Saturday, 27 April 2019

Did you Miss ?

Louder doesn't mean Clear

The show is fully accessible to Deaf & hard of hearing audiences with the use of English, BSL & creative captions.

A post show talk will take place and you would be more than welcome to stay and be included!

Meet Jonny: Teacher, father, artist. He loves music, festivals and nightclubs. He longs to sing. Jonny is Deaf. Created and performed by a deaf man, ‘Louder is Not Always Clearer’ returns to the stage after a sellout run in 2018!

Tour Dates

3/5/19 Galeri, Caernarfon hynt Scheme Accessible 19.30 

4/5/19 Small Word Theatre, Cardigan 20.00 

5/5/19 Y Plas Main Hall, Machynlleth Comedy Festival 14.00 

9,10,11 /5 Chapter Arts, Cardiff hynt Scheme Accessible 19.30

13,14,15/5 Bristol Old Vic, Bristol 19.30 

24/5/19 Pencoed Library, Bridgend 19.00 

24/7/19 Riverfront Studio, Newport 19.45 

The show is fully accessible to Deaf & hard of hearing audiences with the use of English, BSL & creative captions.  A post-show talk will take place and you would be more than welcome to stay and be included! The production company’s website can be accessed by clicking here  

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Myths and ASL.

A CONVO facebook video on ASL elicits ATR response.

We think the issue is more that once a child/adult uses sign be it ASL/BSL on any permanent basis then they don't want or show reluctance to access/communicate in any other form and opt out, and THAT hinders their advance since the infrastructure is not there within society to accommodate it.  Deaf awareness has failed.

Sign seduces, that's the reality, and deaf children take the easiest way forward.  Happy in that growing up to adulthood, there is back up of a kind from peers and peer groupings.  It's a naive approach to take since statistics, medical advance, and reality is going against that premise, as are aspirations of the deaf who understand you have to be there to make that difference and feel they lack the wherewithal due to language approaches.

The mainstream has to accommodate ALL languages hearing and deaf, all degrees of hearing loss and, all formats we use, sign is just one of them, so practicality suggests there must be a bigger picture seen here by the deaf in that real bilingualism is essential and not adopting the monolingual approaches and defying the realities.  If they want their culture or language to survive being dogmatic and about it is going to make for a lot of suffering for many.  Less than 2% of the deaf would be unable to adapt.  Choices and rights are a smokescreen. We have the other percentage fighting some rearguard action against progress that would help the deaf.

This isn't discrimination, it is empowering the deaf with more realistic options to manage outside their deaf bubble.  Indeed, we owe deaf children genuine bilingualism as a right and as a priority over sign initially.  ASL may well offer an 'in' to English too, but it isn't what the deaf are using after, and that is the problem, after all 'horses for courses', not one-trick ponies, as is unrealistically insisting everyone else will/must adapt to them, they cannot anyway as the reliance on sign language demands translation back up and less than  1 in 300 have it due to an acute shortage of trained people, and issues of training and costs.

Technology will eventually defeat sign reliance, it has defeated already the HoH reliances, hence the almost total lack of any Hard of Hearing access campaigns, they have embraced the technology.  Reliance on 3rd parties (People), cannot be maintained and the sheer costs of training such people cannot be met either.  It's not helped by an overwhelming reliance by deaf on untrained family support instead, 60% of deaf signers in the UK do this, killing own demand campaign points.   Demanding access they aren't using.

Deaf education/schools themselves have been decimated by inclusive policies.  There are (At least in the UK), NO schools using BSL as a primary means of education alone.  Again the educational structure isn't there to bolster culture for the deaf, it is about the effective communications deaf children need.

Many younger deaf are already getting out there, they aren't attending deaf clubs or groups either, it will be their generation dictating how the deaf child moves forward not back to the future campaigns.  Unless ALL deaf live in an area of concentration that would mean many others losing out, the want of the few outweighing the needs of the many?  The pursuit of deaf language and culture preservation has always ignored collateral damage and become elitist at that.  It is acting as a break on real advance.

The fact the FB video is promoted by people who rely on deaf using them has to be seen for what it is too.


Monday, 22 April 2019

New pioneering Surgery aids deaf children to hear...

Cochlea implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear.
Profoundly deaf children will be given access to pioneering brain surgery on the NHS, allowing them to experience the sensation of hearing for the first time. 

Children aged five years-old and under who are unable to use conventional hearing aids or implants as a result of their inner ears (cochleas) or auditory nerve failing to develop properly will benefit from the procedure. Specialist teams at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London will insert a device into the child’s brain to stimulate hearing pathways, bypassing the underdeveloped cochlea or nerve in a procedure known as Auditory Brainstem Implants (ABI) surgery. 

Cochlear implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear. Traditional cochlear implants are worn outside the body and parts are placed under the skin and in the inner ear. (Photo: Tom Pilston) The children will require long-term support to listen and understand the new signals their implants are transmitting. “This truly life-changing surgery, which allows youngsters to hear their parents’ voices for the first time, will now be available across England for children who are deaf who have no other options,” said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director. 

Theo Sankson was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf during the newborn hearing screening programme and was deemed ineligible for cochlear implants following the discovery he did not have auditory nerves at eight months old. I’m the mother of a deaf child – this is why I’m constantly worried my son will become part of the ‘lost generation’ His mother, Imedla Sankson, said she was “eternally grateful” for the ABI he received from the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital when he was two years-old. “After discovering Theo couldn’t have a Cochlear Implant, all we could think about was how would he hear a fire alarm, how could we protect him from danger?” she said. 

“It’s now two years since Theo’s device was activated and he can hear me calling him from upstairs. His first word was ‘more’ and his second was ‘mummy’ – something I never thought I would hear. Every day he uses his voice more and more and now loves to try and sing.”

Blind and deaf Universal Credit claimants 'humiliated'

Would not work in Wales, they are closing libraries anyway, and libraries don't possess the equipment to enable the blind to use them, let alone funding BSL support!  

MSP Kevin Stewart has hit out at DWP chiefs over advice given out to those with sight and hearing loss. 

Kevin Stewart said blind people without internet access had been advised to fill in Universal Credit applications in a library. The advice poses security risks for anyone sharing financial details in a public area, the Aberdeen Central MSP warned. He also claimed people with hearing difficulties were told to book own sign language interpreters over the phone at potentially extra costs. 

Stewart demanded answers from the UK Department for Work and Pensions after a north-east charity raised concerns with him. He said: “I think many people will be absolutely stunned to learn that the DWP may be advising people with hearing difficulties to book sign language interpreters over the phone, that blind people are being recommended to use public libraries to input personal financial information – but this is the kind of monstrous indignity I have come to expect from the Tories.” 

“The process of applying for Universal Credit – or even making changes to it – is proving to be a painful experience for many people. “Some of the DWP practices outlined to me by charities show nothing less than humiliation being inflicted on people simply for seeking help they are more than entitled to.  “It is unacceptable that the DWP is treating their responsibility to deliver support with such blatant contempt.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Sacre Bleu!

Image result for Notre dame
Not much money coming from the Catholic church is there? Unsurprising as they hardly pay any upkeep for their churches the state does to preserve them as historic buildings. 

Any truth in the rumour they are updating Notre Dame with virtual reality? (So visitors can see what is what like when churches had a congregation). But just look at the areas throwing money at it.....  Didn't the celebs and notaries of old adopt the same stance? believing if they paid for the upkeep of the church they would get good seats after they died.  Far be it for us to suggest if they have money to burn (sorry for the pun), then housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, curing some cancers etc, would have got them a far better seat.   Will the Pope dig into his wallet?

France's 3 richest families lead $700 million fundraising effort for Notre Dame. The steeple of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris.  A fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris, potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site, the fire service said.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L'Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million) after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral. LVMH (LVMHF) and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised €200 million ($226 million). The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L'Oreal (LRLCF). The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering (PPRUF), has pledged €100 million ($113 million). 

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire. Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total (TOT) has promised €100 million ($113 million), while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million).

New Surgery gives deaf girl a voice.

Leia receiving support wearing her hearing implant which required complex brain surgery
Seven-year-old Leia Armitage lived in total silence for the first two years of her life, but thanks to pioneering brain surgery and years of therapy she has found her voice and can finally tell her parents she loves them. 

"We were told you could put a bomb behind her and she wouldn't hear it at all if it went off," said Leia's father, Bob, as he recalled finding out their baby daughter had a rare form of profound deafness. Leia, from Dagenham in Essex, had no inner ear or hearing nerve, meaning that even standard hearing aids or cochlear implants wouldn't help her. 

 As a result, she was never expected to speak - but despite the risks, her parents fought for her to be one of the first children in the UK to be given an auditory brainstem implant, requiring complex brain surgery when she was two years old. NHS England calls the surgery "truly life-changing" and has said it will fund the implant for other deaf children in a similar position. It is estimated that about 15 children a year will be assessed for the procedure and nine will go on to have surgery. 

Bob says opting for this type of brain surgery was a huge decision for them, but "we wanted to give Leia the best opportunity in life". He and his wife Alison hoped that after the surgery at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust she would be able to hear things like cars beeping their horns as she crossed the road - to make her safer in the world. However, in the five years since the surgery, her progress has been much greater than they ever expected.