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."