Saturday, 30 November 2019

Accessing healthcare is challenging for Deaf people

Image result for access to health
Completely inadequate explanations regarding deaf people and access.

"For many of us, a visit to the doctor's office can be wrought with anxiety. A persistent cough that won't go away or an ailment we hope is nothing serious can make GP visits emotionally difficult. Now imagine that you can't phone the doctor to make an appointment, you don't understand what your doctor just said, or you don't know what the medication you've been prescribed is for. These are all situations that many Deaf people face when accessing healthcare services.

We use Deaf (with a capital "D") here to talk about culturally Deaf people, who were typically born deaf, and use a signed language, such as British Sign Language (BSL), as their first or preferred language. In contrast, deaf (lowercase "d") refers to the audiological condition of deafness.

[Herein lies the issues, e.g. well-meaning people complaining sign users are excluded and ignoring 5 times as many deaf people who are completely ignored too, and, by sign using lobbies]

For our study, we talked to Deaf patients in Wales who communicate using BSL to learn about their experiences with healthcare services. Their experiences illustrated the challenges they face and show us that patients have unique needs. For example, a patient born profoundly deaf would have different needs from a person who became deaf later in life.

[This is untrue, no surveys have been done in Wales, indeed none in the entire UK to identify them.  Various UK privacy/Data laws prevent identification, we may know who has hearing loss and who is deaf via health stats but again, we don't know how many are sign dependent.  The welsh assembly cross-party committee on deafness, responsible for supporting the deaf e.g,  says it could only get signed survey feedback from just TWO deaf clubs in Wales, one of which in the capital city (Cardiff), had less than 10 deaf people responding.  It's ridiculous to say this is in any way representative of a reputed 300,000 in wales with hearing loss and deafness issues, or what formats they are using.]

Health inequalities

Many Deaf communities around the world face inequalities when it comes to accessing health information and healthcare services, as health information and services are often not available in an accessible format. As a result, Deaf individuals often have low health literacy and are at greater risk of being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Problems with healthcare access often begin when making an appointment. Because many GPs only allow appointments to be made over the phone, many of those we interviewed had to physically go to health centres to ask for an appointment. Not only is this inconvenient, but booking without an interpreter could also be difficult and confusing.

[Again not correct, Wales has over 47 BSL interprets, most in south wales, by comparison, there is NO system of health support for (A) The Hard of Hearing, or (B) deaf who use non-signing forms of access. Only TWO professionals for 300,000 with hearing loss exist in Wales for those requiring text, there are no text-based systems and no lip-spoken ones, just WHO is being neglected?].

Interpreters are essential for patients to receive the best care. However, we heard recurring stories of interpreters not being booked for appointments, arriving late, and—in some cases—not coming at all. Before interpreters were available, one woman described going to the doctor's office as intimidating "because the communication wasn't there". One participant said they always make sure an interpreter has been booked, saying: "Don't let me down… I don't want to be going through this again."

[To be explanatory, many issues are because of a lack of understanding of medical issues and poor education/learning issues within the deaf community, where even the best BSL terps can struggle to convey issues effectively.  The UK BSL System is random, free-lance, and piecemeal as well as a lacking in interpreters for the deaf being aware of medical issues and the signs that go with them, because they are freelance, specialisation in medical or legal matters doesn't really exist within the UK BSL systems.  There is an assumption within the community the terp is aware of professional jargon and medical issues, and most aren't.  In legal terms also, if the terp doesn't convey effectively there is no legal recourse after either, terps operate on the basis if the deaf person agrees to their help it also takes own responsibilities for any other issue that comes from them not really following because afterwards everything is 'hearsay' and legally inadmissible (Unless the deaf film the event, we don't know if this has been done or, if the interpreters are prepared to be filmed).]

These issues are worsened in emergency situations. One woman recalled an incident where despite texting 999, she didn't get help until her daughter phoned 999 for her, acting as her interpreter throughout her entire interaction with emergency services.

[There IS a lack of access to BSL support in emergencies, by their nature, they may be unavailable at night time, and again this can be down to the freelance nature of BSL terp availability, attempts to establish a 24/7 BSL access system have failed because they aren't available, or because the nature of any emergency means time does not really allow for lengthy delays whilst a terp is found, it is up to deaf people, not their families to establish day one their own viable access contact, not least because family legally-speaking, cannot make decisions for relatives, we can also show that a deaf man who fell over breaking his neck in Wales refused to go to hospital unless his daughter was with him, he did not ask for a terp, it took hours to contact that daughter during which time issues had advanced and he later died, is the system at fault there? It isn't it is the deaf insisting on a right to use untrained help (family), who contain bias also)]

Another person who texted 999 said: "There are all these questions that they are asking you. And all that we want is to be able to say, 'We need an ambulance' … Because what's happening is we're panicking, we don't understand the English, there are all these questions being texted to us, it's hard enough for us to understand it anyways without panicking at the same time."

[Issues regarding the lack of literacy with deaf people cannot be addressed by the health services, it is an educational issue.  There are valid concerns with BSL support the deaf client's own sign is not up to the level of awareness they need to follow effectively.  Such issues and the decisions on deaf education have to be made elsewhere, and deaf activism is insisting the deaf should not be 'forced to read' so why are they demanding captions?  Systems cannot be held responsible for the chaos and such that is hyped as awareness, each to his own etc.]

Interviewees also recalled emergency situations where interpreters weren't available at short notice. One Deaf woman recalled when her husband—who is also Deaf—was rushed to hospital. They received no support from staff, and no interpreter was provided to help them.

[We refer you back to the previous response, re availability and the nature of BSL support itself.  Lack of education, lack of literacy attainment, reliance on the untrained family etc, combined with random excuses via rights are at the root of the whole thing.  It should be noted their current support (the BSL interpreter), is opposing ANY standardisation on their availability too.  This in itself means a lot won't make themselves available 24/7, so demand the Health provision provides it, is acaemic.]

Google: Live Transcribe demo

Friday, 29 November 2019

Genetics and the Deaf

NZSL under threat.

Deaf Action AGM.


An area the British Deaf Association has blocked since day one. 'We don't want everyone knowing our business.' is the mantra, not even those who fund us!  

Footnote:   ATR does NOT endorse charities simply by the fact it covers certain areas involving them.  ATR is still anti-charity, and outs rights first.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Seeking sign language recognition.


One issue unaddressed (In the UK), is if the recognition was on the statute, it would create have, and have nots in support terms, for all deaf children in education, with sign advocates getting their deaf children more support by default than non-signing ones, creating a 'tiered' support area which increases divisions of deaf people.  Choice may well kill the concept anyway.

Some distortion is also evident in regards to interpreting provision, while it may be a major issue in Northern Ireland the rest of the UK suffers very little deprivation of BSL support that way, Wales does well, England does too, and Scotland claims to be ahead of both.

With regards to education, the same issues constantly repeat themselves, ergo,  deaf signing schools cannot happen, for two reasons,  

One, There isn't the staff trained to run such schools, most dissipated when 80% of UK deaf schools closed down 10/15 years ago.  It would take years to train new ones up again and stats suggest few are looking at the deaf area in regards to teaching the deaf, and, what sort of demand is there?

Two, Part of the BSL at is to get more terps, but the reality there too is few are coming through and taking up the training, and those that do only want to work in city urban areas where regular work is guaranteed.  Lack of support is because of interpreters following the money, and as most are free-lance neither the deaf or the state can lay down how they operate without issues coming from interpreters themselves because initial attempts to do that failed, the state/systems wouldn't pay them enough.

Sadly what empowerment the deaf signer does have is badly run by their peers, and their charities are appalling at accounting and biased in support provision too.. Psychologically seeing a peer who understands sign language is a big positive for signing deaf, but they lack the expertise needed to really educate and empower the deaf to manage without them.  Most can sign, but they need help too.

Deaf areas need to look at what the deaf really need. (It isn't endless pre-amble about Milan 200 years ago), and then decide how to train people up who can empower that deaf person, and not just set up deaf-run organisations with no desire to include anyway because they never have been and don't know how to manage that, so how can they teach anyone else?  Until those who wish to forward the deaf towards equal access and inclusion with independence, the need to start looking at the skills they will need to acquire to do that, or its more of the same. Endless demands for cart before horse.

You need deaf with real skills and real experience of managing being deaf in the hearing world, any one of us can cope in a deaf club, but it doesn't count there when you need a job, training, education etc...  Anyone who believes an Act will solve that is naive to the nth degree, as it includes 100% participation of deaf WITH the hearing, and currently, there is no desire to do that.  

You cannot legislate inclusion you have to be inclusive ourselves first.  The UK approach is to demand all hearing sign or they won't bother mostly. You don't demand inclusion on your terms, it doesn't work that way.  The Americans are ahead of the UK, we always play catch up but find what works there doesn't pan out here.  The mind-set is different as is the way the laws work etc, and overall the yanks seem far more inclusively inclined than the Brits are.  We are hell-bent on highlighting difference not crossing divides.

CART services

Communication Access Realtime Translation CART Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People from Kathryn Weber on Vimeo.


We are still not individually enabled to converse without such services which is the real aim for us all.  These are good stop gaps 'though.

The 12 million



It should be noted that ATR is NOT endorsing the AOHL as a default by re-publishing this video. ATR's policy is still rights, not charity.  

It's interesting he was accepted as a writer to the AOHL's magazine, an acceptance ATR never got, you don't get to be accepted by AOHL if you challenge them, even with facts.

If ATR stopped supporting the BSL using fraternity perhaps we would be more inclined to see its relevance and not its duplicity in fence-sitting for profit when the reality is the deaf deserted this charity many years ago.  The BDA has NO such issue about who they support!  I suspect also the writer above is rather naive and uninformed.  Until the AOHL gets away from the clinical aspect and ear wax dogmas we don't see it recruiting anyone with real drive and awareness.

The perks of having hearing loss



'Selective Listening'? aka 'hear when you want to..' a concept hard of hearing fight every day. The reality is you never really know what you can and cannot hear so it isn't selective at all.  It's rather sad you believe you have a choice, it is not within your control.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Breaking the Silence

Why I choose not to speak.



Why would anyone choose not to speak when they can? Why are we not convinced by this man?

Service provision in Mainstream



As opposed to UK areas using 'mentors' with next to no qualifications except BSL.  Encouraging to see alternatives to sign are shown to be a norm and viable too.  To be scrupulously fair how many are actual and profound deaf.  Deaf school it isn't.

Why 'relay' services for the deaf?


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A recent wels advert for a relay system, not everyone is for it.

"Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trialling a new app called RelayUK, provided by BT - which helps Deaf people to make phone calls! It has been brilliant and I’m excited to say it launches today!"

"For most, the issue is about being able to make calls on our own to hearing and other deaf people, and a relay system is the 'digital' version of having an interpreter isn't it? Areas like Facetime and Skype need to be lobbied to include effective and real-time speech to text, we are still away from a viable version of doing that. 

The Deaf, Lobbying for more systems like relays, is taking a step backwards in my view, that goes for signhealth too, we should not be relying on third parties. S Wales got rid of the deaf social services who did all that, now deaf are lobbying again and again for more terps and more relay systems.  

The argument seems to suggest deaf are incapable of reading English or 'prefer' to rely on sign help and someone else's voice instead, but that is no argument for not lobbying to enable the rest of us. So its a thumbs down from me for relay services."

Monday, 25 November 2019

Hearing Loss News.

SKY offers 100 BSLBT programs.



Sky has produced 100 episodes of content with deaf production charity, the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust. 


It’s the first time the Trust has worked with a broadcaster to produce an on-demand collection, which has been made by the Deaf community for the Deaf community. Content including comedy, drama and factual will be included as part of the Entertainment package. 

Now in its 10th year, the BSLBT was set up as a mechanism for Ofcom to regulate broadcasters to provide access provision. Sky says it wanted to go further to support the BLSBT and have partnered to bring our customers this collection on a pro-bono basis. The collection is available in a dedicated BSL Zone on Sky Q and Sky+. It’s not yet available on Now TV or Sky.

The Talking hearing aid.



How long before they start doing adverts lol. The UK had one of these in Wales some years ago that spoke in Welsh too.

What the BDA didn't want you to read.

Despite very effective blanking of response to concerns at the British Deaf Association, concerns are still emerging on social media about this charity, an area they cannot control (except THEIR online social media where responses are removed as fast as they get sent in), and their charity primary site won't include.  No accessible record of the EGM debacle, no response to 7 trustees resigning (Or of the 7/8 new ones), and No comment or inclusion in the BDN news itself, however, they can not keep us ALL in the dark.

#1 Strange the BDA going on about voting when they operate their own charity in secrecy and ban members telling other people what they do.  As a lead-in to joining this charity, a death wish. The emergency EGM simply called so the person who called it could get the top job! presumably on the basis to toe the line and carry on speaking for everyone and silencing the dissent.  'Ignore it until it all goes away'. The 7 trustees leaving over allegations of bullying and the BDA living in the 1950s, never happened(!), do the new trustees represent deaf people? or just chosen for their dedication to maintaining a closed shop approach?  The damning silence seems to suggest nothing has actually changed, they have found more trustees who know when to keep their mouths closed.  Of course, as soon as they take the public stage they are going to have to respond then.  Sign use and culture won't be an excuse they can use.

#2 The charity commission needs to investigate how the BDA operates to the deaf detriment, it's neither an open or inclusive charity, which surely violates the condition of its existence?  If you log in to the BDA site no mention whatever of what the executive members of the committee get up to, grass root members are warned never to publish whatever info the charity gives to them, the only hearing loss site in the UK that operates with this level of secrecy or removes without reason any comment that asks why.

#3 (regarding Prince Andrew leaving as patron too): I think the BDA has far more pressing issues concerning its own viability than a dead-beat Royal with dubious middle-eastern contacts.  The deaf can not support charities that make beggars of them and trading on their disablements, their culture and deaf children.  It's an approach based on patheticism of 'these poor people who need our help'.  We are all entitled to rights and support by law it shouldn't be left to biased charity to decide WHO they will support, WHO is actually deaf, WHO is part of the Community, and HOW such areas should be supported, decided by what format they use to communicate (Or should be using!).  

Far from promoting sign and culture, they are creating a sect of it and promoting the isolation it brings as a virtue  and 'all hearing are against us' campaigns, combined with attacks on the deaf who use alleviation, or assists to hear. Some deaf sign, some don't, some use a mix etc, some have no effective means without help, so failing to include everyone deaf, is a form of discrimination.  This hard-core are determined to oppose real inclusion because it means the big fish running the signing area have to put up and justify themselves.

#4 Engaging royal support is a form of snobbery, (as the RNID found that out when they wanted to rebrand themselves), they found removing the 'royal' from the charity title meant funds plummeted,  They have two titles online now to cover themselves.  RNID and AOHL, and because corporate fund givers only give to the BDA (Or any other charity),  IF there is a chance of them getting a royal award with an 'E' at the end of it after, they don't really care for deaf people.   The whole concept is an exercise in being cynical, and deaf charities are as mercenary as those who prop it up.

#5 On Princess Diana:  What use was Diana to the deaf? she managed to sign her name, that must have taken all of 5 minutes.  Some deaf seem easily pleased, not so much with Phillip who told them to stop listening to loud noises.  Prince Phillip's family also kept pretty quiet about his aunt being deaf. Prince Charle's uncle changed his german name 'Battenburgh' after Hitler waged war on us, but the Queen's uncle abdicated and had parties with him in France but not before teaching Queen Liz 2 how to do the Nazi salute.  Prince Andrew prefers Pizza Palace to sign language and his involvement with the deaf was near zero, what is to lose for the deaf?    

#6 The Deaf are manipulated, they know it, but they want the money, so I doubt much conscience or any moral high ground exists with charity or its benefactors.   Rights, nor Charity should be what we all support. The deaf leaders have no qualms about ignoring others with hearing loss, the area needs a spring clean to get rid of the deadwood and the very obvious bias and polarisation of people via db and mode.  

Charity needs to stop speaking for the deaf and hard of hearing too, nobody has given them the right to speak in their name.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

We were there...

We Were There ... We Are Here from Telling Stories Through Cinema on Vimeo.

Seven Countries, Many Stories.

A Documentary by Sign Hub: preserving, researching and fostering the linguistic, historical and cultural heritage of European Deaf signing communities

All the films were shot by deaf film crews and the interviews conducted by deaf interviewers.

A documentary with the collaboration between seven Countries: France. Germany, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Spain (Catalonia),

New speech training Unit.

Youngsters from Thomasson Memorial School, Bolton, show their delight at receiving a £600 Speech Training Unit plus a selection of new library books from the Bolton branch of the National Deaf Children Society. Pictured testing the unit is six-year-

Youngsters from Thomasson Memorial School, Bolton, show their delight at receiving a £600 Speech Training Unit plus a selection of new library books from the Bolton branch of the National Deaf Children Society. Pictured testing the unit is six-year-old Michelle Aspden with fellow pupils and members of the society in 199.

DSN gets good ratings.


Deaf aid
[Now can we get the CQC to sort out the BDA?]

A NORTHWICH charity service that supports people with hearing loss has been given a glowing report from the national health watchdog. The Deafness Support Network, which is run by Cheshire Deaf Society on London Road, received an overall grade of ‘good’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 


The service was rated ‘good’ for safety, effectiveness, caring and leadership and was found to be ‘outstanding’ in terms of responsiveness. In their report the inspector said service users experienced exceptional individualised care, tailored to their needs. Care was also described as safe, with systems in place to ensure people were well prepared for new experiences to reduce anxiety. Staff were described as competent and well trained and treated people with kindness and respect. 

The report added: “The registered manager and staff were clear about the responsibilities of their roles. There was an open and transparent culture with emphasis on capturing learning and partnership working, in order to continuously improve the service wherever possible.”