Saturday, 7 September 2019

State of the Union Brit style.



This is how the 'Mother of all Parliaments' does it. Who gives a S.H.I.T.  for Europe?  we don't!

High Functioning Autsim.


ATR has an Autistic son. Too many myths abound about those with Autism, it seems a lot stems from a few films like 'Rain Man' that came out that did not show the range or degrees OF Autism and a myth then evolved all Autstics were high functioning.  In some areas, it became some sort of fashionable issue to excuse bad behaviour and got confused with ADHD. This had a knock-on effect of autistics being attacked or ignored even called bad people, some parents started doubting the medical opion and diagnosis and themselves.

There are autistics with no speech, autistics who never stop speaking, some who have brilliant minds and others unable to read, write, communicate or relate to anyone or anything.  Not all autistics have mental health issues.  They just see the world differently from us.  What can affect them can be anything from a colour, a feeling, or a sound.  My son would not enter certain shops despite there being no obvious difference to one entered before.  You just have to go with it.  It may be the lighting is too strong, not enough, or the actual layout of the shop disorientates him or a man or woman he observed coughing in there.

He will tell off people if they cough, it really unsettles him.  High functioning autism demands higher acceptances of accommodating it, just as it does with low functioning autistics.  As no two are the same there is no set rule to lay down and no set awareness to deliver.  Like deaf or disabled we are all different and all have our own idea of how acceptance and being accommodated works best for us.  Why should it be different from anyone else?  What IS the 'norm' anyway?

Ruby's Story


I do find these videos of the deaf rather depressing this is the 21stc or supposed to be.  Rightly, it was identified the fact deaf people were using unskilled and biased family help, sadly not then stating deaf need to stop doing this, no doubt as this would remove the option of charities to do it instead.  ATR has run many 'DON'T USE THE FAMILY HELP' campaigns aimed at deaf people, not least because the last few years of welfare assessments has meant 60% lost all entitlement who did, who as stated, are NOT qualified to act as interpreters unless they have passed relevant exams, do not understand welfare assessments or form filling, or can offer advice, but who are in essence making the decisions for deaf relatives endorsed by a state welfare arm well aware of these facts.  If an Interpreter turned up with the same skills as many relatives appear to lack, they would be complained about or removed.

We saw a man of 23 who still relied on his mother to do everything connected with the system and making phone calls etc, he had NEVER used a BSL interpreter.

As regards to rambling on about English not being a first language it is, and it is about time this myth was buried, the grammar is pigeon-English and an excuse to not identify the fact BSL grammar doesn't work with the systems and there just aren't the signs to make it viable.  Ask any BSL interpreter how they view BSL skills WITH deaf people, it is alarmingly poor. 

Basically, campaigners are insisting deaf should sign and master a different grammar to the country instead, that sounds utterly negative, the options of getting everything delivered to these minority deaf (They aren't a majority one who demand BSL only), how on earth is that supposed to liberate, or include deaf people? by NOT enabling them to follow mainstream?    I speak French, therefore, the mainstream must learn it too?

By assuming if they campaign enough every hearing person will adopt sign language?  What is in it for hearing to do that? The lie is that sign is a right/choice and nothing else really works really needs to be buried too.  It is a cultural 'dream', not a reality.  95% of everything online is in text, which acknowledges the deaf can read and follow English, deaf groups are using English to lobby for non-English access, it doesn't make sense and culture have been outed as being 'economical with the truth' and being duplicitous.

They don't know what they want, but they want it now.  If deaf want to be able to follow the systems and be included they are going to HAVE to re-adjust their attitudes to sign language reliance and start realising they are always going to be sidelined until they adopt alternatives.  I don't believe any deaf person is demanding reliance for life, but, BSL is enabling that to happen, so what price inclusion?  We all saw what reliance on relatives did for the deaf, they lost out.  The deaf demanded to be at a disadvantage as a right?  go figure!  

The fact they have to go to areas which specialise also suggests inclusion is never going to happen for these deaf, they are demanding specialism, a specialism they would not need if educational/Communication approaches were created to avoid that.  One could also ask why deaf people are leaving schools and then abandoning any attempt to widen their communication horizon?   Not even to be able to fill in own forms?  They appear to enter adulthood accepting some reality the family or system will provide for them.  This lady was middle-aged and appeared to have no way to read a form properly.  How did she manage her life before?  In supporting deaf people the systems or charities have removed any onus on them to do for themselves, ironically it is justified because they sign and everyone else doesn't sign, ergo its everyone else's fault.

Many leave a deaf school NOT able to sign well or read or write adequately either, rather than campaign for free further education to overturn the deaf school inertia approaches they stagnate and end up excluded and unsupported instead, even that situation will not prompt these deaf to address their issue, there appears no answer to this deadlock of culture versus access and inclusion, every campaign they run is a demand for HELP and the excuse is, everyone else is to blame for that.

The real disability with the deaf is a refusal to adapt and justifying culture or sign language as the excuse.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Freedom!

Image result for Free speechWhile UK voters are at odds over Brexit spare a thought for the deaf people relying on their own BSL output to make sense of what is going on.  

Apparently, only one 'UK' site really exists to inform them, and that is a travesty of free speech, abysmal moderation and wholesale manipulation of posts and people to promote just one view, that of the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union, and some smart-alec deafie claiming to know more than anyone else in the country.  There is no objection to any deafie producing a site with that in mind, but to suggest it is something else is a fraud and misinforming deaf people.

Posters using vlogs in BSL also not making their view accessible to other posters on the same site keeping ignorance 'in the family' I call it.   Using primarily English grammar and text approaches yet claiming this discriminates against deaf people, so, why are THEY doing it then?  The deaf cannot get involved in political or topical debates, they lack the knowledge,  they know their own area up to a point and what they need, but Brexit itself is a hugely complicated affair even to hearing people.  

If 650 MP's haven't a clue and 100s of Lawyers to advise,  what chance do the deaf have of following it all?  So it's just cut and paste from wherever and adding the moderators take on it, little or nothing at all from the 'deaf' view at all.  9 people talking to themselves mostly.  Just four moderators exist, all there to disrupt or oppose any post that challenges the site Remit/claim of free speech and accurate information without bias. Which is said to be a 'free and open forum' to inform deaf people about the issues of Brexit.  It's long since descended into name-calling and wholesale bans of people and edited out comments.

People who wanted to leave the European Union were called racists, liars, homophobic, stupid, uninformed, anti-migrants,  and worse who stuck to their guns.  The primary site owner is a well known deaf egotist who is 'always right' and everyone else is wrong because they are too stupid to understand the issues like he does, he and his cabal continue to post 'Truth' in a  format few BSL people will understand.

Site moderation on free speech surely demands moderators are without bias? not using their collective 'clout' to dive in when another moderator has lost the point or indeed the whole plot to then support it. It was pointed out day one you CANNOT establish a politically neutral site it has never existed anywhere. Debates that are pro, as well as con toward Brexit, are bombarded with 'Fact' (which is just 'opinion' taken from other sites online), primarily the sites that support the remain in Europe view.  There is no Deaf site in the united kingdom putting balance, and no hearing ones either.  UK Media is completely discredited it's all viewed pretty much bias or fake.

Recently, some commentators have started to counter poor moderation and the bias being exhibited.  Moderators are insisting 'we have a view too', they are perfectly entitled to one, but, holding the privileged position of being able to ban and block input, they abuse that to promote those views and use them to dispute other people's, this suggests they should NOT be moderators.  Are deaf being served?  They are treated as the vulnerable and uninformed they are and relying on 'more able' deaf to inform them, who in turn are using quite sophisticated means to ensure only one message is getting through even if it means depriving them of the signed or text means to follow or posting technical details/statistics deaf can't follow (Or the moderators if their comments are anything to go by)..

They abuse the very deaf people they claim to be trying to inform.  Site members have started to realise what is going on and started blocking the site moderators themselves, who it is felt are abusing moderation power, this has obviously angered them stating anyone that does gets removed.  Recently members have started blocking each other instead, I don't like your view so I block myself being able to see it.  The online equivalent of rose coloured glass wearing.  You get a shed load of deaf members in little islands of ignorance talking to themselves.  I can only see what I agree with so that's OK.  This is how deaf 'democracy' works, all for one or all for the clique.  Every put down by the mod gets plaudits from their mates and fellow moderators.  

About the sole plus of this site is that all these biased agitators are confined to that site, (none could survive anywhere else).  ATR would urge we ensure these idiots never get a chance outside their closed and ridiculous facade of a  site to get anyone else to listen to them.  There is no such thing as a 'neutral' forum, by definition it has to allow those who don't agree to provide balance, and they aren't doing that.  Perhaps they could learn from the BSL mafioso who tried a blog UK Aggregate? that vanished in weeks because they tried blocking everyone they didn't like?   Or those who lined up to bring down the RNID charity forum?  Who set out to deny access to other deaf people even if it meant their support would be affected?

Hell hath no fury than these BSL scorned apparently, but clearly, these are able deaf who DON'T rely on BSL and are well educated also.   They become big fish in minor 'Deaf' pools deluded by their own fantasies but sadly running many 'Deaf' awareness campaigns that cannot succeed.  It's true what they say, we just don't have the people to move the deaf community forward and we DON'T want people like these doing it either.

10 Reasons why why lip-reading fails

Image result for read my lips
From the Hard of Hearing media...

(1) "Subtitles have made me lazy. I used to be good reading lips. Now I find myself struggling. Got a job and need that skill and its too late." 

(2) "Why oh why don’t people come with subtitles?"

(3) "Lip-reading is a skill. Subtitles require reading like a book. So basically it depends on your literacy."

(4) "Prior to subtitling/texting, my lip-reading was far better than it is now, it's probably why these deaf signing people don't want it on their vlogs, people won't watch the sign then, unfortunately this kills their own awareness then because others have no 'In' to what they are saying, they are demanding access but cannot cope with the equal provision of it."

(5) "Texting on phones usually mean more effective contact but no impetus to lip read or even meet up to do that. I believe Hard of Hearing have opted for text as their primary communication alternative, you cannot lip-read the TV or Face-Time anyway."

(6) "Japan developed a subtitled radio set because HoH didn't want to sign." 

(7) "Most readers here rely almost totally on text/titles, their and my desire mostly, is to have effective, unobtrusive, and real-time access to speech to TEXT, there is no demand from us for speech to be lip-spoken is there?"

(8) "The skill isn't taught properly that's why,  its random, too hard, most students are older people who need one on one intensive help, and classes don't provide that, such skills almost totally rely on having enough useful hearing, it's pointless mainly given the skill is to enable without it. Soon as the hearing goes so does the skill again."

(9) "People are poor speakers, you can't read most at all, you are either a good guesser or a complete idiot, I cannot understand people who try to bluff it...I don't get embarrassed asking them to write it own or use text on the phones they carry, everyone has one now not a problem really, pride doesn't create awareness it is an obstacle to it.  I think it  a myth people won't accommodate us, the reality is we lack the confidence to ask."

(10)  "There is no lip-speaking support or back up, so it's pointless..."

Captioning/Transcripts for your podcasts.



If you care nothing about accessibility and take only one thing from this episode, please let it be that shitty transcripts will not help your website’s SEO. 

Transcripts of podcast episodes are an accessibility feature, not an SEO benefit. Captioning is added to the audio (and video) elements of your digital content so that people can consume those elements with their eyes instead of (or in some cases in addition to) their ears. But do I mean a literal, 100% accurate transcription? Well… that depends. My processes is (or has been since June) to taking this 10-minute audio monologue and turning it into a (in this case) 1,323 word written representation of the topic. 

Why? Because it reads better than a literal word-for-word transcript, which you can read here. So that’s fine (I think?) for a short show like this. But longer shows? Not so much, so I’m changing the advice I give to all of my clients. While it’s still important to create a well-crafted “landing page” for each episode, complete with charts, graphs, and other visual components to really make a piece of worthy digital content, that’s not enough. That's not sufficient for servicing the needs of the hearing impaired. In most cases, the audio of your episode and the contents of this new landing page, another digital asset, are vastly different. If that’s the case for you, then you need to include a transcript of the actual audio episode. 

Yes, that means more work for you. Sorry? Tomorrow I’m going to get into some technologies and tools to help you make your audio content more accessible. Speaking of accessibility, The purpose of this show is to make podcasting better, not just easier.

ATR:  Great, I think your grammar is atrocious but...

AVT: Learning to Listen.


Please come to the UK and start in Westminster... We have hearing people there who never listen or have that ability. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Deaf offered active shooter training

To sign or Caption videos?


Most only need subtitling/captions (A narrative in text can help too), as it avoids issues with various levels of signing ability via yourself or via the deaf persons viewing. There are in the UK at least a number of regional sign differences also. Of course, there is a 'purist' element of BSL people who demand a different level of singing ability. As most deaf can read and write these days it appears captioning/subtitling is the least able to create confusion I find. 

I don't know your current level of skills it does appear pretty basic to be honest and that is fine all start somewhere, but depending on what type of video and information you put out, you could find yourself struggling to sign it all. Myself with 7 other people were amid the first actually in the UK deaf world to produce a signed/captioned video for youtube, it was an issue I never repeated (Signing it), because like yourself I was at learner stage and the deaf were pretty unforgiving the signing wasn't perfect for them, since then it was captions only and text for me. 

The common format of access is text, even UK TV output reflects that with less than 4% of programs being produced that way. I recall when a deaf program suggested they withdraw text and sign output only, the deaf threatened to stop watching their own program. The USA is different, lots of signed only output, personally, I don't feel this is a great idea because unless you know ASL no point looking at it.  I was never sure it was awareness at all as nobody but another signer knew what was being said.  Another issue is BSL won't carry to the ASL user, despite deaf claims sign is 'universal' it really isn't, so a text back up again is a better option.  

English text seems the most widely accessible so far at least for western world viewing.  Again it's better you do the captioning and text not rely on Google to do it for you as that system is still a huge annoyance to deaf people who find the spelling and grammar pretty dubious, Google apps and assists struggle with regional and spoken accents too.  A lot is based on the USA's version of English and grammar, as a native Brit, it is not a lot like it from where we stand! and the USA apps are pretty much a lottery in access terms here as a result.  

They get better but far from it at present. Deaf on Deaf viewing sign might work only, assuming you have the skills to get away with it.  Clearly, ASL viewers won't be looking at BSL signs.  However sign-only might well suggest the non-signing deaf are not being allowed access, so again text is essential to avoid the odd few who might complain.  You won't please everyone all the time, no point trying that.  There are alternatives to BSL e.g. Signed English, which is more representative of how you speak so you don't struggle so much to adopt the BSL grammar aspect which is a minefield even to the deaf.

Android 10 Launched with Focus on Hearing Loss Accessibility


Google Delivers Live Caption, Live Transcribe, Sound Amplifier, and Long-Awaited Hearing Aid Support.  Google's long-awaited update to its Android smartphone operating system is finally here. As expected, it's chock-full of major accessibility improvements for people with hearing loss and hearing aids. And it's already providing wireless streaming directly to hearing aids from Google's Android Pixel phones. Android 10 Android.com has updated its homepage to reflect the Android 10 launch. 

Android 10 (formerly known as the Android Q beta) delivers on Google's much-hyped promise to deliver the features that people with hearing loss have been clamouring for. In addition to wireless streaming to hearing aids, the features include live transcriptions of conversations, live captioning of web videos and podcasts, and amplification with sound processing for better clarity and comprehension of smartphone audio. 

The new software is a major step in meeting the demand for Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. While Apple collaborated with major hearing aid manufacturers years ago to deliver Made-for-iPhone hearing aids, Google has only recently started to keep pace. Google is now committed to helping hearing aid manufacturers deliver Android-compatible hearing aids through Google’s new Audio Streaming for Hearing Aid (ASHA) protocol. 

It's been a long wait, but with Android 10, it is finally delivering. Android 10 is available starting today on Google Pixel phones via a software update.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

In defence of Audists.



This poster never fails to raise a few incredulous smiles (And often acute embarrassment if you are deaf), but every minority area has its extremes, what this one lacks is a real sense of world understanding. Deaf prisons for deaf people?  And who will send them there? deaf juries? set up in deaf cities?   It's time these fanatics of the deaf world were not just humoured and tolerated but were pensioned off somewhere or receive reality and common-sense treatment.

The rabid pursuit of culture by the obvious few who don't really get out much, and who blindly ignore the real desire and wishes of deaf people to become included and accepted, he counters against deaf activism by other deaf who want to see progress made.  Audism competes with paranoia with those who cannot envisage inclusion or acceptance if not on own terms and in some sort of comfortable isolation set up where hearing are not included, or deaf who don't feel as they do.  Some sort of Deaf apartheid, and no doubt with him at the top of this weird deaf elite, erm, no thanks!

Deaf haven't spent their lifetime campaigning to be accepted to then end up back where we started. Are these anti-audists trying to install some 'sect' consisting of dissolutioned deaf who feel better off if we all just pay lip service to acceptance, equality and inclusion? and protect the glorious isolation approach of all deaf together in a deaf school, attending deaf-only clubs,  sent to deaf prisons, and sentenced by deaf jurors, using only sign language, and located in deaf cities?  

I suspect put to any vote (Or Jury!), he would not see the light of day for some time.  You cannot get accepted and included via shouting from behind a wall of indifference and fostering suspicion toward others, you have to be out there pitching and making your point.  Accept we have to compromise for the common good too.

If these deaf cannot see that their image of demanding to be included and accepted comes from behind a wall of suspicion and language division making it impossible, there is no hope of inclusion for deaf communities anywhere.  I'm not a deaf fundamentalist seeking martyrdom and neither are the rest of us. By default, he is stating we want to be apart and do own thing, and ludicrously on own terms too, if he cannot see that has no hope whatever of succeeding, then there really is no hope for the deaf pursuing that approach.  In it to win it holds true.

Especially, and given, this deaf poster blocks responses and challenges clearly displaying an inability to defend his very obscure viewpoint, or provide a text narrative or captioning so someone else beside himself has a clue what he is saying..   Audism, like the Paddy Ladd fiasco are defunct concepts, they only ever suggested division.  Culture is essentially a luxury, inclusion and acceptance is a right and a necessity as is more acceptance regarding language formats we deaf use so we aren't forever on the backfoot and relying incidentally, on HEARING to facilitate us.  

He would call this reliance and dependency a right and empowerment, but the very obvious image of the opposite is pretty visual too. So he compounds the issue by demanding separatism is a cultural right and want too?  Keeping deaf away from 'nasty' and discriminating hearing people. Deaf awareness clearly stopped there!

Monday, 2 September 2019

A message for the hashtag whiners and snowflakes.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Top Ten Tips for Driving with Hearing Loss

Related image
There is actually 11, Do NOT use sign language whilst behind the wheel of a car.  Keep death and deaf off the road!

While your vision is undeniably your most important driving sense, your hearing plays a large part in how you interact with the world, even inside your car. If you have hearing loss, here's what you need to know before hitting the road.

While hearing loss shouldn’t stop you from driving a car, there are certain measures you can take to protect yourself, other people in your vehicle, and those in other cars. Whether you wear hearing aids or not, there are ways to boost awareness and improve your safety while on the road. Some of these might add a step to your daily routine, but they can help to prevent serious accidents.

It is recommended that drivers with moderate to profound hearing loss get hearing aids, especially if you regularly drive yourself and others. However, even mild hearing loss can cause problems while driving. Here are some tips to help you stay aware of emergency sirens, honking, and other sounds on the road.

1. Always wear your hearing aids while driving. If you have hearing aids, it’s extremely important that you wear them. They can be the only thing standing between you and an accident. If you don’t already have hearing aids, consider getting a pair. They can do more than help you while driving.

2. Make sure your hearing aids are charged before heading out. The last thing you want is a dead battery on the road. Make sure you have spare batteries on hand. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, make sure they’re freshly charged, and bring your portable charger along for the ride.

3. Avoid listening to music on the road. Music can distract anyone, regardless of their hearing ability. However, those with hearing loss are more likely to find themselves drowning in sound, especially in tight spaces like cars. Turn down the radio, or turn it off completely.

4. Get a bigger rear-view mirror. In some states, those with hearing loss are required to have a large rear-view mirror to raise your situational awareness. While this doesn’t completely eliminate blind spots, it can greatly expand your range of vision.

5. Make sure your GPS is loud and clear. Looking at your GPS or directions on your phone too much can impact your driving. Those with hearing loss need to keep their eyes on the road as much as possible. Make sure your GPS uses a clear, easy-to-understand voice, so you can rely on the audio directions more than having to look at the screen.

6. Tell passengers to quiet down. Many people like to talk in the car, but this can be distracting and loud. Politely ask everyone to keep their voices down, and avoid getting into conversations while driving. If you’re driving with kids, make sure they understand that low volume is needed for their safety.

7. Get your vision and hearing checked often. Your vision is your primary sense while driving, and you rely on it a lot more when you have hearing loss. If you have glasses or contacts, make sure your prescription is up to date at all times. Your hearing is also important, so make sure you monitor any changes with regular hearing tests.

8. Close the car window. Noise from the wind can impact your ability to hear. Make sure all the windows are closed to prevent wind noise while you’re driving. Otherwise, it might drown out everything else you’re trying to hear.

9. Get rid of distractions. No one should drive while eating, putting on make-up, or looking at their phone, but this is especially important for hard-of-hearing drivers. If you need to use your phone or do something that requires your complete attention, pull over and get it done before continuing your journey.

10. In the event of an emergency or police stop, let them know you have hearing loss. You want to avoid misunderstandings in these situations, so make sure one of the first things you tell them is that you have hearing loss. This will ensure that you communicate with emergency services and police officers safely and understandably.

There are other things you can do to prevent accidents, including driving with a responsible passenger and purchasing cars with audio/visual cues for various circumstances. However, these are the top 10 tips that you should follow at all times. Even if they seem like a hassle, they can save your life and the lives of those around you.

W.I.T.S. and deaf relay options.


Wonder if there is a free search/support service provision for the deaf who require text, Signed English, or lip speaking?  Searches have produced nothing so far.  All deaf don't sign so WITS really needs to make this clear and be a bit more helpful and inclusive even if their wages just come from the BSL people, awareness is being distorted and biased causing hardship to non-signing deaf and Hard of Hearing.  The BSL people are a minority, not a majority in need.  Frankly far better served than any other hearing loss sector in the UK, perhaps the ONLY area that is receiving or has a national support base.  Interpreting via WITS ISN'T just sign language.  We are also not informed freelance Interpreters that consist of the majority of BSL terps are at loggerheads with WITS who are driving their wages down and casuing support issues for deaf people as a  result..

UK's 1st deaf Juror News, not true.

Image result for guardianThe UK's Guardian Newspaper gets it in the neck for failing to research their published story on the deaf Juror they printed.  Read the apology. The Guardian prides itself on being a disabled and deaf-friendly mouthpiece (The BBC did too and look what happened there!), but it really needs to check facts first, especially those it prints regularly on BSL usage and culture etc and its abysmal record of clarifying people with hearing loss. 

The issue appears to be them sponsoring BSL and cultural deaf input and 'Jpiurnalism' without ensuring bias isn't represented for a media that promotes its awareness there does seem too many question marks on what it prints as 'fact'.  There appear issues with who they ask regarding deaf and hearing loss items with non-signers being rarely represented.

It's not helped with ATR having to correct the spelling and grammar either.

Profoundly deaf jurors 

Corrections and clarifications column editor

An article said Matthew Johnston “is believed to have established a legal landmark … by becoming the first profoundly deaf person to sit on a jury in a crown court in England and Wales”. The claim was based on Ministry of Justice records, but two readers have since contacted the Guardian to say they or a relative had served as profoundly deaf jurors (Lip-reading and subtitles allow a man to become the first deaf juror, 29 August, page 18).

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Should You Announce Your Hearing Loss at Meetings?



Absolutely. Self-advocacy helps you get the job done. “Hi, my name is Shari and I am excited to be at this conference/retreat/class.” This is how it usually begins. We all go around the room and introduce ourselves, give a reason or two why we are here and it moves onto the next person. But at my most recent retreat, I decided to try something different. I began with the typical particulars, but I ended with the following. 

 “Oh, and I just wanted to mention that I have a hearing loss, so I will be positioning myself as close to the speaker as possible during the exercises (meaningful look in the moderator’s direction to make sure she heard this), and if you speak to me and I don’t answer or if I look at you like you have two heads, please don’t think I am rude, I probably just didn’t hear you. Please try again.” 

I had never done that before — made my hearing loss a part of my introduction in front of a group — but I know I will do it again. It worked famously! First of all, at the introductions, people are typically paying attention, so it was an efficient way to get the message out there, and it made me feel a lot less fearful of dirty looks from others in the group as I moved up close to the speaker at all of the events. A few people even came up to me afterwards and disclosed their own hearing loss or that of a spouse or loved one, which is always a good bonding moment for those of us with hearing loss. 

 Secondly, it made an impression. Later that day, the instructor made a point of putting me in a good spot for a particularly hard-to-hear segment of the class, and when I needed to ask people to repeat themselves, they seemed more willing to do so (at least the first few times). Thirdly, I felt much more relaxed. My fear of not being able to hear everything or that I might reply to a question with the answer to something else was gone. Everyone already knew I had a hearing loss, so they would expect a few flubs. 

The flubs might even be funny. Maybe… Lastly, I could ask for help as I needed it without a big explanation. For example, I was able to ask people to switch seats with me a few times so I could see (and therefore hear) better at various presentations and at the group dinners. All requests were met with a smile.


ATR:   Of course all with hearing loss or deafness must make the point they have difficulty following a meeting or indeed following anyone.  Many issues of discrimination are pretty much down to the fact we are reluctant to tell people what ability to follow the spoken word we have or even are aware what best works for us.  A lot can be put down to either denial or simply we don't know how much we miss.

It's important to prepare for meetings, vital you know how much detail you can take in, and via what format does this best for you.  Sitting there nodding away in ignorance means you will not be able to claim discrimination at all, and, would probably mean others thinking less of you or you being difficult. I know how much detail I can manage, that obviously diminishes via how I can feel on the day, or if the meeting is the type of meeting where people often talk over each other as this renders my primary format of lip-reading useless, if that happens I would not attend a meeting unless people started to listen to others and waited for a reply and ensured those who missed something (And that doesn't mean just us with hearing loss), getting that explained or simplified.  You really need to plan ahead.

Failing Lip-reading I would be investing in a speech to text format as I can read as fast as people speak.  Palantype being an absolutely brilliant way of following proceedings, it does, however, depend if the operator is up with your need and your employer willing to pay for it and the operator indicates to the meeting where he or she cannot work properly if others talk over each other.  In essence to tell a  meeting how they should conduct themselves properly so everyone is informed.  Simples!  Why do they make things so hard for themselves?

I don't use sign language, it detracts from the person speaking and I am not comfortable an Interpreter is signing everything said.  You also need an interpreter who has the right specialisation to cover the meeting content, anyone will NOT do, especially if the Jargon is technical in nature.  BSL Interpreters work on the basis of huge variations of deaf ability to take in information, so if you use a BSL terp sort yours out BEFORE you start and, stop an interpreter to ask for clarification if you feel that hasn't been done, own your terp, don't let them own you.

Lip-reading is a huge hit and miss method probably best relied on with low key conversational areas rather than at meetings and given the options of obtaining a lip-speaker are minimal to zero anyway.


Helping the mute to speak



Assuming they can sign first of course.