Friday, 25 September 2020

Gissa Job (I can do that)..

In these difficult times, when deaf advisors and charities are emphasising to deaf people they can claim extensive BSL support to work and should be doing that.  It was questioned on social media...

"Is it true some deaf using BSL are claiming near £900 per week?"

"It depends on their requirements. Some need full-time support, others need note-takers, etc. It varies."

"Is that not inefficient and ineffective access and use of support? It's not really inclusion, and It is doubtful the job would pay that as a wage isn't it?"

" I should cocoa! In my time a request for support to work IN the workplace, was laughed out of the jobcentre.  'If you cannot work alone and follow, you are no use to man or beast..' was what they said to me, and one employer I applied to a job for I was struggling to follow, phoned the jobcentre mid-interview he said "What is the idea sending these deaf idiots to me for a job?  I'm a businessman not a bloody social worker..."  I returned to the jobcentre to get a telling off and they said I should try harder to listen.."

"I think many older deaf are staggered such support is even there and quite a few who would not even ask for it and be embarrassed, deaf would stick out in the workplace like a sore thumb, they would know their co-workers are talking to their help not them."

"Had I  been offered this money for a job I would rather have used it to be self-employed and set myself up, not attend the workplace with people speaking for me, I could never do that."

"Deaf pride? doesn't pay the rent.."

"True, an employer could just hire your support and cut you out altogether and less hassle or expense, couldn't he? lol."

"Using the money to teach and train deaf to communicate in more effective ways would be better. Don't they understand mainstream doesn't use sign language?"

"It's the rights gig isn't it? I understand the rights bit, but this isn't access or support to advance in any real terms is it? it just shows deaf people as needing very expensive support and dependent on people, which must be undermining 'we can do everything but hear' message."

"They cannot without considerable help which in this topic issue is out of all access proportion, it's also untrue all deaf can claim it as well.  Only a very few can and then the employer has to start contributing, they, dump you then, and take on another deafie until their financial support runs out because the allowances is temporary, most employers strapped for skilled staff etc won't even entertain someone low skilled and deaf as well, not even for £900 a week, nor for that matter will the state offer low skilled such funding or help, it wouldn't make sense." 

"Employers want people qualified for the job, that applies to deaf or hearing applicants, they aren't charities, the poor literacy of some deaf people, lack of skill sets, and unawareness of them doesn't help either, their educators need educating!"

"Nobody is going to throw money 3 or 4 times over and above what they job would pay anyway, it would be for highly skilled deaf or those arty-farty deaf via disability funding etc not a deafie stacking shelves or sweeping floors."

"That is not going to change deaf inclusion either, because the state is financing dependency, not inclusion, instead of taking steps to address abysmal education they receive and crazy opposition to acquiring the essential skills they need to avoid reliance on others.   It just primes them for isolation and more dependency."

"Now they want a BSL Act to drive their point home?"

" The state are addressing the results not the cause."

" Nice earners for non-productive deaf arts and such, who can invent their own job! or mentors and advisors who have no skills to pass on except they know sign language, and Lloyd George knew Beethoven or something,  but little use to others who need qualifications and more effective communications. "

"They also need help so probably claiming it as well!  It's a kind of madness."

"COVID is forcing everyone hearing and deaf to re-adjust, it's pointless to hark back to a deaf system that never worked anyway, run by people who also need help to do it."

"The absolute irony is those most advocating a  stand-alone BSL way of life succeed because they have alternatives to it, those options should be for all deaf, not an elite few faffing about for own egotistical reasons, it's the tail wagging the dog.

"Nothing will change, hearing are to blame  etc.."

Thursday, 24 September 2020

The BSL Act

It's refreshing reading recently someone has realised 'recognition' of BSL did not include rights as such, just 'recognised some deaf used sign language.  Most of the misunderstanding regarding deaf rights came from the British Deaf Association who stated the European Union had forced the UK government to recognise sign language and thus legal entitlement followed.

The reality is that while the UK government accepted the EU suggestions (The EU at that time recognised 37 other minority languages too),   the only 'legal' right that followed was deaf having interpreters to access state and other essential systems. Those didn't really include schools as each according to need is the rule.

There was never a commitment to enforce BSL in schools and it is doubtful that can happen now. Least of all as a sole means. A BSL act won't help much if the professionals needed to make it work don't get trained up first either.

For example, more trained teachers for the deaf, support in classrooms (which needs to be via note-taking and lip-spoken support as well), as all children are different in ability and need requirement. A viable awareness of the nation's language and written grammar is a must too.  A BSL Act would tend to push bias support towards one format only and accompanied by demands for own grammar and such which is contrary to the national curriculum.  Given fewer deaf children are around compared with years ago, the tuition base would have to be re-established and retrained too.  More so if BSL was to be the format used.

If a BSL Act meant deaf children in classrooms were divided by decibel or format that would undermine the deaf systems too and create have and have nots, it goes without stating apart from the state, parents pretty much decide what happens nobody else. Deaf activism has repeatedly attacked parents for CI's and mainstreaming as it is, so not done their cause much good as a result.

The fact remains no BSL lobby area is going to get to choose how deaf are to be educated, it's all relative given they should be demanding the training up of the people to make it happen. There are allegedly 50,000 or more deaf BSL users, regardless if there is truth or not in those claims, only 1 deaf adult sign user in 166 has access to an interpreter.  It's far from clear from those figures where the demand actually is.  If a BSL Act demands a BSL school and BSL for adults, it is blatantly obvious the support isn't going to be there to make it happen and demands are going to be rote for years with little result.

What it 'might' do is give more jobs to deaf people, but they still are not the pros needed to educate unless it is indoctrination approaches to culture etc.  For deaf to be involved IN the educational areas of deaf children requires skills a lot just don't have and aren't being taught to acquire.  They know this, and are demanding the lowering of the academic bar via cultural right, so they can get involved, but where does that leave the deaf child?  Being taught by people who cannot access mainstream themselves, have difficulty reading, and need support?  Cannot teach them what they need to know? 

Parents may well have a differing view of that. Teaching any child with a serious disability issue requires quite high care and academic and adaptability skills, not just an ability to use BSL. Technology has undermined BSL to a huge degree (Lip-reading too), and the writing on the wall was there via '888' (UK), along with subtitling/captions that have freed up the deaf in reality, and both still relegate sign language to minority status.  Those who manage bilinguality know which side their format bread is buttered on and it isn't BSL.

If deaf activism worked towards inclusion and engagement instead of separatism and going it alone, then deaf would have a future and not doomed to repeat the mistakes of an already proven failure of dedicated deaf schooling approaches.  The days parents are forced to send their kids away to some outpost in a field, to emerge as young adults still unable to manage mainstream, is not going to happen any more.   We want, indeed demand results.  Children deaf are entitled to it.  They cannot learn integration and inclusion from a point of isolation, academic or social.

It's OK to be different but pointless being irrational about it, the deaf need the skills to manage inclusion and to compete on a level playing field, activism seems to want the systems to level down to them. They need to realise the old systems that propped up the deaf way have gone, there is no real community base any more.  We don't need another generation emerging with a chip on its shoulder blaming others.  We need to move on or get left behind.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020


The first presenter not wearing a clear mask either?  What isn't made clear is that deaf have LESS need to wear a clear mask than others they are following, yet virtually the only people using them.  The consensus of advice to deaf people in the UK is to adopt technology/text approaches not lip-reading or sign language because of the social distancing rules etc.  However, issues abound at campaigns against learning English as a first language or claims the deaf aren't able or shouldn't be asked to.  Meanwhile, access is a problem.

There are also major issues with video access calls to health areas, where lip-readers cannot access them.  The UK has no lip-speaking systems to meet the need, it has never developed one, it's pretty obvious deaf don't demand this either, despite claims they all lip-read any 'test' may well prove against those claims.  There is a continued frustration about deaf demands on access being both unclear, and singular.

There are still huge issues for dependent lip-readers (Not those who rely on sign mostly and use bits of it).  For those areas text is paramount because of a complete lack of awareness or direction on the needs of lip-readers, (which is clear speaking,  a dedicated educational system of it, and time to follow, not sign language).  We can only 'demand' systems fess up, we cannot make any demands on the mainstream because they don't like coercion.  The deaf are unwilling to compromise result? inertia.

Mostly this area has adopted text alternatives already, due to a chaotic and completely random UK lip-reading tuitional system that doesn't work and has no 'curriculum' to follow or qualification to aim for.  It is reliant on random and part-time classes, now no longer viable and closed due to COVID.  Much is demanded in the name of lip-reading but the UK has no dedicated system for it to be taught or awareness for it to be effective.  By comparison, BSL has levels to attain and a job at the end of it, but sadly interpreters are still getting rarer to obtain and deaf still relying on family.  

It's no secret 10m Hard Of Hearing neither sign nor lip-read to a useful degree or want it, and to a fair extent is using text as primary access.  Speech to text is improving month on month so the stat systems of sign language and lip-reading are lesser a priority.  Almost every hearing loss and deaf charity in the UK is now supporting text for the deaf.  In the future, we may well be looking back at the sign and lip-reading systems as an archaic novelty. Notwithstanding technological advances, medical/genetic advances are progressing too.

A stop press issue: Is that deaf BSL users are on the march to London from Wales 'where are the interpreters?' to get interpreter access, but, the responsibility is NOT with London at all, but with the Welsh Senedd it being the devolved administration, all is madness and ignorance sadly and COVID has split the deaf campaigning in two as each area tries to do its own thing or sections of it still assuming central Government can do it and overrule local governments, but there is nothing to overrule.  

As we know the health and education rules cover BSL support, but it has taken these deaf almost 20 years to realise little of it is enforceable, either due to lack of demand (63% of ALL deaf do not ask for or use a BSL interpreter), or lack of professional support to make it viable, in essence, BSL interpreters are mostly part-time in the UK and freelance, COVID has confined them from direct support of deaf and many are unhappy at work availability and the wages, the BSL deaf are asking for something impossible as only demand creates supply, the stats aren't showing that demand, which feeds into the current situation whereby we are all advised to adopt text systems.

Friday, 18 September 2020


One of a number of charities and individuals, cashing in on poor access for deaf people instead of lobbying the state provision of it as a right.  Twitter is heavily involved on ensuring access for the BSLusers via COVID etc, but a glaring omission of the reasons many sign-using deaf have issues with the NHS is conveniently set aside.

E.G. SignHealth and online interpreting company InterpreterNow, have together launched ‘BSL Health Access’ which enables the provision of immediate, on demand access to British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for communication with Deaf people in health settings free of charge during the current Coronavirus situation.

More than 70,000 Deaf people across the UK use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate as our first and preferred language, but we know from research that Deaf people’s health is already much poorer than hearing people’s. Deaf people often rely on asking family and friends to interpret for them but they can’t do that with the current social distancing and stay at home policies.

When people wear PPE it makes communication and lip-reading impossible and Deaf people are being left frustrated and isolated. We need to be able to communicate with doctors and nurses now. As a result, SignHealth have teamed up with InterpreterNow to provide a solution, to fill the gaps in BSL interpreter provision in health settings and provide on demand BSL interpreting when it’s really needed.

SignHealth: James Watson-O’Neill, SignHealth Chief Executive, says:

"We are optimistic that NHS England or another government body will pay for this service but in the meantime, SignHealth has agreed to pay for the service so that it can begin immediately. Deaf people cannot wait. “I am proud that SignHealth has agreed to fund this service and look forward to it being funded by the public sector in due course. Deaf people must be able to access healthcare, whether to visit their GP, have a scan during pregnancy or be treated in intensive care for coronavirus. We should all be able to talk to our doctors and nurses, and for them to talk to us.” "

A response to SignHealth on twitter by ATR was attacked strongly when we stated:-

"This makes no sense, why is SignHealth demanding the NHS uses their paid services whilst at the same time refusing to address the reality 63% of ALL BSL-using deaf are not using terps at ALL?  Since campaigns run by charities such as the British Deaf Association, The NDCS and even the AOHL accept it is a deaf RIGHT, to allow the use of own family? regardless of bias, neutrality, or the fact 95% of family support have no qualification in British Sign Language, a qualification demanded by others in the system.  

At one point they even insisted hearting children of deaf parents were a right and support regardless if underage or lack of knowledge on medical issues or jargon.  There are hearing ADULTS who don't follow medical Jargon. Who carries the can when a mistake is made?  The NHS? and NOT the fact your hearing relatives misunderstood?    Even the BSL interpreter CANNOT be held to account or quoted as a witness to errors.  In reality, the Deaf have no protections.

Attempts to 'demote' family help purely as family support, but NOT as sole facilitators was met with anger and cries of discrimination against deaf people.  The UK Social Services Dept insist using an underage child as deaf support is a form of abuse.   This resulted in the NHS still including General practitioners and clinics/hospitals 'advising' deaf of the right to use own untrained help, be it family or a friend next door, of course, this also meant deaf support was FREE so the NHS and others incurred no costs, so very obviously they support the deaf 'right' also, but not for access reasons!  

Both the deaf who insist on family doing the work and the NHS itself contribute by default to a lack of DEMAND for qualified BSL support.  The result is less demand for trained BSL interpreters or carers etc.  Yet we see SignHealth and others not admitting where the issues really are. This is own goal BY SignHealth and others who want their paid and BSL provision used more widely, they aren't demanding the Deaf do their bit and demand it.  

Bank and support of Mum and Dad rules, and this means hearing relatives losing work as well, to be support without payment, and without professional qualification too, you would think the fact your family are the last people you want making your health decisions wouldn't you? or respecting the deaf right to privacy in medical matters.  Of course, family want to help, but the best way is to ensure professional support does that. They are making a rod for their own backs and also when they aren't able, then leaving their deaf relatives unsupported. So making things far worse.  There are deaf who still have no idea how to ensure they get a BSL terp, in the NHS and elsewhere in systems it is already a legal right, all you have to do is ask for it.

E.G. Just think if you have an issue that is sexually related etc do you really want Mum and Dad there discussing it with your Doctor?  They are going to assist in your best interests, erm... maybe not.  Do you want them to know even?  Is there ANY point these deaf demanding a right to something they are never going to use?"

Scope for improvement?

A campaign to reclaim the pavements for pedestrians bearing in mind issues disabled, the deaf and the blind face.  However, SCOPE seems unaware some disabled are abusing others themselves.

SCOPE BLURB: The Government have repeatedly forgotten disabled people during the pandemic.  Today, with 30,696 of you, we’re telling the Prime Minister disabled people #WontBeForgotten. Today we deliver our open letter to say the Government must prioritise disability equality, through the pandemic and beyond.

"Disabled are dispensible, the government is only interested in young healthy people who can pay taxes. Issues with COVID is just one example where 'survival of the fittest' is the norm and apathy and neglect toward our most vulnerable is 'acceptable' collateral damage.  Ergo, The oldies can stay in isolation, the younger element should not be restricted as COVID doesn't really affect them.

As regards to pavements, it is no longer safe to use them in my area, you are dodging cars on kerbs, bicycle riders, prams and now motorised scooters, all these should be on the roads, not the pavements. I've been hit by OTHER disabled on buggies and electric wheelchairs who told me to get a deaf aid and get out of the way, rammed from behind by mothers with prams impatient because you don't hear them telling you to get out of their way.  I have been deaf for 50 years, nothing changes, you would expect other disabled to be more aware, we are seeing the most selfish of views being accepted as some norm, what price discrimination, when SCOPE doesn't accept its own charity and membership is part of the problem."

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

My educationalists are failing me.

I can do everything but hear...


Assuming we have:-

(A) A special school to attend.

(B) A means to follow hearing and speech without help.

(C) A family to support me.

(D) A professional sign language Interpreter.

(E) Text to speech support.

(F)  I can lip-read unaided.

(G) A trained lip-speaker.

(H) A social set up where I can avoid hearing people.

(I) A language only I and other deaf can use or understand.

(J)  Access to welfare benefits to pay for all the support I need and law to ensure it.

(K) Exemptions from restrictions other people are bound with.

(L) Concessions because I am disabled.

(M) That others understand none of the above is actual support but a legal right and empowerment.

(N) I am not expected to learn or acquire the language and grammar my country uses.

Other than that and half a dozen other essentials requirements, no problem.

Friday, 11 September 2020



The Way I see it......


Neatly avoiding the very real conflict and the differing facts of comprehension when captions are in use, both by learners and monoglot signers.

A recent study has shown that readers' eye gaze behaviors are strong indicators of words that are unexpected, new, or difficult to understand. The study by Rain Bosworth, an assistant professor and researcher in the Center for Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Ecology (SPaCE Center) at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, explores the unknown qualities of gaze behavior for "sign watching" and how these are affected by a user's language expertise and intelligibility of the sign input. 

According to Bosworth's study, published in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, with NTID graduate Adam Stone, gaze behaviors can provide an index of cognitive effort and knowledge in signers. This study provides the first evidence that novice and fluent signers have different eye gaze behaviors. Bosworth and her team recorded gaze behaviors in 52 deaf and hearing adults while they watched signed narratives. Highly fluent signers primarily kept a steady gaze on the face and used peripheral vision to perceive the signers' moving hands. The researchers then showed the participants videos of signed stories played backwards. 

Bosworth said that people who learned American Sign Language earlier in life are better equipped to understand difficult video-reversed narratives. Fluent signers tended to focus strongly on the face when sign watching, even for low intelligibility conditions. "These low intelligibility conditions simulate what happens in real-world settings when trying to watch live signers on phones with small displays or with weak internet signals," explained Bosworth. Novice signers, who scored lower on measures of story comprehension, showed a very different gaze pattern.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Taking Coal to Newcastle.

A video a few months old and looks like some sop to the European Union or they sponsored it.  Sadly it follows a lot of similar output nobody is going to look at.  The thing about deaf culture is that it produces nil awareness, it's taking 'Coals to Newcastle'  I.E. "Do or bring something superfluous or unnecessary, as in Running the sprinkler while it's raining, that's carrying coals to Newcastle. This metaphor was already well known in the mid-1500s, when Newcastle-upon-Tyne had been a major coal-mining center for 400 years."

You are 'preaching to the converted'  again I.E. "To speak for or against something to people who already agree with one's opinions.  Without adequate access for the mainstream to follow deaf people or their sign language, few are going to take any interest except a few deaf.  Having included two metaphors already, perhaps deaf culture is a third?

Transcriptions on Pod casts

Yes or No?

Wednesday, 9 September 2020


Free BSL help to access the NHS.

Watford has spoken' - readers react to Dean Russell and Tories victory |  Watford Observer
But still no request for text or lip-speaking support? Formats the majority with hearing loss use. It would help if it was illegal for deaf sign users to use family and untrained friend support, this then supplies demand everyone can see, and prevents the NHS abuses of access via demanding deaf provide their own, aided and abetted by the British Deaf Association endorsing blatant amateurism in sign language support for the deaf as a 'Deaf right'.

For his information, there are NOT 150,000 BSL-using deaf, either in England, Scotland, Wales or N.Ireland, not even as a grand total, even the BDA (font of all BS regarding BSL statistics), never got to those numbers!    BSL access to the NHS has been a NORM for years also, as has video access, part of the issue is a deaf preference for people, and using Mum and Dad, not video.  Of course in the middle of a pandemic that is not going to happen on a realistic basis for a while.  The proof of access is in the take-up, and BSL take up has been quite low by default, and not by a reluctance to provide.

It is of concern politicians are backing campaigns that actually are non-inclusive and selective.  Even worse, using claims that are unable to substantiate, or force through, because the actual support area of interpreters cannot meet this fictitious demand for BSL, or even see it.  If they did they would have the work and learners the impetus to qualify.

[Requests for information as to what source he used and from whom got no reply].

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

De-constructing the DeaF

Deconstruction - Assignment PointThus proving there are more than Deaf or deaf in existence.

#1 Deaf person including very strong Deaf Culture and hundreds of Deaf Friends from old Deaf Schools, Deaf Clubs, Holidays or any Sports or pleasures in anywhere in Great Britain as all Deaf always love each other like family!! It’s between Deaf person including mixing with Hearing and few Deaf Friends?? Some Deaf who came out from Hearing School (Mainstream School) to make life very hard or very different experience as like you wrote with your stories or explained about your Deaf life but you wrote with brilliant high English Words as it means “most of Deaf who wrote as natural as 1st Language but all Deaf Community are ALWAYS very happy life because of Deaf Commufeeling safe.

#2 You also asked did I go to deaf school? is that a requirement of being deaf? I thought not hearing was? I didn't. I started deaf aged 11 and they told me here on this site that makes me 'hearing'. My ENT dept said I had zero hearing in either ear, not even a CI could be of use. It made no difference, so I suppose I am one of your 'deaf' who don't know the right people, or as you state, appeared not to have attended some deaf school which is the real test or validation as to who you are. I prefer the term 'Hybrid deaf', which means neither one area or the other. I've been in deaf clubs and more deaf than most there but I felt it too constrictive to be of use really. 

#3 Can I sign? yes, do I? not much. I've had more years of experience being deaf than most deaf community people here have been alive and I still got a 'non-deaf' tag. I stopped caring years ago about it. Mostly my voice did it, that was a negative as well in the 'Deaf' world, really I have no time for the constant deaf obsessions with tags, labels, and identification issues, It is all politics and no need these days. I don't see deaf education empowering deaf either, much most leave unable to cope in a hearing world still. There is a fatalistic assumption by some this cannot change simply because you cannot hear, or others cannot sign, which is not what activists are saying, they are saying 'We can do anything but hear.' someone has their wires crossed.

#4  Putting deafness into proper perspective is more my thing these days. There are those who think 'another bitter deafie' they would be wrong, I'm a survivor. I've survived the Deaf and the Hearing worlds. Neither function in regards to inclusion, I don't believe they even want it or they would be doing more to address that.  Their mantras are you have to do this, or that, and whatever, because we are a culture or they communicate differently, bilingualism fell by the wayside in their debates too.   They are their own conundrum but aren't even aware of their own history mostly because 9 out of 10 have no deaf history.  It used to be a novelty now it is just 'What on earth are you talking about?'

#4 My teacher would be shocked if still alive today lol I have a school report here still that stated "ATR has no concept of the written word, and we seriously doubt he can write his own name half the time..' I left school at 15 with no English passes at all, I taught myself and attended night school, again with no support. I am simply using what works for me, since using sign would only get negativity, I was among the very first of a group of deaf people who captioned own youtube output and with sign I had learnt at the time. Hardly any deaf were doing it.   I also fought for and got provision for the deaf to have minicoms when they became available all opposed by the deaf themselves and the systems that supported them. Because 'Deaf sign', time has proven me ahead of the game.  Which deaf would not use a telephone now?

#5 I got a lot of deaf criticism the youtube signing wasn't perfect, so I didn't do it again. The fact I was struggling in school to hear anything said, and nobody believed I had hearing loss, I heard 'when I wanted to' was the usual response. it seems a fair amount of self-taught lip-reading I had already acquired by default to some degree. I did read somewhere of a medical condition whereby a man was blind and didn't know it! who knows! I would agree 'safety in numbers and with like' years ago was pretty essential, but, as I said I had no 'like' to retire to, a lot didn't. 

There were no HoH schools no HoH support in classes no HoH social support workers, no lip-reading classes and no sign language classes either e.g. and the deaf were dispensed to schools in the middle of nowhere away from their own families came back strangers to own families. Boys doing manual or woodwork and Girls sewing or something and I wanted into technology. 

#6 Others can look to the safety of a 'community' as an opt/cop-out or an 'excuse' to stay apart to avoid stress, and avoid the challenges of co-existing in a hearing world etc, also using sign as another opt-out to avoid integrating because you sign and they don't, end of... again it did not appear to me that was going to include deaf much, it provided no impetus for change. It can be a concern if their deaf schools all fail and most have closed already, also, the deaf clubs have been decimated too, both areas that made that 'safety' and community a way of living. It's a logical reaction but it won't address deaf access or deaf inclusion regardless if you capitalise a 'd' it or not.  There are not 100s of deaf schools less than 20 now.  I just think 'smoke and mirrors' and a sector of these deaf have no ability to manage outside it in reality and need to justify it via blaming someone else, or using what they get to bolster what they have already, it's all a bit inward thinking. 

#7 I suppose the fact I use a lot of words and English also puts me in some category deaf-wise, I just don't know why these deaf need to do that. It's my primary means of communication now lip-reading is failing and sign never worked anyway.  Paddy Ladd the deafie icon has considerable written English prowess, if a pretty obscure slant on the deaf and using words and terminologies nobody understands but him, whilst forgetting that deaf opposed the mode he used, yet he would be 'Deaf' and I wouldn't. In reality, his own upbringing was oral. A communication system hated by purists but hugely benefitted Mr Ladd and his collection of 'followers'.  

Yet we can still read he and others opposing it all vehemently, crazy mixed up people!  I spent years being aware of the deaf community and it seems more aware than some who claim a status I could never attain. (Nor want, labels are for jars as we all know).

Monday, 7 September 2020

Deaf Awareness month. Really?

The reality is 10m with hearing LOSS are not really interested in a 'Deaf' week or month. They see it as some deaf fest of culture and language that does not raise any awareness of their or our access issues. 

E.G. Capitalising the 'D' segregated deaf people because the 'D' area 'relegated' other non-signing deaf to a minor status and definition, either because they didn't use sign much or at all, or were not members of their 'community'.  They had own charities etc albeit these have mostly folded and were negative in campaigns.  The 'D' campaign is a major success and, a major failure to include as well.  But all depends on maintaining the community and schools.  There, they have lost ground.

This instantly created more barriers not only between deaf people who felt slighted by the terms created,  but the disabled did too as 'Deaf' challenged that term, and the ID's imposed by 'Deaf' on others with hearing loss caused anger, it also created support issues as the system started to accept those definitions and assumed them universal to all but still failed to provide equal access to 'non-Deaf'. This meant non-signers being offered sign support they couldn't use, or failing to get lip-speakers and text support they did need. 'All deaf sign prevailed' even all HoH did too.

The reality is that mainstream and the medical professions only have one image of deafness, and that is an inability to hear, and the support systems and those with hearing loss quote another explanation entirely, even that 'support' is an offensive term and it should be called 'empowerment'. Unfortunately, nobody defined what empowerment was meant to be like, so it became secular to a point. 

The hearing loss majority is a conundrum in that they are an actual minority in campaign terms, so again been sidelined by vociferous cultural campaigners dedicated 24/7 to promote their view of deafness, loss, and life as well as how that 'empowerment' should be applied or defined.

We suspect 10m in the UK with hearing loss are more than content to let them campaign how they wish but are not happy with the random usage of statistics and need definitions, coming out from this sector which is including them as well, either abetted by assumptions from the system, or deliberate vagueness from the cultural activism utilising some 'numbers' game to enhance their message even tagging themselves as HoH to increase coverage etc.  

The reality, as usual, is no figure exists regarding BSL users or usage other than one statistic from one singular BSL charity that has never provided a proof base for it.  The prime reality is cash as usual BSL/culture is a saleable commodity, hearing loss isn't, but it has led to widespread abuse and manipulation of loss and the needs it presents.  During 'Deaf' month we will see that in all its debatable promotion.  The irony in that as much reality exists that there are less deaf people that are cultural or signing than those who insist they are.

AOHL drive to widen access.

Closed captioning - WikipediaUsing sign language and captions.  The only problem as I can see is signed access is almost impossible to lip-read.  Without criticising individual interpreters, a lot do not lip-speak at ALL most of the time there is exaggerated face-pulling etc which is more suitable for a child than an adult who would not use an Interpreter that did that.  The image is negative and in most part reflecting adversely ON deaf people. 

Deaf need support, not theatrics.  A lot simply fail to speak as well as some 'sop' to deaf culture, but that is sidelining the dedicated lip-reader, which is curious given recent heavy campaigns demanding masks FOR lip-readers, and the claim all deaf now lip-read not sign, perhaps lip-speaking should be a norm with sign language?

Of course, nobody is going to watch the mouth patterns or the sign language, with captioning, but the few, which suggests both mediums are heading for obscurity and rarity media-wise.  I didn't watch any of the sign on the AOHL updates or the BDA's because captions are there.  The more we read the less we lip-read or sign.  888 is the number one prime access to media above all other modes deaf use.

It's a well-known issue in BSL circles, who tend to refuse to caption personal output because they know what happens.  A lot is done quite deliberately to promote deaf culture and sign language and if viewers follow captions they aren't going to follow culture or sign.  I feel they are fighting a losing battle as most deaf are insisting on captions, and even some stating they can not follow sign without it.

90%+ BSL interpreters are unqualified and unregistered to lip-speak at all.  There are issues with some BSL interpreters claiming to be lip-speakers too, but are not registered in that capacity.  So where did all these sudden demands for lip-reading come from?  It could not have been the deaf.  I rely on captions but the reality of daily life means I need people to speak properly.  No charity concerned with the awareness of deaf or hard of hearing actually provides a lip-speaker.

The consensus of opinion is both lip-reading and BSL are always going to be minority means to follow and only then viable via continued external 3rd party support.  Yet, 10m in the UK with hearing loss have rejected BSL as a means of communication themselves, and the ongoing frustrations at the lack of lip-reading tuitional success is hampering that approach also.

Captions/text have already succeeded in relegating BSL and lip-reading to the sidelines.  Technology appears to have provided the solutions most with hearing loss prefer and medical advances limiting the number of deaf people requiring either mode.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Thought for the weekend Marcher.

How awareness doesn't help deaf and the HoH.

“If you do not face me, I cannot hear you. If you call for me from behind, I may not respond. No, I am not rude. I am not ignoring you. I simply cannot hear you." 

Another dated awareness blurb that fails to address hearing loss, or the issues those with it, have to deal with.

I'm not sure who the AOHL is campaigning FOR or on what basis? It suggests people are perfect lip-readers or maybe sign users and hardly any area is, even so, joe public are not versed in either speaking properly or sign at all, and that is without identifying the skill and ability of the person WITH hearing loss and skills to follow.  

Listening is an art.  You need to fully understand what you can or cannot follow and plan for it, not struggle to follow, or as advertised ask people to communicate in way that still may not enable you.  There were posters to ATR who complained they have to ask hearing 3 or 4 times to repeat themselves as they couldn't follow, despite the hearing person doing what was asked of them.  Such areas with hearing loss had not assessed their own hearing loss issue, or over-rated it.  Of course, loss tends to get worse, not better, and many aspects of daily life can block the ear's effectiveness and the hearing aid effectiveness.

It's very simplistic bit of advice that doesn't really raise awareness. E.G. 

(1) Hearing aid users still unable to follow even with 'useful' hearing.  Mainly because 'useful' is relative a term.  Everyone is different in loss degree and ability to follow.

(2)  Equally pointless are 'cards' telling people the same things.  Deaf wouldn't use them, Hard Of Hearing were reluctant as well.  There are numerous issues surrounding hearing loss, like denial, lack of confidence, fear of ridicule, and shame etc.

(3) Deaf people sign reliant who won't meet a hearing person that signs. Face me and speak clearly is not what they are demanding currently and interact with systems via translator assistance, or friends and family, and socialise amidst other signers minimising stressful communication points.

Proper advice is to write things down etc which by-passes lip-reading and sign language access, that suggests the current awareness rehashed from the 1960s (!) to face me and speak clearly etc is unhelpful and in most part not widening awareness at all.  Street-wise is mostly impracticable.  It was a hard of hearing 'mantra' many years ago,  pre-internet and the mobile phone.  In short not relevant to 2020.

Most with hearing loss are still doing the best to avoid showing anyone they cannot hear much. A lot simply avoiding declaring what they can hear or not, or just don't know. 3m (AOHL own stats), won't even wear an aid when they need one, and most of the others are trying to hide the fact. Ergo read 'hidden hearing' 'miniature aids' and 'discreet' adverts for hearing aid usage, manufactures tend to contribute to the uncertainty because they know denial is a norm for many.  However, this doesn't address a lack of hearing to follow.

More relevant would be using your voice if you have it to ask for a text explanation as everyone has at least one phone or maybe 2 or more and text is a mainstream norm whereas lip-reading and sign isn't it's a minority and many of those already use alternatives.  

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Hearing need to butt out!

Communicating with Deaf Children flyerA recent blog on the irate response of half a dozen people to the fact BSL was not included as a norm created a backlash at ATR calling him a 'bitter old man' who lacked the joys of learning or using BSL, (actually ATR does sign but...).  Then proceeded to rubbish and attack parents of deaf children.  If ever deaf activism wants to understand why deaf are isolated then read their own responses.  

Even the UK's leading BSL charity has never objected to total communication. The BSLBT survey also shows little or no research going on into deaf requirements.  The deaf are just getting targetted by random deaf activism claiming to speak for everyone else deaf and doing very nicely thank you out of it.

Read the nonsense and 'hate' these people are posting and all in a language they are demanding should NOT be taught to deaf children but enabled them.  They oppose bilinguality too. Not a single response bothered to check the organisers to see how many deaf parents there are, or, wanted BSL only access. or even wanted to attend this seminar. Given it was about tuition and the parents why would they unless they had a deaf child too?  They never bothered to check the deaf children's own charity the NDCS either or they would have read nil support for immersive BSL education from them too, or, politicians lobbied on that vein who simply left their demands 'on the table' for 4 years to be ignored.  

The appalling lack of awareness on how deaf children today are educated was clear too, their prime BSL mover and charity posted at length on Facebook and Twitter complaining at 'oral abuse' of deaf children which got 78 mainly BSL responses of indignation,  only ATR and one other poster pointed out the oral school they attacked was in MEMPHIS, Tennesee and not the UK! and 2 primary objectors were educated in an oral UK school.   The same BDA poster a CEO, wasn't even aware his own charity supported TC (Which includes, of course, oral approaches). It seems in teaching these people to write English and attack others, they failed to teach them to read properly, or respond in their chosen BSL.

The BDA reports 50,000 deaf children and that isn't true, it was 50,00 with hearing LOSS.  Not the same thing.  How they teach the with hearing loss but may NOT be 'Deaf' but suffer varying degrees of loss and/or use assistive devices like hearing aids, or CI's etc), the blanket assumptions and declarations are that all with hearing loss are all deaf and demanding sign language.  

UK Education is via mainstream with very few dedicated deaf schools left, as this is the policy of inclusion.  An ardent campaigner against inclusion wasn't even aware no deaf schools existed in their own country (Or conveniently forgot to mention it).  Far from being denied sign language, it is included, but not as a dedicated 'sign only' educational medium.  That is because there is no way to establish such a curriculum, it lacks necessary academic material and tuition to succeed.  To what end is the point of immersive signed education?  it isn't access is it? and it would require the re-establishment of deaf schools and the agreement from parents their children attended them and that is not going to happen, they spent years demanding their children be included.

What 'arms' these people is poor support in mainstream and they should be lobbying for that to be addressed not pulling deaf children out altogether to attend some institution that ignores the rest of how the UK works, keep 'em in ignorance?  Bilingualism is essential. (Which objectors should realise has already empowered THEM). Does BSL even 'travel' in world sign terms?  It is people like these posters whom the deaf area needs to isolate, and their simplistic and emotive posts and campaigns are designed to set the deaf back another 25 years.  They don't appear to realise either, that deaf have voted with their feet against them anyway. They also insist most caption readers are not deaf anyway, if they weren't why is captioning and subtitles the PRIMARY means we all use to follow?  Try removing them and see how much support you get!

#1 deaf education is the domain of deaf adults who have experienced deaf education as children and are best placed to ensure young deaf kids are enabled to succeed. Hearing family/adults shouldn't have a say. I did read the poster, and I object to it.

#2 We've literally NEVER said deaf people *shouldn't* learn English, we just don't want to have to be forced to be bilingual just to survive.

#3 Newsflash: 4 in 5 caption users are not deaf.

# 4 No, deaf education is down to deaf people, not clueless hearing family members.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Whose business is it?


Complaints no sign language access was being offered, seems to have missed the point it was a seminar for HEARING parents and Hearing support professionals of the deaf.  Being global BSL would not have carried either.  Deaf activism still fails to understand they have no voice to raise, and no rights, regarding other people's deaf children, nor to oppose what approaches are used to educate them, or to attack various approaches and alleviations, parents choose to assist their children.  

Unlike deaf activists, parents don't see their job as providing future signing members for their community or for promoting sign language or its culture, it is about the right of parents to choose what they believe is the best for their children.  That might be some sign it may not. These constant 'digs' at areas who don't promote BSL or ASL do nothing to change a parental view that others are trying to interfere in their child's upbringing.

The idea to provide signed support to an area that probably doesn't use it predominantly seems to have gone over the activists head too.  The purpose of using sign at an educational seminar about tuition is to promote sign not assist parental decision making.  Since the seminar was NOT about deaf rights on sign language, why include it?  Seems the activists are also unaware of the role of sign in deaf education too.  

Quoting Milan was silly!  Sign is not an established norm or legal UK educational right yet, and unlikely to be without the approval of the parent and again, the state is unlikely to approve of a 'Deaf' campaign that overrules the parent, or, oppose its own inclusion stance that is against immersional signed education.  What works is used and that is how it should be.  Bearing in mind the need to access the hearing world not just the deaf one. 

Hence why the seminar is not there to 'promote' BSL. Not least because the base is not there to make it work. The support is not there for translation, the teachers aren't there, the schools are no longer there etc.  Immersive BSL education has no track record, and we doubt parents are going to approve of a system untried and their children used as guinea pigs.  The only 'proof' of immersive sign 'success' is via the ADULT community, and that is in disarray, and their deaf schools virtually extinct.  Let us face it, 83% rely on captions anyway.  BSL activism doesn't fess up to the fact they advocate deaf cannot read or understand captions, because they are relentless BSL grammar promoters.

They oppose English, and just how MANY deaf are 'incensed' this seminar didn't provide BSL? knew about it? or would have attended it?  Probably next to none.

Pig with chip in its brain.

q who borg - Google Search | Star trek costume, Star trek images, Star trek
Next up, a computer chip to process sound?   'Return of the Borg'? 

Elon Musk has unveiled a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.

"It's kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires," the billionaire entrepreneur said on a webcast.  His start-up Neuralink applied to launch human trials last year.  The interface could allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers with their mind. Mr Musk argues such chips could eventually be used to help cure conditions such as dementia, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries.  But the long-term ambition is to usher in an age of what Mr Musk calls "superhuman cognition", in part to combat artificial intelligence so powerful he says it could destroy the human race.

Gertrude was one of three pigs in pens that took part in Friday's webcast demo. She took a while to get going, but when she ate and sniffed straw, the activity showed up on a graph tracking her neural activity. She then mostly ignored all the attention around her. The processor in her brain sends wireless signals, indicating neural activity in her snout when looking for food.

Mr Musk said the original Neuralink device, revealed just over a year ago, had been simplified and made smaller.  "It actually fits quite nicely in your skull. It could be under your hair and you wouldn't know."

Friday, 28 August 2020

Getting the PIP!

All 1.6 million Personal Independence Payment benefit claims to be reviewed  - BLB Chronic PainRegarding the recent petition on fair access to welfare claims by the deaf and the blind.   Posters stating an inability to read forms or understand them and asking friends to help out.

#1 I done signed as future no social worker service to help us (deaf people) need help with this PIP forms as it is so harder to explain on write forms.

#2 Clearly, the poster exhibits some major issues following the printed word!

#3  I noticed some deaf still asking friends and relatives to fill in their PIP forms. Please DON'T! always consult professionals or the CAB or a deaf charity who know what to say. Don't be reliant on video access unless you are fully confident you can deal with the DWP on your own and manage a 3-way system. The DWP has own interpreters who perhaps will put questions in a way your usual BSL terp would not, and they won't help you either.  You can ask the DWP to come to your home with an Interpreter and they will help you fill in the forms.

#4 Yes probably the best way. They can then see for themselves what the problem is.  

#5 You can have a friend or relative with you as personal support if you want that but NOT to do your talking.  Don't use children [hearing or not], they won't know what is going on, again, once you abdicate responsibility to someone else you pay for their mistakes too.   [It's actually illegal for the DWP or the deaf person to use a child under 16 as support of any kind or, for systems to demand they do.].  The social services can look at it as child abuse.   

#6 Last PIP issue 46% of deaf asked relatives and they all failed to claim anything because they made a complete mess of the forms.  The forms are quite complicated and ambiguous even for people who can follow all the questioning.  If you can't read the forms tell the DWP not ask someone else.  Once you pass over responsibility for form filling any mistakes YOU pay for.  

#7  You can RECORD any interview with the DWP at your home, [first ensuring the DWP know and given a copy, or, it cannot be used as evidence if a mistake is made].  

#8 Be AWARE! most home interviews will NOT be via the DWP at all, but their subcontractors, the DWP do very few face to face interviews themselves.  Also, ask if the interviewer is qualified to assess deaf issues.  It's important you are assessed by people who know what issues we deaf face.  

#9 Ideally going it alone is better (if more stressful option), because that then forces the interviewer to face up to the issues you face directly, why make it easier for THEM?  Making it easier for the interviewer can suggest you can mange OK as well. Using support from family or using someone else (Who can be quoted as your carer thence, you get ignored as well), your own help can be given as a reason for NOT being able to claim help from the DWP.  It's all about what the see.

#10 If you record proceedings send the  same day TO the DWP [There are issues subcontractors do not ask the right questions or, added a few you never knew about after!], so notifying the DWP prevents that being used to disbar your claim.

#11 I need a deaf social worker to help and there aren't any...

#12 Social Services are gone mostly, and if that is something deaf want back, they need to understand it was a massive deaf campaign that got RID of dedicated deaf social workers when deaf decided they wanted more personal freedom of choice and personal control a Social Worker couldn't give them. You ended up at home and ignored whilst systems just connected to a social worker who had different rules to follow and perhaps made decisions for you, that you didn't agree with.  

#13 It was a throwback to the bad old days of deaf schools and a social worker for life for deaf people.  It made the deaf very lazy too, they even allowed social workers to read or redirect all mail to them.  It was younger deaf who decided they didn't want that any more.

#14 Own goal by the deaf. Social workers started acting as interpreters instead which gave them more freedom and a higher wage but without the aggravation.

#15 A lot didn't! At the time less than 35% of 'deaf' social workers had any sign qualifications, that was part of the demand to disband that system.  There were no real 'levels' and systems that were reliable.  Disbanding the archaic SW system forced an improvement. It was what made the present system of BSL support extant where a deaf person can ask for a BSL terp to assist with the system for free and without the shackles of the 'terp' being a social worker too.

#16 There was a meeting of the social worker directorate where they voted to stop supporting a dedicated deaf sign-based support system because most social workers would fail to qualify under new rules of professional qualifications in BSL.  The whole thing went down the swanee.

Sign it again Sam...

Or, how deaf enjoy 'some' types of music.  Experience suggests deaf rely on vibration and 'feeling' not hearing to follow the music, so limited to music that predominantly is loud or has strong bass or percussion content. The age of the video producer bears that out.

Most musical instruments and the singing voice are not available to deaf people.  I think there is a mixed message going on when the deaf claim to 'hear' music and produce it when clearly most of it is unavailable to them, can they tell by just listening to the difference between Elvis or Pavarotti?  Their claims are based on their own interpretation of what the music is.

Opera is an area rarely if ever deaf people engage with or classical music much (Apart from percussionists like Evelyn Glennie), but again it's an example of a deaf person using vibration to follow or create (And considerable training and memory recall it is how Beethoven did it, albeit he had hearing first to recall).  It's a conundrum in that loud or heavily bass music is something no hearing loss awareness charity or Dr would advise you to follow.  E.G. loud and persistent listening(!) to such bass patterns can induce vomiting, and affect the heart.

There is an assumption we are deaf already so it has no effect, that would be a wrong assumption as bass can affect the stomach and other organs, as well as living tissues with over-exposure. Basically (!) it would be incorrect to suggest deaf can appreciate all music, they are quite restricted by default as to what they can appreciate e.g. other musical instruments can be beyond their ability to detect producing less or lower vibrations the body can 'feel', it is why deaf opt for bass and drums etc.

Could they discriminate between one pianist or another e.g? or one violinist from another? or even as stated one singer from another?  Not by listening alone.  All the examples shown in the video were based on the deaf ability to feel the music, NOT, hear it.  For hearing the singing voice has many aspects you can appreciate (Or hate!), the deaf won't be able to discriminate that way.  For young people loud is good anyway, but to follow all types of music is a limited if not impossible option.

Many attempts by the deaf to emulate others hearing tend to fail really as this is a 'copy' of what is sung or danced and simply by adding sign becomes 'deaf art' which we think is invalid it's simply an interpretation.  Music is subjective too and deaf suffer by default in that area too.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

It's a PETITION (Not a declaration of intent).

No more PIP reassessments for people with Lifelong disability or conditions? What was posted online:

No more PIP reassessments for people with Lifelong disability or conditions"When a disabled person has a lifelong disability, or condition that will not change and will not diminish, they should not have to go through Light Touch Reviews at 10 years. If someone cannot self-advocate, they can be taken advantage of and can be manipulated. Medical Consultants give enough evidence through their reports that 10 year Light Touch Reviews, or indeed ANY reviews shouldn't be necessary. 

Our daughter Holly is Certified Sight Impaired, On the DeafBlind Register, cannot use phones or fill in forms, yet we are still being told she will need a Light Touch Review at the 10-year mark, HOW? Unfortunately, we've already had an horrific PIP assessment when she turned 16 that we do not want to be repeated."

ATR response: As stated it isn't a declaration of accepting that deafness or blindness is for life by the DWP but a petition to hopefully do that.  However, validation is still an issue, as is defining deafness because grassroots are at odds with definitions.  Whether the DWP will then accept it as a lifelong reason for a disability allowance isn't so clear, the validity of financial support is defined on the ability to manage your issue.  

I'm wondering if the increasing use of technology and such as well as relentless campaigns against being labeled AS disabled are undermining the support we need with our deafness?  Deaf are campaigning on the grounds of culture/language, so maybe the DWP is taking them at their claims and so not validating deafness and hearing loss support as a result? be careful what you ask for perhaps?   Recent 'new' video access to the DWP could well be used to suggest deaf don't need financial support as they already get free BSL support, the highest disability rate of Access to work help in the UK, reduced entrance fees to public areas, and free public transport on buses etc.

It's become an increasing 'problem' determining a lack of help is there or, support.  Whilst hearing with issues can claim help to facilitate social deprivation issues, the deaf can't, mostly because the 'Deaf' have own social setups and given any choice would stick with that.  Human rights are being used in cultural terms not disabled terms. The DWP allowances cover issues of disability in regards to hearing loss. LOSS is a prime factor as well as the ability to cope with it, Deaf are blaming lack of access, not lack of ability. 

Nothing is for life at the DWP and can be reviewed at ANY time.  The only certainties in life are taxes and death.

Yes, we are deaf for life but if we claim deafness is NOT the problem we can expect that to have an effect, it then becomes a rights issue outside the remit of the DWP being political. When I first applied for an allowance they said being deaf was not an  'excuse', it took 6 attempts and 3 YEARS before I got the old DLA now that is gone again. I am profoundly deaf in both ears and have been for 50 YEARS. When I got DLA the DSS (as it was then), kept asking me when my hearing was coming back. I said never, they kept asking.


It would be a false assumption to suggest the deaf 'made' the DWP provide access this way.  Memories are pretty short. E.G. the DWP provided text access when we all started to use Minicoms. 2016 there was THIS.  A deaf charity offered to mediate.  That changed recently because the DWP wanted to retain all control over claimant applications and wasn't confident a BSL run area was neutral, being 'in-house' they could determine claimant approaches more effectively. (Bad news for claimants who are deaf). 

In reality, the deaf only utilized video for their own social usage. Just as they do now with video apps etc. They are NOT being used to access the DWP or other systems much at all.  The DWP are also hiring own BSL terps so that deaf cannot rely on or use, terps they know.


There were also issues coming from the then 'Deaf' social services, (a dedicated area for the deaf sign user now defunct).  The Social services opposed Minicom use because they did not want to (A) fund them for the deaf, or (B) fund a telephone line as well, they also denigrated the deaf by stating there was no point, the deaf couldn't use a phone or read and write text, 'who would they telephone?'  Deaf were screwed by their own support.

Those statements empowered the DWP to withdraw access deaf campaigners had already got installed. In part it was to keep deaf reliant on social services who systems preferred to deal with.  When minicoms became obsolete the DWP withdrew the option, in reality, some Minicoms had less than 7 calls in 4 months, some had no calls at all. 100s all installed in regional DWP offices were mothballed.  Deaf started using faxes too these were also withdrawn and again deaf used the technology for themselves not interacting with the DWP or anyone else.  

DWP also provided video access a few years ago. Campaigning deaf had reservations and still wanted face to face interaction with support, well, some did, but a lot didn't.  Part of the problem was deaf not using the options of access as each new technology presented itself to DIY. Minicom usage to police also became obsolete, where again the Deaf SS insisted there was little point in deaf terms for that, even suggesting Minicoms offered a way into police systems for hackers and spoilers. ATR campaigned against social services for 11 months to get a phone number deaf could use to THEM and convince the police direct access was viable.  So apart from getting a Minicom you had to get a number too.

I distinctly recall deaf refusing to use e.g. the police dedicated access and a lot still do. In the last few years, the DWP has started changing contact numbers and closing offices too, that in a few areas of Wales meant the CAB e.g. was unable to help the deaf because the DWP did not tell them of changes. The DWP has always been legally obligated to include the deaf and disabled, its not a black and white situation because 63% of ALL deaf are simply using family and friends to make those oral calls.  Demand has to be seen to be used.

During the last major benefit changes (PIP e.g.), BSL access, video access, and support were again established as a right then.  Part of the difficulties was the BSL user, who hadn't the support available they demanded, the BSL terps were swamped and couldn't meet the need of supporting EVERY deaf claimant the numbers just aren't there.  Offering video access is still an issue that deaf are advised NOT to use themselves without professional advice, because of difficulties understanding questions asked etc, so video access would be for the very few deaf confident of holding their own with a system like the DWP whose primary aim is to stop claimants from getting benefits.  Deaf complained the forms made no sense to them, they couldn't read most of it.

Many hearing also, havehad extreme difficulties wading through what is a very complex and negatively-run system.  In reality the deaf would be better off NOT attempting to use video access to the DWP alone, but seeking professional advice and letting them do the applications for allowances or sort out issues.   Deaf would have to record video interaction with the DWP too, and the DWP permission to do so would have to be agreed, or, an issue following would be invalidated.   Copies of video interactions have to be sent to the DWP also. 

A TTY phone for the deaf with a voice phone on it to help ...
Sadly in areas of the UK there are still no adequate BSL - oriented DWP claim support areas they can turn to.  BDA advisors in Wales e.g. were approached and none were found qualified to help. Personally, I don't think 70% of the deaf are capable of using video effectively, it's one thing to sign to family and friends quite another to deal with the state arm of the DWP whose sole aim is to  PREVENT deaf claiming anything.

Via PIP one thing we learned was the DWP constantly moving goalposts continually and putting time limits on responses etc a lot of deaf people struggling to get advice ran out of time and out of claim eligibility.  The DWP like the NHS has ALWAYS been legally obliged to include deaf people, but barriers exist often with the inability of the deaf themselves to pursue their claim without help.  Its like deaf people having a visual doorbell, it works fine, you answer the door then....?

Obviously using a 3-way approach with a translator involved is a help, but, BSL interpreters are NOT DWP savvy and cannot help you on points of claiming allowances, they are there to translate what hearing people say, nothing else, the response has to be your own, so if you use video you better ensure you have ALL the avenues covered yourself first.  I don't think the DWP offering all sorts of access can help deaf with that issue.

I suspect this 'access' will be as difficult to utilize as all the other means being offered.  Obtaining video access is just.... the START.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Hearing loss awareness. What they don't tell you.

How To Pronounce Aware - Pronunciation Academy - YouTubeA BAME contributor (As if people have enough to manage without more bloody labels),  wrote about anger and stress having to cope with that, hearing loss, as well as COVID, and people getting angry because we need stuff repeated, which promoted some candid response. Race and colour is NOT the issue.

Deafness is the ultimate democrat it doesn't care what colour you are or what ethnicity you belong to. Ditto COVID. As regards to being left out, there are few answers to it, you cannot force inclusion so the onus is always going to be on you to adapt. The system (such as it is), can be made to adapt 'to a degree' but the public cannot. It requires a fair degree of cooperation from us and a thicker skin basically. 

The only way to making it clear to people what works for you is for YOU to tell them. It takes grit and it involves a lot of stress I have to say, you need to stay with that, and not just step back and let it leave you behind. They don't need us, but we do need them. What you mustn't do is get too angry about it, there are people who won't include you no matter what colour you are, or what disability you have, but you don't need them anyway. I found most will include if you go the right way about it. Awareness of what you need can only come from you. 

Prioritise! It took me 11 YEARS to establish my need and approach and stick with it, and it's easier today to make your point I think regardless of social media claiming differently and charities pouring out endless misery on our behalf, which I don't think helps and doesn't really educate us about coping. They are fond of telling everyone without hearing loss or deafness what they need to do, but not educate us in how we manage it ourselves.  

Most areas are just selling us a lifestyle, a language, or an amplifier.  Our hearing loss became a commodity to be sold.  I suspect wearing the T-Shirt is already big business.

You have to understand yourself pretty well, a lot of deaf people and HoH don't actually know how deaf they are or what works for them, maybe make choices that don't work for them either, then expect the e.g. the state to comply and the public, because the law says they must, in the real world that doesn't happen. 

Not understanding your issue leads to depression, poor mental health and trauma. That can negate your ability to follow as well. Various random communication 'classes' are chaos and really none to be recommended until we understand our own loss first.  

When we challenge discrimination we can forget we are deaf too and sometimes we have to choose which is the most important. For me communication not colour is. There are only so many battles you can fight at any one time and it all adds more stress.

A lot of annoyance in demanding others make themselves clear are issues arising from (A) Our stressed impatient response and (B) Not understanding the way we follow maybe doesn't really work for us. or (C) Our own panic. 'fight or flight' kicks in.  I'm not saying make excuses for not hearing, just accept you AREN'T following.  3m hearing aids are not even worn e.g. I had to plan every single outing and encounter initially, and find a system that worked pretty much regardless where I went or who I met.  There is always one way that will do that.  Technology today makes it so much easier than in my time when it simply wasn't an option, and I was the village idiot.  

AOHL and indeed other loss charities still publish our awareness as 'face me speak clearly..' or suggest we carry cards with us that don't really indicate how communication will work for us.  It actually suggests we can all lip-read really and again we can't all do that. Mask issues apart, joe public are poor speakers. I noticed very early on that when others see a hearing aid they assume you can hear, of course that is not always the case because of other factors that inhibit that, as said before, and assuming ourselves we can with an aid! We are usually the last to be aware it isn't the whole answer or making that assumption is creating more issues.

Ask people to repeat and they do that 2 or 3 times and you still can't follow suggests we are fooling ourselves mostly. Given that HA makers encourage us all to hide aids making them 'invisible' is pandering to our own insecurities and making things worse, it means people won't even see them and then suspect you are some sort of crazy person.  'Turn your bloody hearing on!' can be a typical response, when it already is.

If you have to resort to e.g. text then do it not get angry and more upset. Anger is a first and natural response to hearing loss, why me? etc then developing blame issues on others instead of addressing the source, which quite simply, is the fact our hearing is at the root of it, or rather the lack of it. So why blame others?

Do not blame those who already tried 3 times and you still don't get it. We have hearing loss and it goes with the territory. Our greatest asset (Well mine anyway), is my voice and I try to use it wisely. I don't make excuses for being deaf, just state please communicate this way, or I won't follow. Bluffing it out rarely works and just pisses other people off.

Imagine if you ask someone to do things a particular way, and they try to oblige and you still haven't a clue, then this logically suggests your approach isn't working.