Wednesday, 8 April 2020

He said, she said...

Excuses, Excuses | Family Matters"Please could someone explain why the signers on the tv mouth words but they don’t appear to be related to what is being said? Hope I haven’t offended anyone I only have moderate hearing loss and waiting to collect my HA’s which has been postponed due to Covid -19"

"British sign language is an independent language made up of hand gestures, facial expressions and body language. Sentence structure is different to English too."

The classic cop-out! What has that to do with pretending to lip-speak?  Less than 3% of ALL BSL translators are qualified lip-speakers. In reality, there are insufficient signs to cover a lot of daily declarations on UKTV regarding the virus, they simply do not exist.   

I was watching 20 minutes ago a BSL terp and the text was including 'plenary meetings' and 'scientific statistical differences' and explaining flow charts, death rates, why some areas fare better than others etc, and the BSL terp signed none of it in any detail.  'More dead, more meetings' that's it.

Lol, I'd defy a BSL terp to translate this so far... stick to words shorter than 8 in length :)

They could fingerspell but I am not sure that helps either.

Mouthing the words is a sop to the cultural stance, OK if you are trying to impress goldfish or those deaf who insist speech is an insult to the signer etc...  of course, mime adds nothing much in access terms for the lip-reader.  But for the captions, I wouldn't follow it myself, but at least with, I feel I am far more aware than the sign user is who are still asking very basic questions online about the lockdown after 3 weeks in.  

There are more Hindus, Polish and Urdu speakers than UK deaf, there is less access for them and none for the lip speaker.  Deaf need to be more grateful for that they have and TWO dedicated TV BSL programs quit with the whining.

There are claims no signed media access there?  I have never seen so much sign used as recently and of course, their charities and deaf TV media and NHS advice areas are pouring it out for them too.  If they still cannot follow that suggests issues with the sign itself or they aren't seeking it out.  

As a social tool with plenty of leeway between the deaf themselves, BSL looks good enough but take them out of that area real issues, so why is that? and with approved translators doing it?  Either the blame lies with hearing doing their thing or the terps being unable to effectively translate that or as we suspect, BSL isn't explanatory enough?  

Not fair comment, After all, most terps think in hearing terms first because they are hearing,  THEN try to adapt BSL to it (Apparently a classic error). Such errors are inevitable and response depends on WHO is using the terp? if it is an individual the terp has to adapt to what they believe the client will most easily follow, on TV you have to translate to everyone regardless of academic or signing ability.  As a result, the lesser academic/literate deaf will lose a LOT of detail they need unless they can read captions/subtitles also.  

Few BSL interpreters can switch from individual to mass explanations its a different skill set.

Once a technical term kicks in, terps start taking short cuts and break things down more simply, and to my mind that negates their point, to be fair instantaneous BSL translation has only a 40% success rate at best, and lip-reading 30-40% or near nil depending on the speaker or your own LR skills, or IF a lip-SPEAKER is there to follow, I haven't seen ANY yet.  

Because terps have to keep up with the spoken word, they get pushed for time so they cut corners.  

Most UK terps have NO specialist area of support, i.e. specialise in advanced English Translation, technical educational areas, legal or intensive health areas etc nor do lip-speakers.  There is an overall assumption they don't need it or, maybe the client would struggle with it.  Of course, the more simplistic you make it the less detail you get.

The devil really IS in the detail especially now as we all struggle to understand this pandemic and its effects as well as government responses. 

Online with these deaf signers they are asking each other to explain/clarify what they think they saw.  This mirrors the deaf clubs where the least able rely on the most able to explain, it's 'Chinese whispers' to some extent and not always reliable, in the end they settle for yes or no in regards to the query can I do this? rather than sit there get a full and lengthy explanation they maybe cannot follow anyway even IN BSL so are more able to exhibit real choice.   They follow the herd.

I do not believe the language argument, because their translators are not sticking to the script, if you ask why they don't the answer is pretty simple, just because deaf use BSL does not make them fluent or expert in it, that false assumption allows corners to get cut.  Familiarity then breeds communication contempt.

It depends on deaf ability (and their background educationally). 

Lol ATR blog suggested they go back to school, it wasn't welcomed and caused a shit storm on twitter.  They used the 'language and grammar' excuse there too and offered to string him up.


Deaf have since the BSL dictionary emerged made excuses for its shortcomings and say they use a different format, grammar etc, but we are talking here about their own translators NOT sticking to it, and for very good reason, no two deaf follow sign the same way, BSL hasn't a real norm and it's riddled with wannabe signing purists who say this way or that way or the highway stuff. I am surprised they are asking for signed help they are clearly struggling to FOLLOW it in their 'preferred' way, which isn't on the face of it, helping them to do that.

More BSL more sign but still struggling to follow? surely literacy is far more useful for them?

ATR tried that ooops...

Check it out...

Deaf avoid face touching when signing?

Quite obviously when alone using video relay no problem, but deaf are going outdoors for essentials like the rest of us and then it tends to break down as deaf signers touch their faces again.  This is neither time nor place to complain sign is being criticised, its no use if you are ending up in hospital as a result.  There are also myths about how effective using gloves are e.g.

You follow the 2 metre rules go into shops, are met by a check out operator or shopkeeper at the end to pay, HE or SHE is wearing gloves that have already touched cash/goods etc from dozens of other customers who probably did not wear them, hence the demand to stop using cash and use cards only.  Unless the shop owners/staff are cleaning the gloves after EVERY customer you have to treat any handling or goods by others with great care.

Deaf are very touchy-feely, that has to stop too, maintain distance.  Touching your face is ONLY relatively safe IF, you have ensured as well as you are able your hands are scrupulously clean.  While we were all told to use reusable shopping bags, THAT is no longer viable either, as you can transmit the virus to supermarket operatives that way.  We get new every time and when you handle those new ones wash and clean hands again, dispose of them, and don't touch your face either.

Nobody is saying don't sign, they are saying don't infect yourself or others, be sensible.

Being a Deaf nurse with a CI.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

US census 2020

What I am NOT seeing is how the questions are being put in regards to registering deaf people, or, Hard of Hearing people?  

Our experience in the UK was after a campaign was launched to include definitive coverage of those with deafness, it was poorly entered into the census and in part 'loaded' to suggest most deaf were sign using, however, it backfired on the deaf area who promoted the question and responses practically killed off deaf statistics in the UK  from their alleged 50,000 plus to a mere 15,000  because the question wasn't done properly and allowed hearing interpreters and learners to add to the stats which tended to suggest a lot of deaf failed to take actual part, or, the charities were lying about numbers from day one, so, what  ARE the questions the USA census are asking to define 'deaf' people?

Monday, 6 April 2020

Cry Foul

Quotes about Reading literacy (37 quotes)Interesting responses on twitter recently with able deaf (Those who have little or no issue with literacy, grammar or following oral speech), insisting it is a right or a 'preference' for other deaf to NOT do the same and demand access for sign-language only, should be respected.

They also said ATR suggesting they could acquire more 'tools' to help them was cruel and hurtful.  It is these deaf advocates who need educating.    At the same time Limping Chicken is reporting ATR to Twitter for suggesting deaf can use this enforced isolation to update such communication skills.

There are lots online free and they can use sign as access too, that are more viable for them than apathetic reliance fuelled by a distorted and misleading rights point on signed language and translator support, especially that so few translators exist to support them (Deaf support stats published yesterday on ATR), and with the current virus issues has meant that support has chosen to protect themselves, leaving even more support shortages.

Suggestions medical staff remove their masks was put forward that would put our dedicated health workers at more risk, like that is going to happen! daft or what?  Along with the demand, that we should not encourage deaf to lip-read a lot better than they claim to.  Even one very able 'deaf' journalist who can lip-read stating it is too difficult to learn anyway (Which didn't prevent him so why would it prevent other deaf? because he is more 'able'?), suggesting continuity or coherence in the deaf access world seems impossible.

ATR also covered criticism recently, of deaf people angry BSL terps would not offer signed BSL for free, displaying appalling unawareness of how their own support works.  Having demanded high sign skills and expensive exam courses, learners had to pay for in BSL, users want it free?   I doubt the BDA's of this world or the AOHL others would provide deaf with such a service on those grounds it is how charity stays with its head above water and gets funding.

The recent handbag-waving [British slang for a fight where the protagonists are unable or unwilling to seriously hurt each other is commonly refered to as a handbag fight, in reference to the way girls fight by hitting each other with their handbags], on twitter apparently came from people who also contribute to the Limping Chicken, who actually advocate all the alternatives ATR suggested on their blog, but their 'staff' of 'professional' deaf Journo's, attack it on social media.  This is passed off as 'freedom of speech' but obviously such freedoms are not applied to all deaf or indeed are allowed such free speech options on the very blog they promote.  These deaf are quite adept media manipulators to those reliant on them for information but they cannot promote outside own areas so well because their 'messages' are ambiguous and contradictory.

If they are going to lie, they need to tell the same one.  This is the 'We make money from BSL' areas playing both sides of the access and rights issues.  It's not only hearing making a living from it.   The UK is awash with BSL lessons, with no real norm or standard,  but no lessons to improve the deaf people who suffer literacy and other educational issues, or even to improve the poor signing they demand access is a right to.

This appears strange given the poor signing areas within the deaf community, that is in turn, combined with deaf demands for highly-skilled Interpreters, who then have to break down level 6 BSL information to very basic level 1 or 2 signers, that struggle to read or follow Level 6 and above BSL signing.  ATR raised this issue with a BSL training area who promptly blocked access to their video.  There is a fear of challenges to BSL that makes them determined to block, remove and isolate those who make them, a herd mentality ensues.  

The truth will make deaf free but hey, not too free or we lose money, work and kudos.  So you get one view (or a different and conflicting one) depending on what area of deaf or hearing loss, or hearing, you are from.

BSL interpreters/support can be social workers/friends and personal advisors too.   Interpreters will say we do never do that, we do not advise, we aren't their friends in that respect, that would break the code of privacy they are bound to, (the same as a Dr or such).  However, in practice, they and barely qualified mentors (Who can be friends or even neighbours and maybe never attain more than level 2 BSL), have no such qualms about discussing openly in deaf clubs or elsewhere, what transpires in your private life.  This is the 'deaf way' that has always been a norm.  

When social workers gave up the ghost deaf switched to whatever else was there but with far less supervision or monitoring. Foolishly they assumed that gave deaf a lot more 'control' over their lives, but control is in the provision and the providers who pay for it, not them.  Ask any deaf how on earth can they break into the mainstream and attain equality with none of THAT provision?  Empowerment became relative.

For deaf information, the hearing NEVER stop learning new skills, because they know if they do not, they will have difficulty getting the new jobs these skills require.  Industry and commerce never stay still, so the deaf cannot either.  Only they appear to dismiss this point and insist it is simply a matter of hearing not signing to them (Cue discrimination, cultural assault, yadda yadda), (D)eaf awareness is promoted by those with nil other experience, suggesting they do,  and by those with own axes to grind, mostly it is hypocritical or whatever others want to believe.  

Along with improved communication skills, the deaf need much more further education aimed at them.  It's a chicken and egg issue.  Culture would just struggle without its members having a decent education.   It would be promoted by only those with the ability to do it, and who monitors them?  We all know how difficult lip-reading can be, so get it organised so deaf have less difficulty. UK LR classes have NO deaf people in them, are they even ATTEMPTING it?

A number of deaf come to a full stop and sit on the communication plateau because of the assumption the community (or their support), will provide, alternatively, some perceived 'right' is given so they don't 'have' to do anything.  Young deaf do know this, but still a hard-core of activism is trying to turn the clock back, such activism is on our social media pouring out a relentless message of 'back to the future', and cultural excuse for doing not much at all, but using the 'future skills' they have learnt.

They have been rumbled.  Prior to the virus, there were many free options open to deaf to improve their reading and writing skills, they were poorly attended, and as we saw only yesterday on twitter, deaf insisting they have a right to sign-only and all that currently entails (which is reliance and ignorance of the spoken and written word and hearing help).  It's a false 'freedom' isolated in a deaf community with only other deaf to get along with, a sham.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but the excuse here is you shouldn't be trying anyway, it is far happier chewing a bone,  sleeping it off, or chasing balls you throw for them.   We are talking people trying to live their lives.

There are no textbooks in BSL they can refer to, are they just going to wait? keep lobbying until there is?  WHO is going to develop them?  ATR has covered highly educated deaf (mostly those who had an oral education), annoyed they have to invent own signs for what they are doing.  Presumably, because they know peers struggle still to read but without advanced signs, it still doesn't work.   Without any sort of valid language reference (Accurate and proper signs/academic dictionaries).

E.G. Paddy Ladd's tome still has no translation in sign, the signs do not exist.  If they did the explanation is still a free-for-all.  Ignorance is bliss if you are deaf, and they don't have to give reasons for it because they have rights.  Erm.. not sure that is how it works.

Tragically deaf...

Top 10 near deafies

At last, something to make us all laugh out aloud.  Not a signer with any of them either. Which tends to suggest?  I know there is a virus about but could they not find the real thing...

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Saving the signing culture..

[There was a video link with this but the poster decided he did not like comments levelled at it by ATR, so blocked it!].

The bias of this individual who makes a living supporting sign users is pretty self-evident.  Like many others, he obscures the real issues of communication with 'cultural' and access provision shortages or unawareness.  Sign won't work without help and that is the basics of it.

Here he talks about BSL 'preservation' and 'purity' attacks DIY'ers who go online to teach what little sign they know rightly or wrongly, but the real issue is not about sign language alone, that is just one means the deaf use to communicate and communication is the primary point of it all, not culture not even what sign is correct or not,  as the primary aim is to be UNDERSTOOD, if a 'rogue' or DIY sign is being used but still works, then that is OK.  If we are to believe cultural claims hearing gave sign the status it got and improved on it.

ATR did the ABC and numbers of sign on a vid recently, they work for me I don't really care if a few 'experts' suggest that is different to what they use, as I promote what works for me.  In essence, ATR is simply reflecting the diversity in our deaf world. That the BSL dictionary is mostly made up and they have no norm as such is their own fault.  It was a clever move but isn't standing up to real testing.  Deaf 'communities' such as they are, consist of many many deaf who sign poorly and read and write poorly too, it is inevitable people will just do their own thing.  The lack of access (Or impetus), by these areas, to go to further education doesn't help either.  Leave deaf school come to a halt try to manage.

Deaf will still be impoverished culture or sign-wise if their academic attainment is reliant on current approaches, i.e. being a challenge to the English grammar, having insufficient signs in academia, and then promoted/supported by people with poor academic and sign skills anyway (Or as some suggest, are being manipulated by the more able and vested interests of the deaf/hearing world for personal kudos and gain).  

The price it costs for 'selling' BSL as a commodity, once work/fees/money/coursework is involved then the deaf had to compete with all comers and were outclassed basically as the teaching qualifications the deaf had to master first, they were not really able to attain because of the grammar issues.  It was farcical some deaf teachers were utilising hearing terps in classes.  Only those able to lip-read better and had useful speech really made any headway.

The focus often went from the deaf to the terp who was offering different 'interpretations' of what the 'teacher' was signing/saying themselves, the teacher had become the 'client' and the subconscious switch to that status rendered issues to the deaf sign coursework. The BDA challenged established BSL classwork declaring their sign used by 'real deaf' was the more correct and rejected teacher qualifications as discriminatory. Two versions then existed in addition to the poor deaf signing, regional variations, and hearing versions of sign tuition.  The BDA lost out unable to really challenge hearing they relied on.

To be fair this terp signs a whole lot better and is a lot easier to follow than the 'real deaf' who insist it's their way or it is all wrong, and for most, very difficult for anyone to follow as they all insist their way is the right way.  They are just doing what we all do and promoting how it works for us, but, condemning others doing the same thing as they are.

Regional sign e.g can cover a myriad of excuses for poor signing and even arrogant deaf judging of hearing learners of sign, costing them £1,000s in fees because one arbitrary or other judge says his regional sign is not the same as what they are using, thus rebuffed by these deaf judges the learners abandon the qualifications anyway so deaf lose terps who could have aided them. Some go online and try to capitalise on what they learnt so far and to get their money back.

A plethora of 'cultural centres' and signing lessons and awareness is emerging undertaken BY these deaf (and by hearing teachers to the deaf), but no two 'BSL classes' are the same, or most are rabbiting on about Milan to suggest they are more cultural than they really are, given 9 out of 10 have zero deaf histories themselves or their families, which adds to the confusion, they need a norm, and it all needs sorting out.   To be completely honest 'culture' gets more funding so many use the term for everything about the deaf, even HoH have used it because the charity remits are linked even to disability. 

At present, the emperor's new clothes ( this expression is often used to describe a situation in which people are afraid to criticize something because everyone else seems to think it is good or important.), and it seems a more apt description of what is going on.  The confusion seems the primary aim of prominent deaf activism approaches, harder to hit a moving target presumably.

We all need to question more, and defend the indefensible a lot less.

Pay attention there!

As many deaf are isolated now is the time to start improving their skills in communications with hearing and family others.  ATR has randomly listed 3 starter areas so deaf can get more of an idea of the skills they need to break out of the deaf straightjacket and improve their own ability to compete with others and also get better work opportunities.  

The vids are only a 'guide' but there are lots free online for deaf to make a start with.   Don't just sit here hoping everything will come to sign for you.  It is factual not enough deaf are leaving special educational areas and then going on to improve on that and stagnating communication-wise and becoming more and more reliant on interpreters etc, we have to stop doing that.  While there are still barriers to further education there is nothing to prevent deaf from doing it for themselves.  Doing nothing in the vain hope others will eventually adapt to them is time-wasting.

Ignorance, illiteracy, and apathy, combined with complacency, are far greater an issue than deafness ever will be.


Basic English grammar

Making conversation.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Signed English

Culture Night

Deaf Culture Night @Dr Steevens HSE from Paul Macdonald on Vimeo.

And flouting just about every bit of advice the government gave out, Nice one! (No captioning either and they wonder why deaf are even more isolated).

You use wrong signs

Unbelievable at this time there are still deaf purists willing to attack others who don't sign as they do, a glaring indictment perhaps on the fact there are deaf who do not understand deaf awareness themselves and obviously never did or are willing to accept other deaf people.  These people are the cancer in the culture.

Deaf? it is time to step up...

if you're good at something, never do it for free. the joker ...ATR was asked to do a blog because of ridiculous responses on social media ill-advising the deaf and endless complaints about signed access or the lack of it.  This blog was about terps being criticised for not offering free help.  

#1 During this time interpreter should offer free services!

#2 Agreed but they don’t they want money greedy sadly.

#3 Well NO,  BSL isn't a hobby, terps have to undergo quite strict training and pass exams it is a JOB it isn't a vocation even, and jobs demand a wage.  Terps invest £1,000s to qualify,  they aren't a charity and BSL is a mess to master anyway.

#4  To my mind wasted time as most deaf don't sign anyway.  

#5  Perhaps deaf could help themselves during this isolation by learning to lip-read and master English better then they would miss out a lot less?  If the handicap themselves who else is to blame?

#6  It suggests overall BSL  reliance (and its relentless promotion), has backfired on the deaf when issues like we see now emerge, so the old standby of biting the hand that feeds and the blame culture emerges again.

#7  To be fair, and after all, terps have families too they won't want to risk either, and wages pay the rent and food, deaf do not seem to understand their own 'support' isn't a freebie every system that provides it has to pay for it.  The irony being 'Deaf' charities provide these people too and charge fees.

#8  The reality is that after deaf school or special school these deaf stop learning or improving on their communications (A lot of which despite their pre-adult education is rather poor), and settle for the 'Deaf way', anti-English stances, and deaf friends and social areas, making them life-reliant on others in the same boat, who also lack the drive to improve on their lot, (Or feel everyone should be the same as they are, thus equalling 'down' not practicable is it?)

Time now for the deaf to do for themselves?  The virus issue has provided the conditions and offers the means for deaf to take that time to improve, please use it.  Quit deaf politics and do something that will really be of use.

Friday, 27 March 2020


15 Uplifting Quotes for Positive Vibes | SUCCESS
ATR is not blogging for the duration and until the coronavirus issue abates somewhat.  We don't believe relentless coverage of the issue does much except add to other people's anxiety and stress.  I would ask readers to rather post issues that are positive and encouraging instead.

We need humour, we need kindness and we need to ditch the selfish. I really do not want to read about idiots stripping shops of essential goods the vulnerable need, how many new cases there are, or how many morgues are choc-a-bloc with bodies, it isn't rocket science to see such coverage is completely UNHELPFUL and NEGATIVE.

Of course we need to be informed, but use official agencies once a day, and leave the speculation and ridiculous advice to the losers on social media or panic-stricken media who by far have fuelled that panic.  Stay Safe, and, stay POSITIVE.

Do a blog or video or make a text, that offers hope, offers humour, offers support, unless you live on the moon nobody is unaware of the issue.  That's not ignoring it, it is finding ways to adapt to the situation and help those who are struggling who may well be yourselves.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Language Service Provision: Update

Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns
Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns.

As governments around the world step up attempts to contain the coronavirus, the language industry, grappling with the fallout from the pandemic, has been striving to react with a measured response.

We looked at the websites of languages service providers on The Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), a number of which published their responses even before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Slator LSPI companies have, generally, assured clients that they will remain operational through the pandemic. Most have outlined contingency measures, which they state have been in place even before the Covid-19 outbreak. What follows is the gist of each response.

From Lionbridge (LSPI #2): “This page offers resources for any professional looking to guide their company through the challenges this global health event creates. We will update it regularly with informational pieces, tips on crisis responses, and ways we can help keep your team, your company and your customers happy and healthy.”

From LanguageLine (LSPI #3): “We long ago put in place contingencies that minimize the impact a health event can have on our ability to provide services […] we consider it our obligation to not just maintain, but elevate our services during times when they are needed most. Please know that we have anticipated your needs and will rise to this occasion.”

From SDL (LSPI #4): “Business continuity is one of our key priorities here at SDL and, as part of our plans, we have activated a global crisis response team, who are working to manage all impacted countries and regions, to safeguard our people and minimize any impact to your business.”

Slator Research Strategy Package - Translation Industry Research
Strategy Package.

“Business continuity is a key priority at RWS, and our contingency plans have been put into action throughout all RWS divisions. As part of this activity, our IT teams have enabled virtualized environments to allow critical production staff to work from home and help our customers and supply chain partners avoid any major operational disruption.”

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

ATR: Local update.

Current acute shortages yesterday were:

Paracetamol.  Online sold out too.
Toilet rolls.
All kinds of pasta.
Tinned foods.
Frozen Vegetables.
Washing up liquid.
Portal (!) Facebook TV equipment.
Dog and Cat foods.

Home deliveries:  Still failing to ensure vulnerable get essentials as panic-buyers have cleared stocks and queuing up before shops open so older people who arrive later have nothing to buy.

More warnings scammers are posing as government agents or 'community support' and offering to provide food and services for those unable to go out, and asking them for credit cards and numbers, then emptying accounts etc.  

Latest is scammers knocking on people's doors stating they are government testers for the virus, there are NO 'Testers' going around housing doing this.

ATR and an old lady at a Tesco outlet were elbowed out of the way by two women already heavily laden with toilet rolls, when a few remaining toilet rolls were seen, this left the older lady with none, we gave her ours.  Staff said there was deliberate 'bulk buying' and these two women were ushered out of the shop as they were said to be selling to vulnerable at twice the price the shop was.  They claimed they were buying for elderly relatives...

It seems the 'stiff upper lip' assumption of the Brits no longer applies and old, vulnerable or not it is everyone for themselves.  We can only hope the state moves to put a stop to the panic buying, while some retail outlets open specifically for older people and vulnerable stocks are so depleted they still may not get what they need.

Deaf clubs are closed also and deaf advised NOT to commute to other clubs that may still be open.  Inevitably they will close anyway.  We can still keep in touch online so far but some phone provision is having difficulties with the surge of home workers using online more.  ISP's are switching to AI to monitor online, mistakes will inevitably occur.

Rogue sites are advertising face masks and gel, they have no intention of providing, please check these are bona fide sites before you order, take care with financial details too as the scammers could take advantage of that too.  Before this is over we will probably see the full extent of selfishness that exists.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

I want one !

A slip or trip, a collision, an allergic reaction, a seizure, a heart condition or medical emergency ... it happens every day, everywhere on earth. It can happen to you or someone you love. 

If you, or someone you love has been hurt this product helps authorities notify family much faster. If someone you love is rushed to the Emergency Department, chances are they won’t be capable of providing this vital information. Without up-to-date Emergency ID it often takes hours, even days, for authorities to track down and notify relatives. However, a simple, In Case of Emergency USB device on their key ring or in their wallet or purse could be life-saving. 

The USB file contains their vital information: Current medical conditions and medications, allergies, contact details of relatives, friends, carers and doctors. The file can be read by all computer systems. It will hold over 200 pages of information but is usually restricted to the absolutely essential details. There is no need to load information that a thief could use; no address, no date of birth, no bank details etc.

Printable communication aids.

Might be handy if you are self-isolating.


Introduction to lip-speaking.

Hearing loss research trials delayed by Virus.

The French company Sensorion has been forced to delay a phase II trial in people with hearing loss due to slow patient recruitment amid the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. 

The clinical trial is designed to test Sensorion’s lead candidate drug in people with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a rare disorder where the patient can go deaf within several days. The trial results were to be released late 2020, but the company now expects to release them in mid-2021. Nawal Ouzren, CEO of Sensorion, stated that slow patient recruitment caused the delay, as well as hospital resources being reprioritized to handle the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The global outbreak — labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization last week — threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems around the world without an effective vaccine or drug approved for the disease. The company stated that it will keep monitoring the Covid-19 situation, which is changing very quickly. 

“We are doing our utmost to ensure we can provide the clinical data set as quickly as possible,” stated Géraldine Honnet, Sensorion’s CMO. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the sensory hair cells in the inner ear are destroyed, most often for an unknown reason. Sensorion’s drug is designed to treat the condition by protecting hair cells from damage. Sensorion raised €20M in a bonds issue last year to fund the phase II development of treatments for sudden deafness and acute unilateral vestibulopathy, a rare disorder causing vertigo. 

The company was confident that the funding would sustain the programs until late 2020. However, this latest delay, along with the phase II failure and discontinuation of its treatment for vertigo in December 2019, have proved big setbacks for the French company. 

UK BSL Program to offer Coronavirus advice live.

After numerous concerns on deaf social media (Mostly unfounded), that the government was not making coronavirus advice accessible to the deaf, today will see their BSL Zone program offer a live question and answer session for the first time, so at least one of the BSL areas is doing what it gets funds to do anyway (I.E. INFORM and EDUCATE!)

On a number of deaf social media sites complaints were made against the government not offering BSL with daily briefings, but have been ignoring their two subsidised BSL programs (BSL Zone and SEE HEAR), who were doing it anyway.  Which raised questions why were the deaf demanding stand-alone BSL output and then NOT utilising it?  Also, captioned parliament output was available that a lot of deaf seemed unaware of.

It would seem the apathy of deaf people to politics has left a lot of them unsure how to cope with a national health issue.  One 'Plus' may come out of all this in that self-isolation and limited social interaction may well mean hearing communities start including and supporting the vulnerable in the deaf community.  

However, there are deaf people who will not be able to cope with isolation over many months as they are isolated already, again media output for the deaf needs to adapt and quickly to filling what is going to be a huge void in socialising which is more important to the deaf than many other priorities.  Social media may come into its own as the deaf switch to socialising a lot more that way, but, spare a thought for older deaf not only unaware of deaf TV output but, not online either.

Now is the opportunity to learn additional and practicable means of getting communications more effective too, maybe learn to lip-read better, or be more literate and read more? Those needing support are going to have to make it clear they need it and the best way to make it work.  The virus has no respect for personal pride.

If/When your otherwise unknown hearing neighbour steps up to help you you are going to have to find alternatives anyway aren't you?  It will be interesting to see how the BSL media approach this issue.

We would like to see all BSL areas online moving outward to hearing mainstream immediately to explain how help/communication can be more effective, bearing in mind demands 'sign or else', would be seen as negative as we all need (Hearing and deaf people), to work together.  How the deaf react to this serious health threat can be a positive, but only if we treat it that way.  Your deaf friends will not be able to visit you and your social areas subject to closure.

Keep calm friends.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Tips for the deaf (Coronavirus).

Do NOT take any notice of advice UNLESS it comes from a validated source, i.e. the government, or the health services. Also deaf need to take care as scammers are visiting elderly offering to do their shopping for them, then disappearing with the money!

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay at home advice.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

These pages are for the public. There is coronavirus information for health professionals on the NHS England website.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Read our advice about staying at home.

Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
your condition gets worse
your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Use the 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

always wash your hands when you get home or into work

use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Travel advice
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.

Treatment for coronavirus.

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

ATR says much advice is subject to an immediate change, so keep yourself updated from official sources ONLY.  Do not rely on advice from social media.  There needs to be clarification as of yesterday 14/3/2020 they are suggesting elderly over 65-70 and vulnerable may have to stay at home for anything up to a month but are unclear on how they will be supported.  There is confusion self-isolation will prevent infection as after self-isolation and outside there is still no cure.

They appear to suggest the health systems will be overrun and hoping the communities will rally round and offer support, but community care and indeed community itself is very fragmented at this time do we even know who the next-door neighbour is? or, if they are elderly and at risk?  Would they help out if you knew they HAD the virus?  as given advice is to avoid.   Those at risk need some reassurance from central government how we are all to proceed.  are those at risk to be just left?

It would also help if shopping areas held 'elderly hours' shopping so that those most at risk can get what they need, they are currently being denied by panic-stricken selfish people less at risk than they are who are clearing shelves of essential goods

ATR says deaf are still experiencing difficulties contacting the state advice helpline, which they say is often not answering calls, and, many deaf cannot access.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Coronavirus Update (UK): No support in sight.

Image result for coronavirusBecause of the current outbreak, there are serious issues arising regarding how the UK NHS health system can accommodate 10m with hearing loss issues.  ATR is receiving reports hospitals, clinics and surgeries are not offering support to this sector.  An area that relies on lip-reading was told there is no support available, in fact, there was no system extant at all and never has been.

Patients with hearing loss who can benefit by text support were told again 'No system is extant the NHS can contact for that.'   They were later told to use SignRelay when they don't sign.  It was pointed out Hard of Hearing did not use sign language and unless it had real-time captions, then no use at all, then the NHS suggested facetime which also had non-capability of real-time captioning.  That 68% of clinics, 84% of hospitals had no viable loop systems either hearing aid access is a real issue too.

Hard of Hearing were concerned as were deaf people that mask-wearing made communication even more difficult.  Worse is following as Interpreters for the BSL user suggested they would NOT support deaf people in hospital with this virus or the flu because they had to protect own families first.  This led to anger older deaf and others in care homes were going to be left with no help and even home carers refusing to turn up there.

It is all very well telling people to stay at home for 7 days, but when you are already with ongoing health issues, or elderly in a home there is nowhere else you can go but to a hospital.  It would seem the hardest hit will be near 10m with hearing loss as the BSL user has a number of established access avenues already, but that may not be the case if it gets worse.  Other suggestions are to use family support despite state advice to stay away from them as you offer a risk to own family.

With 86% of all health areas offering no viable loop access either, if anything, this virus should concentrate the apathetic 10m minds and encourage them to start thinking about their own access requirements in a serious fashion or, suffer very real and serious consequences.  If we are all to rely online then the huge majority of vulnerable and older people at risk and need help, won't get any,  because statistically, they ARE NOT online.

ATR Contacting 3 BSL terps yesterday for advice was told if we contracted coronavirus DON'T call them, they need to protect own families first, so it seems even the well-supported sign user is going to get issues too.  Advice is one thing, the daily reality is going to be something else entirely.

Will the coronavirus offer real impetus to the access needs of us all?  it does not look like it.  Technology may help if you have a speech to text app that is reasonable, but again there are still deaf people demanding BSL instead, it is time to bury politics of the deaf kind, before coronavirus buries YOU.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Assistance dogs (UK) an announcement.

Assistance dogs for the deaf organisation are sending out letters to dog owners urging them to join a central register of valid assistance dogs and owners.  [At least they should be doing that].

They should be doing this in response to numerous concerns some dog owners are abusing the concessions a service dog provides to its owner, by purchasing online authentic-looking dog vests cheaply with 'Trained assistance dog' written on them for their own untrained pets.  

This has caused issues for the deaf, and for blind people, with publicly accessible  area owners claim to be unsure who qualifies or if the animal actually is trained and some have been banning dogs to comply with health and safety laws.  Deaf and Blind have also complained about taxi owners doing the same thing.

Purchasing a dog vest that states it is an assistance animal appears to be freely available without any checks at all via Amazon and eBay as well as various dog supply outlets, with no check at all the purchasers had a trained animal.  ATR found 15 sites in as many minutes.  We gather there is a registration process in the USA and fraudulently claiming a pet is a trained animal can incur fines.

No such law appears to be extant in the UK. One enquirer claimed she was offered a hearing dog for the deaf vest with their official logo on from their own site with no checks.

Image result for deaf assiatnce dogsThe problem also appears to be in that there is no legal requirement to insist on an assistance dog in the united kingdom is either registered or indeed the owner has to provide real proof their animal is a trained assistance animal.  

Currently, owners point to the law and the 'proof' is there via the vest the dog is wearing. To this end, a suggestion is being made to register all owners and their trained animals, and to then issue then with a validation card they can produce if asked and a barcode individually issued for a nominal fee that a dog can wear on its vest that can be scanned as proof.

Concerns are being raised the UK charities still have no legal requirement to set up any such a register which can render the whole thing pointless.  Frauds are buying these vests to confuse challenges.  Is this an issue the RSPCA can take up?

Disabled with other less obvious disabilities are also buying 'trained assistance animal' vests for their pets.  Mainly on the grounds, their pet is emotional support of some kind.  Again whether such pets are recognised by the systems or trained as such is unclear too.

Coronvirus: New Advice.

Dear ATR

Image result for letter to the editorToday ATR includes a long missive sent via a Facebook PM to him, and leaves the reader to form own view.


I read with great interest recent coverage of the deaf approaches to the arts and more recently, in the way they see the inclusion of deaf people.  It's a perennial issue and one I don't think in the long run will benefit the BSL user, being as it is based on a form of acceptable isolation by the people using it.  

It's a really novel set up they have a re-invented wheel in most part, but still unique and to be scrupulously fair, ATR does at times look very negatively on their determination to stand alone, and apart to maintain their way of life. Which today is a matter of choice. ATR maintains this is not the case and the choice is being made by the few not the many.  ATR is on a loser challenging personal choice even if He can prove it is a bad or pointless one.

Diminishing deaf schools and specialisations and even fewer interpreters to make interaction viable and issues abound on just how do they teach deaf people to manage a hearing world? In that respect, ATR has a valid point to make.  As it all seem to slow down real changes that will benefit everyone.

Today text rules pretty much, and technology has decimated deaf clubs since deaf no longer have to meet in any club, or natter all hours 'Under the Lamp', to maintain the community, and deaf youth as youth everywhere drops the old attitudes and wants areas that suit them age-wise.   That area of the community has moved out of the clubs, but it still hasn't moved into the mainstream, and as ATR repeatedly insists, this is because they are pursuing culture and language to ensure the status quo is still there, albeit what that status quo actually is, seems to vary a lot, only time will tell if that approach is successful.  

It does seem the BSL deaf follow the mainstream route of online socialising, [which I don't think works for the deaf the same way because sign is still a minority mode used even with the deaf, and online, deaf are still pursuing a segregational approach].

I see lots of sign online, mostly it is of ASL, but BSL to a far lesser extent and near all 'Deaf' sites using mostly text in response [which is great, because it displays at least online they can contribute equally on hearing platforms],  ATR insists they won't use it for that purpose, as the aim is to stay in some 'parallel' aspect instead.  Deaf say not it is just empowering their own culture and language.

The community as it tends to show young deaf do not really mirror the online images of Deaf people other than they sign.  Grassroots have moved forward, but a lot of old habits die-hard and some (Like their dedicated charities and professional support), are trying desperately to backpedal.  One area to prevent the social aspect folding, the other area to ensure pro support still have a job to do, but ATR pointed out many deaf themselves are 'cashing in on culture' so do not want inclusion and 'vested interests' are at work to confuse the emancipation of the deaf person.

I think we would all rather see all deaf and with hearing loss sorting the matter of access and inclusion out like adults and that reflected in a decent and coherent debate to put a stop to all the arguments.  ATR suggests that is never happening or wanted currently.  ATR could be an asset to the deaf community, he obviously wants the issues resolved, displays a considerable knowledge of the community, and wants everyone moving forward, but there is still viewed a lot of negativity in the output and it may be too late already for either crossing that bridge.

Using imaging and profile campaigning is again showing how adept some deaf are, and, able to match hearing campaigns and even surpass them, what we need to know,  is where it is all heading? and given a lot of heart promotion is blurring the head realities.    There is a real problem they can paint themselves into a corner.

The BSL only areas just seek to maintain that status quo despite being based on the 'Deaf'' version of inclusion, active marginalising, and the labelling and stereotyping of the deaf by themselves trading their stereotype for the mainstream version, which they insist, theirs is the only true and supported one.  ATR said they cannot show any numerical proof of that and using numbers that aren't applicable to them. 

That caused issues with many deaf who ATR claims do not sign at all, acquired after formative years, and the 'Deaf' blurring of imaging spilling over to areas like hearing loss and the hard of hearing, causing issues, since at the root of Deaf cultural aspiration they attack imaging of hearing loss.  A label is a label is a label, but few are seeing this. Next year another one will come out because of the desperate need of these deaf to maintain their ID.  Carry on ATR, I have stocked up on popcorn.


Thursday, 12 March 2020

Casting Call..

#1  Aren't 'BSL only' advertisements discrimination against deaf that don't sign? and a violation of commercial job advertising? They can say deaf they cannot demand BSL only.

#2 It looks like they're focusing on making a film in sign language, not just "a film with deaf people". Just a different opportunity. (Like, if they wanted Chinese people who could speak Chinese, I wouldn't think they were discriminating against Chinese people who couldn't speak Chinese 😊 Advertising for filming specify what they need all the time - tall, short, fat, thin, White people, Black people, wheelchair users Italian speakers, BSL users, all sorts! 😊)

#3  If only the same acceptances came from the BSL specific area, they are rather random in opposing 'deaf' inclusion if a signer is not included, we need the equality law to sort this out, because I believe the 'D' and 'd' thing is an abuse of equality a cultural 'assault' on hearing loss, as well as a grey area.  E.G. I was told it is 'illegal' to make 'non' signing' areas with deaf BSL people not allowed or invited to participate?  

#4  The reality is deaf cannot prevent HEARING acting as them so the bias then goes unequally against non-signing deaf or even the hard of hearing.  

#5  I suppose at the basis of all this is the continual suggestion if you are deaf, therefore, you sign which is not true actually.  

#6  As a side note does not BSL specific output marginalise the deaf?  If it is all about BSL people then, that is minority output, not inclusive output like watching foreign films with subtitles or another language, as one poster put it, but that is the misunderstanding, it suggests that area is playing both ends of the equality aspect using a cultural or language aspect to override their issue, which in turn affects views on how that same issue can affect others.  

#7  Thus these deaf forever portrayed as in some 'world of their own', and apart from everyone else, so what price inclusion? or point of their equality output?

#8 Can they even state deaf BSL users?  After all interpreters are hearing (and better signers), so they would be eligible surely?  Would the cast area prevent them from applying because they can hear?

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Language deprivation.

You can appreciate speech acquisition is difficult but the sign is a red line, isn't it? It's an all-encompassing modus that mostly goes against the host country norms via grammar and usage. This creates a parallel deaf world attempting to carry on doing own thing at disadvantage, whilst their own set up has no system to accommodate that, it also limits choices FOR deaf people and works on the basis others must adjust and comply with them because they cannot adapt themselves, (which is not true to a large extent).   The deaf countering with claims of discrimination hide the realities.

Sign is still an incomplete language and not a widely accepted language for the deaf, who have own ideas individually or by area what that language or sign is or should be, a lot is not learning-dependent but ability dependent.  With not enough signs or support to make it as viable either as a language, except within own areas happy to settle for less.  By accepting the limitations of sign they are accepting less access via its use.  nobody has yet translated Paddy Ladd's tome because it uses words and terms that there are simply no signs for, and recent deaf scientist having to 'make up' his own signs, no way to run a language is it?

You can liken it via a monoglot/native speaker from another country entering yours, but they will know unless they adapt they are going to be hugely disadvantaged in work, health and education e.g.  Only the deaf assume they learn to sign and the problem is hearing aren't so it's the hearing fault.  

The USA and western world approaches of respecting the usage of other languages against a desire for a common norm has meant deaf feel supported in setting up own enclaves where deaf do their own thing, there are many areas in the USA where only Hispanic is spoken, Jewish, or even Cantonese, in the recent history of this approach, none via the deaf have succeeded, and there are signs to suggest deaf young people don't want the restrictions a deaf community imposes on them by default.  Martha's Yard was one example.

Only these young people can break the impasse... and possibly less adopt complacency in letting everyone do as they want.  The USA (And UK), Achille's Heel is their tolerance, it hasn't managed to empower all has made multiculturalism a joke and encouraged segregation and sectarianism by right.  

The only good news is for endless jobs for deaf translators but... these vlogs are technical hoo-ha designed to prove.. what?


It is all based on a very simple truism, hearing people are scared of silence. Their first response is fear or terror at prolonged silence, yet, they assume it doesn't bother us.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Hearing Regained.

Sophie Wooley
Regaining my hearing after a decade of deafness gave me imposter syndrome.

Sophie regained her hearing at 39. I started losing my hearing from the age of 18. I did not expect to go deaf, even though it runs in the family. Bits of my hearing identity kept falling off as I lost another frequency. I was in denial for years until I began using interpreters and stenographers (a person who transcribes speech). I made a success of my life, developed a tough skin and numbed myself. By my thirties I was almost totally deaf, with hearing aids no longer allowing me to follow speech. 

I avoided focussing on what I’d ‘lost’, but I often felt exhausted and excluded. I worried about my future. There was an option to regain my hearing through a cochlear implant, but like many in my situation I put it off. It involves having surgery to implant a high tech hearing device. The internal electrodes stimulate the auditory nerve directly, using digital signals generated by the implant. The brain registers the signals as sound. I was scared of skull surgery and I didn’t see the point, thinking it wouldn’t work any better than hearing aids, lip-reading and sign language. A cochlear implant user who’d gone deaf like me persuaded me to go for it when he said ‘All of my problems are gone’. I’d never heard anyone talk like this about implants and I thought he must be exaggerating. I was wrong. 

Soon after my Advanced Bionics implant was ‘switched on’ in 2013, at the age of 39, I was able to have easy conversations with people for the first time since my 20s. It was like the surgeon and audiologist had rewound time. I felt 21 again. I never thought this would happen to me. I went from hearing almost nothing, to being able to follow speech, with some added ‘cyborg’ perks that make my hearing friends green with envy. My younger sister implanted soon after me, and we can chat on the phone or walk and talk without looking at each other With the implant, I can bluetooth music direct to my processor. I can also switch to ultrazoom, which helps me hear the person in front of me in noisy places. 

And I can switch off sound whenever I want. In the first few weeks after I was activated, I felt constantly euphoric. It was a bit like falling in love, crossed with time travelling. The sound was also heightened and hallucinatory at first. The sonic weirdness was intensely beautiful, profound and often intensely funny – all at the same time.