Saturday, 17 August 2019

The BDA Saga: A petition to sack the board.

Image result for gagging clauseOn this social media the truth is slowly emerging. An open message to what remains of the BDA membership.  Calls for the entire removal of the executive.  

It is a pity the person organising the petition didn't feel confident enough to air the contents of it herself, and the petition actually fails to include WHY the petitioners want the board removed.

When you request the removal of people you include a reason don't you?  A consensus online at least appears to state alleged bullying at many levels of the BDA is a norm.  The BDA 'gagging clause' seems to be preventing democracy, these clauses are increasingly being used by charities to silence dissent.  A complete change of the BDA executive and a new charitable aim seems essential if it is not to fail or be discredited entirely.  

Dear friend

I trust you are well. I am fine, although very busy at work!  I would really appreciate if you could please read and support BDA board removal. 



BDA - Proposal to call an EGM.

Remove the remaining members of the Board and install an interim Board who will serve up to and no longer than 30th April 2021.

If you are a member of the BDA and support this proposal, please copy the wording below and email to 

Dear Company Secretary,

As a member of the British Deaf Association (BDA), I call for an EGM to:

Remove the Chair and remaining members of the current Board of the BDA and replace them with an interim Board who will serve up to, and no longer than, 30th April 2021.


In respect of GDPR, I give permission for Linda Richards to use my name and email address to verify my status as a member of the BDA and therefore eligible to make this call for an EGM. By sending this email, I also confirm that I give the BDA consent to communicate with me via email. My details are not to be used for any other reason nor shared with any third party.

From (Name):

Arts: BSL plan for next 6 years

Delivering our British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2018-2024 from The Glasgow School of Art on Vimeo.

'Shared values of disruption?' that would be about right!  Do they never check their own titling?  Should not inclusion include all deaf people? or is the equality law only for BSL people in Scotland?

9 Useful apps for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Google's recent release Live Transcribe uses ASR technology to offer real-time transcription of speech into text. The spoken text is picked up by a phone microphone and delivered to an android phone screen using wifi or another network connection.

This can be useful for people who are deaf and attending conferences or lectures, for example. The words spoken will appear on the phone of the person who has the app. The tech works for 70 different languages.

Lip reading can be harder in a group of people and this is one of the main reasons AVA was created. If a person who is deaf or who has hearing loss is with a group of friends, they can get those friends to connect to the app - then the person(s) who has hearing loss will see live transcriptions of the group conversation.

The speech is picked up using the phone’s microphone and on screen the name of the person talking is displayed in front of what that person says.

Rogervoice is an app which produces live transcription during phone calls in more than 100 different languages. People who are deaf and those who have hearing loss, or someone who has difficulty speaking can use the phone to have a conversation with someone, and receive a typed text (on their phone) of what the other person is saying.

Voxsci is a speech-to-text app which translates voicemail messages into texts and emails which can be saved, searched and shared. Costs start at £5 a month for 30 voicemail texts or emails.

This highly useful app won last year’s AbilityNet Tech4Good Digital Health Award. It offers a way for people who are deaf and those who have hearing loss to communicate with emergency services without needing to speak or listen. TapSOS is very visual and works by the user tapping the screen to select which options they need.

While originally designed for people who are deaf, it is also useful for people with breathing difficulties or those in situations being held against their will when contacting the emergency services, such as the police. 

TapSOS stores the individual’s medical history and pertinent personal information on their device, delivering this directly to the selected emergency service. It also uses GPS to pinpoint the user’s exact location.

Braci Sound Alert app lets you record the sounds in your environment and then gives you visual and vibrational alerts on your smartphone when it recognises them. For example, it can alert you when an alarm goes off or when a doorbell rings.

It might be assumed that written information is the best way to communicate with people who are deaf. It’s not always understood by the general population that learning to read means connecting what a word looks like to how it sounds and so reading can be more difficult for people who are born deaf, particularly when that person is still a child.

The Signly app was set up to offer people who are deaf, or who have hearing loss another option for understanding written or visual information. The app was first used at the Roald Dahl museum in the UK. Visitors to the museum point their phone at exhibits and are offered videos on their smartphone which display sign language descriptions of the exhibitions. The app is also used by Network Rail and has had trials with Lloyds Banking Group to offer those companies’ deaf customers more information on awareness-raising campaigns or leaflet content, for example.

Signly also has an audio layer which is useful for people with sight loss.

TV and cinema subtitles

A simple website and app which lets you know films at your local cinemas which are showing with subtitles and audio description options. Search for local film options with subtitles and audio description, here. 

Using your phone microphone, the Subtitles Viewer app enables you to view subtitles in various languages on your iOS device. The app synchronises with television or movies on your TV or at the cinema. There are other similar options on Android available.

How hearing and deaf process info differently