Saturday, 20 April 2019

VR and accessible classrooms..

Being Part of the Conversation.

When the morning announcements pipe through the walls of Santa Clara High School, students pause, look up for a minute, and listen to what the day has in store for them. But to 16-year-old sophomore Olive Howden, the morning announcements are a daily nuisance. 

That’s because she’s deaf and uses cochlear implants to help her hear. Olive tells us what it’s like to navigate a full day of high school while struggling to be part of the conversation. I’m heading to my first class of the day, journalism. There’s so much happening as I’m walking through the hallways. Simply talking to more than one person at a time is a struggle for me. If you asked me what word I use most often, I would say, "What?" As in, "Can you repeat that?" Because I am constantly missing half of every conversation. 

It's difficult for Howden to hear in crowded, noisy spaces. She prefers to spend time in the quiet, where she can hear the people around her more clearly. (Sruti Mamidanna/KQED) I was born deaf, but I can still hear. Just not the same way as the other 2,000 kids at my high school. Sponsored When I was 18 months old, surgeons implanted tiny computers in my cochlea, my inner ears. The cochlear implants work with processors to do my hearing for me. Basically, I have bionic ears. But apparently, the things I hear sound "tinny," like listening to something on the other end of a metal tunnel. 

At lunch, it's hard to find a quiet place to eat. My friends and I usually sit outside, in the quad. It's still noisy out there, but it's better than the cafeteria. My peers speak at what seems like the speed of light. Somehow, they pick up on things I didn't even realize the person next to me was saying. But my friends are amazing people. They seem to know exactly when to repeat what I didn’t hear.

No Interpreters available for Some Scots..

Complaints: Christopher Plummer and Eileen Cassells claim there is a lack of support for deaf people in the region
I doubt 25 part-timers attending awareness classes is going to cut it.  The fact remains BSL activism is constantly demanding more deaf use/access BSL primarily full in the knowledge there is no support for them to use it after.  Creating demand may well be the point but, do deaf use terps anyway? As many as 60% don't but use family instead.  Thus killing off the very demands they are making.  Catch 22.

"Deaf people in the region are being let down by the lack of a full-time British Sign Language interpreter, it has been claimed. 

Two local deaf people say many are being forced to leave the region as a result of the poor level of support on offer to help them. The region’s previous full-time interpreter, who had served the area for 20 years, retired in December 2017, and Dumfries and Galloway Council has so far been unable to attract anyone as a permanent replacement. 

It means that deaf people are left to face a lottery of whether signing support will be available for crucial appointments, with both the council and NHS reliant on the use of interpreters based at Glasgow firm Sign Language Interactions. One of those impacted is 28-year-old Christopher Plummer from Dumfries, who lost his hearing at just eight weeks old after contracting meningitis. Christopher, who requires the use of a cochlear implant, said: “The council promised us about getting a full-time interpreter, but they haven’t managed to find anyone and so interpreters are now having to travel two hours to Dumfries for appointments. 

“We need interpreters for things like hospital appointments, or the bank, social workers, that kind of thing. I can get an appointment tomorrow, but if they can’t find a signer to come along, then I might have to reschedule until one is available. “There can also be problems with things like bad weather, because the interpreters from SLI might not make it down to Dumfries if there is bad weather. It’s unfair on the signers to have to travel down and I don’t feel as if the council ever listen to us.” 

Those complaints are echoed by 52-year-old Eileen Cassells, who moved to Dumfries 23 years ago from her native Ayrshire. She was born profoundly deaf and uses a pair of cochlear implants, but still finds it difficult to communicate with people. Eileen told the Standard: “I was told when I first moved that there was very poor support for deaf people in the region. “I find trying to book interpreters pointless and I tend to rely on my sister a lot, but that is difficult because she works so I find myself having to cancel a lot. “When I went for an audiology appointment recently, it was frustrating that none of the staff knew BSL and were just shouting people’s names out. 

I strongly think audiology should have someone who knows BSL, especially when they are working with deaf people.” A council spokesman confirmed that it was not currently advertising a vacancy for an interpreter after an external recruitment campaign was unsuccessful. And a spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The board has access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and arrangements are in place for booking these. “However, we are aware that availability of interpretation and the supporting systems and processes locally needs to be improved. 

We are committed to doing so and a number of actions are underway to address these issues, including the planned introduction of video interpreting. “A number of awareness-raising activities are also underway to assist staff to manage interpretation requests. As part of these activities, funding has been provided to allow 25 staff to attend deaf awareness training.”"

Friday, 19 April 2019

Tail of the tape (UK).

The Complete Guide to Captioned Videos

Born profoundly deaf, I’ve depended on captions since getting my first big clunky decoder in 1983. It was a box about the size of the older VHS and DVD players.

Back then, captioned programs and movies were hard to find. Few things excited me more than seeing the caption symbol on the cover of a movie or at the start of a TV show. Thankfully, they’re easy to find when it comes to TV networks, streaming services, and movies.

But the same can’t be said for the many, many videos companies and individuals put out on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere. In recent years, captioning has gotten so much easier and more affordable. This guide will dive into why captioning matters, how it provides a huge ROI, 10 rules for creating great captions, and how to caption your videos.

Captions Guide Table of Contents.

Why you want to caption your videos
#Caption10 Rules


Deaf 911 App.

The good News top 10.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Laura Bridgman

The first Deaf-blind woman to receive a proper education. Often regarded as the smartest Deaf-Blind woman, she is often forgotten in history.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Don't label me?

Image result for Labels are for Jars?
Ongoing social media viewpoints that seem to continue being tired and frustrated with relentless drives for identities and the labelling of people.

#1  I agree personal choice 💜l just take a deep breath and a step back so over people telling me how l should describe MY hearing issues and other health matters😑

#2  Do you think for some people the trauma is so serious, adopting an alternative communication and culture is just a rather clever way of overcoming it and it isn't  'taking the easiest way out?'   

#3  We get 'born again' deaf/Deaf too who become rather rabid in defending an area they erstwhile never belonged to.  As the poster pointed out don't label me in the process.  Or use the word 'WE'.

#4   All of us tend to use the plural as it viewed we are mostly in the same boat.   But the ocean we sail on isn't the same one is it?   In my part of the UK hearing loss issues via health service (NHS)  'definitions' had 13 different descriptions of who, and what we are via classifications, obviously the system has a view on our ID too.   The primary area defined was 'deaf with a capital D.' and the next one a rather all-encompassing description of everyone else as ' 1 in 6.'  Deaf-blind were relegated in the priorities rather indiscriminately as an area and not really classified as an area with hearing loss at all.

The success of promoting the d/D (Whatever floats those boats), need or want, has driven down demand for anyone else's.  I did ask  why there was no system that was compatible support-wise for those with hearing loss, which I said did not really cover born deaf at all since you have to lose hearing before it becomes an actual 'loss', and there is a world of difference not having any useful or hearing day one, to have heard for years and THEN losing it, or losing it day by day etc... which I suggested was a more accurate description of the disabling aspect. 

The response was "We respond to individual demand, that is, how people present to us via need, that need may take many forms, e.g.  health, language, or cultural norms..' the areas you describe as 'non-cultural' make few demands on us of note, when they do we try to respond to those.  Other areas are primary drivers of need and support that cover more than the basic 'hearing loss' (which to us usually means hearing aids/CI's, assessing loss, even ear wax etc.). We apologise if that looks like labelling people, but it does seem reflected in the way other areas of support function in self-descriptions."  

#5  There is a challenge to disability there surely? since being e.g. born a particular way, it can be seen as a 'norm' for that person, and only a disablement via how others see it compared to them.  A preamble about models or something. It's a primary argument for those born deaf who reject the disability tag and is the basis of the 'social model' thing, which of course HoH may accept/adopt, or may well reject outright as an argument for disability too.  The more simplistic responses tend to suggest some 'blame culture' is attached to the point. People get put on the defensive, adopt the martyrdom syndrome, feeling they have to justify themselves.  Hearing loss as an issue gets lost altogether.  They would like us to think it was all part of some grand design to laud deafness and culture, but the odds are totally against that happening.

#6  Each assessment of own need is different, each patient in a health system is treated that way, they claim to have no 'politics' of care, but challenges to any label or 'model' happen, as areas of the system try to treat or support patients a particular way, e.g. using different languages etc... issues can be created before treatment takes place, then, the politics of rights come in to play.   The real issue is in creating effective and directed support systems geared to those demands,  labelling tends to define that,  rather than treat people as the individuals they are. THEN it becomes a problem of systems being unable to adapt to the relentless labelling and 'norms' they adopt (which appear to change day by day).

#7   They are just PATIENTS as far as medical professionals are concerned ! and they have enough work to do without messing about with people who don't know who or what they are, unless of course, it is connected to some mental aberration that requires clinical treatment.   I think some of them are confused enough without others laying down yet more terminological minefields to negotiate.  either you require medical help or you don't.

Deaf actor to understudy for a hearing one.

A Deaf actor makes RSC history by becoming first to understudy hearing role.

When Charlotte Arrowsmith played Vincentia in last Friday's evening performance of The Taming of the Shrew, she had more reason than most to feel nervous. As well as stepping into Melody Brown's shoes to play Vincentia on top of her usual role as Curtis, she was making history by being the first Deaf actor to perform as an understudy for a hearing principal actor.

Not only is this an RSC first, but we believe it to be a first at any major theatre.

It was important to Charlotte than she kept Vincentia as a higher status character, despite being Deaf, and used Prince Philip's mother Princess Alice as inspiration. By drawing on how the princess was able to learn to lip read in multiple languages, Charlotte found a way to keep her "higher status, richer and more powerful than the rest of the characters, as she is an intelligent lady who defied the odds."

The rest of the company embraced the use of British Sign Language by incorporating some signs and gestures into their performances, helping to integrate Vincentia into the scenes. Although they didn't have much time to prepare for the show, Charlotte was grateful for how hard the group worked: "It shows that nothing is impossible if we try as a team, and with more time it shows how much a mainstream cast can bring together BSL and diversity into the mix."  

Silent Laughs

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Romanian Alphabet in Sign.

They don't look very happy about it!

Man stole from Charity for deaf children.

Man stole charity box in aid of deaf children
A deaf school is a charity?  A NEWBURY man has received a suspended jail sentence for stealing a charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children. He would have gone straight to prison but for his early guilty plea, said a district judge. 

In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday was convicted burglar Michael Higor Da Silva, who lives at Northway. Matthew Gauntlett, prosecuting, said 37-year-old Mr Da Silva walked into a barber’s shop in Newbury town centre at around 3.50pm. He added: “He waited until no staff were present on the shop floor. “He then took the charity box, hid it under his clothing and walked out.” Mr Da Silva was identified from CCTV footage and later tried to claim the box contained no more than £7. 

But Mr Gauntlett urged the court not to take his word for it and added: “For obvious reasons, we will never know the true amount, but the barber shop owner said it had been three-quarters full and that he had been putting a fair bit of money in himself. “The defendant told police he stole it because he owed people money.” On another occasion, the court heard, Mr Da Silva went to Tesco in Newbury and stole a Panasonic DVD player worth £79.99. Mr Gauntlett said: “He went into the store around 11.30pm, went to the electrical aisle and removed the security tag from the item. 

“He then concealed it in a bag and walked out without attempting to pay.” The court heard that Mr Da Silva was again recognised from CCTV footage and on being arrested told police he had been “high” at the time and had no recollection of committing the offences. Mr Da Silva admitted stealing the charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children, based at Snelsmore, on March 14. He also admitted stealing the DVD player on January 23. Mr Da Silva also has previous convictions, including burglary. Simon Hammudi, defending, said his client came from a “very troubled background” and added: 

“He was an alcoholic at 12 years; by 15 years he was addicted to heroin.” He added: “He doesn’t drink alcohol any more, but he is still addicted to heroin. “He has a prescription and now takes 65ml of [heroin substitute] methadone a day. “I would ask the court to defer sentence to allow him to continue treatment at Swanswell [a substance misuse organisation].” But district judge Nigel Hodkinson said: “I’m not persuaded to defer sentence.” Turning to Mr Da Silva he said: “I could have sent you straight to prison today. “However, you pleaded guilty and the probation service say you are attending appointments when they tell you to. “But even with all that help, and a methadone prescription, you still stole things.” He sentenced Mr Da Silva to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. 

Monday, 15 April 2019

Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan
Born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts,

Anne Sullivan was a teacher who taught Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child, how to communicate and read Braille. 

Anne Sullivan was a gifted teacher best known for her work with Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child she taught to communicate. At only 20 years of age, Sullivan showed great maturity and ingenuity in teaching Keller and worked hard with her pupil, bringing both women much acclaim. 

Sullivan even helped Keller write her autobiography. Early Life Anne Sullivan was born on April 14, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. A gifted teacher, Anne Sullivan is best known for her work with Helen Keller, a blind and deaf child she taught to communicate. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s. The couple had five children, but two died in their infancy. Sullivan and her two surviving siblings grew up in impoverished conditions and struggled with health problems. 

At the age of five, Anne contracted an eye disease called trachoma, which severely damaged her sight. Her mother, Alice, suffered from tuberculosis and had difficulty getting around after a serious fall. She died when Anne was eight years old. Even at an early age, Sullivan had a strong-willed personality. She sometimes clashed with her father, Thomas, who was left to raise Sullivan and her siblings after their mother's death. Thomas—who was often abusive—eventually abandoned the family. Anne and her infirm younger brother, Jimmie, were sent to live at the Tewksbury Almshouse, a home for the poor. Some reports say that Sullivan also had a sister who was sent to live with relatives. Tewksbury Almshouse was dirty, rundown, and overcrowded. Sullivan's brother Jimmie died just months after they arrived there, leaving Anne alone. 

While at Tewksbury, Sullivan learned about schools for the blind and became determined to get an education as a means to escape poverty. She got her chance when members from a special commission visited the home. After following the group around all day, she worked up the nerve to talk to them about sending her to a special school. Star Pupil Sullivan left Tewksbury to attend the Perkins School for the Blind in 1880 and underwent surgery to help improve her limited vision. Still, Sullivan faced great challenges while at Perkins. 

She had never been to school before and lacked social graces, which put her at odds with her peers. Humiliated by her own ignorance, Sullivan had a quick temper and liked to challenge the rules, which got her in trouble with her teachers. She was, however, tremendously bright, and she soon advanced academically. Sullivan did eventually settle down at the school, but she never felt like she fit in there. 

She did develop close friendships with some of her teachers, including the school's director Michael Anagnos. Chosen as the valedictorian of her class, Sullivan delivered a speech at her June 1886 graduation. She told her fellow students that "duty bids us go forth into active life. Let us go cheerfully, hopefully, and earnestly, and set ourselves to find our special part. When we have found it, willingly and faithfully perform it; for every obstacle we overcome, every success we achieve tends to bring man closer to God." 

Open letter to AOHL (UK).

Image result for access all areasATR did raise an issue regarding the AOHL forum posting events nation-wide that did not fully cover what access was available or in what formats, or even if the events were entirely relevant to various hearing loss areas the charity covered. 

Comment sent 2 months ago and never replied to is below:

While sign users will welcome updates on events there does seem very few events that are text, loop, iPad, or lip-spoken assisted etc, can we see a more balanced event posting approach that is a bit more inclusive?   

At ATR we continue to note many BSL assisted events do not include access for hard of hearing or non-signing areas, BSL, is also assumed to be a 'Deaf' assist and events aimed at them exclusively by many HoH areas, we need more details on access to identify if, it actually is there for us.  

Initially (and as a legal aside), many events get public funding/grants for access provision and we are seeing access is being selective, not inclusive.

Obviously, BSL assisted events won't mean HoH relative mostly. When posting event updates let us have more detail on access please. A BSL accessible video/event may NOT include textural/loop etc access or even content other hearing loss areas would be relevant to.    Horses for courses is fine, but please make this clear. If only so we can ask for that inclusion.

No one is objecting to BSL coverage but the fact such events (AND Hard of Hearing ones), do not always contain the appropriate access or content to suggest a site/venue visit is worthwhile.  You could turn up and find no access or content of relevance there.  Charities and support are still non-integral areas of real note and operate exclusively often, it is 'each to their own..' approaches and apparently covered as a 'right', yet charity advertising is leaving out details about access provisions, we are wondering if the reluctance to point these things out is so that areas that do these things, are not legally challenged for advertising inaccessible venues?  So far the law is unclear if particular cultural/minority areas can continue to enjoy a right to not include others. 

While we can understand the AOHL doesn't want to be seen as highlighting the fact HoH or BSL events AREN'T mutually accessible or inclusive, I think it is fair for AOHL (Or the BDA e.g. who will make no bones about the fact it is for BSL users only), to point out this reality.  I'm sure Hard of Hearing areas would be happy to do their own thing too, which currently they aren't able to.  

There is some 'assumption' we all 'know' to point out fact anyway, as to my mind, not doing this, suggests some areas are endorsing a form of exclusion, certainly practicing non-inclusive access by default, and that is a concern that throws doubt on the access/inclusion legal requirement.  All campaigns are directed at ensuring the mainstream includes us all, but that inclusion seems to be relative within the hearing loss area itself.  Areas that apply for funding FOR access provision.  Basically, if an area chooses not to include someone else publicly, this is discrimination, isn't it?  

Just because it is 'generally accepted' BSL and HoH areas are totally different does not mean you should be misleading readers about content that is not accessible to them or not relevant to their areas.   It's time to bury the mutual  'Deaf and Hard of Hearing' remit which stopped working as a concept some years ago.  It's ignored online and charity adverts re events etc.  Time to move on.  Either include the fact some events are for sign users only, and others are for hard of hearing only, is respecting what is the status quo anyway.  It's depressing to run up at an event for deaf or hard of hearing only to find the access formats are too rigid to include you.

Hearing cannot adopt the same exclusion concept so how can we?  Given, alternatives and mutual inclusion formats are there to be used?

Father of deaf daughters calls for deportation order to be reversed

 Mohammad Basharat, with  Samia (12) and Fatima (9),  says the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan
Mohammad Basharat warns Samia (12), Fatima (9) will not receive care needed in Pakistan. He states the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan.

(So he has brought them to Ireland illegally to get it?).

The father of two deaf daughters has called on the Department of Justice to reverse his family’s deportation order on humanitarian grounds, warning that his children will not receive the healthcare they require if they are returned to Pakistan. (could not an identical argument be used to illegally bring any child with hearing loss to Ireland? Be they from Asia, Africa or anywhere else?).

Mohammad Basharat and his wife, Sadia, were informed in September 2018 that their family would be deported to Pakistan despite medical advice that their daughters require specialist care for their hearing impairment. 

Both Samia (12) and Fatima (9) were diagnosed before coming to Ireland with sensorineural hearing loss and use cochlear implants to hear. Mr Basharat says the treatment his daughters require will not be accessible in Pakistan. He also warns that they will struggle to communicate as they do not speak Urdu. “They only learned English and they speak it fluently but their speech is delayed,” he told The Irish Times. 

“In Pakistan, it would be a disaster because they will not be able to communicate. They will not be able to read, write or speak.” The family arrived in Ireland four years ago after Mr Basharat’s brother, a UK citizen, moved to Oldcastle in Co Meath and bought a takeaway. Mr Basharat had been living in the UK where he was awaiting a decision on his appeal for a work permit after his initial application was rejected. His wife and children followed him in 2011 after it became clear that his daughters needed specialist care and were fitted with cochlear implants in the UK. In 2015 the family moved to Ireland as dependents of Mr Basharat’s brother under their treaty rights as family members of an EU national and were given a temporary stamp to remain. 

However, their application was eventually refused on the basis that the family did not meet the criteria as dependents of an EU citizen. In the interim, Samia gave birth to her fourth child, a son named Mohammad. 

UK government says disabled aren't entitled to human rights.

Tories in court claiming disabled people have no human rights.png
Already found guilty of the genocide of disabled in the UK,  and indicted for the deaths of nearly 120,000 elderly and disabled by the European courts, the Tory party extends further assaults on the disabled and deaf.  Currently, there is no disability minister either.

If you are a disabled Tory voter who thinks you still have human rights you’ll be shocked to learn the Tory Government apparently thinks you have none. In fact, they are in court right now apparently arguing you should have no human rights. This comes at the end of the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that the Bedroom Tax in the case of one couple – the Carmichaels – breaches their human rights. 

The Tory Government ran out of appeal options, which already cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds. Having lost that case the Tory Government is back in court spending more taxpayers money arguing no other disabled person in the UK has those same human rights. “Should the government win this case, it would severely curtail the powers of the social security tribunal,” said Lucy Cadd of Leigh Day solicitors, who is acting for Charlotte and Jayson Carmichael. 

This ruling will ultimately affect every disabled person in the UK – regardless of who you vote for. Read the source or our backup for more details Tories in court claiming disabled people have no human rights.