Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Seeking sign language recognition.


One issue unaddressed (In the UK), is if the recognition was on the statute, it would create have, and have nots in support terms, for all deaf children in education, with sign advocates getting their deaf children more support by default than non-signing ones, creating a 'tiered' support area which increases divisions of deaf people.  Choice may well kill the concept anyway.

Some distortion is also evident in regards to interpreting provision, while it may be a major issue in Northern Ireland the rest of the UK suffers very little deprivation of BSL support that way, Wales does well, England does too, and Scotland claims to be ahead of both.

With regards to education, the same issues constantly repeat themselves, ergo,  deaf signing schools cannot happen, for two reasons,  

One, There isn't the staff trained to run such schools, most dissipated when 80% of UK deaf schools closed down 10/15 years ago.  It would take years to train new ones up again and stats suggest few are looking at the deaf area in regards to teaching the deaf, and, what sort of demand is there?

Two, Part of the BSL at is to get more terps, but the reality there too is few are coming through and taking up the training, and those that do only want to work in city urban areas where regular work is guaranteed.  Lack of support is because of interpreters following the money, and as most are free-lance neither the deaf or the state can lay down how they operate without issues coming from interpreters themselves because initial attempts to do that failed, the state/systems wouldn't pay them enough.

Sadly what empowerment the deaf signer does have is badly run by their peers, and their charities are appalling at accounting and biased in support provision too.. Psychologically seeing a peer who understands sign language is a big positive for signing deaf, but they lack the expertise needed to really educate and empower the deaf to manage without them.  Most can sign, but they need help too.

Deaf areas need to look at what the deaf really need. (It isn't endless pre-amble about Milan 200 years ago), and then decide how to train people up who can empower that deaf person, and not just set up deaf-run organisations with no desire to include anyway because they never have been and don't know how to manage that, so how can they teach anyone else?  Until those who wish to forward the deaf towards equal access and inclusion with independence, the need to start looking at the skills they will need to acquire to do that, or its more of the same. Endless demands for cart before horse.

You need deaf with real skills and real experience of managing being deaf in the hearing world, any one of us can cope in a deaf club, but it doesn't count there when you need a job, training, education etc...  Anyone who believes an Act will solve that is naive to the nth degree, as it includes 100% participation of deaf WITH the hearing, and currently, there is no desire to do that.  

You cannot legislate inclusion you have to be inclusive ourselves first.  The UK approach is to demand all hearing sign or they won't bother mostly. You don't demand inclusion on your terms, it doesn't work that way.  The Americans are ahead of the UK, we always play catch up but find what works there doesn't pan out here.  The mind-set is different as is the way the laws work etc, and overall the yanks seem far more inclusively inclined than the Brits are.  We are hell-bent on highlighting difference not crossing divides.

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