Saturday, 9 November 2019

Awareness: Doesn't happen!

Image result for what is in it for me?Deaf or HI awareness its a con act isn't it?  Jobs for the boys, an income?  None of it really works at ground level, (At least that is what Hard of Hearing are saying).

#1  "I wear badges, a lanyard , hearing aid jewellery and still it makes no difference! Even when I tell people eventually I'm deaf. Need more deaf awareness for everyone."

#2 "If I had a neon sign, I don't think people would take any notice!"

#3 "I have to admit I've been wearing my ‘I have a hearing loss, please speak clearly’ badge on my work lanyard and either people aren’t noticing it or don’t seem to care or maybe I’m just not observing any difference. I’ll keep wearing it but sadly don’t feel it’s done a great deal."

#4 "Oh and i took off mine, I am a lip reader one because someone got the completely wrong end of the stick, i can’t remember what it was now.. but they definitely didn’t know what lipreading was"

#ATR:  " Lip-reading demands three things, 

(1) a good and clear lip-SPEAKER, 

(2) Ideal environment and compliances, and 

(3) a well trained and adept lip-READER they don't exist. 

LR classes have less than 3% success rate mostly because lip-reading itself is a secondary point to the class, and most of those are people WITH useful hearing anyway. The kickback is when hearing deteriorates beyond useful hearing the lip-reading fails too. Back to square one.  A db loss degree, either way, it doesn't work and as far as I know, no lip-reading/speaking national support area exists either. 

I don't know of any such support area in the NHS here e.g. When was the last time anyone here saw a public service video with a lip-speaker on it? or on the TV? You can get sign or captions, (sometimes!), that's it. 

What encouragement to lip--read is there?  It's never treated seriously as an option."

Friday, 8 November 2019

Is there a 'Plan B' ?

No Plan B"So what wrong with British sign language?! I don’t want to any change sign by other countries to involve at all! I notice some sign from the USA in our country is spoiled it in my view!"

Complaints British sign language has too many random influences in it and complaining sign isn't universal at all, the comment came from a deaf immigrant to the UK struggling to make himself understood to other deaf and is asking why UK deaf are opposing a 'Norm' and allowing outside influences in?

ATR:  I will try to explain the Brit way of things (As I see it anyway).   Initially, Sign language skills depend on the person, how they are educated, and factually most deaf don't bother to improve or hone it when they finish school. I.E.  once a 'plateau of signing skill' has been reached that's it.  Any issues it is the terps fault.  Hearing people have to continue learning a lifetime, deaf stop at leaving school and education.  You will find few if any of them in further education or Uni etc... and the classes WON'T be about improving their own communication skills.

I am deaf, take or leave how I sign or a campaign is in the offing etc... Regional signs are a distraction and nuisance and aren't a cultural thing to be welcomed since it openly challenges the norm, and because they confuse, and create issues training Interpreters.   Interpreters spend a lot of money attaining 'BSL' skills and regional judging has failed them by arbitrarily failing them to attain certain levels simply because a signing level judge will declare 'I sign that differently so your signs are wrong'.  

That means students lose a lot of money and have to do it all over again, some cannot afford that and give it up.  The problem is you get level 6 Interpreters trying to assist level 2 or 3 signers, and that is without learning difficulties kicking in making things more difficult.    Systems say most deaf don't need a level 6 terp and level 3 would be OK.  Level 6 would be legal areas medical specialisations etc, in reality, few at that level specialise anyway.

The UK does need a Signed English norm to enable deaf to follow what is written if nothing else, and to dispense with 'BSL' which is really an excuse to sign any old way you like really.  Its a mess masquerading as diversity and culture.  The reality is that many Interpreters are already using S.E.

The BSL dictionary is a dusty old farce really but it was made up mostly at day one because the community was so fragmented in sign use the creators had to make up signs for things there just weren't there, nationally recognised, or it depended on how the deaf individual signed it themselves. There was/is no norm.  Deaf opposed the norm as this would create issues with how they sign and make issues with regional variation which they say is integral to their cultural aspirations.

Sadly need is taking second place.  E.G. 'BSL' has changed 4 times in living memory leaving a lot of deaf people unsure what terps are signing at them. Different area terps could not make themselves understood properly. Court cases difficult to operate causing deaf an inability to follow properly.  This also means different age groups of deaf people are not able to follow current 'BSL' signs.   In 10 years this generation won't either.

ATR reported a case where a deaf scientist had no signs at all for the work he was doing in research and had to make up his own.  It's not 'progression' a la BSL signing and takes little account of people who sign, their education, their background or their own sign skills. The 'best' signers academically are still hearing people.  

Paddy Ladd launched a tome that confused and still does USA deaf convinced it's treasure map showing the way for the holy grail of culture is in there somewhere.  Unfortunately, he used format deaf aren't aware of,  English and terms only know to professional studies of obscure terms in language terminology.  Undaunted USA deaf decided these obscure terms were something special too although have yet to decipher any of them.   It was dubbed the deaf equivalent of the Emporer's new clothes, an old fairy tale.

We understand many sign users spring to its (BSL) defence but they aren't looking at the whole picture or accepting the reasons they are left out. 63% of deaf can't get a job and the reason?  Their communication is unwanted by employers and unsupported by the state.   Even handing some of them £1,000 a week to support them in work hasn't done it, they are just stuck in a cultural arts rut or charity or trying to teach hearing signs they know for a living.  Unfortunately, each area has its own random approach to that.   BSL exists because it shows a profit.

We can shout discrimination but the same old excuses will still come out in defence of it rather than accepting where the problem really lies. Deaf education is primarily to blame arming deaf to fail as adults, aided and abetted by cultural activism who put need as a secondary issue to its cultural drive. 

The best signer in the world is not going to do well in a hearing environment, so they need a plan B.  What they are doing is sticking to Plan A, a known failing except in financial terms, more out of sheer defiance than accepting the realities. So in answer to the question is there a BSL/sign norm to help this person, erm... NO!

Deaf man's fake bomb hoax at Super Bowl.

Andreas Dowling, 24, (pictured) of Torpoint, Cornwall, admitted 30 counts of communicating false information with intent between October 2014 and February 2016
A deaf man has admitted carrying out a campaign of bomb hoaxes against targets in the US, Canada and the UK, including the Houses of Parliament, the Super Bowl and dozens of schools. Andreas Dowling, 24, of Torpoint, Cornwall, admitted 30 counts of communicating false information with intent between October 2014 and February 2016, after he made a string of hoax bomb threats in Britain, the US, and Canada. 

Bristol Crown Court heard that one of the charges relates to bomb threats made against Jewish schools and will be sentenced as 'racially aggravated'. He also pleaded guilty to a single charge of 'encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence believing it would be committed' under the Protection of Children Act 1978. This related to Dowling threatening to 'ruin the life' of a 17-year-old girl in the US unless she sent him nude photographs of herself. The hoaxer was caught following an international investigation led by Counter Terrorism Policing in the South West of England, who teamed up with the FBI and officers in Michigan.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

New Technology.

Hearing Impairment with CC.

Hearing loss and you

Even mild hearing loss as a child can have long-term effects on how the brain processes sound. 

When we are born, our brains have a lot to learn. For the newborn baby, everything they learn about the world around them comes from their senses. Therefore, if a child’s brain is deprived of sensory information, it will continue to develop, but in a different way. 

A good example of this comes from children who are born deaf. Research has shown that adults who have been deaf since birth show changes in the way their brains process sensory information. Parts of the brain that would normally process sounds (the so-called auditory cortex) are also activated by visual stimuli, for example. 

However, we also know that timing is everything. If someone becomes deaf as an adult, their brains won’t suddenly change, if at all. But if a child is born deaf, early intervention is key. 

Such children would need to be fitted with cochlear implants within the first few years of life if they wish to maximise their chances of being able to hear. Until recently, scientists believed that these sensitive or critical periods only applied in cases of severe sensory deprivation – for instance, in deaf children with little or no access to sounds. However, our research found that even mild-to-moderate hearing loss in childhood was linked to changes in the way sounds are processed in the brain during adolescence. 

In our study, we measured the brain responses of a group of children with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss while they were listening to sounds. Sensorineural hearing loss is a permanent hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear, in this case the cochlea. Those with “mild” hearing loss have a loss between 20-40 decibels – which typically makes it difficult to follow speech in noisy situations. Those with “moderate” hearing loss have a loss between 41-70 decibels, which makes it difficult to follow conversational speech without hearing aids.

ATR: Losing my hearing at 10-11 age via gradual hearing loss,  going profound at  20, definite changes took place, at both early and adult stage.  Acquired loss effects little or no change? of COURSE, all hearing loss effects change.  

Adults who lose hearing suffer trauma and depressions and huge isolation, hardly 'little or no change at all!'  Younger sufferers of hearing loss, suffer deprivation, isolation educational and learning issues and poor mental health etc.  The primary difference is born deaf suffer it a lot earlier, 40% of deaf children have mental health issues.  

Of course, those deaf DON'T suffer hearing loss, they are DEAF so no hearing of use to lose.  There is no proof of any research that shows acquiring deafness as an adult change little! (Where you been living?)  Acquired deaf brains also adapt similar to those of born deaf where visual sensors re-adapt to loss of sound.  We become more aware of surroundings e.g.  

We can also adapt differently to communication obviously having pre-knowledge, not enough research is done on our area which could enhance those born deaf struggling to adapt by learning how we did, mostly without the sign, without the support and with hearing aids little more than ear decoration, etc...

Monday, 4 November 2019

Deaf online savage the British Deaf Association.

Image result for bad charityWho are still refusing to tell people what is happening, gagging members with legal threats, and unwilling to admit the fact they are in debt, or able to function, and without even Trustees to blame.  The primary refusal to explain is that only members have the right to know, which is incorrect as a charity depends on the public, and the public purse they are expected to be open with all their dealings.  

As regards to FOI refusals that doesn't apply to larger charities with a 'national' basis, only to minor charities with limited resources.  Both the UK charities of the AOHL and BDA have funds of over a £million.  It's ridiculous they can use legal avenues to tell funders to mind their own business!

#1  I'd be just happy if they were an inclusive deaf charity, not a dedicated sign one. I don't feel I am 'non-deaf' because I was never a member of some old deaf school.

#2  Sadly the BDA is irrelevant these days and obviously in debt and struggling, I believe that is directly down to the non-inclusive approaches they take, it is more about Kudos for the upper staff than it is about members, with their trips to the World Deaf junkets, and martyrdom to the cause, etc.

#3  I am aware other (d)eaf are feeling annoyed and marginalised by areas like the BDA who label them as somewhat 'inferior' to the (D)eaf school others and when they do campaign they don't include anyone else. We abd the HoH are the majority and in the end, this will play out against the BSL user.   Who will limit the concept with apathy.

#4  Many BSL vids contain no text access for us either, yet they insist others do it for them, I don't understand why they would do that. I've even had to go to health authorities to ask why are they producing BSL only health awareness videos and leaving us out? It means I have to ask for another video to be produced with text on it, and they say they cannot afford to do two of them. When I pointed out the issue for me, BSL campaigners said I was discriminating against them it was their right to have BSL only. 

#5  If someone told them the same thing about signed access, they would be up in arms about it, wouldn't they? 

#6  My area (the deafened), has to spend most of the time correcting politicians and such that all deaf do not sign and we are being left out all the time, we say awareness is polarised and biased and leaving other deaf struggling, especially the elderly deaf who have been dumped basically in clubs that are pretty pointless for them, and 50% populated with carers and social workers. Community it isn't. 

#7  It is not in anyone's interest deaf people are pitted against each other for the same rights, and the BDA is the prime mover of this 'sectarian' approach to deaf access. I think the deaf signer needs to take notice of how other deaf see them and adjust accordingly. The BDA approach isn't working for most. 

#8  The AOHL got rid of the BSL CEO that went there, the reason being he was too singular and unwilling to include others with hearing loss too. Such like-minded deaf then gravitated to the BDA with the same approach adopted the same cul-de-sac mentality. 

#9  Change is vital at the BDA. Get rid of the old guard. If the BDA actually worked with the other hearing loss charities on a united platform then we have access to near 9m potential campaigns not just a few 1,000 who sign, the illogic of deaf recognition just maintains their own marginalisation.  Lemmings really.

#10  I believe the BDA have gone past their sell-by date. A radical change is needed - a revamped organisation and perhaps smaller with regional outlets that truly represents the Deaf community. They need to engage with other Deaf led organisations. They need to muck in to make a difference. Too long a self-serving organisation that thrives on self-recognition!

#11  I am still waiting for the report to come out that talks about all the things that the poster can't tell us about!

#12  You have to wonder what charity has come to with all these legal gags, and refusals to be open to people, be they members or the public that supports them. We know many cannot be forced with an FOI to reveal details either, what is needed is the charity commission to change the rules on charity. 

#13  If they are asking the public for money or benefiting from their donations, then, they should front up. It seems once they have funding from us, then its 'none of our business' what they do after.   I've never read a more vague remit of a charity and they changed it recently without telling members too.

#14  A lot of deaf charities AREN'T sticking to the remit they send to the CC. Frankly, a lot of 'services' they claim to provide are very vaguely described. In wales, we had a charity for deaf created that started by first getting £17K for 'assessing deaf need'. Then they had the BDA supporting a first meeting whereby the audience were asked to volunteer to run it, after the charity creators refused to run it themselves.  

You could not script that! 2 students from Cardiff volunteered nobody local deaf did. Mainly because locally the deaf had never heard of the group, (nor did after). It took 18 months to get a free room, they did a website that posted nothing but 'where to get a form for reduced rail travel' they cut and pasted from online. 

3 months after it all folded, no research was seen to be done, no deaf locally were even involved, and a computer and the rest of the funding had vanished basically. 

A quick perusal of the Charity Commission rules suggested this was all perfectly legal and because it was a small set up (!) the Commission exempted them from any checks. They don't really list these small setups either, but looking online we are talking 40 of them draining away resources and producing nothing of value for deaf people. To my view these are frauds and taking away real help from others, its a scam basically.   LINK.

Sauce for the Goose

Well if charities and deafies can organise these things for the Deaf why not for HoH too?  Albeit this is a voluntary thing, and the Deaf helpers would want cash up front!  It's a new Facebook idea so up to you.  


Take care you aren't making yourself vulnerable to strangers, and that the site is legit.

10 Commandments of deaf culture

(And they still claim it is not a cult!). Perhaps 2 commandments should be:

#1  Make it all accessible?

#2  Get over yourself?

Deaf blind support: More cuts?

Ruth Lowe with her dad David
A teenager has spoken out against potential cuts to funding for the borough’s deaf and blind children, should they get the green light. Ruth Lowe, 17, has been deaf since birth but has led a happy, normal life thanks to crucial support from the NHS and Wigan Council, including the audiology department, nurses for the deaf, teaching assistants, and speech and language therapists. 

But children just like her could face difficulty getting the same help in the near future, after a Freedom of Information request revealed that Wigan Council was proposing to save “a minimum of 10 per cent” from its education budget for visual and hearing impaired services for children. 

As an article exclusively revealed in the Wigan Post last month, this would result of a deficit of around £90,000. The authority provides vital support and visits from specialist staff for 493 children across the borough. The National Deaf Children’s Society and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have said that any cut would be devastating for the children affected.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Last Hiccup: No deaf community.

Image result for SUrvivalI suppose every area needs its extremes and loners railing against the Windmills of advance, but Last Hiccup is in a league of his own.  I rather fear his over-zealous approach to culture and sign language has affected his posts a lot with his random uses of the D and d thing.

As regards to a deaf community, clearly, there isn't one (Assuming we recognise the lack of capitalisation of the term LH is an avid fan of! and the UK doesn't really support).  Large parts of his posts online are littered with so many errors of using those D/d terms I suggest he doesn't really know himself who HE is what or where we are all at.

Of course, his rantings against A G Bell are legendary even if looked upon as the ramblings and thinly-veiled hate messages they really are, and against a man dead 97 years.  If you target the organisations, you target the people in it, i.e. fellow deaf.  The fact the USA prides itself on freedom of choice and will, has obviously annoyed Last Hiccup who feels others should not choose differently from him and orals are a 'choice too far.'

To speak, to Sign?  To hear or not? These are non-questions as a choice, it is the parents, and enablement and ability, that decide not culture.  Certainly not random deaf who feel an oralist charity set up is a personal affront and a threat. If cultists were not so oppositional to choices, perhaps more would go in their favour but we won't know. It's not an issue the UK has because the charitable setups are different here, indeed we are pretty much anti-supporting most of them as a rather tired and patronising image of the old days, few if any at all run a rights campaign as it risks being removed from charitable status to go political.

There is no future for the deaf/Deaf community based on permanent confrontation, or being a martyr for a cause very few support anyway.  The continued usage of the sign only approaches etc just serve to keep those areas in the isolation they say they want out of.  Dressing it up as a cultural right doesn't change the reality of what that entails. 'Help', 'Support', 'inclusion' (Sort of!), and charities that are no longer charities in the sense of the term but 'corporate' care areas for an area of deaf people who insist they don't have an issue needing 'care'.  They use terms like 'empowerment' and 'right' to blur issues instead.  But they still aren't INCLUDED.

Only they see it differently.  It's as if they accept day one inclusion is never going to happen so let's do our own thing, call it culture and just not bother to integrate anyway, all resistance is futile but keeps on raising issues, they still need the funding that provides. Cynical?

Such areas only thrive where there is a concentration of like-minded,  In reality, it is the cities deciding what everyone else wants by sheer numbers and the fact access for them is pretty much there already, though not if you aren't in those areas, but hey collateral damage is unavoidable we can't include everyone!

Enabling the deaf options to have a choice is surely the best way forward?  You cannot do that if you are determined to insist only one option is viable, as YOU see it.  Like the USA well over 60% of deaf in the UK don't have a job worth a S.H.I.T.  either.  If you ask an employer why they don't employ the deaf they say their communication is a prime reason, or, the lack of it.  We can complain this is discrimination, but nothing changes, its economics, there are 1,000s of hearing that won't need that support.  Even throwing near a £1,000 a week via supporting some deaf in work does not seem to work (Unless messing about in deaf arts is your bag!) and deaf arts is only in the City anyway.

The world we live in is at a fast pace and under constant change, and the deaf are left behind.  Hearing employees have to update skills and retrain as they go, you cannot stand still, the deaf are nowhere near being able to do that as it stands. Their basic education is at fault in reality, it lacks drive and options to enhance the deaf ability and even improving their own sign language skill seems to cease at leaving school.  

It's a breeding ground for the unemployed deaf and complainers who feel short-changed and blaming hearing for not empowering the choices, Last Hiccup doesn't want anyway.  They neglect to declare the 'community' of activism is the main area blocking those empowerments.  They exist via pitting 'Us', against 'them'.  Deaf versus hearing. Deaf live in a hearing world, and unless they have more options to cross that divide NOTHING will change.  If A G Bell IS offering those choices, they should be supported, because at the end of a very long day only deaf people count not dogma.  

They need to separate the social from the actual and find the middle ground.  Quit the bilingual con, nobody is buying it.  The UK e.g. is getting rid of deaf schools, and clubs are dwindling too, that would suggest our deaf are already moving away from the 'community' concept and the world 'out there' isn't as bad as is LH is making made out.    

The pseudo online community is also exposed for what it is, desperation to keep the community concept alive.