Friday, 27 March 2020

Intermission

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.
Potatoes.
Gels.
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.

SOURCE

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
Do
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

Don't.

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.

@ATR:

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.


AJ.

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?

HEAR - SEE - SPEAK


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. 

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Deaf V CI's.


This is a misleading blog. Parents do not assume a CI is any cure.  Activism pursues this point because they oppose implantation.  It is obvious when a CI is implanted in many cases the defunct hearing part is removed for it.

We should listen to people that HAVE a CI, not those who don't and swallow any amount of fake news from deaf opponents of cochlear implantation, in many respects these same people oppose hearing aids too.    The sole 'positive' of staying deaf (And presumably being sign dependent), is for social reasons, all other areas are an issue.  There is no balance with deaf culture and they don't see a reason for inclusion.

They will demand it but only use certain aspects to improve for their own status quo, the last 20 years of awareness has hardly produced any advance in deaf inclusion at ALL.  ATR's last blog displayed the huge disadvantage of sign use in getting a job, the deaf need to address reality, as mainstream is never going to adapt to them, and after all, they are a MINORITY within the deaf and hearing loss area too, it just 'looks' like a bigger cultural area because of online use, step outside the door and experience the realities.

ALL parents want the give their child the best advantages they can, they aren't there to promote the 'joys of deafness', or to hurt own children.  Like a hearing aid, CI's are ASSISTS to hearing they have never been promoted as a cure.  We could suggest veiled suggestions parents are wrong or assisting discrimination against deaf signers, (Or as a few cases in the UK, parents being called child abusers by cultural deaf), is just going to encourage more CI take up and opponents interfering in parental rights.

The legal reality is unless YOU are the parent, you have no say at all.  Another reality (At least here in the UK), is that deaf charities support 40% of CI implanted children and young people, they know if they don't include they are done for and can be sued for discrimination and bias too.  Deaf need to be more accepting and inclusive themselves, and the old adage when in a hole to stop digging is still valid.

Why is deaf english so poor?



Why did the captions disappear 2 minutes into the vlog?  Deaf couldn't read them?!  Could explain why their English is so poor.

Jobs and the Deaf


Why would hearing employers need to recognise deaf culture in employment?  As I understand work you apply for a job you can do and communication issues are addressed prior to application, you don't go for a job and insist they need to be deaf aware, culturally aware, have to have a degree in deaf studies, and be signing as well, this has never been my experience.

Employers can pick and choose the best that apply for work with them, obviously, an applicant who can hear instructions and can get on with the job with less supervision are the people they want business isn't charity.  We could suggest deaf making demands on an employer BEFORE a job is offered is inviting rejection. As is putting that on a CV, and it doesn't help NOT putting that information on a CV as some obscure 'right'.  If employers aren't told they cannot be sued and they aren't discriminating.

Employers do NOT need to know deaf etiquette, about Milan/Paddy Ladd or Helen Keller, or indeed sign language, deaf applicants are so low a statistic the need is simply not there.  Last time the UK law enabled deaf and disabled was WW1/2 and the 1944 Act and was designed to get staff after most were conscripted.  After 1946/7 disabled and deaf were out again.   Late 1960s 1970s supported work was sold off.

It goes back to the reality ASL/BSL is negative in a job application unless deaf arts and charities is your bag, and using the 'support/empowerment' gig, (Whatever the buzz word is these days), is another negative.  Deaf need to display independence, a desire to mix, and to meet skill requirements, a willingness to adapt is essential, those people will be the successful applicants. We agree training is crap but cultural demands have made difficulties there too.

Simply firing discrimination claims and demands that have less to do with the job requirement and more to do with deaf activism,  at all and sundry is yet another negative.  Migrants who come to the UK adapt and learn the English language, they know they have few options if they don't.  I don't know of any deaf who has taken a job with an interpreter in tow or have been allowed to.  

They DO in the UK, get welfare support to a huge degree but hardly ANY Of that financial help or signed support, goes to assisting the deaf to integrate into the mainstream of employment.  We live in a hearing world so we all need to adapt to that, obviously on a social level we can please ourselves, but the world out there is NOT deaf oriented, we get with it or get left out of it.  The problem starts at day one, not with deafness but in equipping them to manage in the hearing environment.

There may be a deaf culture there is not a deaf employment area they can all go to.  Should they anyway? and deny deaf people choice.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Global Sign



We are unsure where they get these facts from? Text has been the online leveller and in English mostly, not sign, because sign is localised to individual countries so does not 'travel' well. Uni sign is hardly understood by deaf people anywhere, it never caught on. The glaring fact they needed an interpreter to interpret the interpreter(!) seems ample proof this is propaganda and fake news to most of us.  BSL e.g. is an incomplete British signed language still seeking sufficient signs to make it an academic realism, the same appears for ASL albeit they are further along the line than the UK is and have a more realistic norm approach to it and don't allow regionalism to screw things up so much.  

The grammar of both, tends to let the deaf down being as it challenges the host countries norm, and recently ASL purists were demanding (a lot more honestly),  how 'foreign' it actually is, by demanding that status for ASL.  Perhaps there is more funding mileage in calling it foreign?  Why would you want to educate deaf in a language format nobody but them uses?  Its not as if deaf don't have options.

Having this admitted it is an issue in crossing language divides they continue that way?  Maybe they will one day explain how on earth any of it contributes to inclusion or access as currently, the promotion of BSL is via language rights not essential access requirements, and who supports deaf who don't sign?

Surely they aren't claiming 'spesial' is a bona fide spelling for deaf too?  Ooops....

Advanced Braille communication device.

Monday, 2 March 2020

The battle against the invisible.


Hearing loss an invisible battle best fought with others
In a world filled with sound – of the wind, the babbling brook, and rain for instance – those who suffer from severe hearing loss can sometimes feel they are living on a desert island, cut off from the sweet sounds of birdsong, or laughter. 

Masterton’s Pam Rangitaawa has been a hearing loss patient for more than 50 years. “I wasn’t born with a hearing impairment. When I was eight or nine months old, I had measles and scarlet fever – I was very, very sick.” “Back then, you had to be referred to a specialist by your doctor to get your hearing checked. “At kindy, they agreed with mum that I had a hearing loss, but the doctor wouldn’t refer me because he said my speech was too good.” 

She remembered in primary school “standing with my head in a corner because I hadn’t done as I was told”. Anne Greatbatch has been Rangitaawa’s hearing therapist for around 30 years. With Hearing Awareness Week here [until next Saturday], they want people newly diagnosed with hearing loss to know there is transitional support available and the old social stigma of being “deaf and dumb” is just that, a stigma. According to Greatbatch, Rangitaawa’s ability to speak fluidly is because for the first eight months of her life she could hear fine. It is arguable whether this had been a disadvantage or advantage throughout Rangitaawa’s life. “Dyslexia could be confused with a hearing loss and there’s all sorts of other types of hearing loss which I am lucky enough not to have,” Rangitaawa said. 

These days, hearing loss is no longer a mysterious problem that’s ambiguous to treat, but Greatbatch fears people still took their hearing for granted and often, by the time the problem was addressed, it was too late to do anything about it. At college, Rangitaawa was in the top class, “but I knew I was at a disadvantage because for me to learn in the classroom I had to concentrate and go home and work on what I had learned every day”. “I had to prepare myself so the knowledge would sink in – and you get so tired sometimes through concentrating because you’ve also got to watch people when they’re moving”, Rangitaawa said. Constantly aware of where she must sit in order to have a successful conversation, she has picked up techniques over the years to make the comprehension process easier. 

“For instance, you never sit facing a window because you can’t see the other person’s face properly.” Even the small interview room at the Wairarapa Times-Age, drapeless, and lit by fluorescent lights made her extremely uncomfortable. “Acoustics in a room for someone who’s wearing hearing aids – it closes in on you. “It’s not a comfortable feeling.”

Deaf Male survival

Trans case: I wasn't dissuaded enough.

A case in the UK where an individual who demanded a gender re-assignment is now suing the clinic who gave them what they wanted, suggesting as a teen they were never encouraged to listen to counselling and gave her puberty-blocking drugs which has ruined their life.   It is said assessments are being rights-driven not clinically diagnosed.

Image result for trans clinic legal caseSo should NOT have been listened to ? and should have undertaken more extensive counselling instead?  It was said gender altering drugs are being given to underage children which is illegal, as the age of consent in the UK is 16.  The drugs are not gender-specific either they are drugs used to castrate criminals.  

So gender identity areas are in flux, do they now oppose the human rights angle?  Clinics are happy to go to court then a proper directive can emerge.  Are teens too ready to go for gender reassignment because they are isolated or depressed?  Clinics welcome it, they can now proceed or not via a legal directive. Nurture not nature?   The medical profession too ready to agree without using intensive research first?  As puberty is a natural onset we all go through, and that born female can still bear children, should medicos step in and change that because someone is depressed?

A former transgender patient has mounted an unprecedented legal challenge against a sex change clinic she claims is putting children on a "torturous”, “permanent” and “unnecessary path, High Court documents reveal. 

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK's only gender identity development service (GIDS) for children, is being sued over concerns that youngsters are being given "experimental treatment" without adequate assessments. The landmark case centres around a bid to stop the NHS prescribing "experimental" puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children who wish to undergo gender reassignment.

The case is being brought by the former patient alongside a woman known only as Mrs A, the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is currently on the waiting list for treatment at the service.