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?