?

Image result for charity tinsATR's challenge to charity met in social media and you get a history lesson too.  ATR claims charities are a self-perpetuating brake par se on independence for deaf or disabled people and as much the cause as the cure.

#1 I'm going to challenge you on what charity always was.  It wasn't to replace the NHS, which didn't exist, but to replace a lost/destroyed mediaeval welfare state.  Charities were set up as a tax-avoidance scheme under Elizabeth I. Henry VIII is known for whats is now called the 'dissolution of the monasteries'.  The church had been, in effect, the welfare state.  It provided healthcare (or, more realistically, palliative care), homes for destitute (albeit often as nuns/monks), education etc.  What Henry did was to steal most of the land and resources, leaving the population helpless.

People with money also tried to provide for others after their death by 'uses' which were like trusts, bypassing death taxes.  Henry legislated them away but before he died, lawyers invented trusts, which were the same dodge.  Give your money to someone else before you die to look after your family or whoever, and you bypass the death tax.  Elizabeth created the 'charity', using this new 'trust' set-up.  The legislation she signed off on is known as The Statute of Elizabeth, and is, to mix metaphors, her crowning glory.

The original definition of charity, slightly amended in the late C20, was basically where someone or some people did one or more of the things we think of as the welfare state, like the relief of poverty, tending the sick, education etc.  Thus it was an official way for rich people to avoid death tax, which would otherwise have gone to the crown.  It was how Elizabeth and her government and civil servants set up a new welfare state.  Not a good one, far from comprehensive, but nevertheless that was what it was.

It remains the case that a charity is a set up where someone or some people get tax concessions if what they're doing with their money amounts to things that we would, in other contexts, call the welfare state.  Thus Charities and their function as a tax concession (with no requirement to be 'nice') precede the NHS by a few centuries.  And it remains the case that most charities are small and most aren't well known.  Even the not-so-small ones are generally not campaigning charities in the way we know one.

I was a director/trustee for many years of a charity with an annual income the best part of £5million p/a.  It was known in the local area but we weren't asking the man in the street for donations.  We got the money from grants, including the EU, the council, other charities, businesses etc.  We provided schooling for 'disaffected' pupils, nurseries, groups for elders, out of school activities, youth training and activities, a couple of playgrounds, a bit of greenery, place for craft groups etc.  We provided somewhere for people to meet, somewhere for the people no one else could be bothered to help.  Sometimes the most important thing we did was to get people in a deprived area to get what they were entitled to.

The trustees (like me) were unpaid, and we took care over salary ratios.  As we had a school, the CEO, who's been one of those that had set up the charity, was entitled to pay on a national salary scale but had a distinctly lower level of pay at her own request.  I don't disagree with your descriptions as they apply to a relatively small number of well-known charities, but they do not represent the majority of the many thousands of charities in the UK.

More to the point, whilst I agree with you that it is wrong for the welfare state to be destroyed and for people to be expected to rely on charity, I fundamentally disagree with your analysis of what charities are.  I think that your image of them is based on relatively few well-known ones, not on the vast majority of them. Apart from anything else, I would draw a sharp line between what you describe as exec and campaigning levels.  In relation to those charities (which aren't the majority) that campaign, I can see the issue as regards visible disability, although I'm not sure the basis on which you'd say it for invisible disability.  

I'm also very dubious as to whether you've actually got any reliable statistics for executives of charities overall.   I think you've developed a very fixed notion of a charity as a modern thing and as being the sort of charity that just a few, well-known ones are.  As I say, I would agree that there are lots of problems with them, but I disagree that they are representative of charities overall.


There are no two ways about it.  Charity should NOT be a substitute for any state provision, it is the onus on the government and respect for human rights they look after and provide for the most vulnerable of the populace.  Apart from anything else 76% of charities are run by people unqualified to do so, so aren't able to provide the support they claim effectively.  Most are set up by people well-meaning who may well have vulnerable relatives, but that still does not qualify them to provide the right support.  As a result, most fail or there is a mass duplication area by area scrabbling for a cut of the ever decreasing cake to provide the same or similar services as the people in the next county or areas.  National charities you would really struggle to FIND any disabled people leading those or, making the decisions of support or where to supply it.  62% of ALL Charity HQ's are based in London or Southern England.  Anywhere else the queen won't give them a gong.

The charity relies on the goodwill and occasional funding from the government it's just not good or reliable enough to supply the needs of the disabled and vulnerable population, meanwhile, the DWP is taking it all away again.  I confess disappointment disabled are involved with them, I suspect most were fooled by 'Disabled know best how to help other disabled' mantra, this was an image sold to them by the uncaring state, and, we bought it.  So disabled take the blame again when charity doesn't cut it.  The Charity Commission has a 51% government stake thus ensuring our desire to set out what is really needed (which of course costs money), is restricted.  The CC also has no ruling on vetting people wanting to set up a charity not even if those who apply can show an ability to run one, or enough knowledge/ability to provide the services they claim.  A 'good idea at the time' seems to be it.

10 years ago The deaf had 48 charities in the UK all doing the same thing.  They multiplied to 163 today still all claiming to provide the same services.  The national charities of the BDA/AOHL have next to NO deaf members at all.  We deserted them after they pushed out deaf people at exec level and claimed they could not prioritise the deaf grass root or train them up to required levels, because "That would leave our charity open to claims we are discriminating against hearing people..'  I said yes, you mean the 94% of hearing staff who run your charity?  or the 11% of hearing immigrants from the EU eastern bloc you hired? and you paid their visa fees with our money?   At that point I got racist jibes hurtled at me.

The reality is disability support is in excess of a £16B a year plus income, to think for one-minute corporate charities are going to allow us in...  As I said before there is no end game with the charity they need us reliant on them so they can survive, we should be running our own services either as individuals or supervising state support by us for others to ensure we come first.  Charity is dead in its original format and premise now its an area for only corporate professionals to run.  National Charities also defy the reality health and other services are devolved to regions too.  National charities are screwing up regional support.  There is too much money at stake to allow us to do it ourselves, and money is the only thing that really matters.  The rest is a distraction.

New subtitling technology trialled in New Zealand Cinemas.

The Gift that keeps giving.

When Telarni Wilson and David Lehfeldt were expecting their first child, Mum endured a normal, healthy pregnancy. The usual morning sickness in the first trimester, and then smooth sailing until their son Wylder was born. 

But in an unfair turn of events, Wylder’s first 13 months of life have been filled with heartbreak and struggle. After a routine hearing test at the hospital, while Wylder was just days old, his mum and dad were told some news they weren’t expecting: their little boy was deaf. “Both David and I were very calm and taking in all the information being provided to us, which meant we didn’t have much time to react,” mum Telarni tells Kidspot.

“The audiologist who did our testing at Queensland Children’s Hospital was quite surprised at how accepting we were of it. I don’t know if it was shock or just both of us trying to process what was being said.” But it didn’t take long for reality to sink in and the worries of what might come for their baby boy began to make their way through. “Once we left the appointment, we were both silent driving in the car. I started crying. I didn’t really understand or ever think this was a possibility. We went to lunch and Dave called his dad to tell him what was going on. He walked away from the table and I just saw him crying on the phone. 

It just suddenly hit us both. We were both very confused. We didn’t know anyone who was deaf, especially profoundly deaf.” While their first days following diagnosis were filled with confusion, uncertainty, fear, and plenty of sadness, Telarni and partner David were grateful help was readily available. “The system that is in place here in Queensland is one that is heavily geared towards getting children with hearing loss the best access to communication as quickly as possible,” says Telarni. Telarni and David came across a not-for-profit organisation called Hear and Say, which focuses on developing speech and listening skills for children with hearing loss. 

It was through their help that they were able to give Wylder the best chance in life – together with a cochlear implant. At nine months old, Wylder was fitted with a bilateral cochlear implant and just 10-days later he heard for the first time. “He was so chill at the time they switched it on. 

You watch the YouTube videos of children hearing for the first time and you see this textbook reaction of amazement. Wylder wasn’t like that. He turned and grabbed his head like: ‘what was that’? Then went straight back to playing with the toys,” Telarni recalls. “There were moments when he was frightened by the sounds, but that faded quickly and he was just again, so chill." cochlear implant Thanks to the help he received, Wylder can hear his parents telling him they love him. Image: Supplied Taking the small things for granted Now witnessing their baby boy communicating and responding like any other child his age, Telarni and David admit they are also just as chill as Wylder at that moment. 

 “Looking back, it was probably naive to have had an irrational fear as there are many ways to communicate. But Dave and I both had no experience in the deaf community and we were scared that Wylder wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively with everyone, or participate in the world we have always been a part of. “Listening to the birds in trees, the sound of the fan, talking to family, singing … all the things that we take for granted now were all but guaranteed never to happen for our boy, unless we looked into technology and support that could help.” Telarni and David hope by sharing their story about their precious boy, they will give hope to other families who might be experiencing the same sort of news they did when Wylder was just days old. 

“Having your profoundly deaf child responding, listening, learning and talking is amazing. Every day we think about how lucky we are to have access to the Cochlear Implant technology and to a centre like Hear and Say. “What is an absolute game changer is he can hear us tell him we love him - and the smile that comes off of that is priceless.”  

DDPO closed down. Deaf support being questioned?

Lewisham's deaf and disabled people will be without a a dedicated organisation for a year.
Second time this week we have seen issues emerging regarding deaf support, first in Northern England  (Where 70 lost their job at a charity), and again now, in London, probably the most over-served support area in the UK for the deaf.  Are local authorities questioning deaf support provision?  

London seems awash with them.  Every area is demanding own independent support system, which by and large isn't inclusive, even here we read of deaf demanding 'We are different to disabled..' even different to other deaf and most with hearing loss too, fragmenting the entire support system and demanding specialisation etc..  Has that premise now been questioned?  Are deaf just disabled when the situation suits them?


Southwark Lewisham's deaf and disabled people will be without a dedicated organisation for a year. Lewisham's deaf and disabled people will be without a dedicated organisation for a year.   

Inclusion London, has called on Lewisham Council to release more information about its plans for the borough’s deaf and disability services. This comes more than six months after the borough’s former Deaf and Disabled People’s organisation (DDPO) closed down, with its work not replicated elsewhere until the borough's new DDPO, called the Accessibility Commission launches in December. 

This means the borough's deaf and disabled people will be without an organisation to promote and protect their rights for a year, causing concern for local disabled person Ellen Morrison, who is also a media officer for Inclusion London. She said: “Deaf and Disabled people’s organisations are run and controlled by Deaf and Disabled people, they are committed to the social model of disability and they’re instrumental in campaigning for Disabled people’s rights,” she said. 

“Generic local services cannot always meet the needs or understand the specific concerns, of Disabled people. In addition, DDPOs are big employers of Disabled people. When we lose DDPOs, we lose accessible services and the voice of Disabled people locally,” she added. “We would like the council to publish and to discuss their plans for accessibility commission. “We are disappointed it has taken this long when an Accessibility Commission was in the manifesto and in the corporate strategy. “We hope that the council will publicly announce how disabled people can get involved.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

A cure for Tinnitus?

Healthcare professional performing an ear exam on a patient. Please view all images from this series along with other
I'm happy all these 'lab rats' gerbils and guinea-pigs, are being cured of hearing loss issues, but, when are they going to start on us?

A cure for tinnitus could come in the form of a pill following a breakthrough by a scientist. The debilitating condition was stopped in mice by blocking a protein that fuels brain inflammation. The US team of scientist are hopeful it will lead to a gene therapy to combat ringing in the ears and other hearing loss disorders. 

About one in 10 people in the UK suffer from tinnitus which can cause stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and hearing loss. The condition is often linked with Meniere’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression. However, it is not known how it develops, and there is no cure. The study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, suggests it is caused by a molecule called TNF-A (tumour necrosis factor alpha) that disrupts communication between neurons. 

Blocking it pharmacologically also prevented tinnitus in lab rodents that developed the condition after being exposed to loud noise for two hours. This is what tinnitus sounds like Play Video Loaded: 0% 0:00Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 3:21 Fullscreen The findings suggest neuro-inflammation may be a therapeutic target for treating tinnitus and other hearing problems, said the researchers. Study co-author Professor Shaowen Bao said: ‘Genetic knock out of TNF-A or pharmacologically blocking its expression prevented neuro-inflammation and ameliorated the behaviour associated with tinnitus in mice with noise-induced hearing loss.’

Tips for the non-Deaf.

Unsure if using sign as primary access means in vision is applicable?  You can understand the inclusion aspect but relevance needs to be considered too, as we don't use sign language as a primary communication format.  Just because a minority do is lacking relevance and reality.  Thus, awareness.  deaf and Deaf are the reality and regardless of inclusive approaches that is still a fact and should be recognised.  It's not discriminating to accept that reality.

Listening & Speaking, the deaf escape route.

You don't need to be defined by sign.   A charity working to give deaf children and babies the opportunity to listen and speak as equals alongside their hearing peers has received funding for therapy sessions to keep up with demand in London. 

Ernie and his parents John and Chrissi joined AVUK’s programme when he was seven months old. He is now 12 and thriving at mainstream school. The grant means more children like Ernie will have the opportunity to listen and speak like their hearing peers, and have an equal start at school. Auditory Verbal UK, based in Southwark, has received £135,000 of funding from City Bridge Trust, the City Corporation’s charitable funder, to increase the provision of Auditory Verbal therapy (AVT) for deaf children in the capital. 

The therapy helps children develop listening and spoken language skills. By working with preschool children, the charity aims to ensure they have an equal start at school. The funding will allow the charity to offer AVT to more deaf children in the capital whose families may otherwise have missed out due to the cost of treatment. Auditory Verbal UK’s bursary scheme aims to make therapy affordable to all families of deaf children regardless of their financial situation. AVT involves teaching deaf children, who use hearing aids and cochlear implants, to listen and speak. 

The charity believes that, without effective support, deaf children acquire language skills at a much slower rate than their hearing peers. This can mean starting primary school with language skills of a much younger peer, and resulting in lower grades, reduced employment prospects, isolation and poor mental health.  

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

How to include yourself at meetings.

He is halfway there. But deafened and others who don't sign with hearing loss, attain many skills deaf do not actually utilise effectively themselves because of sign reliance, because they rely on the translator.  Not enough individual effort is made by deaf signers to research what they need to know.

Most Deafened and others NEVER attend meetings without proper backup and research into the meeting point, they know they have to rely on assistive devices, a 'good' day,  and maybe poor lip-reading skills and all that entails.  So plan ahead ALWAYS or don't risk going there being left out.  Non-signing 'deaf' sectors acquire skills to 'direct' conversations with hearing people to 'steer' them towards a response or answer you require, it is, however, a SKILL, and you have to avoid dominating spoken outcomes of people to the exclusion of 'listening' to what is going on and thus being assumed rude yourself.

Not many non-signers are adept at it, but some are.  You can be thrown by issues being raised or discussed you don't know anything about, again, the response is pretty simplistic, you stop there and ask them to explain what that is, always ensuring to avoid the 'nod' when you really are NOT following what is going on, or you are the architect of your own ignorance.  Without research first and a lot of awareness by yourself, you will struggle.  An interpreter has to be organised too, don't sit there passive expecting THEM to read minds or understand issues either, you have to organise your support at what best works for you.

I've lost count of sign interpreters booked who immediately commence translating what is being said, and the deaf just going with it hardly ever asking questions about what they need an explanation to understand. Plan, Plan and Plan again, get the rundown prior to any meetings re topics to be discussed, if you see some you have no idea about, then, ask for details before you go.  E.G. If you want a trip to the seaside by rail, you ensure you know the train times and costs etc don't you?  Then you are in with a shout at least as to asking for wider explanations on subtopics etc.  Hearing meetings are geared around hearing people.   Once you understand that and make that point things get easier.    Sit near the action, don't sit at the back that suggests you are avoiding things.   If you can't effectively see who is orating you are out of it.

Business leaders in the UK actually looked to deaf meetings to understand how to effectively communicate in a hearing one. Deaf etiquette generally (Not always!),  frowns on too many signers 'speaking' at the same time, its rude!  However hearing people don't go the same way, you will see private whispered conversations and random points put or clarified during a topic explanation and quickly lose track who is saying what.   

Hearing terps go along with it to a large degree its a 'norm' for them too, or they may adjudge the 'aside' is not relevant to the main issue or would require further in-depth explanation the terp feels there is no time for, as stated, train your terp.  Most terps don't specialise in particular topics or areas to that effect they may follow less than you, their job is to translate what is said, the level of understanding only you know.  Few if any deaf start and tell the terp the degree of detail they can actually assimilate. Maybe they don't know themselves? hence why many terps tend to 'dumb down' to make things easier for some deaf to follow, details then get sketchy.   Only one individual should be allowed to speak/sign at any one time and no 'side' comments are allowed, they have to be said one at a time so all are aware.  Hearing don't do this,  they will raise a point mid-explanation because they want clarification themselves, which can trigger response off others etc...   Keep them on track!

The deaf meet has issues too, as it works mainly via 'Chinese whispers' in that the more able to follow deaf explain it to the next deaf person etc it is why you see signers at a meet apparently ignoring the speaker and getting an 'easier' explanation from the man or woman next to them.  This, however, is fraught with issues if you are at the end of the line.  You will note some who attend deaf meets have no real interest in what is going on, but, as with most of them, the social is the main event, so do not be surprised if they are discussing amid themselves the next deaf outing rather than what else the meet is for!

There is no real planning for a spontaneously raised issue.  All you can do is ask for an explanation and its relevance to the main event.  As with many meets, one response can lead to another, especially if clarifications are needed, you need to keep that in mind or lose perhaps the main point of a meet.  If you are just going to attend and rely upon the terp to sort all that out, you will miss most. Of course, knowledge is power, so your hearing workmate may well keep the advantage it gives them.  That's down to how you adjudge your friendship, do they always tell you what goes on? etc..

Hearing are in control, but only in as much as you allow it, unless being a  spectator is your lot anyway.  


Graham Sage with his Cocker Spaniel Jovi who has allowed him to continue his dream of teaching
There was no other way to alert the teacher in a classroom?  Surely an animal is a distraction in a children's class?

A deaf primary school teacher is able to continue working in the classroom thanks to his hearing dog assistant. Graham Sage's Cocker Spaniel Jovi alerts him with a tap if a pupil raises their hand when his back is turned, and lets him know when the school bell rings. 

Mr Sage, 29, who works at Moulsford Preparatory School in Wallingford, Oxford, says the faithful hound helps him lead a 'normal' life and has allowed him to follow his dream of being a teacher. He has been slowly going deaf since adolescence, but he realised after a few years teaching that it was becoming a problem and was more difficult than it should have been.  

Mr Sage said: 'There were occasions when the fire alarm would go off in a lesson and I couldn't hear it.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Shut up!

Image result for noise levels in restaurants
Social media and the hearing aid user, not happy restaurants and other publicly accessible areas are too noisy and denigrate their social access.   The initial post suggested we should sue noisy establishments or demand designated quieter areas for those with hearing loss. Four responses here...

#1  I have to say that even though I have a terrible time in restaurants bc I can't filter sound, I don't consider it discrimination that that is the case. Other people are entitled to dine and talk and enjoy and it would be terribly presumptuous of me to say, " I can't understand the people I am with so the rest of you need to shut the eff up." I refuse to insist upon accommodations that are limiting to other people's use/enjoyment of a facility simply because I can't hear well. 

#2 Yes, its a fine line if we all start demanding others shut up, or, insist on designated areas it sets a precedent that works against us in the long run. I eat out regularly I haven't found it a real issue with background noise because I am deaf anyway lol, but I take the point those with a hearing aid (I had one too), not really being able to have a quiet meal out stress free socialising because the world has become a very noisy place and for reasons never really explained. 

Image result for shut up#3 My theory is that noise is essential to many people's lives because they don't cope with silences well, and because noise suggests you are in the midst of it all, it's even fun, as we know it can be the exact opposite. 

#4 I've been in restaurants where the staff simply cannot hear what I am ordering yet fail to turn the noise down and shout at you all the time which does not help my lip-reading much! These areas if I still attend them I read the menu use my phone to copy what I want, or use a notebook app and pass the phone over to them, but, they still do not understand why I am doing that really, they are fully acclimatised to the noise around them. I've taken to going out to certain places and at certain times when the crowds aren't there, that is the issue really, more people mean more noise simples. These places can well survive with or without my custom so...

I'm deaf, but hearing too.

Cinema subtiling campaign hits wall.

Do cinema owners have a point,?when she isn't showing a demand for them?   My local cinema could only attract 3 deaf people with their access offer.  Should hearing wishes for no subtitling be respected too?

A deaf blogger from Wymondham has been told by cinema bosses it is her responsibility to show the demand is there for subtitled movies amid a passionate campaign. Ellie Parfitt has started a campaign for films to show more films using subtitles. 

Her online petition has gained more than 11,000 signatures but she feels the cinemas are ignoring her. Ellie Parfitt, 22, started the #SubtitledCinema campaign two years ago, for more films to be shown using subtitles, especially during opening weeks and during peak times. An online petition launched by Miss Parfitt gained more than 11,000 signatures and she even bagged a meeting with the UK Cinema Association last year. But now Miss Parfitt, who is profoundly deaf, feels like she has hit a brick wall with the campaign as major cinema chains Odeon, Cineworld, and Vue only agreed to a small increase - and said it was up to her to prove the demand was there for more screenings. 

Miss Parfitt said at one point she was even told hearing people did not want subtitles on films as they were distracting. Ellie Parfitt has started #subtiltledcinema campaign for films to show more films using subtitles. Her online petition has gained more than 11,000 signatures but she feels the cinemas are ignoring her. She said: "They have 100pc choice of which film they see, deaf people don't. If you explained that if this film wasn't subtitled due to them complaining, it means that this group of deaf people cannot go - hopefully, they'd understand but there is no awareness. How is that fair that hearing people get to dictate when we can go?" 

 "I love watching films and social outings with family and friends and the fact that they get to go the cinema without me is upsetting, isolating and I feel treated unequally as I don't have the choice to go because there are no subtitles." "All I want to do is go to the cinema on a regular basis, see the new films - especially in the opening week - with subtitles at a reasonable time, especially Friday/Saturday nights. 

It breaks my heart when my friends go without me and they're all talking about the latest release and I have to wait months for the DVD to come out." Miss Parfitt said this was just the latest example of where deaf people faced a disadvantage, and cited audio announcements - especially on public transport - and people not being aware of how to communicate with deaf people as other issues. She said: "Deafness is one of the biggest disabilities, but the least understood. Hearing people wouldn't like it if films were shown without sound, so why do they think it's okay to show with very few subtitles?"

Sunday, 16 June 2019

A respone to ATR's Political post.

Image result for who cares about politics
An Online View by William K? (Posters are saying they aren't able to comment here?  ATR will print any reasonable response let us know why you can't.).  The response was too lengthy to include in the comment spot anyway.  Try a PM to the ATR social site if all else fails.


ATR is covering political representation by BSL users, but the UK actually couldn't put up any of note.  I follow ATR not always certain he approves of the deaf community as such but he raises a good point occasionally.  I put this query myself to an AOHL CEO and he didn't answer, that was after he lauded BSL representation in politics on his twitter account, ATR pointed out the lists did not include ANY actual UK BSL people.  Probably because they covered only those who were visible in the political area in 'politics' and not just those as lobbyists.

What they do is lobby hearing areas about how BSL users suffer a lack of support, it's a worthy cause, but it isn't 'deaf' representation as such, a minority cause would be more accurate a description, but we won't see BSL MP's or MEP's because the deaf show no interest in those issues they are 'hearing ones' not about sign, not about culture, not about deaf schools, not about deaf clubs etc, and there is a hardcore of deaf who take themselves far too seriously to be eligible.

Deaf online sites don't really exist for real politics they are fragmented complaint/closed areas about the lack of BSL access, none of it based on real inclusion.  There isn't a single political meet in my area I feel excludes me, and that is because if I want to go I will and ask for help to follow, if you don't present as a demand they won't see any so that isn't discrimination.  Use it or lose it applies there too.  It's like demanding a car and then showing no interest in driving it or passing the necessary test. Everyone has a car so why shouldn't I have one? it shouldn't be a rule I have to drive it properly..

I take interest in non-deaf issues which is the only way really to get any respect for turning up.  No-one wants to listen about BSL till their eyes bleed to the exclusion of everything else. It is instantly marginalising yourself, and, ignoring other deaf people's need too. BSL is still a minority cause.  If you want access you have to front up and get involved using it.  Online deaf sites are anathema to democracy they don't really understand what is involved or their part in it, and aren't able to cope with challenges to views party politics involved, topical issues, but I do wonder who apart from me (Or ATR Site), takes an interest in them anyway.

Infographics: Sign Language in Politics

Find out in this timeline Deaf people around the world who have held political responsibilities and who communicate in Sign Language in the exercise of their functions.[ATR] Try to avoid UK Deaf political sites they have no idea how to attain representation because they refuse to get involved outside the deaf area themselves, they use excuses e.g. we don't have access, the real question is what do they use present access for?  

Image result for european deaf politicsGiven 60% don't even use BSL interpreters, and their campaigns are about improving the cultural profile, not inclusion, there is little or no proof they are getting into hearing politics or even hearing debates and areas to be more aware of what they need to be aware of.    Hearing are not going to sit there listening to the trials and tribulations of BSL users day in, day out, they want to know you care about their issues too.

Until the deaf understand they need the hearing vote to represent because there aren't enough deaf to swing it, they are NEVER going to be a political representation, just another deprived area ad infinitum, they need to know what hearing want/need to.  Their only current aim is to represent themselves in own charities and adopt the martyrdom approach it seems.  It's about cultural preservation, not inclusion.

This current list of successes by signers did not appear to include a single BSL user from the UK or NI, 2 leading areas for access provision in Europe (At least until October perhaps!), even New Zealand had some.  A lot are European, but the distribution of European updates for the deaf are in a format BSL users claim they don't know or isn't their preferred option.  It's text not sign.  The only sign is 'uni-sign' a format British deaf doesn't know or care about.  When did the UK 'Deaf' area last read up on European deaf inclusion? or representation? 

The List

1990, Gary Malkowski (Canada): member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario between 1990 and 1995. Party: New Democratic Party (centre-left).

1992, Stefano Bottini (Italia): member of the Social Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament from 1992 to 1994. Party: Italian Socialist Party (centre-left).

1996, Alex Ndeezi (Uganda): member of the Parliament of Uganda since 1996 in representation of persons with disabilities. Party: National Resistance Movement (right).

1999, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen (Sudáfrica): member of the Parliament of South Africa between 1999 and 2014. Party: African National Congress (centre-left).

2003, Sigurlín Margrét (Iceland): member of the National Parliament of Iceland (Alþingi) from 2003 to 2007. Party: Icelandic Liberal Party (centre).

2004, Helga Stevens (Belgium): Member of the Flemish Parliament between 2004-2014, member of the Senate of Belgium between 2007 and 2014 and European Parliament since 2014. New Flemish Alliance (right).

2007,  Dimitra Arapoglou (Greece): Member of the Hellenic Parliament between 2007 and 2009. Party: Orthodox Popular Concentration (right).

2008, Raghav Bir Joshi (Nepal): member of the Parliament of Nepal from 2008 to 2013. Party: National Democratic Party (centre-right).

2009, Ádám Kósa (Hungary): Member of the European Parliament since 2009. Party: Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union (right).

2009, Helene Jarmer (Austria): Member of the Parliament at the National Council of Austria between 2009 and 2017. Party: The Greens, Die Grünen (centre left).

2010, Gergely Tapolczai (Hungary): Member of the Parliament of Hungary since 2010. Party: Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union (right).

2011, Martin Vahemäe-Zierold (Germany): member of the Berlin-Mitte District Assembly between 2011 and 2016. Party: Alliance 90/The Greens (centre-left).

2015, Pilar Lima (Spain): Senator in the Cortes Generales since 2015. Party: Podemos (left).

2015, Camila Ramírez (Uruguay): member of the Parliament of Uruguay in 2015. However, the Chamber does not allow access to Uruguayan Sign Language interpreters. National Party (right).

2016, Thierry Klein (France): Mayor of Chambrey (Grand Est) since 2016.
2018, Amanda Folendorf (United States): Mayor of Angels Camp (State of California) since 2018.