Friday, 8 March 2019

Including the unincluded

Image result for deafblind formatsCharity media unable to respond to concerns deaf-blind e.g. are unable almost totally to access deaf or HoH media. As one poster put it.....

"I'm inclined to agree deaf-blind and deaf with vision impairments must be struggling to follow this website.  I suspect the reason is a wider acceptance deaf-blind go to own sites and areas, just like deaf signers or HoH do, its an issue often brought up here about inclusion being a myth in that regard.  

Most minorities don't understand inclusion in its basic reality, or what is required from mainstream or from them.  Whilst different and dedicated areas exist then inclusion cannot because mainstream or even the same people with different formats won't expect to see wider inclusion with own or mainstream areas if that access format isn't theirs.  A perfectly accessible site would they say, be unviewable too.  

This particular forum hasn't the tools to alter visual formats that's another issue. (Changing background and foreground colours text size etc), or even adding signed accompaniment to text postings for those deaf who use that because 98% of posters don't actually sign and the sheer cost of translating the forum is prohibitive.

Note: ATR uses black background/lighter text, but not all deafblind want or need that.  Signers want sign and nil captions, others want no sign and captions only, lip-readers abandoned the entire concept of accessible speech.

It's all very well minorities angry they aren't included, but, they demand own areas at the same time, which undermine the point.  Whole areas of the Internet are dedicated, singular, minority areas, albeit most of those AREN'T in the formats they actually prefer, it is text mostly. And utilising singular formats pushes others away from it as they struggle to follow.  There is no one size fits all, albeit text is the nearest to it."

4 deaf-blind resources that we can all use.

Assistive technology iconSome products used by blind and deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH) customers are specifically designed for such use, a class of deaf-blind resources commonly called “assistive technology.” Others, generally called “accessible technologies,” provide value for all customers, including those with visual and hearing impairments. In either case, businesses that build or use products useful to the deaf and blind are engaging a smart business practice, one that increases inclusivity and builds inroads to a larger market than they could have reached otherwise. Read on for examples of accessible technologies that offer a compelling mix of mass-market appeal and utility for deaf or blind customers.

1. Transformative Power in Your Pocket.

Text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies are better and more accurate than ever. This continued improvement has particularly benefited deaf/HOH and blind customers, who can access these powerful tools on their smartphones without having to haul specialized tools to work, the classroom, and other places they frequent.

Deaf/HOH customers can harness speech-to-text in a few surprising ways. Imagine the difficulty a person who relies on lip-reading might have following a group conversation, for instance. Numerous apps use speech-to-text APIs to provide automated transcription, displaying each participant’s name in a different color to ensure the user doesn’t lose information or context. Adaptations like these go hand-in-hand with visual voicemail and other tools that turn audible data into a text-based format.

On the other hand, blind customers may naturally find more value in text-to-speech solutions. For these customers, screen-reading tools make everything from text-based communication (SMS, email) to basic navigation easier. With text-to-speech in place, the phone can read options aloud, and the user can access them with vocal command. Optical character recognition (OCR) takes this idea even further, reading the text on any printed material, from a street sign to a handwritten note, and converting it to audio format, according to the American Foundation for the Blind.

2. Mass-Market Blockbusters Become Deaf-Blind Resources.

Home assistants have become technological mainstays, and their speech-recognition and -playback capabilities make them a helpful tool for the blind community. This technology removes steps from everyday processes. Previous resources also helped the visually impaired perform unit conversions in the kitchen or navigate complex media libraries, but newer models require only a quick vocal command.

Home assistants are becoming more helpful for the deaf/HOH as well. Screens on higher-end models from Amazon and Google, for instance, can now display the devices’ spoken replies on a visual medium. Additionally, third-party workarounds allow users to hold full-text conversations with their home-assistant devices. Though not an official solution, this workaround can help devices better understand hearing-impaired people’s vocal commands.

3. Bringing Comms Everywhere.

Cloud-communications tools such as voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing came onto the scene and immediately began creating new markets with their unique offerings. Their benefits as deaf-blind resources can be grouped into two high-level categories: access and adaptability.

First, consider how a call can originate. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs can call over cellular and traditional data networks, and other comms can be held over internal business networks and the like. This variety of options helps deaf/HOH users — who may have relied on dedicated text telephone (TTY) hardware in the past — take their critical communications anywhere they go for important business and personal use.

VoIP and video conferencing offer similar flexibility on the software side through their ability to integrate with other solutions. As deaf-blind resources, they can effectively be fitted to whatever function a hearing- or visually-impaired user may need, paving the way for companies to create accessible tools without building a communications platform to go with it. In this sense, cloud-communications tools aren’t impressive because of one function; they’re impressive because almost anything — including an array of deaf- and blind-focused improvements — can be built on top of the communications they provide.

4. Wearables: Good Now, Great Later.

Whereas the other items on this list provide value now, wearables such as smartwatches are a few years away from realizing their full potential. When they do, expect their diverse combination of hard and soft tools to provide a groundbreaking consumer-market experience for deaf and blind users.

A lot of the utility of wearables will stem from their ability to simplify navigational tasks other users may take for granted. For example, blind users will soon be able to use a “smart necklace” that reads the room in front of it and reports its findings in speech format, according to Google’s blog, The Keyword. This function complements the functionality of smartwatch-based tools blind consumers already rely on, such as spoken-word, turn-by-turn directions. Solutions for deaf users will follow a similar trend. A watch that automatically registers various noises and vibrates with a text-based alert could signal ringing doorbells, chirping oven timers, and crying children, for example.

These examples only scratch the surface of what wearables will soon be able to do. As internal hardware grows more powerful and user-facing capabilities become more sophisticated, deaf and blind users will undoubtedly become a core user segment for device manufacturers and software makers alike — reflecting the tech world’s evolving commitment to disabled customers and the impressive list of tasks their creations can perform.

Tweet laughs

For the uninitiated, Titania Gethsemane McGrath is a radical vegan, woke poet committed to feminism, social justice and armed, peaceful protest
Enjoy while you can, Twitter is not usually known as a source of humour!  Here, left-wingers get duped by a fake snowflake posting.

The 'woke' tweets that duped so many.

I have always stood up for minorities. As such, it is essential that we respect the wishes of the minority of UK voters and overturn Brexit.

So what if Shamima Begum joined ISIS when she was 15? My sister got caught stealing a croissant on her gap year in Marseille. TEENAGERS MAKE MISTAKES.

I’ve been accused of living in a woke ‘echo chamber’ and that my opinions are out of touch with regular people. But I’ve asked around my close friends and they all agree this isn’t the case.

I’ve been forced to muzzle my dog, because although it identifies as a cat it keeps bloody barking.

White people: stop trying to help destitute Africans. I’m sure they’d rather starve than perpetuate negative racial stereotypes.

Dieting is fat-shaming yourself.

Straight men should be in a zoo.

The media’s coverage of ISIS is underpinned by deep-seated Islamophobia. If it isn’t, how come they never say anything nice about them? 

Sign Language for drugs.

Marijuana for the Deaf – Cannabis Sign Language from CannabisNet on Vimeo.

It should be pointed out ATR is anti ALL Drug usage, and the post is in no way intended to promote the use of them or to make young deaf look 'cool' using the signs, as this could contribute to own usage.   They are simply intended to include more modern signs to the deaf signing vocabulary. 

Thank YOU ATR..

A word from the WISE.

Books: Need for more deaf inclusion?

The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and Oscar-winning actress Rachel Shenton are using World Book Day to highlight the need to include more disabilities in children’s stories. 

 Rachel Shenton, who last year won an Oscar for The Silent Child, a film about a deaf girl, is calling on authors and publishers to feature disabilities in children's books The pair said it was incredibly important that disabilities like deafness are featured in children’s books. They have joined together to launch the National Deaf Children’s Society competition, open to the 18,000 deaf children in the UK aged 7-11, for a story including a deaf character. 

Julia Donaldson, who is hard of hearing herself, has written a book featuring lip-reading called Freddie and the Fairy and when she was Children’s Laureate worked with a group of deaf children on What the Jackdaw Saw, a book about sign language. The children’s author said, ‘I loved working on that story, and now I’m delighted to be involved in this writing competition. I can’t wait to see the stories that deaf children across the country come up with.’

 Rachel Shenton won an Oscar for best live action short film in 2018 The Silent Child, which tells the story of a four-year-old girl who struggles to communicate until she learns sign language. ‘Making The Silent Child, and from my work in the deaf community, I’ve met so many amazing deaf children up and down the country. I’ve learnt just how important it is for these children to see themselves in the programmes and movies they watch and in the books they read. 

Never seeing themselves can be so demoralising, and make their experiences seem invisible. ‘For World Book Day, which is such an exciting time for kids across the country to think about the stories they love, we need to remind everyone involved in the industry of how important disability inclusion is. From children’s authors to book publishers, featuring disabled characters and the experiences they go through couldn’t be more important.’ 

PPIE Panel Training (BSL).