Monday, 18 February 2019

How to make a Million with BSL...

Ms Redstar set up her own business from home, offering sign language training to companies
I bet she welcomed an increase in A2W funding!  Of course, BSL awareness isn't hearing loss awareness, so you have to ask if the sales pitch is inclusive at all.

A deaf woman has claimed she will soon be a millionaire after setting up a sign language school from her own home. Katie Redstar, from Leeds, Yorkshire, became deaf after meningitis at the age of three and struggled to find work as an adult. 

She hit rock bottom when Job Centre advisers said she would never be employed. But refusing to live life without any ambitions, she set up a business in 2017, and said she signed contracts with six-figure companies and is, therefore, set to become a millionaire by April.  The entrepreneur, who has been visually impaired since birth and will soon be blind, has also signed a book deal. 

Among those who survive meningitis, approximately one in five will have permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations, with hearing loss being the most common. Ms Redstar has also suffered from a rare degenerative disease that impaired her sight from birth, but said it is not clear what this disease is. 

Ms Redstar claims job centres told her she couldn't work and would have to stay on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for the rest of her life. She said: 'I was working in a charity shop, but I didn't feel appreciated. 'I told the Job Centre I wanted to work but they told me I couldn't because of my disabilities. 'A friend asked me if I was prepared to accept that, and I said no. 

'I had a vision for companies around the world to be accessible for deaf people.' After learning sign language at four years old, Ms Redstar said the special form of communication became one of her passions. Ms Redstar set up her own business from home, offering sign language training to companies including EE, in a bid to tear down barriers for other deaf people needing employment. 

Cuts to BSL make me ANGRY!!!

One way to  preserve support setups is to cease the over specialisation on particular modes, there are many deaf people who don't sign, many many others with hearing loss and needing alternatives, this suggests if a collective approach to support was in operation, areas would be more likely to fund that approach, mainly because sign is so minor an area regular help and usage can never be guaranteed.  

You can see much funding being poured into systems that aren't long-term viable and have too few deaf using them.  The writer fails to identify BSL users are virtually the ONLY deaf area with a national support extant.

They are costing us all too much money frankly and too many other areas are being ignored.  This can be offset by widening 'Deaf' awareness to people who don't just sign, winding up BSL charities, and replacing them with proper and inclusive support staff. 

Then there is more regular work available to maintain such a support system, and more inclusive too.  This suggestion is very widely supported by emergency systems e.g. who feel we and they would benefit from a 'one-stop' support area they can access and kill off complaints such systems are denying support to most with hearing loss.

At present, there are virtually NO dedicated support systems for Hard of Hearing, deafened, lip-readers, or text dependents,  a huge and potentially unmet need that could and should be addressed.  Less of the BSL hard-luck outbursts and start developing an inclusive support area instead.

Reading the said article the writer has already identified why such huge support for BSL is needed, maybe addressing that issue should come first? Mostly, it's shutting the door after the proverbial horse has already bolted... continually justifying areas that make access more and more difficult.   Deaf education is failing deaf people, and they want more failures as a right.

The Article:

I’m angry. In fact, I am incandescent. It’s said that the measure of a civilised society is how it treats its members with different needs. 

And today, in Worcester, we are failing to be civilised. Imagine getting a letter from your GP asking you to book an appointment by phone. Not so easy, as we know.  How many of us have waited and waited to speak to someone at the doctor’s surgery, patiently going through the indecipherable number of options: “Press 17 if you want to talk about your varicose veins!”. Now imagine that you live alone and are Deaf. 

Your main language is BSL (British Sign Language) and you can’t use the phone. So how do you book an appointment? It's even harder (or in fact, impossible). You see how the things we take for granted become barriers for those with specific needs. I’ve even heard cases of friends or interpreters phoning on the persons behalf only to be told that they cannot give the information because of confidentiality! 

But imagine it is even worse than that. Imagine you need to go to Accident and Emergency. Or someone needs to explain to you the complexities of your operation. Or that your benefits are being threatened and you need to fill out a form that is not in your language (just as BSL is different from English). 

Shhhh! It's a secret.

Related image
"Why don't Hard of Hearing unite to further their cause for access and inclusion?"  More heartfelt (But apparently unsupported), demands for Hard of Hearing to take up access and support lobbying in earnest.

A cry in the deserted wilderness sadly, I don't know about the USA but the UK has no HoH campaigning area, no community, no inclusive approach to communication, and just one national charity even the deaf don't want to know about.   Any image is mostly about ear wax YUK!!

I'm coming round to the view HoH have cracked their issue with technology so access is hardly a problem for them anymore, the only underlying question is what (If any), social life do they have?  How does it function?  as they don't like deaf people, gravitate 'like with like', and HoH clubs are a rarity and poorly attended, and no such thing as a HoH 'community' exists, online versions are pointless, even the profile and lip-reading 'HoH flagship' classes are very poorly attended and the HoH don't persevere with them.  

Perhaps those who have  overcome hearing loss can tell us who they did it? let us all in on the cure?  I read complaints, I don't read anyone doing anything about them.    More importantly why the HoH don't feel it is necessary to lobby for better access for themselves? 10m people have cracked it and we don't know how.  Do tell!

Boarding School Syndrome.

Image result for boarding schools mary hare
Another reason to shut down those for the Deaf?  Although the article appears to focus on the over-privileged or those incapable of mainstream, it ignores the huge damage caused to deaf children and their future outlook, but much 'admired' and supported a format by deaf cultural supporters.  Looks like their background took its toll on them too....

Boarding School Syndrome is increasingly recognized as a specific syndrome by psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors. Many adults are suffering long-term emotional or behavioural difficulties, which stem from having lost normal family life through being sent away to boarding school as children.

In the British Journal of Psychotherapy, Dr Joy Schaverien identified a set of symptoms common among early boarders that she calls “Boarding School Syndrome”.   “Early rupture with home has a lasting influence on attachment patterns. When a child is brought up at home, the family adapts to accommodate it: growing up involves a constant negotiation between parents and children. But an institution cannot rebuild itself around one child. Instead, the child must adapt to the system. 

Combined with the sudden and repeated loss of parents, siblings, pets and toys, this causes the child to shut itself off from the need for intimacy. This can cause major problems in adulthood: depression, an inability to talk about or understand emotions, the urge to escape from or to destroy intimate relationships. These symptoms mostly affect early boarders: those who start when they are older are less likely to be harmed.”

Sufferers' symptoms are often hidden behind a brittle fa├žade of competence.  Shame from having had - what others perceive as a privileged start - can prevent them from acknowledging their distress. Such adults have difficulty asking for help and can experience all manner of intimate issues in relationships. They are frequently emotionally cut-off as a result of living in an atmosphere where it was normal to keep silent about emotional stress.