Saturday, 10 August 2019

HoH clubs.

A BSL video by a BSL representative uncaptioned and about Hard of Hearing clubs.  Why don't Gloucester use actual HoH people? given most do not sign at all, let alone watch BSL video output and use clubs for quite different reasons to deaf people?  It looks like and is a promo for deaf BSL people.  Let the hard of hearing do own adverts, please.  Such imaging distorts the need and supports message.

Subtitling for all.

'Washroom', 'toilet' 'powder room' 'loo'?  your choice!

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece Roma was greeted with critical acclaim and three Oscars at the 2019 Academy Awards. But, even as Cuarón was basking in the spotlight, he was outraged at the way Netflix had decided to subtitle the film for Spaniards. 

The movie was shot using Mexican Spanish and Mixtec, a language spoken by about half a million people in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero, and in California in the USA. Netflix decided to give the Mexican Spanish and Mixtec dialogue subtitles in Iberian Spanish for its audience in Spain. Cuarón considered this decision to be “parochial, ignorant and offensive to Spaniards themselves”. According to him, the Spanish audience was capable of connecting with the film without subtitles. 

As Mexican author Jordi Soler told the New York Times: It’s like if you have an American film showing in the UK and the character says he’s going to the washroom, but the subtitles say he’s going to the loo. It’s ridiculous. They’re treating the people of Spain like they’re idiots. Reactions from viewers, writers and translators on social media denounced Netflix’s decision as paternalistic and highlighted its colonial connotations. The media, both in English and Spanish followed the discussion closely. Ultimately, Netflix removed the subtitles. The world used to be divided between those countries using subtitles (including, in Europe, the Scandinavian countries, Portugal, Greece), and those opting for dubbed versions (France, Italy, Spain, Germany). 

In Latin America, it tended to be the medium that dictated the type of translation: subtitles were popular at the cinema and on cable TV, while dubbed versions reigned on public and free-to-air television. These days the situation tends to be more fluid. My research has shown that even in countries that have traditionally dubbed movies, some viewers prefer subtitles. Subtitles are faster to produce than dubbed versions – and users claim they give a viewing experience that is closer to the original because they maintain the original actors’ voices. The function of subtitles is also changing, depending on where you are. In the UK, for example, subtitles have traditionally been aimed at deaf and hard of hearing viewers and viewers of foreign language cinema. 

But subtitles are now also becoming popular among the wider TV audience. Subtitles are being used by viewers as a way to stay focused on the content and to watch videos on their smartphones and tablets while commuting or in busy or loud places. Viewers also use subtitles to improve their language skills, as my research on the use of subtitles in Netflix’s House of Cards has shown. 

Netflix’s Narcos was shot in both Spanish and English which was seen as a clever move for a distributor looking to expand its audience into lucrative new markets. 

British Deaf Association in disarray

ATR asked Who next?  Now we know, it's Tessa Padden.  Chaos as calls for an EGM to get answers as to why trustees are all resigning, but are getting ignored by the BDA governance.  

A petition is circulating demanding an EGM with a 'warning' not to put names on it for fear of being bullied, with one ex trustee suggesting fellow BDA members will turn on each other if known to be critical of the BDA running, blocking names,  but BDA will demand proof of membership.  The trustee running the petition is advising members of the exact 'English' wording to use via social media, as the BDA social site is blocking questions.  

It's a pretty determined attempt to prevent criticism being aired or issues being debated, clearly, members should be seen, pay their dues, toe the established lines, but otherwise not question decisions made.  What happened to this 'bastion' of the UK cultural ideal?   A number of resigning trustees are suggesting bullying from within the BDA itself.  Social media posts are muted and some members fearful if they 'come out' expressing anger at the secrecy, including video messages sent privately to members, under the condition nobody makes any of the content public domain.  ATR will air this video if it sent to us, and protect the sender.

One trustee suggests they will need legal advice to find out why the BDA  is trying to block access to its membership, operating without consultation, being secretive, and not answering concerns about why 6 trustees have all resigned in a short time, and in such a manner.  The BDA also operate a 'gagging clause' whereby any 'whistle blowers' exposing bullies at the BDA, or amidst members, risk legal action.  It's clear a number of BDA members are fearful of being attacked if they vote for an EGM too.  Even the petitioner is desperate to not be seen challenging the BDA direct, why?  Don't they have a democracy at the BDA?

If members want to concentrate the BDA governance minds, then, threaten to RESIGN themselves.  The bullying has to stop and the BDA cannot do that without breaking the law themselves.  Who are these BDA people who would attack other deaf?  NAME THEM!

BDA aim as registered with the charity commission:  TO RELIEVE DEAF PEOPLE AND TO ADVANCE THEIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING.

WTF does that mean?

#1  "Why are you not allowed to include the confidential names in the total call?"

#2 "To be clear, I am going to include those who want confidentiality in the total call. However... There are several valid reasons why they have asked that their names should not be public - been bullied, fear of being bullied, live in same place, friends, small Deaf world, etc., etc.. Very sad.

So I need to find a way - via a solicitor or some other way - of being able to say that they are members and that the call for an EGM is from a total of XXX verified members. That way, no names need to be made public."

Friday, 9 August 2019

Captions at the Fringe...

LINK  (Thanks to Andrew Arthur for the link).

Deaf community introduction project

Neatly avoiding the pros and cons of oral V sign-based education, and inclusion /mainstream approaches? Let's not even start with the deaf politic view! It would seem the USA educational system is choice-based, rather more than need-based. A deaf school choice needs to be considered really carefully because of life-long implications of formative year education as this sets the 'tone' for adult future outcomes. Parents determined to ensure their child can hold their own in the mainstream might well reconsider choosing a deaf school or ASL a language mainstream do not know or use.  DO they want their child to grow up interpreter dependent e.g?  Again these things aren't inevitable.

UK deaf schools often fail when specialising in 'immersion' approaches.  It tends to ill-equip the deaf to cope in the mainstream after,  

There is no 'inevitability' deaf should always be with other deaf, this is parental insecurity, it's ignorance really, based on the worry hearing peers will make their child upset or insecure or they will be discriminated against, they need to realise their part in all that, ergo,  keeping them away from hearing peers will kill any inclusion process.  Residential schools are pretty much a thing of the past here, viewed as non-conducive to inclusion.    

There was a lot of practical advice, but parents are not actually being told other aspects of deaf education and support that change outcomes for their child.   The project people no doubt hoping to present basic info and avoiding the contention but..... The rise of the cultists is also an issue as they are having increasing clout with USA systems trying to change educational approaches to their view of the world, basically, insisting the world has to adapt to them rather than any two-way approach to that.  It's based on the views of 'rights' (Always debated in a singular sense), and others suggesting deaf are unable to adapt anyway (Who needs doubters?).  

There are in the USA both oral and sign based systems this wasn't really explained to the parent about those choices or possible and potential outcomes either.  Parents do not know how to address deafness and the advice areas still fail to adopt any neutral advice approaches.  The advice about the huge amount of 'choice' and rights deaf have in the USA I feel sure, isn't one shared by others,  especially that unable to afford it.

I'm still puzzled, why they titled the item a 'community introduction'?  The community wasn't discussed.  Perhaps the project leaders covering their backs?

Dealing with Family break-ups.

Adopt a deafie.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Signing at the work face.

Employment tip: Do I tell them?

Jobs, and Surveys

We saw a recent publicity blurb from the AOHL asking people what they need to keep a job if they have deafness or hearing loss. "We need you to tell us what support you need to thrive in the workplace. Take our survey now..."  This assumed they HAVE a job and 63% do not.  

It also offers a link to 'survey monkey', ATR won't include, we wonder who is making a monkey out of whom.  ATR sought out the official AOHL site regarding how many hearing/Hard of hearing staff worked there and came up with zero.  We know there are staff in Wales, we know there is no site because everything gets redirected to England.  We would welcome the AOHL declaring for ATR's survey 

"How many deaf are working at executive level at AOHL'?

'How many paid employees of AOHL are there with hearing loss and deafness.'?

'Is AOHL having financial issues?'

They recently offered to pay visa costs for immigrant hearing employees from Europe.  While employers have ready access to hearing applicants who don't pose access issues, or need support, nothing will change. It would appear even access to work grants of near £1,000 a WEEK won't entice employers to take the deaf on. I could suggest AOHL itself which has NO deaf in its executive at this time, could start addressing issues in its own area. The only people raising HoH awareness at the AOHL are... HEARING PEOPLE.

Anecdotal evidence suggests 93% of all employees at AOHL have no hearing loss. Should not charity, begin at home?

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Explaining sound to a deaf person.

Explaining Sound To A Deaf Person from Joana Pimentel on Vimeo.

Incoherent vid and who is it aimed at?  Can't be hearing to raise awareness, can it?  Would born deaf be interested at all?  Next video, explaining to hearing what sign is all about (Again not using captions or narrative).  I'm sure they will get that too.  You can understand an audio description helps a blind person but its not the same with deaf people, we have numerous alternatives to sign.  

It's NEVER too early for speech Therapy.


People often ask me, “How early is too early for speech therapy?” The answer sometimes surprises them. What you need to know: Speech and language begin developing from birth Children with a syndrome or other genetic/birth condition that impacts speech/language development should be followed from birth by a speech language pathologist (speech therapist) Hearing well is SUPER IMPORTANT - if your child has had ear infections, see a doctor! 

 If you wonder if your child’s speech and language is developing well, it’s worth learning more about milestones. If you still wonder about your child’s speech and language development, ask a speech therapist - no matter how young your child is. For children with a syndrome/ genetic conditions: Certainly for a child with any kind of condition that is present at birth, being followed by a speech therapist, among other professionals, is a good idea. 

Children with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, cleft lip/palate -- any condition that might interfere with the development of feeding or talking -- should be followed from birth by a speech language pathologist. That referral is usually made at the hospital, but if you or someone you know has a child with a congenital condition who’s not being seen by a professional, it’s worth reaching out to one early.  But, what about kids who might just be Late Talkers? These are kiddos who are meeting most of their milestones, with the exception of speech and language. 

These are kiddos who are quiet. Kiddos who don’t make a variety of sounds as babies. Kiddos who might seem content and passive. Or kiddos who are really extra frustrated. Kiddos who are 12 months old, 15 months old, 18 months old and who are not using any words reliably. Statistically, most of these guys will grow out of their “speech delay” and begin talking on their own schedule. But here’s the thing: some of them won’t, and we don’t know who they are. If your child is a late talker, it’s best to see a speech therapist as soon as you suspect something and then take an active “watch and see” approach that may or may not include regular therapy. 

If your child has had ear infections: Hearing well is one of the MOST important prerequisites to learning to talk. If your child’s ears are full of fluid because of ear infections, they can’t hear! They are functionally (and temporarily) deaf. It is really important to get the fluid out of their ears -- usually by placing tubes if your doctor recommends it. Even if the hearing loss is temporary, it can still impact speech and language development. Learn the milestones: And this is where it becomes important to learn about some speech and language milestones. Because speech and language milestones don’t start when a child begins to use words. They start from the moment your child is born. For a chart of speech and language milestones.

I’ve evaluated children as early as 8 months of age because their parents were concerned that they were not babbling. In some cases, the child had been diagnosed with a hearing loss and had tubes placed. I recommended some therapy sessions for a couple of these children, to see if we could “jump start” their speech and language. But, for most, we did an active “watch and see” approach. This means that we had baseline information against which to track the child’s progress. In the meantime, I also worked with the parents to make sure that they were creating a good “language environment” for their child to be able to learn to communicate. 

This is NOT to say that every quiet baby has a language or a speech disorder! Far from it: most children are developing along their own curve at their own pace, and it’s fine. But if you’re asking yourself the question, chances are your child would benefit from a quick “look-see” from a speech and language professional. You’ve got nothing to lose except your worry.

Having faith in CI's.

Being deaf isn't a death sentence.

People get offended when I don’t answer them because they don’t know I’m deaf. That’s why my Granny Sue piped up, “She didn’t hear you.” I swivelled around, hospital linoleum squeaking underfoot, to face the nurse discharging my grandmother after a scary kidney infection. 

“Sorry,” I pointed to my hearing aids. “Even with these things, I can’t hear very well.” She had a kind face, but a hesitant smile. A tug at her lips, as if something troubled her. A few minutes later, she revealed her grandchild had just been diagnosed deaf. How cool! Being hard of hearing is a big part of who I am. That’s what I was about to say. But, before the words could leave my lips, she said, “[She] has a follow-up appointment. Can you pray they got it wrong?” Half of the time, I mishear people, but the look on my grandmother’s face told me I understood. She was asking me to pray her grandchild’s deafness away. 

I nodded because I didn’t want to add to her obvious distress. But I felt hurt. Ma’am, being deaf is not a death sentence. That’s what I wanted to say. But life has taught me knee-jerk reactions don’t sway people. Heck, half of the time, facts don’t sway people. But, sometimes, truth does. Truth on a visceral level. The kind of truth only reached when we share enough about ourselves that we transform from talking heads into human beings.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Deaf Blind medical student pursues dream.

A deafblind medical student is following her dream of becoming a doctor. 25-year-old Alexandra Adams, is a third-year medical student at Cardiff University. 

Born deafblind, she has experienced bullying as a child and also while training as she works towards her dream as a doctor. Alexandra says she was sent home after facing discrimination from a doctor while training. Bullying now as an adult is much worse than when I was in school. On my first day of placement, a doctor came up to me and said, ''Imagine if you were a patient, would you want a disabled doctor treating you? Absolutely not.'' And I was sent home. 

I went home and that was the first time I sat there and thought is medicine really for me? Another doctor looked at me with disgust and said ''I don't want you touching any of the patients.'' We need a culture change in workplaces, not just in the NHS, but in all kinds of work. –  A Welsh Government spokesperson responded saying: “Bullying and discrimination are totally unacceptable in NHS Wales. We expect the NHS to be a place where all staff feel valued and supported.” 

The medical student from Cardiff is completely deaf without hearing aids and her sight is gradually deteriorating. Despite disliking sciences in school, she was inspired to become a doctor after spending a 18 months in hospital for a number of operations on her stomach. Alexandra decided to become a doctor after she spent 18 months in hospital.  Although she is stronger and more independent, she is calling for a change of culture within workplaces. ''It's not because people are trying to be mean, it's because they have a lack of understanding, a lack of acceptance and accommodation for people who might be a little bit different to them.'' ''Don't let it stop you from doing something. It's better to try and fail than to fail to try.''

The cult of convenience...

Battle joined on social media opposing the cultists and promoters of BSL in the UK and the ridiculous and uninformed claims of both its use and effectiveness as an access medium.  

Is the real upsurge of sign awareness, based purely on the money and jobs it can create? and not, on its practical use for deaf people?  It isn't an inference-based setup, is it?   It's a self-perpetuating reliance system.  Is sign a 'convenience' for the deaf?   It's creating awareness so who cares?  

#1 Do you have any idea why Deaf people sign and do you not realise for A LOT of deaf people, it is actually far more “convenient” to use BSL than it is to use spoken English? Do you have any clue what it’s like to be deaf and rely on other forms of communication?

#2  Unfortunately you haven't a clue what you are talking about. You should probably check out my page before saying any more. I know more about deaf people than most ever learn and that includes being able to recognise a confidence trick when I see one.

#3  I suggest those who worship at the shrine of sign language would disagree it is just a 'convenience' for them, the reality, is the huge reliance and cost and the poor access it provides to the mainstream and in education that is the real issue.  

If BSL was just a 'social thing' it would be less a problem for the deaf, the fact they hide behind it (and culture), because it is a poorly accessible format anywhere else..  ATR recently covered a deaf video regarding  deaf babies and a deaf activist clearly stating there they are opposed to 'fitting in' with mainstream, there is a real issue there, of a hardcore of deaf people who are anti-inclusion, anti-captions/subtitling, and anti-access.  

It's becoming a cult of some kind.  It's also the most expensive format to support in the UK with upwards of £1,000 per WEEK being agreed as a support claim via Access to Work e.g.  I rather fear your suggestion it is a convenience or even a preference doesn't stand up to any scrutiny at all.  

For the official record an oral-based education has proven the most effective in real terms for the deaf as regards to enabling them, and, those thus orally taught, actually run the 'Deaf' systems as 'born again' deafies or something and are using the skills they attained orally to lobby against inclusion, mainly because a lot are making a  real 'killing' selling the sign thing to naive hearing people. (Who themselves see the possibility of making a living out of it), including being carers for the deaf...  I DON'T see how this enables deaf people.

The success such as it is with sign promotion is its ability to be 'sold' as a 'commodity'.  Ask any deaf if this translates to more interpreters or more support they will say NO it hasn't. Mainly because to make a real living at it you have to concentrate where that wage is viable and it isn't 'out in the sticks', or away from cities with a large deaf population. 

So tough if you don't live there. Arbitrary and chaotic 'judging' of sign-ability has also been criticised, as random BSL 'judges' make decisions on own poor abilities, or regional difference, this means many who want to become interpreters forced to re-take levels after already spending £1,000s trying. 60% decide 'Not worth it..'  Recent rows between the ASLI and the system over the 'freelance' approach, viewed as no use to man or beats basically means wages are being driven down, making the job unviable.   The cultural intervention has meant too much hassle for learners who feel communication is the thing, not culture.

The AOHL knows BSL makes money, the BDA relies on it.  Possibly the fact sign can be sold, is the reason for a number of dodgy and unmonitored areas jumping on that bandwagon, with questionable support by 'mentors' and 'carers' to the more vulnerable deaf.    There is an explosion of 'cultural' centres run by people with NO Links to the deaf community and charging people a lot of money to learn sign and throwing any random 1881 item to justify.  Hardly any are being monitored and some get charitable money too. 

One day that bubble is going to burst.... 

Some carers/mentors have the very basics of sign and are a risk to vulnerable deaf.  Level 2 is the most they have to attain, 4 levels LOWER than an Interpreter has to attain, and, with less monitoring of care or security applied either.

Deaf children left behind.

Woman signing
The image is of a signing woman, the charity is the NDCS that DOESN'T support BSL in education.  How the UK portrays deafness and hearing loss.  When will media at least research stories they post?  (It's called journalism).

The Item:

The charity says a third of Scotland's specialist teachers have been lost Deaf children are being "left behind" in Scottish education, the National Deaf Children's Society has said. Its analysis suggests deaf pupils are eight times more likely to leave school with no qualification than their hearing classmates. The charity also found that only 29% of deaf school-leavers go to university. 

The figure for hearing students is 45%. The Scottish government said it is committed to giving all young people the support they need. The society has called for action to address the achievement gap, including the introduction of a bursary to train specialist teachers. It said nearly a third of specialist teachers for deaf pupils had been lost over the past eight years. 'Amazing potential' Alasdair O'Hara, the head of the charity's campaign in Scotland, said: "Deaf children arrive at school with amazing potential only for many to be left behind. "While some are achieving excellent results and going on to their dream jobs, these results show that many more are being let down by the education system they rely on. 

 "We know that every deaf child can thrive at school if they receive the right support, but until the funding for that is put in place, many will continue to struggle." He said the system is failing "despite the best intentions" of the government. "The Scottish government must act quickly by investing in deaf education," he added, "and introducing a bursary to ensure that the right support is available in our classrooms. "Every child deserves the chance to shine at school, and deaf children are no exception." 

 A Scottish government spokesman said: "We want all children and young people to get the support that they need to reach their full learning potential, including those with sensory impairments. "The Additional Support for Learning Act places education authorities under duties to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs of their pupils. "The Scottish government provides over £500,000 to voluntary sector organisations to support children and young people with sensory impairment and £150,000 to the Scottish Sensory Centre to support training to increase the capacity of staff in schools to provide effective support to pupils with a sensory impairment."  

Sunday, 4 August 2019

That was the BDA that was...

Who next to follow the 5 ?  As the deaf criticise the UK's oldest dedicated 'BSL Deaf' charity as being secretive, refusing to include and unforthcoming about its finances or direction, leaving a hearing terp and a few not completely with what is going on anymore to fly the flag..  E.G. 

Rosa Mazzitelli  recommends British Deaf Association.

THIS is a place where DEAF can simply be. To not have to justify our self to deafened, hard of hearing etc, some; of whom, think THEY know better.

ATR:  Is inclusion NO part of the BDA's remit?  We know listening to others isn't.  E.G. Allowing comments like these and not clarifying or challenging them?  It seems the BDA bases itself on some 'glorious' past when deaf schools dominated, Mr Epee did a few signs, and Milan was all the history it ever had,  and all deaf attended deaf schools/clubs of course.  A set up, that hasn't been true for over 30 years.   The BDA criticised for not answering 'concerns' by deaf sign purists of too much 'CI inclusion' and too many hearing making money at the deaf expense (Mainly to ensure 'jobs for the boys' we assume).  The BDA was forced to include CI users or face opposition from other deaf or face charges they were discriminating.  The reality is they needed CI members to stay afloat and claim funding too.

Wales e.g. hasn't a single deaf school and less than 20 exist in the entire UK, clubs have diminished by 76% these are facts, just what IS the 'aim' of the BDA now? to hold on by tagging on to WFD things and enjoy the trips kudos it offers, via a lack of signed translations and captioned access too? The WFD is primarily unknown to most UK deaf and inaccessible to them. It's an avenue for deaf profile people to get free junkets to obscure European areas no-one cares about.  Perhaps they are unaware a lot of that is going to go if/when the UK leaves the EU!

The recent resignations by no less than 5 BDA trustees this year all young, forward-looking and vibrant deaf confirm the view the BDA is well past its sell-by date and, out of touch WITH deaf people.  Some comments posted on the BDA social media site are a bit silly frankly insisting it is 'US against the World' including it seems 'US against other deaf/deafened/HoH/hearing too if the above comment and others is anything to go by..'   To protect what exactly?

There is sadly a strong paranoid and hard-line deaf area pursuing some sort of 'purist' cultural approach, mostly online, no doubt hoping the current cultural gig will spur it all on.     It was rather sad the latest trustee resignation was on the grounds deaf were not paranoid enough, as trustees clashed with the governing body over 'lack of 'Deaf' emphasis'.  They should be aware the BDA governors need their beauty sleep... they are getting on after all.

The BDA should call it a day, and accept times and the deaf have changed.  We are forever reading from them ludicrous and unfounded claims of who deaf are, how many exist too, anything from 15K to 150K is being mooted,  10m if funding is being claimed.... and the 'all deaf sign' thing rambles on and on to everyone's annoyance, FAKE news being the only news the BDA puts out, it has lost credibility as a result. 

If the BDA want to address deaf issues it could examine online output by a plethora of UK 'closed' deaf groups masquerading as a 'safe space' but intent on bullying or banning, anyone who disagrees with whatever rambling deaf mantra is vogue at present, they could start by disassociating themselves from such groups and comments not playing Pontious Pilate and declaring it is free speech.  The deaf need to get their own house in order. The deaf image is being tarnished by these people.  When the 'Fed' started up years ago these deaf utilised the entire resources of the BDA in an attempt to bring it down from within.  Such members of that group run many online deaf sites today still undermining progress.  They make a virtue out of deaf isolation.

BSL interpreters need a flea in their ears too, insisting to systems the deaf do not WANT/NEED captions or subtitling but 'prefer' to ignore non-signing deaf in access.  (No doubt to ensure the work keeps coming in for them), it's completely cynical utilising the culture thing to back up what is job-creation for themselves.  They wonder why the BDA membership is in negative figures, and the AOHL running away with 35,000 plus... even after ditching the only signing CEO it ever had because he could not see any further than his own hands.  

Should the BDA be concerned, the charity commission is now looking into its affairs? or note that governors of another leading BSL charity caused the closure of their BSL support areas by pursuing their dogma instead of proper governance? losing many deaf their jobs.

The overall view is that 'Trustees' are no more than a projected 'image' of deaf people who hopefully could help them raise more funding, but who should, be seen but not heard, backfired, hasn't it?  The cheeky buggers wanted a voice too, (Whatever next!) What the BDA could do, is to use the resignations to justify the fact some of these people wanted to hinder inclusion and wanted to marginalise the deaf again, by encouraging restrictive practice, it would make the BDA look a lot more positive than just sitting back doing nil hoping it all goes away.  It would be more truthful too.

ATR is available if wanted...

STOP PRESS:  Tessa Padden has now resigned also.