Saturday, 29 June 2019

Theatre Access for BSL in Wales

Wonder how the Welsh language society sees translations in Wales via BSL using ENGLISH? Given Welsh BSL users don't know their own signed or spoken versions.  Will be interesting to see how the BSL terps re-translate to English, the Welsh language input!  Methinks neither the deaf nor the access areas understand the issues at all.  Didn't BSL get banned from the Eistedd for using English?   It seems in the cultural battlefields Wales is losing out to a disabled culture by default and, via nil real demand.

Friday, 28 June 2019

10 things U need to know about hearing loss.

A word to our Viewers... PEP!

Image result for ridiculous adverts

Basically it is to highlight that Deaf.Read is allowing adverts in, none are even deaf-related. Are the mods on Holiday?

How to film sign language

How to Film Sign Language from Ed Video Media Arts Centre on Vimeo.

Sign coverage and presentation will always offer up a visual distraction and compete for our attention.  The reality is apart from a minority of deaf people, subtitling and captions are more than adequate.  When 'demands' for access go in, they almost entirely state it is as a 'preference' and not as a need anyway.  

The old days of everyone assuming the deaf are illiterate and cannot read  (Or even prefer not to!), are long gone, and ATR deplores deaf areas that are still saying this and fudging the issues with competing grammar claims.  Our levels of literacy can be the envy of many disability and hearing areas.  We need to stop dumbing ourselves down in some misguided drive to support sign and culture.  'We can sign too..' is a bonus, not a be-all, and end-all for most.

The issue is about where to place/size the sign more than anything, and anywhere on screen where it is a real distraction to what is being covered needs to be addressed, ideally,  a system of being able to remove sign from the screeen is the best option for the majority of hearing people, we have that option via text, (The UK is the 888 button), it is why subtitling is so successful and acceptable, and in most part removed the need for sign access,statistically demand is virtually nil in the UK for it if we peruse media viewing figures for areas already signed. We need a '888' for sign too.  

We don't see a need to place an Interpreter on the same level or stage as the person speaking either.  It may be great to plug sign language but annoying in most part as this presents a conflict of viewing.  Surely the technology already exists for an '888' sign option? From across the pond, we at ATR tend to view the USA approach as both overkill and theatrical mostly, the upward scrolling of text is a distraction too. We suspect this is the strong USA deaf lobby being able to use their ADA a lot more effectively than the UK deaf can use their FOUR versions of it.

A lot of news output is a mess of scrolling and text placing entirely unnecessary and distracting.  Less, is more.  Adding sign on screen to those can make viewing content impossible to follow. Addressing the presentation needs some work too, it is about translation not making 'celebs' out of the more extrovert Interpreters, who are another huge distraction we don't need.  Deaf ignoring the hearing need is fraught with issues, they need to compromise and text is acceptable to all.

The Truth Bomb

Kathy Buckley. Deaf comedian drops truth bomb. from Melissa Delaine on Vimeo.

I do wish people posting videos up would stop filming through letter-boxes... Why spend $100s on a phone that cannot take a proper photo?

Introducing those with hearing loss to Music.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

NUBSLI: the first 5 years

It was difficult to determine just how many BSL terps were actual union members, or if there was any sort of regulatory system to remove bad terps.  Currently, 908 exist in the UK, and about 234 trainees.

How is the distribution?   66 In Scotland, with 9 trainees.  Wales has listed 47.  Do we assume Northern Ireland and England have the rest?  It's a lottery really nobody really knows for sure.

Most are almost entirely freelance and unregulated, and please themselves who they support and when, having a  captive client base, a lot are literally 'At their W.I.T.S.' end, as they row over the systems trying to organise them into a viable and regular/fixed identifiable access area to access for deaf needs of sign users, and answerable for their work (Regulation), along with an attempt to regularise wages.  It is astounding that no such system really exists, putting deaf people at some risk.  These scarce professionals are also migrating to areas where there is more work for them leaving more remote or rural areas with no cover for their deaf.  They are following the work and money.

Recent and ongoing issues of UK welfare changes have left 2/3rd of deaf signers with no cover.    There just isn't enough of them to deal with that and the 'bread and butter' Terp work of GP's, clinical areas etc...  Deaf sign users wanting help to claim benefits were told BSL terps aren't there for the DWP to book.  60% in one area of Wales were then unable to claim any.

Nobody is questioning the bias these people have in promoting 'access' campaigns either.  There have been complaints BSL interpreters are playing down the inclusion of captioning and subtitling to gain more work for themselves and by splitting up public information access videos into the BSL-only ones e.g. playing to the cultural gallery,  and 'the rest' which is forcing systems to choose who gets the priority, or even assuming 'all deaf people sign.'.  Non-signers are then being marginalised as they don't have the representation or organisation the deaf do, or indeed, the professionals to support THEM.    It is a conundrum the minority are being more supported than the majority are.

Only TWO people were qualified in Wales to assist lip-readers.  There are no records of any being used in the health areas, a lot said to be included (But not identified), within BSL statistics.  Which actually bumps up BSL stats not includes non-signers.  The overall image being there is no demand except that for BSL.  It also suggests the non-signer needs to get organised or lose their access altogether.  You don't demand you don't get.

UNITE cannot regulate this union either.  Like other insitutions, nobody wants to challenge 'Disability' areas, their support, or their setups.  By far the only way the deaf who sign, can get the support they claim to need is to stop bypassing the professionals and create the demand, even then they would be looking at another 10 years for that to happen.   The huge cost of qualifying and the low wages are not making it realistic to many potential trainees.  Short of the system making BSL training a free option or subsidising it.....  not much will change.

It is alleged (There is no proof), that 125,000 deaf use sign language, albeit the census asked them and less than 1/5th claimed to be any regular users of it.  This suggests most deaf don't want or use BSL, and/or as some suspect, they are ignoring Interpreters to utilise family instead or found alternatives to  BSL Interpreters.   We can only hope it may mean less reliance on BSL itself and they have more options available to them,.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Mock News Conference

Americans do seem to place their interpreters don't they? An immense distraction to anyone not deaf, the terps should not be obstructing others on the dais or challenging the speaker image.  It's not all about the signer.

Designing for Deaf people....

Video HERE:   Websites are a very visual medium. You, therefore, might think that they will work for people who are Deaf. But is that true? Marie tells a personal and entertaining story about things you’ve never realised. About four-dimensional language, the pros and cons of video captions, the recognition of exclusion and, of course, the importance of inclusivity. 

If you think about improving the usability and accessibility of your website, there are some points of interests that are already well known. For example, use enough contrast to make text readable. When using colours in your designs, consider people who are colour blind. Do not write complicated text, and so on. But there are so many more things you can do. In order to find out what these things are, you really need to listen to people who are dealing with a particular ‘disability’ or situation. 

People will tell or show you things that you never considered before. If you want to reach a large or a specific group, you have to involve people from that group in the design process. Listen to the people who are the real experts, to those who are in a particular situation and run into their particular problems daily. They are the real experts. In my presentation, I will sign about how sign language is an intrinsically different language and how to make your website accessible for Deaf people, but actually for everyone.

Women who make music accessible

Raising awareness of the deaf condition.

CHALLENGE: Friends Mark Hodgson, centre and Danny Dorney, right, with team driver Chris Potts are walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise awareness of the issues surrounding deafness
TWO deaf pals are walking the length of Britain to raise awareness of their condition and other issues deaf people can face. Danny Dorney, 50, of Huntington, and Mark Hodgson, 43, from Nottingham, along with team driver, Christopher Potts, 41, from Pocklington, have embarked on the almost 900-mile route from John O'Groats to Land's End. Both have faced mental health battles due to the difficulties of coping with their condition. 

According to statistics, the deaf are twice as likely to experience mental health issues compared with those who can hear. The duo set out mid-June and their epic journey is expected to take eight weeks to complete. They have battled injuries and stayed in tents and hostels, but the deaf community has helped them on the way, providing food and moral support. They are aiming to raise £10,000 for sign language counselling services.


Monday, 24 June 2019

Deaf-Blind Awareness

Description: DeafBlind woman with brown hair being pulled back, is wearing a maroon shirt with 3 buttons on front and 3/4 length sleeves with one button on each sleeve. She is standing behind a yellow door with eye hole and tan wall on the right. 

Transcript: This year, Deafblind awareness week will take place from June 23-27 2019. This annual event draws attention to Deafblind individuals throughout the United States. This week coincides with Helen Kellers birthday which is on June 27th. We have been honouring Helen for over 25 years, and she is a role model for the Deafblind community. Helen has served as a prime example that Deafblind people can be successful and independent. Her story has been the spark behind empowering those who are Deafblind to achieve their goals. This includes job training, learning braille, living in the community and becoming gainfully employed. I encourage you to celebrate this event, and remember that people in the Deafblind world are capable and successful individuals within your community! 

Thank you.

Inside Bali's deaf village

Stuck in the middle

It really does not have to be this way. People can just be themselves and do not have to fit anyone else's' criteria or identity. It is those 'pressures' (Mostly social I suspect), that makes life miserable for those with hearing loss who either acquire it after formative years or on the cusp of educational areas or struggling to find the most effective means to communicate.

Firstly its as much about confidence as it is about communication if you lack the former the latter is much more difficult to attain.  To 'fit in' requires compromise as it does everywhere, but don't let that compromise stop you being happy with who you are, or you will never attain it.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Concert for the deaf

Sherrie Hewson on her struggle to hear

 Sherrie has revealed she's going deaf
I don't think UK charities will need to approach her to champion issues of hearing loss!  So many misconceptions about hearing loss and those with them, trotting out the archaic view of 'only oldies wear hearing aids', and then compounding her unawareness by hiding her own hearing loss, and her hearing aids in case her peers stigmatise her.  Wearing glasses was OK.  Try joining the 21st-century love, or even the 20th!

Sherrie Hewson has revealed she's going deaf and is reliant on hearing aids. The Benidorm former Coronation Street actress, 68, found out her hearing was deteriorating after popping to her local optician for an eye test. Sherrie has revealed she's going deaf.

“That’s when I remembered my eight-year-old granddaughter Molly saying: ‘Nana, why are you always shouting?’. “I’d had a test five years ago but I’d done nothing about it.  “It would have been different if it had been my eyes. But there’s a stigma attached to ­being deaf, isn’t there?

Wearing an aid makes you feel like an old person. “They solved any stigma attached to glasses by making them funky. They’re like a fashion accessory now. I know people who buy them with plain glass in them.” The actress has played Benidorm's Joyce Temple-Savage since 2012.

Sherrie says she isn't bothered about wearing the aids because they're so small she can barely see them. She said: “They’re so small you can hardly see them and especially if you wear your hair to your jawline. I had the wire dyed to the colour of my roots which hides them even more. “I couldn’t believe the difference. I can hear everything now. I’m only wearing them at home at the moment. I tried them outdoors but the traffic was too loud. It was a shock. “What people don’t understand is that, if you’re deaf, it’s not the volume that you miss so much as the clarity. I must have spent half my life lip-reading without realising it. I was forever accusing the family of mumbling.