Monday, 30 September 2019

1984 or 2019?

Image result for biased moderationHow the UK deaf approach the right way to debate things, would YOU join via these rules? And they wonder why Brexit and the EU issue still isn't addressed.  The site which ATR WON'T put a link to, claims to be the UK sole real news and feedback deaf site in the UK (And the tablets are working just fine thanks).  This actually IS from a real UK deaf site.

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Thank you for reading. Please enjoy this group.  As always ensure your medication is up to date, and get your carers/parents permission first.

Having deaf babies can be ethically right.

He wrote 'War of the World's' as well didn't he! And he wrote without current knowledge of choices, DNA, and genetics.

H.G. Wells, with his acute sense of ethical dilemmas in science, wrote a short story in 1904 about disability, “The Country of the Blind”. In it, an explorer discovers a remote valley in the Andes where everyone is blind. 

Thinking himself superior, he tries to teach the villagers about sight, but they scoff at him. What’s more, in many respects he is inferior. Eventually, to be allowed to marry the girl he loves, he agrees to have his eyes plucked out. But his courage fails him at the last minute and he flees. While blindness does not have defenders as a normal way of life, deafness does. 

There is a growing body of literature to support the right of deaf parents to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select for deaf children. Jacqueline Mae Wallis, a philosopher at the University of Bristol (UK), contends in the journal Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy that this is morally permissible. “Selection for deafness, with deafness understood as mere-difference and valued for its cultural identity, need not necessitate impermissible moral harms,” she writes. For most people this sounds implausible, but she counters the most common objections handily. 

Will the child be harmed? Not necessarily. It might even be good for a child to be deaf. They will be able to learn a signed language; they will be more sensitive to “enhanced visual and vibrational qualia experiences”. Will it restrict future life plans? Not necessarily. “Deaf advocates can reply that being deaf opens future life plans that being hearing cannot, and that families who seek to choose deafness for their child do not view this as a limitation.” In fact, a hearing child born to deaf parents might find life more difficult. Will it introduce harm into the world? Not necessarily. 

“Every reproductive decision will plausibly introduce some harm into the world,” Wallis writes. “Every child’s life will include some limited opportunities and suffering, determined by climate, politics, socioeconomic status, biology, etc Much of the author’s argument flows from the insights of disability theorist Elizabeth Barnes. She argues that disability is merely difference: “having a disability makes you physically non-standard, but it doesn’t (by itself or automatically) make you worse off.” And as Wallis points out, “Contrary to what the bad-difference view suggests about their disabilities, most people with disabilities do not describe themselves as suboptimal, deficient, dysfunctional, etc. but rather as healthy, whole, functional, etc.” 

Therefore, she concludes in this provocative article, “some families may have good, morally-grounded reasons for selecting genetic deafness for a future child.” H.G. Wells would have approved. 

The doctor who's blind and deaf:

Alexandra (pictured right) with her fellow medical students at Cardiff University
Medical student, 25, uses a special Bluetooth stethoscope (and patients love her folding cane) Alexandra Adams, 25, is training to be a doctor despite being deaf and blind.

The fourth-year student was previously pegged to be a paralympic swimmer Miss Adams makes use of a specially made stethoscope to examine her patients. On her first day working on the ward, a doctor asked Alexandra Adams why she was walking around with a patient's cane. After explaining it was actually hers, the deaf and blind medical student was told not to touch any patients – then sent home. 

Now in her fourth year at university, Miss Adams, 25, has refused to let her disabilities hold her back from becoming a doctor. 'It has always been that if someone told me I couldn't do something, I would go out of my way to prove I could,' she said. 'I can do cannulation, take blood, catheterise [and] spot rashes.' Born deaf in both ears, and with vision of less than 5 per cent in her left eye and none in her right.   Alexandra is now in her fourth year of study on her way to becoming a fully qualified doctor.

She relies on touch to feel for veins, adding: 'You can pick up a lot about patients just by listening to them. Patient safety is paramount so if I'm doubting something, or I'm unsure, I always ask someone.' Miss Adams had been due to represent GB as a swimmer at the 2012 Paralympics but was hospitalised aged 16 with acid reflux. She told The Sunday Times that stomach surgery went 'very wrong', forcing her to have more than 20 operations and stay in the hospital for 18 months. 

The experience saw her switch her focus from swimming to medicine – and she duly enrolled to study the subject at Cardiff University. She says being a patient taught her the value of empathy. 'I've been able to go up to patients who've been terrified, and I just draw the curtains and say, 'I know how you feel'.

BSL Word Games.

It's interesting for a number of issues, it helps deaf people to read English better and further their English language word knowledge whilst raising awareness of sign that doesn't.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Yoga for Hearing Loss

Have you guys heard of yoga for hearing loss? When Sabine Hobbel learned her son Aidan, now five, was born with hearing loss, she looked to yoga as one way to help him. Sabine created Little Light Yoga and Movement, an online yoga program for kids with hearing loss between the ages of four to eight years. “Hearing loss isn’t just about the ears,” she told me in a recent video call (Sabine lives in Milan, Italy). 

“There are so many areas impacted: balance, fine and gross motor skills, focus and attention, reading skills and eye strength as well as self esteem. These are all areas that can be improved through yoga.” Sabine, a former elite field hockey player in the Netherlands and Australia, turned to the healing properties of yoga after years of the sport took its toll on her body. She was certified as an instructor in 2017. 

 “While I mostly practice Hatha yoga, I adapt it for kids,” she says. Sometimes parents imagine this zen environment — which seems unrealistic for young children — but this is not my yoga. During my sessions there is a lot of laughter, jumping and being silly. I don’t care about perfection. Rather, we focus on breathing and what is happening in our bodies. It doesn’t matter how flexible your little one is or their body type. Yoga is for everyone.

Deaf Anxiety.

I learnt a new phrase recently: 'deaf anxiety'. After reading and learning more about, I realised that whenever I get anxiety, it is most likely because of my lack of ability to hear. And the more I read about it, the more I realised that it resonates with me and it's definitely a thing. It also made me aware that it's a topic that we should be talking about more often, and this is why I decided to open up about it. If you prefer to read the blog or listen to the podcast version of this video, you can do so here.

Friday, 27 September 2019

What do you expect to hear?

Workplace tips for those with hearing loss

From the Horses Mouth

Still, desperation and frustrations from Hard of Hearing media, desperate to learn to lip-read and near all failing.  Read below some comments..  Time for a new approach to hearing loss?  They must be bored sh*tless reading about online ear wax cures,  and videos like these most still cannot follow, or Hearing Aid repair tips!  Also that vlogs don't work at all, as none of it reflects real-time situations and no area in the UK operates a viable lip-SPEAKING service even if you adopt it.  The fact the vlog uses text means few of us are even looking at the lips but reading the text instead.

#1  Hmmm.... is it ok for me to say..... it drives me up the wall ? More people than..... i like to admit.............. talks this way. It brings out the worst in me. And i fear people judge me because i carry an inner frustration from this. Sometimes i worry people do it on purpose or ...... maybe it is their natural way of speaking.... by sound.. not by lips. I wonder if their voices has a clarity even when the lips does not. It's one of my greatest defeats that makes me question why i am on this earth when i cannot easily lipread. Lipreading is a battle to understand and be a part of things. i failed in one way but gained in other senses.

#2  Lipreading 8s very very hard and it's mostly guess work. Some "experts" say that the best lipreaders in the world only gets 50% accuracy. I've been lipreading 60+ years and some people I can't lipread until I've known them for years. People without English as.their first language are the worse. Personally I don't thing people do anything on purpose to make it hard they just.aren't aware of how difficult they appear. I had one head teacher who lips never moved except up and down parallel to each other, his mouth was like a letterbox!

ATR:  I don't believe lip-reading is viable for most who could benefit from it.  Those areas are mostly over 50s etc losing hearing and still reliant on HA, the way LR is taught utilises the fact they STILL have useful hearing, so whatever they do manage to learn goes out the window when the aid proves of little use.  Unless they teach LR to people with their HA OFF they won't master it to any degree of use because the reliance is still on hearing.  Far better LR and BSL classes were scrapped in favour of a more holistic approach of communication skills.  The huge variance in HA usage, the difference in ages, and ability to learn etc probably suggest a class approach as pretty useless and one on one more effective and tailored to the person.  

The sole point of LR classes seems NOT to be aimed at learning the skill but to encourage those feeling isolated to meet like afflicted people to acquire social skills again, but I believe that isn't actually helping because those really struggling still get left out of the classes, mainly because tutors cannot cope with just one really struggling pupil as it disrupts the rest via need and time they require.  LR is, an impossible aim to most as it stands and if you are failing to learn it you can get even more discouraged.  I really do not think current approaches work at all.  The worst aspect is there is NO end aim,, nobody is really meant to attain a level of skill, no course as such so learn or not? it doesn't matter?  

It's time they addressed hearing loss properly its a serious and debilitating condition that mostly gets worse, not better. As regards to 'social need' that comes with better communication skills not just moving sideways so you are just with people struggling too.  The whole LR 'course' with no aim, lasts just an hour or two for a few months a year, you can ask what is the point or value to that.  It's time HoH faced the reality very few if any are benefitting by this random approach and guesswork to attaining skills we really really need to acquire.  Nobody is taking it seriously.

#3 Brutal ATR, but I see what you are trying to say, lip-reading classes is all we have somewhere else can we go?  I didn't gain any lip-reading skill myself from 2 years of attending classes, but I made some friends so that helped.  perhaps we can justify lip-reading classes for that?

#ATR:  Erm.. no, not really, I'm being realistic perhaps.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Deaf Personalities everyone should know

Creating a safe environment with DMS.

Different Pespectives

Image result for perspectivesATR read a recent blog by a woman 'coming out' as having hearing loss and finding her hearing, mainstream 'peers' were less surprised or anti as she had always assumed.  Of course, this means too many with hearing loss are still buying into the 'everyone is against us..' messages, certain activist groups of the deaf/HoH variety and their dubious charities keep pumping out on a relentless daily basis, with quite ridiculous and misleading non-statistics to back it up, because nobody has a real clue what the need is or if there is a national system to be created to support it.

Of course, everyone's view of how hearing loss affects them is different depending on the acquisiton point of it or personal ability to cope with this 'new' situation.  Anger is the first basic response to hearing loss 'Why Me?' etc, well, they aren't alone as the UK had 10m others having the same relative worries. Where it differs is you have 10m trying to cope via own ways and failing rather miserably.  4 distinct areas appear to exist (Don't write in saying you are number 5 or 74, there aren't), that consist of the born deaf, the acquired deaf, the Hard of Hearing, and the deaf-blind.

None of these areas operate in unison, to each other or approaches their need that way either.  There is the obligatory 'sop' to the 'Deaf & HoH' remit, but it is cynical to the point areas accept that remit or they won't get funds if they oppose it, of course, you could add 'Funding Kudos' to it all by adding 'Culture' or 'Language' or something the money is the real point and given that is in £B's, it is hotly lobbied for.  The Hard Of Hearing were unable to get a handle on their Identity so settled for hearing, blaming it on ear wax,  and adopting the cupped ear image of old people.  Fact left for its holidays in 1960.  

The 'Hard Of Hearing' are a vast but totally frustrating and complacent area whose attitude is they aren't suffering hearing loss really and they are still erstwhile hearing people just hanging about for the relevant technology to put them back in the swing of things.  They aren't able to deal with the issue of that failing as they get older e.g. by then they have lost the means to campaign about it.  They quite often believe lip-reading means you can fool all the people all the time also, but less than 2% are any good at it.  Their other drive to hide whatever assistive device/Aid they use, which is passed off as some sort of fashion statement but is, in reality, a desperate attempt to hide the fact they are hearing far less then they make out, or feel if others know (They already DO!), they will get ridicule, they certainly will be, trying to fool people into believing what is apparent anyway to everyone else.

The blog I read stated some woman in a Yoga class had decided to tell her classmates what they already knew, it was only she who had assumed her contrived attempts to hide the fact of hearing loss hadn't fooled anyone at all, and they were being polite in not making a point of it.  We know the 'Deaf' rely on highlighting discrimination everywhere regardless if proven or not.  Today's media and laws put the onus on everyone else to justify.  There is always fire whether there is smoke or not.

The 'Deaf' and their respective area are a blatant go-it-alone area intent only on promoting their own ways of communicating and own social approaches and campaigns, few if any are inclusive or accepting those who cannot or won't comply at all or suggest they could make more effort to diversify as well.  They consist in part of hard-liners who want a stand-alone,  and Greta Garbo approach to how they live their lives, even if it means expressing horror or derision at those who want hearing loss addressed, as they see it as undermining their ethos.  So anything from a CI/HA, or speech is a discrimination approach or 'attack' as they see it.  They have a pathological approach to labelling themselves and others and their terminology is out of control.

The deaf-blind have no connections of any real note to the born deaf or Hard of Hearing areas.  The latter paying some sort of lip-service to the fact some can sign, and stating many blind speak or hear so are not like them.  Only our furry friends seem to have any commonality, despite concerns the deaf are not really justifying an animal in deaf terms.  Again doggy/pet lovers need not write in.  

The final area (which ATR is alleged to be a member of), is the acquired deaf one, who float in and out of all the hearing loss, hearing, and deaf areas being allegiant to none in particular.  Mostly the 'deafened' thing is rejected outright we don't approve of labels and 'deafened' suggestions something deliberate is involved.  The acquired deaf are a very influential  area having experiences (Apart from blindness), of most degrees of hearing loss from none to profound and total loss, so by definition have considerable experiences on approaches that can make inclusion work, mostly experiences gained the very hard way and without a supporting background of any kind, we aren't impressed with the Deaf or the HoH much, because of their disjointed approaches.  The approach we already know do not work for most and have polarised access campaigning.

A number of us actually run a few born deaf areas using our hearing background and our deaf one via experience, to more easily pitch in to lobby for support need and equality, most, are still having a conflict with the sign using fraternity who appear to be opposing inclusion by default.  We tend to work alongside HEARING people who run most deaf support areas and 85% of all their charities.  There are people who accuse everyone else of discrimination but who set up own barriers to prevent it being carried on.  Some too, will not include and will not provide access via communication formats that aren't strictly theirs, others could call that discrimination too, but they insist it is enablement and right.  Some sort of 'terminological Warfare' seems extant w want no part of.

It would seem many approaches to unity are doomed to failure via a surge of rights demands that in essence just enable the same isolation they claim they want to be free of, most of that is driven by the signing activists approaches and the abject apathy of the majority with hearing loss who have given up pointing out to these people the error of that approach, whilst insisting a mobile phone or a bit of lip-reading answers all their questions.

Inclusion activists are pitched against each other as they vie for own systems, so basically inclusion and awareness is a dead duck.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Are we the Solution, or the Problem?

More hand wringing and frustration online from the hearing aid users just not getting that message through when the hearing aid doesn't cut it for them.  Deaf awareness has long since failed but hearing loss awareness never got off the ground it seems.

#1  I agree that the I usually have to give the deaf awareness training! In the past couple of years I have been more assertive and open about the issues I have with hearing loss and how people can work with me so I can communicate. I would encourage everyone to have the confidence to be open about their hearing loss as I generally have had a much more positive experience when I explain it. 

#2  Most people do listen - though it is sometimes a challenge to get them to remember to follow through at all times! There are a few who think I am making excuses - something which a lot of people in this group seems to experience. The posts on this group shows that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the next person - I just hate assumptions - the common one being that I can hear because I wear hearing aids.

#3  Absolutely. HAs are not like spectacles they don't "correct" hearing loss although they can help.

#4  I found the HA a problem, because the assumption was with an HA you can hear OK again, and if you struggled to follow they would become critical and annoyed and tell me to 'Turn it up!' or 'Get a new battery in it..' etc.  Sometimes followed by 'Are you deaf, daft or what?'

It was difficult explaining hearing aids are by definition an 'Aid', not a cure. Of course, many of my peers HID their HA behind long hair etc or bought ones that were 'invisible' or adopted the 'Nod' of assent to disguise the fact they did NOT hear what was said, I was never sure if others were the problem or we are.

Outstanding Graduate Finalist: HESTA

Amazon makes the Echo Show more helpful for the blind and visually impaired

With the new Show and Tell feature, blind and visually impaired users can ask Alexa what household pantry items they're holding. Amazon on Monday announced a new feature for the  Echo Show that should make life easier for blind and visually impaired users. With the Show and Tell feature, the smart speaker's camera can recognize household pantry items. Users simply hold the item up to the display screen and ask, "Alexa, what am I holding?"

The feature is now available to Alexa customers in the US on first and second-generation Echo Show devices.  

"We heard that product identification can be a challenge and something customers wanted Alexa's help with," Sarah Caplener, head of Amazon's Alexa for Everyone team, said in a statement. "Whether a customer is sorting through a bag of groceries, or trying to determine what item was left out on the counter, we want to make those moments simpler by helping identify these items and giving customers the information they need in that moment."

Voice to Text technology.

Mobile electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are rapidly overtaking the desktop, laptop computers as the primary computing devices for more than 50% of the worldwide customers. Users are increasingly getting used to access the web, read and write messages and interact on social networks. The input of text on mobile devices is popular despite the fact that it is significantly more difficult by using an on-screen keyboard. 

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a solution to the text input on mobile devices which is gaining popularity as an alternative to typing on mobile services. Google offers the ability to search by voice on Android, iOS, and Chrome while Apple’s iOS mobile devices come with Siri, similar to a conversation assistant. On both Android and iOS mobile devices, users can also speak to fill in any text field where they can type, a feature used to dictate SMS messages and e-mail.

Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Drivers & Restraints 

Voice to text on mobile devices capabilities enhance the missed-call and voicemail offerings across VAS (value-added service) and network services. Voice-to-text on mobile devices improves customer satisfaction and generates revenue for various mobile network providers. A major limitation of the global voice to text mobile devices is that speech recognition is performed on a server. Mobile network connections are often slow which further limits the penetration of the voice to text mobile devices. The global voice to text mobile devices market has opportunities to invent techniques for building an accurate, small-footprint speech recognition system that can run in real-time on modern mobile devices.

Download sample copy of this report. 

Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Segmentation

The global voice to text on the mobile devices market is classified on the basis of type of mobile device platform and region. On the basis of the mobile device platform type segmentation, the global voice to text on mobile devices market is classified as follows:

Android-based Mobile Devices
iOS-based Mobile Devices
BlackBerry OS-based Mobile Devices
Windows-based Mobile Devices
Voice to Text on Mobile Devices Market:  Overview

With Voice-to-text on mobile devices, one can send and receive text messages, post Facebook and Twitter updates, emails, all hands-free. Voice-to-text has an incredibly accurate voice recognition technology. Other applications of Voice-to-text on mobile devices include setting reminders, making appointments, and searching the internet without lifting a finger. Currently, a new application is available for deaf people who excel at lip-reading. 

In meetings or group conversations wherein it gets difficult to follow a conversation when many people speak together, the applications aid in translating the speech into written words and transcribing it on screen in near real time. As a result, the global Voice-to-text on mobile device market growth is expected to be boosted by growing prominence of social networking websites and its hands-free feature.

999 - SMS Services

UK deaf are reluctant to use them because of the need to register first.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Glen Council Launch SignVideo

Hearing Loss resources

12 Tips to welcome the Deaf and HoH


Probably THE most misleading claim for BSL.   Today, on International Day of Sign Languages, Huawei has revealed that 95% of parents are in favour of having British Sign Language (BSL) added to the national school curriculum after 74% of British parents admitted to not knowing the difficulties some deaf children experience when learning to read.

The research comes as Huawei’s free mobile app, StorySign, which translates popular children’s books into sign language is now available on Apple iOS.

The study of 2,000 British parents, also found that 81% of people surveyed did not know how to sign in BSL or were only able to communicate in it very badly and wished they had been taught a few words when they were at school (82%). Whilst, 58% believe BSL is difficult to learn, there is an appetite to learn sign language. In fact, 98% think it would be a good idea for children to learn sign language to help them communicate with the deaf community.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

An App we are all desperate for...

Get this from

Deaf Nation

Our Space...

Footballer suspended after alleged abuse of deaf player

A footballer has been suspended after claims a Stamford AFC player was abused for being deaf during a match. The abuse is alleged to have taken place during the club's FA Youth Cup tie with Lincoln United on Monday, September 16, which the south Lincolnshire side won 6-0. 

It has been alleged that Will Palmer, who is deaf, was abused by one of the Lincoln United players during the match, who allegedly made insults about his deafness. Lincoln United has since confirmed a player has been suspended and it is conducting an investigation into the matter. Will's father, Andy Palmer, says his son, who also plays for Peterborough United's deaf football team and England Deaf Football U21s, has reached a high level of football despite being deaf. 

Boston United boss Craig Elliott Boston manager left shocked after loss "He has a Cochlea Implant which allows him to hear the referee and the other players," he said. "It is difficult to orientate himself." Mr Palmer said one of the opposition players insulted him about his deafness and, when he objected, he continued to mock him. "When Will remonstrated with him, he cupped his ears and mocked him," he said. "After the game, I approached the referee and the manager. I did it in a civilised way. "Will went in and gave a statement to the referee, who basically said it's your word against his. 

I didn't hear anything. He said he'd take it forward, but Will was left a bit downcast." Mr Palmer added that his son, who has several deaf relatives, had never been abused in this manner before and had been left incredibly upset by it. 

Friday, 20 September 2019

"Jokes About Deaf People" - Trevor Noah

Hearing loss in the workplace.

Ashley explains further about what it is like for her in the workplace with hearing loss. This is why she decided to tell her employer about her hearing loss.  Captions would have helped!

Can I ask the deaf and disabled what their issues are?

This question is commonly asked on the legal helpline. Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 (Equality Act) states that when an application is made for work, you must not ask about the candidate’s health before offering work or on a conditional basis where you later turn down the candidate based on the answers given. 

Although if you make an enquiry about a person’s health, this will not automatically give rise to disability discrimination under the Equality Act as there are exceptions where questions can be asked before offering work: 

To assess if s/he needs adjustments to be made to attend an interview (such as ramp access, auxiliary aid if the person is deaf) to assess whether s/he can carry out a function that is intrinsic to that role (eg. you can ask, ‘do you have any health issues that will prevent you from operating a forklift?’) monitoring diversity – but you must actively use the information to monitor diversity; it is not enough to collect the data and store it taking positive action based on a protected characteristic (eg. women being encouraged to apply for roles in engineering and technology) fill a role that requires a person to have a protected characteristic (eg. a deaf person to work with other deaf people) If none of the exceptions apply, health questions should not be asked prior to registering a candidate or offering employment. 

If there are any disclosed conditions, you must consider whether they could amount to a disability under the Equality Act and whether reasonable adjustments can be made. Automatic rejection of the candidate could open you up to a discrimination claim unless you can show that your decision can be objectively justified. If you ask for information in circumstances which are not covered by the exceptions, there are two possible consequences: 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has the authority to investigate and take action; and If a candidate is unsuccessful after providing health information and pursues a disability discrimination claim in an Employment Tribunal, the burden of proof is reversed so you will have to prove that you did not discriminate against the candidate. 

Recruiters and employers have to be careful not to ask blanket health and disability questions before providing work-finding services or offering a role to a candidate. 

BDA updates

Another Trustee of the British Deaf Association (BDA) has resigned from the Board - Sarah Lawrence, making that seven Trustees who have resigned in the past four months - leaving just two trustees remaining on the Board - the Chair, Agnes Dyab, and Dawn Marshall. 

Can the BDA function with just two Trustees? Its constitution suggests they need an absolute minimum of three.  Neither Agnes Dyab or Damien Barry (the Company Secretary) have yet been very forthcoming about the reasons for mass resignations, but claim the will inform BDA members at some point re the demand for an EGM.  They have refused point-blank to respond to ATR regarding answers about allegations of systematic bullying by the BDA executive reported on social media, or threats from the BDA executive on members who go public with concerns warning them of 'gagging clauses' banning them from raising issue outside the BDA itself.  That 'cat' seems now out of the bag.

The policy of notifying members direct with a proviso not to let anyone else read what they say.  Why all this secrecy at the BDA? and 'closed-door' approaches to members concerns?  Members so far have heard nothing tangible about an EGM from the BDA to ask the questions members want an answer too. There are real concerns the 129-year-old BDA could collapse completely. Official responders at the BDA had 3 weeks, (until 12th September), to reply.   There are also social media rumours petitioners are considering taking over the running of the BDA itself and sacking the two trustees left.

This bodes ill for the BDA already in financial deficit. Considering this dated charity and old-fashioned setup has had its day, one asks the question why bother?  They have never been an inclusive organisation and clearly unable to cope or manage in the 21stc.  The approach of dogma before practicality has held the members together for many years but, it's not viable today, and the AOHL has already off-loaded the BSL user because of such negative approaches a done-track approach to including the deaf based on keeping them isolated.

Deaf can sign and still campaign without any charity backing them, and is.  Young deaf won't allow such areas to pigeon-hole how they live.  This seems to be amply made aware in that the young and forward-looking deaf trustees and members have decided the BDA is no longer for them.  Are petitioners aware they can go direct to the charity commission now that the minimum trustee requirement has been breached?   That mass resignations are public domain?  This must suggest to the charity commission there are serious issues to be addressed at the BDA?  

VIDEO  Another area the BDA prevents anyone from embedding what they say elsewhere.

Abigail Gorman.  Why I resigned....


TRANSCRIPT: I’m sure some of you know that I’ve decided to resign from the BDA. I’m gutted about this. I’m currently working in Paris, so I’ve been unable to reply to some of your texts. I thought it would be best if I made a video about this instead. I have thought long and hard about making this video, but I felt that it had to be done. This is an excerpt from my resignation letter.

‘I truly wish it wouldn’t come to this, but I don’t feel that this board has been managed accordingly. I joined this board because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of our members. I wanted to make sure that the BDA was an organisation that had its members’ best interests at heart and would use its resources to ensure that their identities were recognised and strengthened. I don’t feel that progress has been made, nor team building or motivation.

In my board application, I spoke about transparency. ‘An open dialogue that fosters honesty and transparency between the community and its Board, one that calls us to collective, responsive action.’ Instead, I have found myself being left in the dark about most things and this has frustrated me to no end. This is not how a board is meant to function. We are letting our members down. I cannot be a part of this incompetence and obfuscation and so would like to tender my resignation with immediate effect.’

I feel incredibly disappointed that this happened because I really did want to make a difference to the lives of our members, especially the women, LGBT+, BAME, youths and the elderly groups as I feel that they have been underrepresented.

However, I don’t feel that I have been able to make any progress in this current board because too much focus has gone into things that, although important, are things that can be reviewed at a later point. There are two sides to every story, and I can see both sides. However, it is hard to see what came first, the chicken or the egg. Is that behaviour a result of that or is it vice versa? It is hard for me to comment on, and it has taken an enormous toll on my mental health and wellbeing.

As we signed a confidentiality form when we joined the Board, there are some things I cannot talk about, and I understand that that must be frustrating to you all. But I will say this, things need to change.

However, I do want to point out that the staff has done exemplary work throughout the years and I do not want this to overshadow their hard work and efforts. The BDA has always been, and will be the organisation that fights for deaf people, and I ask that you don’t lose faith in it because of current circumstances.

As ATR said. Too much Dogma, not enough focus ON deaf need, and far too much secrecy.

Breaking news on social media:

Dear Damian and Agnes,

In the absence of any response from the Board to our call for an EGM, I am exercising the right to take ownership of the arrangements for the EGM in line with section 305 of the Companies Act 2006.

I do this on behalf of the members who supported the petition and call for an EGM which was submitted on 22nd August 2019 and which required a response from the Board within 21 days. This deadline expired at midnight on 12th September 2019.

I shall be arranging to visit the BDA Head Office in order to discuss and effect these arrangements, and, to film the information so that this can be sent to the members.

Meantime, by way of response and explanation to the many people who have contacted me and others asking for information, I have produced a video clip which will be posted on my Facebook page and which will include the text of this email.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Richards

Half of those members responding to this post could NOT name own CEO!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Launch for Radio show for the deaf and Disabled..

Just how do BSL users who are deaf access a radio show?

Exeter's community radio station Phonic FM, has launched a new radio show all about disability. Accessibility Matters, is an informal chat and music show, raising the issues faced by people with disabilities living in Devon and the South West. 

 The show is a collaboration between Phonic FM and Living Options Devon - a user-led charity which provides vital support to people with disabilities. Staff and volunteers from the charity will appear on every show.   Andrew Barge, chair of trustees at Living Options Devon, will host the monthly shows and jumped at the chance to raise awareness of accessibility issues over the airwaves. 

He was connected to the radio station by Paul Giblin, who presents The Future Sound of Exeter Show on Phonic FM. Accessibility Matters airs every 2nd Wednesday of the month on Phonic FM Andrew said: "Having some radio experience as a sports commentator for BBC Radio Devon, I was really keen to do a radio show and when Phonic FM approached us with a slot it was the perfect way to showcase why accessibility matters.'' 

When the first show aired last week, Living Options CEO, Diana Crump, initially felt a bit jittery talking on air, she said: "All a bit nerve wracking to start, but I ended up quite enjoying it! "It was lovely to talk about the charity, remember how and why it was founded and how we continue to provide great services and support for people with disabilities and Deaf British Sign Language Users across Devon and the South West." 

Monthly round up

And hundreds more 

Don't get bogged down in trivia or feed the paranoia

Read real News as it happens.

Open Doors

WELCOME JOIN US! Join over 100,000 people enjoying Scottish buildings this September! Doors Open Days gives natives, new arrivals, and visitors free access to over 1,000 venues and events, many of which are not usually accessible to the public, across Scotland every September. This year, we are celebrating 30 years of Doors Open Days with an incredible programme of events, from swimming pools full of flowers to tours of Scotland finest buildings hosted by refugees. Doors Open Days happens because of our army of volunteers. 

They donate over 29,000 hours each year to throwing open the doors of their local landmarks to welcome festival visitors. They are supported by our team at the Scottish Civic Trust, who manage the event across the country, and area coordinators, who create and manage local programmes. We believe that the more that people are involved with Scottish culture and heritage, the richer it gets. We want Doors Open Days to be the event that makes natives and new arrivals proud to be Scottish, and our visitors just the tiniest bit jealous of our shared history. 

Doors Open Days is part of European Heritage Days and Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland. Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland. Find out about Doors Open Days BSL tours under the ‘Visiting’ menu. We are working with the British Deaf Association Scotland to continue to add BSL programming in the future. Please get in touch if you want to be involved in developing tours, volunteering as an interpreter, or if you are a venue that wants to learn more about offering BSL tours.

ATR:  Does this mean deaf clubs are to have 'Open Doors' too?

Sign language interpreters want govt to consider public service employment

In contrast to many UK BSL interpreters determined to protect their freelance status.  Mainly so they can pick and choose when and where they work, which is areas of the UK meant deaf claiming welfare and support failed because of lack of that support turning up.   Far better we had a system based support system that doesn't rely on that making it far easier for the deaf to be confident support will be there as a norm.  A captive area with dire support shortages is inhibiting access and inclusion.  A system run set up would address that.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Demands for EGM at BDA being ignored.

As the BDA refuses to acknowledge the online petition or respond to it on their site, ATR includes sample comments here for their failed and blinkered executive to read.  On the social media British Deaf Association members are becoming demoralised after BDA executive refused to respond to a request for an EGM or an explanation as to why 6 trustees have resigned one after another.    They appear terrified what they say goes into the public domain.  

This deaf charity in the UK that prided itself on being 'BSL/Member exclusive,' and being dedicated to including 'Deaf people', their rights, their inclusion, their sign language, perhaps they mean applied elsewhere and NOT to their charity?  Do what we say not what we do?

Everything is being discussed behind closed doors and in secret, including changes to their remit to now saving the universe, not just deaf people from nasty hearing, looks like desperation to us, albeit they witheld informing members for nearly 10 months, they only knew when someone NOT deaf picked it up on perusal of the Charity commission.  No wonder 6 trustees did a runner, young and active deaf who can carry these deaf into real inclusion not rely on paranoia/fear to keep deaf where they are.  When we take into account recent collapses of charity run systems by the sign user as a result of poor and amateur financial mismanagement, with the loss of 130 jobs and support for over a 1,000 vulnerable deaf, perhaps deaf better off without these charities at all, the irony being the bastion of BSL in the UK has few BSL members they are leaving in droves following the trustees.

Are the petitioners losing heart?    Looks like the BDA is following the approach of the RNID/AOHL in ditching member inclusion and closing them out by ignoring input until petitioners get fed up asking them questions they don't want to answer. 

ATR approached all the trustees who resigned asking for reasons why they left,  all were running scared of being quoted, and they were subject to some 'gagging' clause in that they are legally obliged to say nothing. This was how the RNID got rid of their BSL Exec too.  Charities should not be above investigation so why isn't the charity commission itself contacting this deaf charity to ascertain claims they are violating their remit to their members?  What IS going on at the BDA? Alleged online claims members (And Trustees), were being bullied can only be settled by public scrutiny.  Why hasn't the public input?  given they rely on public funding?

Currently, the BDA has long term investment, and £100,000 plus in debt, they must be careful surely of recent changes via the charity commission regarding the effective running of their financial affairs, the C.C. is getting very concerned about the poor financial running of many charities and is changing the rules regarding trustees direct access to accounts too.  Were BDA trustees asking the executive too many questions?

#1 (From the online petition instigator), 'I'm disappointed that there had been no reply to our call for EGM from the board or response to our petition."

#2  "I am shocked, but well done for persevering - I am proud of you for trying..'.

#3   "Disappointed with BDA!"

#4   "I am shocked to know that BDA failed to answer you no wonder why a lot of Trustees left."

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Exposing AuDism...

Is it not time the American deaf stopped being paranoid about oralism, and accepted choice?  it's preventing deaf people's advance and making their community look very introspective.  We thought the USA was ALL about having freedom of choice and view.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Sign health now with text?

Had the charity and BSL area NOT been so dogmatic about access, subtitling and captions could have been put on their own health relay systems day one, they are just now offering an alternative service costing more duplicating existing access elsewhere...  Sign Health only started text inclusion after complaints went in to the charity commission from deaf people on social media who were left out of health access by sign-only 'access'

How does Sign Health acquaint real access with NOT pushing for inclusion of deaf people to already established services?  The issue is lack of access to localised mental health help, and opposition to deaf clients using interpreter support by deaf organisations, and the NHS.  Deaf Access, after all, is a right anyway.   Why are we having to allow these sort of setups instead by-passing the right?  It's a charity creating work for itself?

Defeating deafness. We will beat it..

hearing loss drug fx-322
slowly but surely we will find a way to erase deafness.  Biotech startup, Frequency Therapeutics, today announced positive results from a Phase 1/2 safety trial to evaluate FX-322, an investigational drug candidate designed to facilitate hearing restoration.  

The trial assessed the safety of a single dose of FX-322 given by intratympanic administration in adult patients with stable sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) who had a medical history consistent with either chronic noise exposure or idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. According to Frequency Therapeutics, FX-322 is the company’s lead Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA) candidate for hearing restoration and is described as a “proprietary combination of small molecules designed to transiently activate inner ear progenitor cells and enable the creation of new inner ear hair cells in the cochlea.” 

Positive Trial Results for Hearing Restoration Drug Candidate In the Phase 1/2 study, FX-322 was reported to be “safe and well-tolerated” following a single intratympanic injection with no serious adverse events. In addition, improvements in hearing function, including audiometry and word scores, were observed in multiple FX-322 treated patients. “Hearing loss affects millions of people and current treatments are unable to restore hearing once it is lost. 

The study results for FX-322, which show signs of functional hearing improvement, are very promising and represent an exciting step toward a potential treatment for patients.” —Susan Marenda King, M.D., Neurotologist, Ear Medical Group in San Antonio, TX and lead enroller in the clinical trial “While the focus of this study was safety, we are excited to see initial results in sensorineural hearing restoration as there are currently no treatments to restore hearing for these patients,” said David L. Lucchino, President, Co-founder and CEO of Frequency. “Furthermore, this data provides support for our small-molecule-driven regenerative medicine platform, which has the opportunity to address numerous degenerative diseases.”

Who is to blame for discrimination?

Image result for brexit or bustSocial media debating the point the opposition party led by Jeremy Corbyn is the only person able to address state institutional discrimination against the deaf and disabled.  

Currently, the UK situation is that your elected representative feels he or she is NOT obliged to ensure he respects your vote that got him elected, his party's aim, his leaders directive, or respect a national referendum decision, he can also, while still in  office decide to join a different political party  if they want, riding on your vote.  I wonder if this could happen in the USA?

The issue of discriminations is rightly laid at our own Government's door. For those bemoaning Brexit all we can say is 45 years of membership has done nothing to enhance our access, inclusion or rights, which Mr Corbyn claims they do. In reality, the EU can and does pass any amount of laws to member states (1,000s last year from farming to crossing the road),  and made by unelected people, a direct contrast allegedly with our own form of democracy that demands this day only elected representatives can pass laws.  Germany and France installed own people to ensure they got the decisions they wanted and overruled Poland and other member states to get their way.  Germany is now virtually in recession mode overrun by 1.4m immigrants they are unable include, manage, educate, or accommodate.

France allows their seashores to be used as 'beachheads', to ferry illegals to the UK, they demand no change unless the UK pays them to police their own borders we already pay them to police their own ports and railheads.  

The last word is our own government, not Brussels, who moved the goalposts to 'each according to own', re disability rights, thus dividing the disabled who could only get rights and fairness by lobbying on an individual basis, and even if they won a precedent, it would only apply to that individual, forcing us all to try doing the same.  Our disability campaigners were sold a pup.  We conned ourselves into this situation by buying the argument we should all go it alone as only 'we' know what is needed for us, that does NOT work, since there is no demand seen and no unity of inclusion WITH disabled people. It became a free-for-all.  The Deaf V deaf V HoH v Disability sector is just one disabled area at huge odds with itself.

In order to tackle discriminations at source, we need a 'clear run' at those instigating them i.e. our own Parliament. Mr Corbyn is not the person to do that given he supported the instigation of the hated PIP welfare allowance,  e.g. He also voted 17 times against EU membership and is at odds with own party who want him to do what he is told by shadowy members of the 'Momentum' advisory group, a hard-left junta of vested interest and who have supported illegal immigration, European rapists, European child abusers, people smugglers, and protected Irish and Middle-eastern terrorists while practising anti-Jewish hatred in the Labour party.  These people are based in Jeremy Corbyn's own constituencies and those of his 'shadow cabinet'. A random mob of failed 'focus group' failures with a chip on their shoulders.

In 2005, 14 YEARS ago, the EU said British sign language must be recognised, and 10 years after the equality Act was installed,  today it is unenforceable in education etc via parental right of choice and the government won't debate its inclusion. They and parents voted with their feet and closed deaf schools to utilise mainstream and 'inclusion' policies, to discourage its use. The EU is/was unable to do anything because EU laws are a 'suggestion', not a legal directive..' so the UK duly ignored it.   Rights meant parent are able to overrule.  The state said you cannot have inclusion via exclusivity.  The playing field must be levelled.

The EU did NOT enhance workers rights, the UK Unions did that over 120 years, it was our own government who took them away again, the EU powerless.  It's only 'success' being gender rights albeit stats say this is going downhill again.  The UK installed a gig economy instead, removing the worker status AS employed which would mean holiday and sick support etc.  We should leave out the EU involvements altogether and take our enemy (Our own government and MP's), to task instead, not least because we need to withdraw the singular approach to disability rights and make even precedent MEAN an enforceable law for all. 

Equality, anti-discrimination, rights, and inclusion isn't worth a shit as current laws exist.   They are a suggestion no one really has to comply with and we cannot legally enforce.  We don't have free legal aid, which is another thing we need to change or, we cannot challenge. The DWP state welfare arm has millions of taxpayers money at its disposal to counter anyone that objects to what they do, legal aid would empower disabled to challenge that.  

The EU superstate has failed and its primary members are in austerity mode and worse.  The very image of dire warnings if we leave just shows how much the EU has destroyed the ability of the UK to look after its own, mostly in pursuit of profit since the UK has never in all the time it has been a member had any itself.  We've been asset-stripped.  Leaving the EU and starting all over again is what we have to do or remain a 'piddling little Island stuck on the end of Europe'....

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

NO deaf inclusion, We can't sell that...

Rather a telling exposure of the deaf, they are not viable commercially in media/films/TV their image is too negative.  Until deaf realise their community cannot sustain their go it alone approaches they are not going to get a look in either.  At some point, disability and charitable funding is going to dry up.

Commercially they HAVE to appeal to hearing audiences, that means drop the attitude and lecture approach and start getting into topical areas hearing will recognise, else stick to vlogs on 'What 10 ridiculous things hearing have to do for us..' to be viewed only by the deaf themselves.  Deaf people cannot portray hearing things via sign language because hearing don't do those things.  They cannot preach independence with a terp in tow, that is the image hearing acquaint with.  Hearing viewers don't want to watch token inclusion, and an odd hearing person signing own name or something, and neither do we.

By the time you add captions and a terp, the whole thing is a bust, isn't it?  Writers just cannot find a place for that in making TV and film output it all looks like a pre-planned sop to inclusion.  Deaf roles must be portrayed by deaf people, deaf artists must always use deaf actors etc, Deaf actors must be signing etc, how this equates with inclusion, the reality, (Or other deaf), is never explained.  I understand in some areas it is seen as a job-creation scheme for them but...

Even COLG had to be able to cross the floor and involve hearing.  All we see now are demands for stand-alone deaf stuff nobody outside the deaf community is going to watch justified purely on a cultural right, but that won't make hearing watch it.  About the same level of interest as a minority foreign film with captions strictly for those who think its really clever to make things only they watch.  'Emporers New Clothes' springs to mind. Deaf have to get with what hearing want to see.  They can watch awareness videos and attend seminars whenever they want, but they don't want it on films or TV etc.

"In the first episode of Sundance TV's This Close, a deaf graphic novelist is asked why he didn't make his book about a deaf character. He replies: "I didn't think it would sell." 

There's a self-referential irony to that line. Series creators Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern are deaf writers who also star as deaf characters. In fact, they're the first deaf writers and stars of a television show ever. The show draws on their experiences, depicting life in Los Angeles and how the entertainment industry treats deaf individuals. "We wanted to tell an authentic story not just about people, but about the city we live in," Feldman said. 

When the pair started shopping the show around, "The number one feedback we'd always get was 'Why [are] the characters deaf to begin with? What's the point of having a deaf character?' They didn't see any value in having a deaf character," Feldman said. The original concept for the show featured a hearing person as one of the main characters, "because we thought that would actually be easier to sell," Feldman said. "Whenever you see deaf leading characters on screen, they always have a hearing person with them. So we just wrote what we'd always seen — and that's the reason representation is so vital. It really shapes our understanding of what works," Stern added"