Friday, 18 January 2019

UK MP's use sign language to the European Union.

Image result for Talk to the hand!

Real-Time phone captioning (USA).

Caption phone
See the Entire Conversation in Real-time at No Cost If you are experiencing any form of hearing loss, you may qualify to receive a ClearCaptions phone at no cost to you! 

ClearCaptions offers real-time phone captioning that allows you to see every word said on the call. ClearCaptions is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certified telephone captioning provider. 

Our captioning service is paid for through Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a fund which established the Telecommunications Relay Service. There is no cost to qualified individuals whose hearing loss inhibits their phone use. 


 IP captioned telephone service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally-administered fund.  

Londoners traumatised by friendly greetings...

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Under-age children acting as Interpreters?

Surely illegal, and in parts of the UK can invite social services in to consider child abuse charges against parents who let them do it.  Children lack the wherewithal to act as neutral or as interpreters because they lack maturity and have a bias.  Which would put a deaf adult at risk.

Re-branding a no branding ??

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Students working with Interpreters (Australia).

AOHL to pay EU migrants settlement bills.

Why is a UK hearing loss charity paying fees for migrants?  Do they have permission to do this by its members? or did they simply not ask them?  Why aren't they hiring our people?

Action on Hearing Loss has announced that it will cover the £65 cost of settled status applications for its non-British EU-citizen employees after Brexit.

The charity, which supports people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus, estimates it will cost roughly £4,000 to cover the application fees for its 60 or so affected employees.  It will also provide help with the application process for the workers, who are mainly employed in frontline care and support roles.

Under the EU Settlement Scheme, all EU citizens living in the UK will need to apply for the right to remain in the UK after Brexit.  The process will give those who have lived in the UK for five years or more settled status, allowing them to stay in the country indefinitely. Anyone who is under this threshold can apply for pre-settled status, giving them another five years in the UK after which they can apply for settled status.

Mark Atkinson, chief executive at the charity, said: “I am proud that Action on Hearing Loss has become one of the very first charities offering to pay the fees for all of our employees who are EU citizens applying for settled status in the UK. “This impacts just under 10 per cent of our team and we value each and every individual.

“EU citizens in our employment make a major contribution to our vision of a world where deafness and hearing loss doesn’t limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced and where people value their hearing. “In truth we couldn’t achieve the change we want to see without these colleagues and I hope this small gesture shows our appreciation to those affected.

“I hope that other charities follow our lead and make similar arrangements for EU citizens who contribute to civil society here in the UK.”

The 13th Juror.. banned.

Deaf people who require an interpreter cannot serve on a jury (Pexels)
A deaf woman has been told that she cannot take part in jury service because an interpreter would not be allowed to translate the trial. Ms Pauline Latchem, 63, was sent a letter on 2 January informing her that she would be serving as a juror at Wood Green Crown Court in London.

However, when she wrote on her access form to confirm her attendance that she would require a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, she was told that she couldn’t serve jury duty. ‘I do not wish to be excused’ Ms Latchem said that she was told by a member of staff appointing the jury that her lack of hearing “may well impact on my ability to carry out my jury service”. 

“I received jury summons on 2 January to attend Wood Green Crown Court on Monday 25 February at 9am for 2 weeks,” Ms Latchem told i. “The online form asked about access issues so I stated that I am a deaf BSL user and required BSL interpreters and note takers to take part. Deaf jurors who require interpreters cannot serve under the 13th juror rule.

“I received an email from the summons board thanking me for completing the online response and referring to my reasonable adjustment request, telling me that this was unfortunately not possible as ‘jurors are not allowed to have interpreters’ and that this ‘may well impact on my ability to carry out my jury service.'” Ms Latchem said that she felt “annoyed and irritated” by the decision. “My immediate feeling was that I was annoyed and irritated that banning me from being a juror was couched as an excuse – as if they were doing me a favour,” she said.

Hearing shouldn't play deaf roles...

Debate: The Good Place actress insisted a 'big change' was needed in the industry and there should be more roles available for LGBT actors and those with disabilities instead of them being given to 'big names'
Bryan Cranston being cast as a paraplegic man in new film The Upside, has sparked a conversation in Hollywood about not giving enough opportunities to deserving actors. And Jameela Jamila has weighed into the debate, revealing that she recently turned down the role of a deaf woman in a film because she would rather it go to a 'brilliant deaf woman' instead. 

The 32-year-old star - who was born partially deaf - insisted it 'wouldn't be appropriate' for her to play the part since she can now hear.

 'I said it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to take that role and they should find a brilliant deaf woman to play that role 'I think you have to make those choices and not be too greedy and make space rather than take space. I don’t want to be part of erasure.' The Good Place actress insisted a 'big change' was needed in the industry and there should be more roles available for LGBT actors and those with disabilities instead of them being given to 'big names'. She conceded that it was 'very tricky' conversation, however, since acting is all about suspending disbelief and having the freedom to play any role. 

I thought acting was about pretending to be someone else mostly? But the reality, is that there are very few profound deaf actors who can or would be able to convince us they are hearing.  Deaf output is still akin to foreign subtitled media really,  and minority viewing.  

There have only been 3 or 4 films in recent times where deaf inclusion has really worked.  It's more about widening the viewer's perception of inclusion, who just want to see a good story or film without the politics or hashtag of it. So the background is not really explained.   Do deaf actors WANT to star in hearing films, or just want to promote their own areas?

I'm unsure insisting this is solely an inclusive issue is ever explained properly. Can you insist on realism in a fantasy worldWhy does everything today have to be a row about inclusion? when it is never explained about the realities of that inclusion or even if it is viable.  And any review tends to note 'how brave, and how clever we are to play ourselves'...

It is more likely the actor felt she couldn't play the deaf part properly.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Pathways to employment for the Deaf...

Image result for pathways to workNo not a focus group or charity rant, just a basic response from someone who has been at the business end.

The debate prompted by hearing aid users struggling to get work and reading one woman who has applied for over a 1,000 of them to no avail, what is going on?

Stating you have a hearing aid or disability issue is a usually death-wish in employment terms.  There is no UK law that states you have to mention it on a CV, but many employers suggest then you are trying to get a job via false pretence and making problems for them before an interview, unbelievable! And/or turning up with a BSL terp in tow without an employers knowledge, or demanding they provide one is a killer.

Previously, deaf and disabled were issued with a green 'disability' card, and the CV's asked for the number on it, but it was a sure-fire way of getting a 'dear John sorry the vacancy has been filled' response after.  I never carried one or indeed asked for one, just presented myself as I was.  To be honest, this did mean 80% of interviews failed miserably, I even got a lecture from the jobcentre after one employer complained they were sending deaf idiots to him for jobs and wasting his time. 

The remainder of the interviews, they saw I was really trying to get work and gave me an opportunity, which in the scheme of things is about average for anyone applying for a job really.  I didn't demand access, I just took whatever was on offer because I had rent to pay, and no time to make a grandstand on deaf access which could have blacklisted me as a 'problem' applicant.  You tended by default to seek out jobs that were pretty solitary really or needed less supervision.

It is also true to say near all the jobs I did get were low paid and well beneath the capabilities I had.  I did not have the luxury of the welfare dept subsiding me, it's a great impetus to force yourself into the work area, Sink or swim.  I appreciate a lot would just have gone under but, when faced with no choice the only way is to do what you can. 

People of a certain age (!) will recall when if you were disabled, deaf or unemployed a long time (Which was less than 3 months in duration), they sent you to work rehab run by the system, viewing you are work shy and it was a sort of 'boot camp' for the long-standing unemployed, by comparison, many  have a much easier time of it today.  Protected/sheltered employment like Remploy/Monwel the deaf had little access to, and the state struggling to find jobs for hearing and able-bodied, closed the jobs down and gave the work to them instead.

Bear in mind I was profoundly deaf, had limited lip-reading abilities, and did not use sign language or had social workers to fight my corner, which incidentally added to your problems not helped them, as employers would see your 'support' and assume you were unable to do work yourself without it, social workers equal 'problems' and problems an employer doesn't want or need..

Least of all did they welcome the prospect any access you needed they would have to pay for, because they know there are 1,000s of non-deaf and able-bodied out there who would pose a lot less work for them. The law is one thing, changing the mindset, or reality on both sides is quite another.  Laws don't create access, or jobs, people do.   Our primary disability was/is lack of confidence, not support.  Employers prefer people determined to get work by effort, so you have to put that effort in.  It means accepting most will reject you initially.  You have to stand out to fit in...


As the UK faces up to the vote on the European deal, ATR explains why Brexit is vital to the UK's future and leaving the European Union is essential for our own well-being.

Essentially, its Germany-France that is bringing Europe down.  It's an open secret these two countries control the EU.  Ever since we voted Brexit all negotiations had to go first through those two countries and THEN to the EU after.  Mrs May knew who was running the EU Circus, prior to the end of the last negotiations she had to make an appeal for better terms, where did she appeal?  To Mrs Merkle and Mini-me in Paris, NOT Brussels.  Sadly the UK MP's decided to vote against the electorate and against their own parties.  This meant Mrs May was unable to secure a deal and then here MP's blamed her for what she got, which of course was bugger all, because the EU could see the UK government as jerks and mugs basically.
Image result for NO DEAL
What Germany could not do with bombs to the UK in WW2 they are doing by stealth and deceit via the insidious EU27 virus that has infiltrated every facet of British life to create a huge dependency on Europe.  Firstly, dangling the carrot of free trade, and free movement, then backing it up with the stick of huge control over the entire UK itself.  The UK is at present being run by faceless Eurocrats in Brussels.

We all know when a deal seems too good to be true it means just that.  The UK government and its people had sleepwalked to 45 years of subservience and only now because those who profited by it are scared shitless the EU will pull the plug on them, are they turning on their own democracy to maintain their own greedy status quo.  

For shame, those who want to stay in the EU and oppose democracy at any price. What is the price they will pay? MORE EU control over what we say, live and do, less standing in Europe, or anywhere else, an outcast, a piddling little island with more laws we will have to accept with no voice to oppose either.  

We knew (Brexiteers), there would be no gain without pain, of course, the degree of pain is shocking, I don't doubt Brexiteers themselves are horrified at the level of control the EU has over the UK that has emerged since the referendum.  More reason to put an end to it.   We need to get on with it and run our own country and make our own MP's, a complete and utter shower, redundant, they have made the UK a laughing stock by their inadequacy to rule.  We also need a constitution, it is staggering we don't have one, and this has led to democracy being a sham.

Britain used to be a nation of shopkeepers now, its a nation of Asian shopkeepers and migrants, multiculturalism has become secularism and divisions, and diversity has become divide and rule, and anti-democracy.   At every level the native Brits have been replaced, demonised, or undermined by their own government and their own business and commerce, capitalising on cheap foreign labour, i.e. what business we still own as Asia and Europe own most of it now.  
Image result for NO DEALIt has left our own children with dead-end education, with little or no future as a result, whilst our needy, homeless, our sick, our disabled, and our vulnerable have been sacrificed on the altar of profit and hatred with over 110,000 native Brits paying the ultimate price, death, via cuts to their support and cuts to the NHS to maintain our health.  At every major level, the EU27 has been bad for Britain.

Trade was always in their favour, and, we paid billions for that privilege.  Free trade was a MYTH.  When we joined the EU there were just 6 countries, over the years they invited in another 21 of them! all poor and struggling, that the better off 6 have to subsidise,  it was a good deal only for THEM.   Europe even wanted Turkey to join a country dedicated to supporting IS and Al Queda and flooding Europe with IS foot soldiers and attacking those fighting them.  Europe desperately tried to backpedal and pays them billions to prevent the majority coming, France, demands the UK pays THEM millions or they will open the channel tunnels to 1,000s of illegals too, with friends like these who needs enemies?

EU27 have abandoned basic border security putting everyone at risk, albeit a few Baltic states are re-erecting borders and putting troops and fences there to keep the illegals out, they just funnel them upward to northern Europe and the UK instead, and, defying the EU own rules on 'freedom to roam' too, a rule they declared the UK cannot defy.  Whilst we remain in Europe we cannot bring our own government to book, or set up an effective border or protect our own people.  

For the USA hoping to capitalise on Trade a warning.  The UK won't take any old deal from them either.  For those who demand a people's vote, we say NO, it is a vote against democracy, it's London/MP/migrant-oriented and what is to prevent us all rejecting that democratically (!) and demanding endless re-runs?  Stop the EU we want to get off....NO DEAL.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Lip-reading + CI equals success!

Ryan Lu was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears at birth and had to undergo surgery to insert a cochlear implant when he was two years old to help him hear.
At the age of four, when most of his peers were learning to read and write, Ryan Lu was learning to read lips. 

Ryan was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears at birth and had to undergo surgery to insert a cochlear implant when he was two years old to help him hear. 

But even then, his hearing was impaired - so he taught himself to read lips to make sense of the world around him. Besides his hearing loss, he also has low muscle tone around his jaw, which affects his speech articulation. On Monday (Jan 14), he was one of 26,750 students across the country who received their O-level results. The Hai Sing Catholic School student did well enough that he should be able to get into his dream school this year, Anglo-Chinese Junior College, according to his teacher Mrs Wong Shu Xian. Now 16, Ryan has come a long way since failing his exams as a Primary 1 pupil at St Stephen's School, when he did not know how to read. 

He said: "My mother sent me for a lot of phonetics lessons so I could learn to read and speak better. It was a few times a week." His mother works as a financial consultant while his father, who works in real estate, is based in China. Hai Sing Catholic School students reacting as they collect their O Level results in the school hall on Jan 14, 2019.

As he grew older, Ryan studied on his own at home. When he was preparing for the O levels, he also attended tuition class for physics and mathematics. He is able to learn in a regular environment, although Hai Sing Catholic did make arrangements for him to have fewer changes in teachers so he can get used to how they speak. He also used a frequency modulation (FM) wireless assistive listening device. It consists of a transmitter, worn by the teacher, and a receiver that he wears. Ryan also sat near the front of his classroom so he could read his teachers' lips. He was exempted from Chinese due to his articulation problems, as well as English oral and listening comprehension. 

Microsoft releases Live Caption and Subtitles for PowerPoint

Microsoft added the Live Caption and Subtitles feature to Office Insider Build 1920 (build 11231.20066) of PowerPoint late last week. The Live Captions and Subtitles feature transcribes the presenter’s speech to subtitles real-time using AI, translate them to other languages, and adapt to recognize technical terms and names according to the slideshow’s content. 

 The new feature is available within the latest Insider build of PowerPoint for Mac, Windows PCs, and PowerPoint Online. It can be enabled for all presentations through the Slide Show tab, or during the presentation in Presenter View. At launch, Live captions and subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display them in more than 60 languages. 

“Live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint supports the deaf and hard of hearing community by giving them the ability to read what is being spoken in real-time,” Said Microsoft in its blog post. Since it the AI function is likely uses cloud computing for translation and speech recognition, it’s unclear if it would need a constant internet connection in order to work. And because the presenter’s voice is recorded and uploaded to the cloud, Microsoft says that the feature is compliant with industry privacy standards and certifications in a December blog post. 

Take whatever we can get?

Recent comments and blogs centered over social media queries on deaf and HoH support continue...

"I've never taken a handout in my life.  I make my own way best I can because once you start reliance on others it is difficult to make impetus on your own.  It becomes a reliance... the fatalistic view being deaf means there aren't other options, ably supported by adding 'culture' to the mix just mask the reality."

"The 'Deaf' have made a lifestyle out of demanding 'help' and then rebranding it as a right when it is solely dependant on charity to make it work, it's not an empowered right only in as much as systems would pay for a BSL terp or something, but that entirely depends on those terps being there."

"The UK state has no program of training deaf support other than the 'special needs' in education and charities, and deaf schools are being decimated in the UK by inclusive approaches.  In many respects, the 'old guard' of wanting a return to the past, but with a modern cultural 'twist' is pointless to the extreme.

"Sign support is still dependent on individuals taking it up, and their random training systems are a mess proving very expensive for learners, no two training approaches either on the street or in the colleges as an afterthought, are the same. There should be a state-sponsored vocational system to ensure care and support for those with hearing loss trains the professionals they need."

"Unviable ! the 'Deaf' don't want this type of inclusive approach, they want to sign, fund own community, have own educational approaches and schools, reject the current educational curriculums, and encourage the pursuit of an as yet, an undefined culture, and not really interested in including HoH who want something else entirely or may view deafness (The root of culture, sign nor culture isn't), as a medical issue to be addressed..  It's a head in the sand approach that can only cause deaf young more hardship and uncertainty."

" It's the 'Big Sell' but, who is buying it?"

"There is no deaf culture without deafness.  It is why they are angry at alleviations and implantations as well as genetic approaches.  They often campaign against, its those with no choices trying to make choices for others..."

"It's a myth to think charities will always provide as more and more people become deaf, and, DON'T sign etc, there is a complete imbalance of awareness of need and a free-for-all.  Deaf TNG is going to be a shock to the cultural systems, as they are already having to include CI's. or lose members."

"Just because society is more accepting of sign use, doesn't mean they are more inclusive of those using it.  It legitimises their own isolation.  If the Big Sell then fails then it causes hardship and resentment and more martyrs."

"There are clear differences of approach and lifestyles between the UK and USA.  There is no 'like for like'.  I can follow 'I will take what I can get' when there is nothing else, but, it doesn't address the causes, erect a viable support system, or suggest the cure.  Awareness is an abysmal failure."

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Stop making me a Beggar for rights!

A recent comment [Many of us don't want to prove we aren't charity cases, we just want to declare it meanwhile accepting as much charity as is possible. Honestly though it wouldn't be beyond me to actually go around and collect funds (fundraising) to start a local deaf meetup, but that would at least be a valid meetup. shrug]  suggested ATRs response.

"I'm anti-charity always have been.  I believe any 'support' we have is a human right and not a handout.  The USA is very charity-minded because of their approach to 'support', but I do see in some USA areas they can be quite hostile to people that need help through no fault of their own.  The meek won't inherit the USA world.

The UK is heading that way too.  I think the ideology is different here to the USA. What we can find in the UK via funding provision to hearing loss or deafness, is opportunists taking advantage and setting themselves up as proclaimed 'experts' on what we all need, its proved very lucrative for some BSL areas who divert support funds to 'cultural'' ones that defy real description other than promoting deaf culture and self-job creation.  

Other charities aren't any longer by real definition.  Especially the major ones providing a service of care or support.  They are a 'mini-NHS' in action underpinning state neglect and obligations to their most vulnerable on a shoe-string and operate as corporate areas, the day of tin rattling and well-meaning people helping out has been replaced by corporate beggars and professionals operating from the proverbial glass palaces, where mostly, actual deaf or hard of hearing aren't seen or employed except via posters and advertising etc.

If the grass root deaf used the funding given for communication support and included others that don't sign you could go with some of it.  But this isn't happening because of polarised approaches to 'support' by format.  The scandal of some deaf people setting up a charity, then gaining funding that disappears and the charity folds shortly after is a sure sign someone is seeing an opportunity to get money for nothing.  We saw £7,000 vanish this way a few years ago.  4 deaf people set up a charity to 'assess local deaf need' the warning signs should have been there immediately but weren't noted. the aim was completely vague. Of course, you need the charity status or you won't get or apply for funding. 

At the initial 'launch' of that charity, they appealed for people to RUN it! after the initial 4 that set it up decided they hadn't the time to make it work. Staggering that could happen. The appeal fell on real deaf ears! and a lot walked out of the launch in disgust.  However, 2 HEARING students did offer to run it from out of the area.  Of course, the whole thing went down the pan, apart from some money being spent on a computer nothing really happened, no survey into local needs took place at all, and then it folded, the money and computer never accounted for.

Complaining to the Charity Commission for being totally stupid were ignored.  Mainly because the CC had a state 51% stake and vested interest was to support charities on a shoestring so that the state would not have to set up real support systems themselves that would be costly, a situation that still exists in the UK.  That the BSL support area is almost entirely freelance itself adds to the reality it could all go, Pete Tong, tomorrow and the deaf left with nothing they can really rely on.

Basically, it is the state refusing to honour its declaration supporting those in need.  If they did, they could zero the misappropriation of funding and kill off the sheer waste and fraud some charities are getting away with, it would also help by checking out people wanting a charity status to get funding with no real aim or ability to carry a project through.  It could also call into question as to if 'cultural funding support' is really helping those who need communication support, or just providing jobs for deaf artists who are out of the loop in mainstream art inclusion?  Logic suggests encouraging out of the loop areas, is killing their own inclusion aim.  Its the BSL tail wagging the communicational dog."

Deaf NZ anger at fake deaf scammers...

Image result for deaf scammers
A deaf Wellington man says he's furious after a woman apparently pretending to be deaf so she could try to sell sign-language cards, came into his work. Deaf Action New Zealand has laid a complaint with police after reports of people in Wellington and Auckland trying to sell the cards for $5 each.

It says the cards, which say 'sign language in the world deaf' and have pictures of the sign language alphabet, are not being sold by people with any affiliation to any deaf organisations or clubs.  Speaking through an interpreter, Cameron Ross said one woman had come into his work, selling the cards.

He said he approached her, and it was quickly clear she did not know sign language - and that she was able to hear.  "I said: 'Look, what you're doing is illegal and completely I disagree with what you're doing', and then she just disappeared basically. "She didn't respond to me in any way except for that first interaction when she said she was deaf, because she couldn't sign at all."

It was not a good look for the deaf community, and could damage their reputation, and ability to fundraise, he said. Deaf Action's secretary Rachel Noble said a similar scam happened in the 1990s.  Then, the Inland Revenue Department thought that people collecting money were from New Zealand deaf organisations and wanted tax from that income. People were going into shops and cafes asking for money, Ms Noble said.

ATR Comment:

The UK has these people too, most of them eastern European migrants who go from pub to pub selling key rings for £3 'to help deaf people'.  ATR countered one of them with sign and the man ran out of the room.  The problem is deaf people supporting charities and begging for funding themselves, this suggests to hearing someone asking them to contribute is valid.  The answer is deaf people rejecting charity and thus making mainstream aware we aren't beggars in the first place.  If we aren't 'charity cases' prove it.