Sunday, 10 March 2019

Simeon Hart, Campaigning to be the first Deaf BSL using MP

Standing for election representing the Green Party, the Commons needs better Deaf awareness.  Simeon is only the second Deaf BSL user to be a Parliamentary candidate and the only one standing this time around. For those of you who tuned into BDA’s General Election Question Time a few days ago, you will know that Simeon is a Green Party candidate. With a keen interest in politics since his mid-teens, Simeon found there were many barriers to Deaf people entering the political arena. 

Finding a way to gain entry, Simeon has previously put himself forward for election in the local elections in Liverpool Central in 2012 and in Princes Park in 2013. On both occasions, he missed out to the Labour candidate but with a significantly improved number of votes. Standing in this year’s General Election is down to the guiding role of David Buxton from the BDA. 

“We were discussing the BDA's General Election Question Time,” Simeon explained, “and David asked me why I wasn’t going to stand for election for the Green Party. Having joined the Green Party in 2008 and campaigned on their behalf before, I gave his comments some thought and contacted the Green Party to see if there were any vacancies within constituencies where I could stand.” “I was given the list of vacancies in the North West and then I emailed to some of those constituencies to see if they were willing to have me to stand for them. 

Oldham West and Royton was the first to contact me and asked me to apply. Since then we have communicated well and last Tuesday after hustings and votes, I was told that they were in favour of me standing as a parliamentary candidate.”

[SOURCE unincluded due to ATR's policy on biased advertising].


We are less interested in the formats deaf use and more interested in if that format limits the prospective MP from promoting access for all via lack of experience.  From reading the article there is no description of which policies/people he is for or against.  Of course, he ISN'T the first deaf person Parliament, that goes to Jack Ashley a CI using deaf person who drew no distinctions with regards to what deaf or HoH formats are used.

Updated N.I.C.E. guidance on CI's (UK)

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 This technology appraisal examined the currently available devices for cochlear implantation. No evidence was available to the committee to allow recommendations to be made for devices manufactured by Neurelec. 

1.1 Unilateral cochlear implantation is recommended as an option for people with severe to profound deafness who do not receive adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids, as defined in 1.5. If different cochlear implant systems are considered to be equally appropriate, the least costly should be used. Assessment of cost should take into account acquisition costs, long-term reliability and the support package offered. [2009] 

1.2 Simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation is recommended as an option for the following groups of people with severe to profound deafness who do not receive adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids, as defined in 1.5: children adults who are blind or who have other disabilities that increase their reliance on auditory stimuli as a primary sensory mechanism for spatial awareness. Acquisition of cochlear implant systems for bilateral implantation should be at the lowest cost and include currently available discounts on list prices equivalent to 40% or more for the second implant. [2009] 

1.3 Sequential bilateral cochlear implantation is not recommended as an option for people with severe to profound deafness. [2009] 

1.4 People who had a unilateral implant before publication of this guidance, and who fall into one of the categories described in 1.2, should have the option of an additional contralateral implant only if this is considered to provide sufficient benefit by the responsible clinician after an informed discussion with the individual person and their carers. [2009] 

1.5 For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing only sounds that are louder than 80 dB HL (pure-tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80 dB HL) at 2 or more frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz and 4,000 Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids. Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as: for adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the Arthur Boothroyd word test presented at 70 dBA for children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability. [2009, amended 2018] 

1.6 Cochlear implantation should be considered for children and adults only after an assessment by a multidisciplinary team. As part of the assessment children and adults should also have had a valid trial of an acoustic hearing aid for at least 3 months (unless contraindicated or inappropriate). [2009] 

1.7 When considering the assessment of the adequacy of acoustic hearing aids, the multidisciplinary team should be mindful of the need to ensure equality of access. Tests should take into account a person's disabilities (such as physical and cognitive impairments), or linguistic or other communication difficulties, and may need to be adapted. If it is not possible to administer tests in a language in which a person is sufficiently fluent for the tests to be appropriate, other methods of assessment should be considered. [2009] 

Deaf Chef

Image result for Saima Shafaatulla
GORDON Ramsay-style chefs have a reputation for being shouty in the kitchen but silent Saima Shafaatulla is the complete opposite. 

Born deaf and mute, the 39-year-old at first struggled to fit in when she started working in the culinary world. Saima is loving life in the kitchen but now she’s working at the prestigious Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow and, with the help of an interpreter, is cooking up a storm. 

Saima, from Glasgow, who began her career with Hilton, faced numerous challenges when she started out 20 years ago. She recalls: “When I started working I realised how hard it was to work in a kitchen area. “It was really hard with communication and really stressful.  “I was upset and there were a lot of strong emotions. It made me nervous so I went on the sick for six months.” But she didn’t give up — and was determined to get back into the kitchen with help from her employers. 

She says: “The boss wanted me to come back so I did and the chef made sure he had an interpreter to find out what the problems were. “We both learned how to work together and how to work with human resources as well. “The first year I found it really difficult. It was a really big challenge. My head chef at the time didn’t know how to work with deaf people and I didn’t really know how to work with hearing people. “After a year the barriers broke down and we understood each other and worked really well together. 

We started to bring in interpreters and the chef realised it was something we had to have. Saima is the opposite of shouty chef Gordon Ramsay.  Saima is the opposite of shouty chef Gordon Ramsay “Ever since then my communication has been great.” Saima, who was born with a genetic disorder, first became interested in working with food at school but was told by her mum it was unlikely she’d be able to pursue the career. She says: “In school, we had home economics, which was the one thing that I loved and got involved with. 

DJ for the Deaf

Whilst adjusting frequencies to compensate, the reality is the over-focus on bass and drums, since, the deaf 'follow' little else.  There seemed little attention to issues of the physical effects of too much bass on the body, which deaf rely on to follow the music.  If you can 'feel' BASS hitting your body and affecting your heart rate and making you vomit too, then this suggests some warning should be issued to deaf people.  Bass can affect internal organs by over-exposure as can drumming affect your hearing if the frequency isn't set correctly.  Most drummers have hearing loss!