Saturday, 21 September 2019

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Footballer suspended after alleged abuse of deaf player

A footballer has been suspended after claims a Stamford AFC player was abused for being deaf during a match. The abuse is alleged to have taken place during the club's FA Youth Cup tie with Lincoln United on Monday, September 16, which the south Lincolnshire side won 6-0. 

It has been alleged that Will Palmer, who is deaf, was abused by one of the Lincoln United players during the match, who allegedly made insults about his deafness. Lincoln United has since confirmed a player has been suspended and it is conducting an investigation into the matter. Will's father, Andy Palmer, says his son, who also plays for Peterborough United's deaf football team and England Deaf Football U21s, has reached a high level of football despite being deaf. 

Boston United boss Craig Elliott Boston manager left shocked after loss "He has a Cochlea Implant which allows him to hear the referee and the other players," he said. "It is difficult to orientate himself." Mr Palmer said one of the opposition players insulted him about his deafness and, when he objected, he continued to mock him. "When Will remonstrated with him, he cupped his ears and mocked him," he said. "After the game, I approached the referee and the manager. I did it in a civilised way. "Will went in and gave a statement to the referee, who basically said it's your word against his. 

I didn't hear anything. He said he'd take it forward, but Will was left a bit downcast." Mr Palmer added that his son, who has several deaf relatives, had never been abused in this manner before and had been left incredibly upset by it. 

Friday, 20 September 2019

"Jokes About Deaf People" - Trevor Noah

Hearing loss in the workplace.

Ashley explains further about what it is like for her in the workplace with hearing loss. This is why she decided to tell her employer about her hearing loss.  Captions would have helped!

Can I ask the deaf and disabled what their issues are?

This question is commonly asked on the legal helpline. Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 (Equality Act) states that when an application is made for work, you must not ask about the candidate’s health before offering work or on a conditional basis where you later turn down the candidate based on the answers given. 

Although if you make an enquiry about a person’s health, this will not automatically give rise to disability discrimination under the Equality Act as there are exceptions where questions can be asked before offering work: 

To assess if s/he needs adjustments to be made to attend an interview (such as ramp access, auxiliary aid if the person is deaf) to assess whether s/he can carry out a function that is intrinsic to that role (eg. you can ask, ‘do you have any health issues that will prevent you from operating a forklift?’) monitoring diversity – but you must actively use the information to monitor diversity; it is not enough to collect the data and store it taking positive action based on a protected characteristic (eg. women being encouraged to apply for roles in engineering and technology) fill a role that requires a person to have a protected characteristic (eg. a deaf person to work with other deaf people) If none of the exceptions apply, health questions should not be asked prior to registering a candidate or offering employment. 

If there are any disclosed conditions, you must consider whether they could amount to a disability under the Equality Act and whether reasonable adjustments can be made. Automatic rejection of the candidate could open you up to a discrimination claim unless you can show that your decision can be objectively justified. If you ask for information in circumstances which are not covered by the exceptions, there are two possible consequences: 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has the authority to investigate and take action; and If a candidate is unsuccessful after providing health information and pursues a disability discrimination claim in an Employment Tribunal, the burden of proof is reversed so you will have to prove that you did not discriminate against the candidate. 

Recruiters and employers have to be careful not to ask blanket health and disability questions before providing work-finding services or offering a role to a candidate. 

BDA updates

Another Trustee of the British Deaf Association (BDA) has resigned from the Board - Sarah Lawrence, making that seven Trustees who have resigned in the past four months - leaving just two trustees remaining on the Board - the Chair, Agnes Dyab, and Dawn Marshall. 

Can the BDA function with just two Trustees? Its constitution suggests they need an absolute minimum of three.  Neither Agnes Dyab or Damien Barry (the Company Secretary) have yet been very forthcoming about the reasons for mass resignations, but claim the will inform BDA members at some point re the demand for an EGM.  They have refused point-blank to respond to ATR regarding answers about allegations of systematic bullying by the BDA executive reported on social media, or threats from the BDA executive on members who go public with concerns warning them of 'gagging clauses' banning them from raising issue outside the BDA itself.  That 'cat' seems now out of the bag.

The policy of notifying members direct with a proviso not to let anyone else read what they say.  Why all this secrecy at the BDA? and 'closed-door' approaches to members concerns?  Members so far have heard nothing tangible about an EGM from the BDA to ask the questions members want an answer too. There are real concerns the 129-year-old BDA could collapse completely. Official responders at the BDA had 3 weeks, (until 12th September), to reply.   There are also social media rumours petitioners are considering taking over the running of the BDA itself and sacking the two trustees left.

This bodes ill for the BDA already in financial deficit. Considering this dated charity and old-fashioned setup has had its day, one asks the question why bother?  They have never been an inclusive organisation and clearly unable to cope or manage in the 21stc.  The approach of dogma before practicality has held the members together for many years but, it's not viable today, and the AOHL has already off-loaded the BSL user because of such negative approaches a done-track approach to including the deaf based on keeping them isolated.

Deaf can sign and still campaign without any charity backing them, and is.  Young deaf won't allow such areas to pigeon-hole how they live.  This seems to be amply made aware in that the young and forward-looking deaf trustees and members have decided the BDA is no longer for them.  Are petitioners aware they can go direct to the charity commission now that the minimum trustee requirement has been breached?   That mass resignations are public domain?  This must suggest to the charity commission there are serious issues to be addressed at the BDA?  

VIDEO  Another area the BDA prevents anyone from embedding what they say elsewhere.

Abigail Gorman.  Why I resigned....


TRANSCRIPT: I’m sure some of you know that I’ve decided to resign from the BDA. I’m gutted about this. I’m currently working in Paris, so I’ve been unable to reply to some of your texts. I thought it would be best if I made a video about this instead. I have thought long and hard about making this video, but I felt that it had to be done. This is an excerpt from my resignation letter.

‘I truly wish it wouldn’t come to this, but I don’t feel that this board has been managed accordingly. I joined this board because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of our members. I wanted to make sure that the BDA was an organisation that had its members’ best interests at heart and would use its resources to ensure that their identities were recognised and strengthened. I don’t feel that progress has been made, nor team building or motivation.

In my board application, I spoke about transparency. ‘An open dialogue that fosters honesty and transparency between the community and its Board, one that calls us to collective, responsive action.’ Instead, I have found myself being left in the dark about most things and this has frustrated me to no end. This is not how a board is meant to function. We are letting our members down. I cannot be a part of this incompetence and obfuscation and so would like to tender my resignation with immediate effect.’

I feel incredibly disappointed that this happened because I really did want to make a difference to the lives of our members, especially the women, LGBT+, BAME, youths and the elderly groups as I feel that they have been underrepresented.

However, I don’t feel that I have been able to make any progress in this current board because too much focus has gone into things that, although important, are things that can be reviewed at a later point. There are two sides to every story, and I can see both sides. However, it is hard to see what came first, the chicken or the egg. Is that behaviour a result of that or is it vice versa? It is hard for me to comment on, and it has taken an enormous toll on my mental health and wellbeing.

As we signed a confidentiality form when we joined the Board, there are some things I cannot talk about, and I understand that that must be frustrating to you all. But I will say this, things need to change.

However, I do want to point out that the staff has done exemplary work throughout the years and I do not want this to overshadow their hard work and efforts. The BDA has always been, and will be the organisation that fights for deaf people, and I ask that you don’t lose faith in it because of current circumstances.

As ATR said. Too much Dogma, not enough focus ON deaf need, and far too much secrecy.

Breaking news on social media:

Dear Damian and Agnes,

In the absence of any response from the Board to our call for an EGM, I am exercising the right to take ownership of the arrangements for the EGM in line with section 305 of the Companies Act 2006.

I do this on behalf of the members who supported the petition and call for an EGM which was submitted on 22nd August 2019 and which required a response from the Board within 21 days. This deadline expired at midnight on 12th September 2019.

I shall be arranging to visit the BDA Head Office in order to discuss and effect these arrangements, and, to film the information so that this can be sent to the members.

Meantime, by way of response and explanation to the many people who have contacted me and others asking for information, I have produced a video clip which will be posted on my Facebook page and which will include the text of this email.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Richards

Half of those members responding to this post could NOT name own CEO!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Launch for Radio show for the deaf and Disabled..

Just how do BSL users who are deaf access a radio show?

Exeter's community radio station Phonic FM, has launched a new radio show all about disability. Accessibility Matters, is an informal chat and music show, raising the issues faced by people with disabilities living in Devon and the South West. 

 The show is a collaboration between Phonic FM and Living Options Devon - a user-led charity which provides vital support to people with disabilities. Staff and volunteers from the charity will appear on every show.   Andrew Barge, chair of trustees at Living Options Devon, will host the monthly shows and jumped at the chance to raise awareness of accessibility issues over the airwaves. 

He was connected to the radio station by Paul Giblin, who presents The Future Sound of Exeter Show on Phonic FM. Accessibility Matters airs every 2nd Wednesday of the month on Phonic FM Andrew said: "Having some radio experience as a sports commentator for BBC Radio Devon, I was really keen to do a radio show and when Phonic FM approached us with a slot it was the perfect way to showcase why accessibility matters.'' 

When the first show aired last week, Living Options CEO, Diana Crump, initially felt a bit jittery talking on air, she said: "All a bit nerve wracking to start, but I ended up quite enjoying it! "It was lovely to talk about the charity, remember how and why it was founded and how we continue to provide great services and support for people with disabilities and Deaf British Sign Language Users across Devon and the South West." 

Monthly round up

And hundreds more 

Don't get bogged down in trivia or feed the paranoia

Read real News as it happens.

Open Doors

WELCOME JOIN US! Join over 100,000 people enjoying Scottish buildings this September! Doors Open Days gives natives, new arrivals, and visitors free access to over 1,000 venues and events, many of which are not usually accessible to the public, across Scotland every September. This year, we are celebrating 30 years of Doors Open Days with an incredible programme of events, from swimming pools full of flowers to tours of Scotland finest buildings hosted by refugees. Doors Open Days happens because of our army of volunteers. 

They donate over 29,000 hours each year to throwing open the doors of their local landmarks to welcome festival visitors. They are supported by our team at the Scottish Civic Trust, who manage the event across the country, and area coordinators, who create and manage local programmes. We believe that the more that people are involved with Scottish culture and heritage, the richer it gets. We want Doors Open Days to be the event that makes natives and new arrivals proud to be Scottish, and our visitors just the tiniest bit jealous of our shared history. 

Doors Open Days is part of European Heritage Days and Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland. Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland. Find out about Doors Open Days BSL tours under the ‘Visiting’ menu. We are working with the British Deaf Association Scotland to continue to add BSL programming in the future. Please get in touch if you want to be involved in developing tours, volunteering as an interpreter, or if you are a venue that wants to learn more about offering BSL tours.

ATR:  Does this mean deaf clubs are to have 'Open Doors' too?

Sign language interpreters want govt to consider public service employment

In contrast to many UK BSL interpreters determined to protect their freelance status.  Mainly so they can pick and choose when and where they work, which is areas of the UK meant deaf claiming welfare and support failed because of lack of that support turning up.   Far better we had a system based support system that doesn't rely on that making it far easier for the deaf to be confident support will be there as a norm.  A captive area with dire support shortages is inhibiting access and inclusion.  A system run set up would address that.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Demands for EGM at BDA being ignored.

As the BDA refuses to acknowledge the online petition or respond to it on their site, ATR includes sample comments here for their failed and blinkered executive to read.  On the social media British Deaf Association members are becoming demoralised after BDA executive refused to respond to a request for an EGM or an explanation as to why 6 trustees have resigned one after another.    They appear terrified what they say goes into the public domain.  

This deaf charity in the UK that prided itself on being 'BSL/Member exclusive,' and being dedicated to including 'Deaf people', their rights, their inclusion, their sign language, perhaps they mean applied elsewhere and NOT to their charity?  Do what we say not what we do?

Everything is being discussed behind closed doors and in secret, including changes to their remit to now saving the universe, not just deaf people from nasty hearing, looks like desperation to us, albeit they witheld informing members for nearly 10 months, they only knew when someone NOT deaf picked it up on perusal of the Charity commission.  No wonder 6 trustees did a runner, young and active deaf who can carry these deaf into real inclusion not rely on paranoia/fear to keep deaf where they are.  When we take into account recent collapses of charity run systems by the sign user as a result of poor and amateur financial mismanagement, with the loss of 130 jobs and support for over a 1,000 vulnerable deaf, perhaps deaf better off without these charities at all, the irony being the bastion of BSL in the UK has few BSL members they are leaving in droves following the trustees.

Are the petitioners losing heart?    Looks like the BDA is following the approach of the RNID/AOHL in ditching member inclusion and closing them out by ignoring input until petitioners get fed up asking them questions they don't want to answer. 

ATR approached all the trustees who resigned asking for reasons why they left,  all were running scared of being quoted, and they were subject to some 'gagging' clause in that they are legally obliged to say nothing. This was how the RNID got rid of their BSL Exec too.  Charities should not be above investigation so why isn't the charity commission itself contacting this deaf charity to ascertain claims they are violating their remit to their members?  What IS going on at the BDA? Alleged online claims members (And Trustees), were being bullied can only be settled by public scrutiny.  Why hasn't the public input?  given they rely on public funding?

Currently, the BDA has long term investment, and £100,000 plus in debt, they must be careful surely of recent changes via the charity commission regarding the effective running of their financial affairs, the C.C. is getting very concerned about the poor financial running of many charities and is changing the rules regarding trustees direct access to accounts too.  Were BDA trustees asking the executive too many questions?

#1 (From the online petition instigator), 'I'm disappointed that there had been no reply to our call for EGM from the board or response to our petition."

#2  "I am shocked, but well done for persevering - I am proud of you for trying..'.

#3   "Disappointed with BDA!"

#4   "I am shocked to know that BDA failed to answer you no wonder why a lot of Trustees left."