Saturday, 13 July 2019

Who are you?

For the deaf purist only... (most as mad as a box of frogs really).

Do you want to stir up a hornet’s nest? On social media, ask people with hearing loss what term they use to self-identify. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Deaf.

Hard of hearing. Hearing impaired. Deaf. A little deaf. Oral deaf. Deafened. Late-deafened. Hearing loss. Differently-hearing. Hearing aid user. Implant recipient.  People who hear well are referred to as “hearing people” by those of us who can’t, and we appreciate their confusion when trying to understand the difference between having a hearing loss and being deaf, because it’s not their experience.

How we self-identify goes beyond the degree and type of our hearing loss**,** as described in audiological or medical terms (mild, profound, sensorineural, 60db loss, etc.). Our identity also relates to our language of choice, spoken or signed, and the community with which we are most comfortable. And many people with hearing loss do not identify with any particular community.

Subtle shades of hearing-loss terminology.

The fact is that there’s no single right answer – each of us is free to choose the term we feel most comfortable with. But it’s helpful to understand the overlapping and subtle shades of meaning of the different terms.

Hard of hearing: 

Used to describe a person with partial hearing loss, whose main language is the spoken one, and who can be helped by hearing aids and other assistive devices. This term is moving out of use, as younger people with hearing loss see this as a term used by old people.

Hearing impaired: 

Same description as above and used by many hearing care professionals. This term is generally disliked by the Deaf community and many hearing loss advocates because the term impaired as a negative connotation.

Deaf (Big D): 

People who identify with Deaf Culture use sign language as their main means of communication. They celebrate their deafness and do not use the term ‘hearing loss’ because they haven’t lost anything.

deaf (small d): 

People who have lost most, if not all, of their residual hearing may refer to themselves as deaf. If deaf from childhood, they may have been taught to communicate by the spoken word. Another term is oral deaf.

Deafened or late-deafened: 

A person who grew up hearing or with partial hearing loss who loses all residual hearing at some point after speech acquisition, usually as adults. May benefit from some amplification and cochlear implants,

Hearing loss: 

As in “I have hearing loss,” a term now commonly used.

Differently-hearing: 

Oh, spare me!

Hearing aid or cochlear implant user: 

Some people prefer skip the audiological description and go straight to the technology they use.

HoH: 

This acronym for ‘hard of hearing’ is often used when writing about hearing loss. I have taken it one step further in my presentations and tell people that I’m a ho(h). Many people use more than one term. I detest the term ‘hard of hearing’ but it’s the main term I used growing up. I may still use it on occasion, but my go-to term is “I have hearing loss” or “I have a severe hearing loss,” and I may throw in that I use both a hearing aid and cochlear implant.

It’s your hearing loss,  It doesn’t matter what term you use, because it’s your hearing loss, not anyone else’s. What’s important is that you do identify to others as having hearing loss, regardless of the term you use.

The next, even more important, step is letting others know what you need – speaking up or facing you, etc. That’s the really important stuff that keeps you connected and communicating.

Don't leave me out!



Captions are important!  Probably more important than signed access.

C.A.R.T. and the deaf

Deaf school award for being oral...



A primary school for deaf children has been awarded to marks by inspectors. Royal Cross School in Ashton-on-Ribble has once again been ranked as outstanding after Ofsted inspectors visited on June 18. 

The school, in Elswick Drive, was first ranked as outstanding in 2015, and last month inspectors said the leadership has maintained the quality in the school. The report said: “The school provides an oasis of calm and support in which pupils thrive and develop their self-esteem, resilience and independence. Arrangements for transition to secondary education are secure. “Pupils move on to the next stages of education with confidence. 

Staff responses to the recent online questionnaire survey indicate that their morale is high. “Staff appreciate the consideration that governors give to them regarding staff workload.” The report said Royal Cross has a strong culture of safeguarding, and pupils are taught to communicate orally as well as using British Sign Language, from the early years.

London deaf street party



Preparations are underway for a major event aimed at supporting and celebrating London's deaf community. The Deaf Street Party in Ilford has traditionally attracted hundreds of people - many from outside of the capital - and is organised by the charity Empowering Deaf Society. Alicia Edwards has been speaking to the founder Mangai Sutharsan, who joined us with her interpreter Leah Jewiss. Ilford's annual Deaf Street Party takes place this year on the 20th July.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Peer Support (Australia).



I don't know about Australian deaf peer support but the UK version is fraught with problems and concerns about deaf people's rights to privacy not being respected, and peer support/mentors' not qualified enough or monitored, it just seems the only qualification is an ability to sign and the entry level for that is suspect.  

After watching 'peer support' application in our deaf clubs where the support often and openly discussed the client's private issues, it would be a definite NO from me!  I don't think peer support should be provided by 'friends' who attend the same clubs either, it's wide open to abuse of vulnerable deaf.  Local authorities that fund peer/mentor help are trying to save costs by allowing just about anyone who can sign to act as support, trawling BSL classes for volunteers! Many deaf who need e.g. home helps get nobody who can sign to them at all, including some deaf clients with Alzheimer's... this puts the deaf at far too much RISK.

No interpreter can work without an acceptable level of sign accreditation and a rule of non-interference and advice, both of those vital rules do not seem applicable to 'peer' help or mentor help.  While proper monitoring of peer support will help a lot of deaf, what happens if that client does NOT sign? there are no 'peers' at all being trained to support them. So no provision is available...

More areas demanding radio hearing aids...


A teacher and school children using a radio aid
Unlike many local authorities, Hull City Council does not provide families with specialist equipment so children with hearing difficulties between the ages of 0-4 can hear at home - leaving many to fight a daily battle. 

109 councils in England provide radio aids, which have been described as "life-changing technology," and directly transmit a voice through a wire to a child's hearing aids. A Deaf Children's Society said the aids are "crucial in enabling deaf children to develop their language, confidence and communication skills from a young age." A spokesman for the charity said: "If they don't gain these skills early on, deaf children face a lifetime of playing catch-up and a greater risk of isolation as they struggle to understand what's happening around them." 

Hull City Council is one of 43 of the country's 152 councils that do not provide the aids - with the charity saying it is a "postcode lottery" on whether a child can receive an aid. The council currently has 214 deaf children in its care. 'It cancels out all the background noise' One person who know how important it is for these radio aids provided is Tina Hoyes-Cockroft's 14-year-old son, Oliver, was born deaf. As the family live in Hedon, they are just out of the remit of Hull City Council and within East Riding Council's, meaning they were provided with the radio aids. Tina, 48, said: "Oliver had hearing aids from being six months old. He was born premature, was only 3lb and was in his incubator when someone dropped a lid or something and he didn't flinch or move. 

"I asked the nurse if that was what they would usually do and she said they'd usually jump, especially as the premature babies are usually a bit nervy so I knew straight away. "When he was a toddler the council brought the radio aids round because we were with East Riding so were entitled to them. I never used them personally." Tina said that although she didn't use them at the time, Oliver "wouldn't have been able to cope" without his radio aid while manoeuvring his way through secondary school, and she would recommend other families with younger children to use them. 

A friend who is deaf can join in, she said: "He didn't need them when he was younger because I was one to one with them all day and his speech was really good so we worked on it but they were there and we were given them. "But when you are coming to terms with your child having hearing difficulties you don't want the extra equipment, you just want to be normal. "The equipment seemed a bit complicated and his hearing was a bit up and down with it but at school especially he wouldn't be without it. He can give the wire to his teacher and plugs it into his hearing aid. It cancels out all of the background noise so he can just hear them. "If I had my time all over again I would use it and I wish I used it more and I would definitely recommend it."

Speaking Statistically...


Ditching the Social Model..

Still not happy with the deaf approaches OR the disabled movement approaches.... have they been beaten by the system?  Is it time the equality campaigns sorted out their acts and got real?  Are 130,000 dead by swinging cuts to their support not enough?

Image result for I'm NOT disabled!
Until the disability movement changes its oppositional campaigns nothing is going to change.  They could stop time wasting via online petitions (Which nobody reads let alone acts on), I can understand it is seen as an avenue of protest for those unable to take more direct action but the reality is, that it is wasted time.  The direction of charity support and campaigns needs to be replaced too, it's clinical rather than people-based because that is how they get their funding. 

If we lay blame at the mainstream/system door, it confuses the point.  The disabled have their issues too, mostly non-unity of view or direction and the approaches to social/medical models have put us at great odds and disadvantage to each other and towards the system. I suggest we withdraw support for the social model.  It's the policy of ' Let's blame everyone else'.  We need to grow up. Social modelling suggests we have no disability but that which society by discrimination forces on us, but there is a real 70-30 split on this from those who cry out for alleviations and 'cures' (the majority), who feel social modelling is undermining their claim for need.


One DWP worker said 'If you are discriminated against, you don't need our money, that's the law's area, not ours, are you saying you have no clinic/medical-based disability? So why are you claiming?'  Although this is a distortion of the reality the aggressive social model drive is not helping by refusing to define the issue properly.  There are a number of areas including e.g. the deaf one that claims the highest access to work allowances in the disability UK world yet refutes any suggestion it has one, they claim free transport and free interpreter help, all under the title 'disabled' you see the problem?  It's obvious this area IS disabled and considerably and they appear to have the best of both 'models'.

Their campaigning area puts disabled in the shade too, they have made far more strides than the disabled have, and with 70% fewer people.  Probably the sole disability area that has made advances in recent times, where and when, did the rest blow it?

Thursday, 11 July 2019



It's probably fake news, but the reality is gene editing is here to stay.  46 deaf-causing genes are said to exist we are told, they haven't found a treatment system for any of them as we are aware, but research is ongoing.  As for those who claim the research or implementation of gene editing is opposed, that is untrue, the UK did it this week with NHS patients.  It's here already.  If they can cure my deafness I'd be front of queue for it.  The people who really decide are us, or parents.  

This highlights a factual comment ATR made recently in that area that supports the Deaf and against 'cures', are being overruled on two counts, by research elsewhere in the world with fewer qualms about it, and demand from those of us who see deafness and loss as a crippling disability.  So those who are against gene research are against us too.  No more 'blaming' medicos for it, it is our WISH to see it addressed.  Those who dare happy hearing nothing your choice.


"Fran├žoise Baylis is a bioethicist who serves on a World Health Organization committee that is developing standards for editing the human genome. 

A Russian molecular biologist says he plans to edit human embryos to prevent deafness — something Canadian bioethicist Fran├žoise Baylis says defies the international scientific community. Denis Rebrikov, who heads the Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology in Moscow, told the New Scientist he has recruited five couples with genetic deafness who wish to conceive a child who can hear. 

Rebrikov has announced the plans despite the widespread backlash against a Chinese scientist who, last year, announced he'd edited the genes of twin girls. Baylis, a Dalhousie University ethics professor who serves on a World Health Organization committee that is developing standards for editing the human genome, spoke with As It Happens guest host Robyn Bresnahan about Rebrikov's plan."

SOURCE

Disabled and living in Fear....



Living with a disability in the UK today means living in a state of perpetual fear, feeling unheard, patronised and at times like a burden – and it can take a huge toll on your mental health. I was born with a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Impefecta (Brittle Bones) – a condition that won’t get better with age, and I am a full-time wheelchair user. 

When I think about my own battles with anxiety and depression and what induces them, the principle triggers for my depression and anxiety come from the fear of losing my independence, not being able to work and financially support myself, socialise and feel part of a community. Of course, I need to take ownership for my own wellbeing and there are measures I can take to limit my anxiety but I need to know that those around me understand and listen. 

Especially as my independence still relies heavily on the external support I receive, namely financial support from the government. The support the disabled community receives comes from the government via local authorities and it’s been this way since 1970s. Initially it came in the form of Attendance Allowance and Mobility Allowance, intended to help people with mobility issues get around as public transport was completely inaccessible. Then in 1992, Attendance and Mobility Allowance was integrated into the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that had two additional lower rates of benefit, determined by your specific support needs. My parents fought tooth and nail to ensure that I would receive support throughout my life and after a lengthy battle, I was awarded indefinite DLA. However, in 2012 the government changed the goal post again and introduced Personal Independent Payments (PIP). This meant that anyone receiving DLA, even if they had been awarded it indefinitely, would now be re-assessed. In a nut shell I, and thousands like me, now have to prove that I am disabled enough to receive further help.

Article SOURCE


ATR response:

Perhaps if she didn't 'accept' the deaf are different to disabled people it would help and challenge that deaf community to fess up on their part in the mess that is welfare.  Pandering to culture is an opt out of challenging what it means in terms of disability.  The deaf took no part in the campaigns FOR a Disability/equality Act, they were primary users of it after.  The leg work and street marches the disabled did.   We know the UK government wants to end welfare benefits and free healthcare altogether if that means some have to die so be it.  We keep seeing disability areas including e.g. the deaf one, insisting they AREN'T disabled, and this tends to undermine those who are, and also have additional mental health and hearing loss issues, really struggling to claim welfare benefits for their support.   

The HoH area which constitutes the majority with hearing loss, lost 60% of claims they put in, the 'Deaf' weren't concerned they convinced the system their needs were greater, quite a feat considering they aren't 'disabled' at all.  They failed to include the issues of deaf children suffering 40% with mental health illness.  That was a 'disability' the 'hearing' caused apparently. Campaigns have stopped highlighting the need in favour of raising the profile.

The irony, is the area aforementioned costs the HIGHEST A2W benefit in the UK to support, (Up to £1,000 per week), and they just had a raise. Some seem to be 'benefitting' a bit more than others.  Inequality is rife in the disability areas too.  Disabled need a unity of direction re welfare that isn't messed about with by disabled (or deaf), people arguing about labels, ID's, 'medical' and 'social' models, and what actually constitutes being disabled. If deaf people are not disabled then not in need of disability benefits surely?  

Could we not accept if a deaf person insists his/her issue is 'socially induced' then they don't get the financial benefit but use the equality, and anti-discrimination laws instead?  then leave the welfare and care support (financial and otherwise) for those suffering as a result of hearing loss, that is, after all, a true ID of social and medical modelling isn't it?  They cannot have it both ways?  They already get sign support free and transport too.  Shortages are a different issue.

Awareness has failed miserably as we all ramble on about petty cultural politics and discriminations, even who is REALLY REALLY deaf and who isn't. based on social grounds, not medical ones.   To add to the confusion medicos claim these deaf ARE amidst the most disabled in the wider community, hence the acceptance of the huge costs to support they need.  Yesterday the Prime Minister was asked in Parliament about the DWP's genocidal assault on the disabled and why they aren't allowed to claim legal aid to defend themselves? Is justice just for those with the money to pay?  she ignored the question altogether.   'Next question?'

Meanwhile, the DWP is picking them off one by one. Even the terminally ill have to justify why they are still alive.  The entire disability sector consists of more than enough power to force politicians to stop what is going on, instead, they argue who 'caused' the disability, who hasn't one, and who is 'prolonging' it, excluding own part in that, just blaming everyone else.  Do you see it being sorted? No, nor do I!

Food Banks not an answer?

Image result for food banks
The alarming growth of food banks in the western and 'civilised' world appears to debunk the myth of an educated, humane or wealthy set up that cares about its vulnerable in the population.  It is said the USA one of the wealthiest countries in the world with huge resources is at the top of neglecting its poor and vulnerable as is the UK, by denying them jobs, dignity, good health, support or food to eat.  

Mostly they assuage this by insisting 'We send billions supporting those people in the 3rd world', hardly justification starving your own to support someone starving elsewhere is it?  The logic is obscene.  The only answer is not more free food but us all addressing the reason people cannot afford to eat properly. These worthy efforts have a disturbing way of becoming an acceptable norm, and once that happens that's it. All charities have a nasty habit of making themselves indispensable and self-perpetuating, thus allowing the government to opt out of its responsibilities, catch 22. 

Short term needs being met is fine but should never be viewed as a long term set up. This has led to national charities who wanted to 'help' in some way to become corporate establishments and part of an alternative poorly funded supportive system lasting years and years, of course, it' becomes THE system then, as the state opts out entirely of its moral and ethical responsibilities.    if a charity thus fails, then, they take the blame too.   It doesn't stop the state taxing us all to buggery just the same 'to meet those needs', does it? and leaving actual funding and support to the vagaries of the begging bowl, despite it too now being a corporate set up as charities pay others to ask for the money for a percentage, so even misery has to make a profit.....

Can I hear with hearing Aids?

HoH and Deaf. Healthcare work options.

Deafness is a Gift.

Loves his label doesn't he?  I'm not informing him when my birthday is, I'd hate to see what presents he sends me! A recent blog/article extolling the virtues of being deaf and adding a completely incorrect statistic there are not 8.3m we don't really know how many in the UK have hearing loss issues or to what degree it means they need support with it. A census said less than 15,000 deaf were in England, less than 2,600 in  Wales.  Scotland and Ireland are lower figures too, the problem is all these 'Deaf' groups are claiming hearing loss and deafness allied with culture and sign, are the same thing and the degree of exaggerated statistics they are claiming is now completely out of hand.  In short, they lie about them.  They do it because nobody knows or keeps a record.

Overall with hearing LOSS the assumption by the system is near 10m or 1 in 6/7 of the population with hearing loss and is a guestimate, what counts is how many need help with it, as the system then recognises it as a need when they seek support.  E.G. UK Social services/welfare depts suggest the 'Deaf' figures are completely wrong as they don't have those numbers seeking help from them, its 100s, not 1,000s or millions.  His deafness type puts this individual in a minority, even within the deaf world as congenital deafness is still, fortunately, a rarity.  Even the dubious British Deaf Association would never attempt to use an 8.3m stat!  Although like this deaf poster often use the stat to improve the contention/discrimination factor for them, but HoH are NOT, 'Deaf' people.

As well as misinforming readers about deafness and loss.  This man isn't alone in putting out stuff like this so we must counter it.  It all undermines support and awareness of people with deafness and loss. It appears to be some 'knee-jerk' reaction down to issues of his past, but it doesn't excuse misinformation he includes.  While it is a tirade aimed at hearing mostly he misrepresents us to justify it, please stop doing that.  Frankly ATR does not support responses like these at the hearing, or the system mainstream, it just means they will continue to turn their back on us, or see us as a 'problem' and you don't break down ignorance by being offensive to make your point.  We don't want martyrs, we want educators.

We need the mainstream on, not offside if we want inclusion.  For his information, the type of response he got to his congenital deafness is no different to what those with acquired deafness or hard of hearing get, we prefer to educate not attack as most is down to ignorance of our issue.  If you put people on the defensive you just re-isolate your cause.  He talks about HoH but promotes congenital deafness and sign/culture, will the real 'deafie' please stand up?  Basically, most of the 10m alleged 'deaf' DON'T support the 'D' in the UK, it is discriminatory, non-applicable, politically motivated, and unhelpful. it distorts awareness.  He protests too much and about the wrong things and adds wrong justification too. How is 'congenital deafness' from birth,  now 'hearing loss' or even 'Hard of Hearing'?  That's the trouble with a rant, you lose perspective.


What he Wrote:

"During my school years I was called ‘dopey,’ ‘cloth ears’ and ‘slow’. This wasn’t by bullies but by teachers who failed to recognise my lack of hearing. Being called these names was humiliating and something I didn’t want to talk about, so I swept it under the carpet. I regularly misunderstood situations and instructions and had to learn to survive. I would assess a scenario visually, piece together what was happening, using lip-reading to add context. It’s how I had got by all my life and, as I have congenital deafness, I just thought that was the way everyone else heard, too. 

I used to call my good ear my index ear as a child, in the same way you have an index finger. I was a bright kid but ended up in remedial groups because my deafness wasn’t identified until I was 13. There is a long-standing correlation between deafness and assumed stupidity among educators throughout history, as evidenced in the common usage of the phrase ‘deaf and dumb’, until quite recently. Hearing loss can be a very alienating and isolating experience. There are 8.3million of us who are hard of hearing in the UK. We inhabit a strange hinterland; not hearing, but not as deaf as the 50,000 capital ‘D’ or culturally deaf people who use British Sign Language.




Wednesday, 10 July 2019

You aren't deaf enough for me...

Image result for you aren't deaf enough hearing aids#ATR's usual look at non-deaf sites relating to hearing loss, not easy as most are boring charitable awareness sites and ear wax issues B O R I N G! (No wonder we cannot run a decent campaign of any sort.)  Today someone decided the group he joined wasn't quite deaf enough for his or her taste...  I suppose it was one of these deaf people who assumed everyone signed or something.  A lesson to be learnt, most aren't!  The poster appears to not understand what hearing loss actually is either.  I just hope he or she finds whatever it is they are looking for.

#1  Thanks for the add but I'm leaving the group this isnt what I thought it will be basically hearing people are losing their hearing is in this group I thought basically this group was people whom already have hearing loss, all I'm seeing posts about hearing and hearing aids... I'm deaf completely and proud!!! I did use to wear hearing aids but no longer do gotten more deaf profound. Wish yall best of luck.

#2  You can be deaf and still relate to hard of hearing issues, after all, many of us have done it, from having good hearing to having poor hearing and then having none at all, it's about the journey as much as the destination, only be managing how you travelled can you manage when you arrive where you are at.  It's not about who is 'deaf' and who is 'HoH' or who has an HA or hasn't.  In part I agree to be bored silly with battery queries and ear wax and ENT visits etc myself, we should be exploring ourselves as people and individuals, as that aspect determines how you cope with it all.  

Not just a better hearing aid which can often delay the inevitable but leave us unprepared to the face the nitty-gritty when it can fail to be of any more use.  Statistically, when your hearing loss is identified you need to plan THEN  your life to face all aspects of it.  E.G.  What if?  Most issues with HoH are because taking up alleviation aspects lull them into a false sense of 'OK I can manage it this way', but your ears can do something else entirely and it can be like a ticking time bomb without preparing yourself for when/if the aid is no longer of use.  

#3  Believe me I know!  People will hang on till the grim end of it all with e.g. an aid of no use to them whatever, noise, being life...... so any sound will do.  It's about being realistic if you plan ahead properly, managing is a whole lot easier, unfortunately, there are no neutral areas or qualified people to advise you., and the deaf areas are a hotbed of bias and confusion as they haven't sorted themselves out yet.

It helps not to falter in believing who you are, OK your ears have gone rogue, YOU haven't, and you don't need to adopt someone else's version of who you should be either, essentially it doesn't work anyway.  I only wish I had taken my own advice as for 11 years  I ignored facing up to it.  I suppose you have to get to the bottom before you can get back up again...  Most HoH issues are down to denial basically, and today technology means you really can fool most of the people most of the time, but, not yourself.  But hey it's great while it lasts... or not.

Subtiled/Captioned webinars in real time.

I'm cured!

Image result for I'm cured
Offering up her usual contention and pro-deaf viewpoint for financial gain it seems, the list of contacts and sponsors seems considerable, I know Ricky needs to earn a living but... questioning the deaf cure. (Again, she did it thrice before), is the latest regurgitation.  

Obviously, and ignoring 'cultural concern' (since they AREN'T legally entitled to make any decisions on other people's children anyway), perspective needs to be included. 

E.G. If you had an option to restore sight lost, or wear glasses,  assist poor hearing with a hearing aid, or a CI, or to prevent a serious disability getting worse, of course, most parents would take that option, not least to ensure a better life for their child.  Introducing discrimination and inclusion laws doesn't address the basic want of any parent to do the best they can for their child, they don't have children to just fill up deaf schools and clubs and forever defend the fact they cannot hear.  40% of deaf children get mental health issues, would a 'cure' there be opposed too?  Whilst 'cures' don't really exist for deafness as yet (They will for most at some point), alleviation has increased our quality of life considerably.  

There are few areas of the deaf community apart from their social one that helps, and therein lies a primary reason to oppose any cure, since the opponents of 'cures' suggest 'they' want to keep isolating deaf people, and 'attack their right to be deaf', they play on deaf fears, which are grossly uninformed and unfair.

Obviously, a cure option for some will become relative in the future, as genetics find a way to prevent most deafness induced via rogue genes, so a child is born without such an issue to address anyway.  Die-hards know this, so they oppose identification of such genes too, again because they know a parent can then express a choice.  The row is about WHAT choices they opt for with no cure in sight.  We cannot nor want to tell deaf parents, what they must do with their children, equally, the same applies for others.  

Medical advice to take supplements or a minor op on the womb to assist a struggling foetus, e.g. to prevent some disabilities are taken up by deaf mothers as a matter of course, and, justified to 'prevent' some issue in a child as yet not born, curious how they DON'T see addressing deafness as an issue, is it challenging disability and other disabled people?  It looks hypocritical and belittling the issues of other disabled.

The 'battlegrounds' (Which mainly exist via these cultural die-hards),  are mere skirmishes in the main, alleviations and technological advances these days mean settling for sign or silence or even a single deaf social life and community, is not an inevitability any more.  We should be encouraging not limiting advances.  It's the politics of Canute.

The pay off is wider acceptance, more inclusion, and more options open to deaf people.  It's time what passes for a deaf community removed the naysayers and doom-mongers of the cultural variety preaching genocide and discrimination against 'hearing people' too.  It's mostly that who are disenfranchised and/or those who can succeed OUTSIDE the community anyway, big fish in small puddles basically, preaching paranoia.  They know access and alleviations for us all means they become redundant.  These days there is an element of making a living doing it, that suggests bias is essential to making that living, as is the increased hype, poor awareness,  and distortions of deaf need.

What they do not seem to understand is other areas of the world hold no such 'qualms' about cures, including the USA itself, and the UK (Who are amid world leaders on DNA and genetic research), along with Australia who developed CI's and India/Pakistan developing cheap or free hearing aids for their people, why would anyone want to oppose that?  Areas like China etc who plough billions into getting rid of disabilities of all kinds, as do 98% of all our 'charities' support research they aren't there plugging more of the same.  Those who want to preserve deafness have no point really.  They can masquerade it as 'cultural preservation' all the like, but the bottom line is that deafness is a sensory LOSS and a disability, it is a 'Norm' only in as much as a cure hasn't yet arrived.  When it does... and we need to prepare.

46 deaf genes exist they WILL be addressed at one point, but the reality is genetic deaf are a minority even within the deaf world itself.  It's well below .2% of the whole.  The rest can be down to illness/accident etc.. as the parents are hearing not deaf.  Apart from exceptional accident issues, everything is addressable, once the will  (And money), is there to do that.  There are few if any parents on the planet who would NOT take a decision to help their child if they could.  Or stand to be pilloried if they don't.

A child's future is decided by parents not, by outsiders, it's a legal right, and the demand to 'wait until a child can self choose..' is a blind, as many options and decisions have to be taken early on, else, it is too late after, (Which is why culturists, demand 'choice' later.)  They know any real choice isn't on the table then, how cruel.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Broadcasing Guidelines on sign language.

Communication App for deaf-blind.



Hawking was created to enable deaf-blind people to communicate verbally with any person The application can perform Speech-to-Braille and Braille-to-Speech operations in Hebrew & English with appropriate accessibility indicators so that the conversation is well executed and continuous for both the speaker and the deaf-blind person. 

This project is part of a final computer engineering project in ben-gurion university Israel, in collaboration with the deaf-blind centre in Israel. The app is now available for free on Google Play Store.  This project is an open source project, for more information visit

IOW witholding Radio HA provision for deaf children.



The Isle of Wight Council is among the one in three local authorities that don’t provide vital technology for young deaf children to use at home and it’s leaving many of them facing a daily battle to hear their family and friends, a Deaf Children’s Society has warned. 

Figures from the charity reveal that the Isle of Wight is among the 43 of England’s 152 councils that don’t provide radio aids for 0-4 year-olds to take home. The council has 86 deaf children in its care who are denied this life-changing technology during their early years. Radio aids, which transmit the wearer’s voice directly to a child’s hearing aids or cochlear implants, are crucial in enabling deaf children to develop their language, confidence and communication skills from a young age. 

If they don’t gain these skills early on, deaf children face a lifetime of playing catch-up and a greater risk of isolation as they struggle to understand what’s happening around them. The Deaf Children’s charity says it is deeply unfair that thousands of children are still missing out because of where they live, describing it as a “tragic waste of potential.” It wants every child to have access to the technology and is demanding an end to the “radio aid lottery”, calling on the Isle of Wight Council, as well as the other 42 councils that don’t provide them, to ensure that every deaf child has the opportunity to use one at home. 

Research shows that radio aids improve the interaction between young deaf children and their parents, with significant increases in conversations both in the car (144%) and outdoors (88%). Current Government data also shows that in the early years, just 38% of deaf children reach the expected level of development in areas like communication and language, compared to 77% of hearing children. 

Cumbrian Deaf Charity in Crisis


Trevor and Janet Hughes with their daughter Jennifer
Removing deaf-led provision and handing it over to hearing tender, has undermined charities it seems.  A sign (No pun intended), of the times.  The reality is that deaf or HoH led areas do not provide the cheapest or most effective options, e.g. the AOHL equipment provision and services are hugely expensive when it should by definition be a much cheaper non-profit organisation (We don't call them charities anymore in the UK).  Strictly speaking, this isn't a 'cut-back' but a cheaper alternative provision.  

As long as deaf still get that provision does it matter who provides it?  The acute shortage of BSL terps will also continue as Cumbria is a mostly rural area and terps do not find it worthwhile to support deaf in those areas because of distance and lack of regular work/income.  Having more terps then is unlikely to address that issue.  Maybe more use of remote technology is that answer.  Of course, offering to tender usually means uneconomical provision deaf charities provide, will end.

A charity that has been helping deaf people for 125 years is "facing crisis". Trevor and Janet Hughes, whose daughter Jennifer is profoundly deaf, said they have "growing concerns" about the impact of cutbacks on Cumbria Deaf Association, a cause close to their hearts. 

Jennifer, 38, is a housekeeper at Bendrigg Lodge, Old Hutton, and her deafness was caused by rubella. The Hughes family, of Kendal, have helped to raise thousands of pounds for Cumbria Deaf Association over the years, while accessing its services, which include expert advice, care support, specialist equipment, social clubs and sign language lessons. 

The charity has three centres, at Kendal's Castle Street; Barrow and Carlisle. "It's vital for the deaf community; it's a lifeline," said Mr Hughes. "It's gradually getting whittled away. How long it will survive in this situation, I don't honestly don't know. It's desperate." Charity chief executive John Brennan told the Gazette it supported more than 1,000 adults and children. Cumbria County Council is the main source of funds, but Mr Brennan said the past ten years had seen that funding cut by around 70 per cent. 

Key concerns include: - a lack of social workers trained in British Sign Language since the charity's social work service was taken in house by CCC - a lack of short respite breaks for deaf children - and the fact the charity no longer runs the specialist equipment service, after it went out to tender; Mr Brennan said deaf people had often found out about help available and social activities such as coffee mornings when they came in to collect kit such as vibrating alarm clocks and flashing doorbells. Mr Brennan said the charity hoped to develop "a more strategic partnership with the council to maintain and improve services for deaf people". 

A CCC spokesman said the council had had to save £249 million since 2011/12 and needed to find another £49m by 2020/21. "In order to meet the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens, the council contracts services from a range of providers, including a specialist equipment support service, an interpreter support service for those who need access to social care services, an information and advice service and a number of support at home packages. 

“Recently the council has reconfigured and retendered the delivery of some of these services which has meant changes in levels of funding for some organisations. This is has been done to ensure best outcomes continue to be achieved for people in line with our statutory responsibilities and within the legal and financial requirements for local authorities.” 

Monday, 8 July 2019

10 things I wish everyone read about...

Image result for 10 thingsA recent response to the 'Awareness' complaints dept (There you go there are dozens of them apparently), that not enough of the mainstream knows we got an issue they need to know about and at least 10-15 major points to note before you come anywhere near us without them being ingrained deep in your psyche, and via a go-between, (in case they try to include or accept us), which goes against everything we stand for really...

My pet hates are still those 'what not to say to..' and '10 hints and tips when meeting...', or '10 things you should never under pain of real death say to us...'  I haven't bothered to include them because they all say the same thing anyway and none of it works...

What an annoyance it all is, and of course mostly,  it is posted online to closed 'disability/deaf' sites to the people who see these things as 'raising real awareness', a bit like buying an expensive torch and not having any batteries in it because you only go out in the daylight anyway.  Charities are major culprits but amateur awareness raisers put them out with annoying regularity when there is a need to bump up a few sympathy votes too.  Mostly,  they seem to have run out of valid ideas to promote awareness and they all repeat themselves till our eyes bleed.   I did it myself twice just to see if that was true and it pretty much was.

The people who would most likely benefit by seeing these things (Or not, most is a downright lecture that turns me off frankly), don't see them anyway, what IS this disability/Deaf drive to talk to themselves? Preaching to the already converted?  Unless someone without an issue in the system logs in who sees them? perhaps someone can explain it to me?  Presenting yourself at POC (Point of contact), can raise real awareness, and only then of YOUR particular issue and yourself, as for sure any mention/inclusion of 'me' or 'us' or 'disabled' or 'deaf' or the 259+ other terms/disabilities and random issues and degrees around, is bound to invite a plague of locusts on anyone who uses them in what is perceived as the 'wrong context' or 'not applicable to me', and it all sort of deteriorates into 'isms's', 'ics', 'pics'.. and 'nobody speaks for me..',  or even the old standby, discrimination can be dusted off if all else fails.

Image result for plague of locusts bibleIts a bloody minefield of pointless nonsense mostly that enables the disenfranchised or the permanently pissed off,  to form a clique to go at everyone else, and assume the immediate ID of the martyr to the cause whatever that is, I don't think anyone really knows or cares anymore, but the point is we can feel teed off with others who feel teed off.  Community, probably not as we know it but....

Apologies if anyone was omitted but... I've stopped caring basically I've my own issues...  I leave saving the universe to Marvel comics.  It's time the disabled/deaf online got out a bit more.  'Coming out' isn't just for alcoholics, and slot machine addicts.....  We could have a flag too it's all the rage I gather.... or capitalise our issue to show them and any pretenders, who really suffers here.   I rather fear disability unity like the deaf version, is a total mess/myth anyway, its the age of the individual, not the collective. Me, My Issue, what I need etc... of course, the system loves this, we divide ourselves saving them the trouble, and social media would collapse without it, and then where would Facebook and Google make their money?   They would have to rely on IS or AL Queda to survive...

Image result for saving the universeEven as the DWP hastens the death of our peers, '10 things you need to do...' takes a higher priority and gets more reads. We are trapped in our own conundrum, we need unity, but we cannot endorse it and still raise what we perceive as own needs as a priority.  The individual versus what passes for a community.   

N.B.  If you have been offended by any of this post, or disagree with the poster, at least it shows you are alive... don't write in, I never read criticism anyway.

APD Versus Hard of Hearing.



APD is not the inability to hear. It’s the inability to interpret, organize, or analyze what’s heard. All the parts of the hearing pathway are working well. But parts of the brain are not. Some symptoms of APD in children are very similar to the symptoms of a hearing loss. So they’re often confused. But they’re not the same thing. 

Unlike hearing loss, APD cannot be diagnosed in infancy. Experts have different opinions on when a child’s brain is mature enough to be diagnosed with APD. Some say as early as 4 years and others say not until 12. But the majority of experts say 6 is the earliest, and that it’s best to wait until a child is 7 or 8 years old. This is because children develop at different rates.

What the UK thinks of Trump


The idiot on the left is a contender for the UK premiership, the USA thinks IT has problems lol.

Seeing the Invisible.

Image result for invisible disabilities

As I was going up the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish that he would go away.

Nobody has yet told us HOW you can make an invisible disability visible? From observations what I see is those with them doing all they can to keep as LOW a profile as possible. Of course, this then defeats the awareness point, doesn't it? With the best will in the world, our long-suffering mainstreamers expected to be aware and accommodate every issue that exists, aren't mind-readers. The biggest issue is confidence, or, lack of it.  Maybe address that first?  If it is invisible you cannot see it, simples...

Sign Supported English



The antidote to poorly signed 'BSL' grammar?

Why Bob and Betty signed...


You can understand a parent communicating with their child, I would too, but I think as a means to an end, not as a total acceptance sign is the sole means a deaf child can succeed with, as sadly, statistics don't support that theory.  There is a danger of nurturing sign reliance and not encouraging or examining viable alternatives and other means they can also use.  Sign alone is still a major barrier because support is not there to make access universal.  Parents are the areas that drive advances and make initial life-changing decisions for the deaf, so must look at all avenues of communication.  A Deaf 'life' is NOT inevitable, don't believe all that they claim about the community either.  Apart from city areas etc there is none of note.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Blink, and you will miss it.



In a week that saw ATR exceed 2m audience figures, and add another 8,000 to it, (thanks guys). Tune in HERE and see what you missed.

Cultural hype exposed?


A recent 'plug' going around extolling deafness via Beethoven was exposed as highly misleading and wrong on a UK Hard of Hearing site.

"This is a load of cultural hoo ha, Beethoven wasn't born deaf but acquired hearing loss (Nor profound deafness then), at age 26.   He was already a competent composer and musician BEFORE he went deaf and able to use what diminished hearing he had to continue.  His abilities after were down to memory recall and learnt behaviour as a hearing person.  He owed nothing to deafness or culture he took no part in either.  The two primary icons of deaf culture Beethoven and Helen Keller are questioned, neither were part or parcel of the deaf community, but 'adopted' by deaf cultists later. Deaf all sign all part of culture etc.  The UK use Evelyn Glennie too,  but she never signed and is a near perfect lip-reader.

Well over 71% of successful 'Deaf' had better lip-reading skills or had a hearing background (Acquired deaf people), too.  In the UK the most successful 'deaf school' is an oral-based one as there are no deaf schools that rely on sign.  Is it not time to bury the myth of sign and culture and start include facts?  In the scheme of things being  a success IN a deaf world doesn't really count, it is not a tried and tested one outside it."