Thursday, 9 April 2020

A lost Cause? (The BSL Act).

During the lockdown, 'Deaf' activism is still struggling to get signatures on a petition to enable a BSL Act in law.  Is time to accept there is no proven demand for that to happen?

What they say: We are  talking about HOW we may be able to reach 100,000 People sign the petition for British Sign Language Bill to be debating in Parliament. I strongly believe it’s all down to Deaf Organisation need to take the lead to make this happen such as setting up sub-committee/volunteer to get the petition out! There’s 343 local council across UK, imagine having at least one deaf person represent in their local area to bring deaf community together to sign the SAME petition? Is this possible? 

ATR:  The prime concern is a BSL Act/Bill is a pre-cursor to deaf educational changes, we don't trust deaf activism either.  While Scotland has gone for it and Ireland the majority of deaf in England and Wales haven't.   We suspect this mirrors the Brexit vote.  The majority aren't buying it.

It is doubtful HoH/deaf (who are the majority) would support it, there was never anything in it for them. Deaf would be relying on public sympathy, so far joe public has been blamed for all Deaf woes.  Most will object on the grounds it is a legal and parental, not a 'Deaf' choice.   The NDCS doesn't support it in any educational sense and would not endorse the petition put into parliament 2 years ago (which still 'lies on the table'). Definition: Meaning of let it lie in English. let it lie on the table. (also let things lie) to take no action about something:

Deaf schools failed the deaf and the expertise to run immersive BSL classes doesn't exist, nobody has said where the teachers would come from there is no training for that, or even a curriculum put forward to follow.   If every 'Deaf' person supported it, it still would not count, as petitions to be debated, require 100,000 signatures there aren't that many deaf in the UK let alone any real proof they are BSL using or reliant, and the last petition had over a 1,100+ signatures removed because they came from abroad not the UK, petitioners should be deaf and UK residents or their signature doesn't count.   

It is rather sad and futile, they are pushing for this act IN isolation and on own closed sites mainstream don't bother with.

If there is a deaf demand people want proof deaf are supporting it.  The last census printed stats saying only 15,000 deaf are BSL reliant after deaf lobbies demanded the inclusion of that question, it bit them in the rear, and they cried foul after.  The BDA in 2018 said 95,000 existed but were unable to show any proof.  in 2019 they declared 87,000 did, 8000 BSL users suddenly vanished somewhere. In 2005 they had declared the EU gave BSL legal recognition and it hadn't.  Since then we voted to leave it and the UK parliament never ratified it.

The reality is the DPA law prevents anyone really knowing who is deaf, to what degree, or what formats they use or rely on, it may be a lot more or it may be a lot less than 15K, charities have used the data law to prevent anyone really knowing so they can publish whatever statistic they want.   True stats are suggested to come from the system via how many deaf are seeking BSL support, with just 300 BSL terps in the UK and nowhere near 15,000 deaf asking for it, the demand does not look viable.   Assessing deaf people to determine who uses what and to what degree is blocked in law and objected to via deaf charities and activists as a violation of human rights. 

What would make education, inclusion and access more viable for those deaf and with hearing loss is IF, an agreed format is there that includes everyone, BSL is Ex-clusive and a minority, so again it is doubtful it could meet the requirements of the equality, inclusion, or human rights laws to effect national changes.  It also suggests deaf children would be 'have', and 'have nots', with some areas getting more or less support than others, an apartheid of equality in an attempt to create an 'elite' of deaf BSL children destined to a lifetime of reliance on others.  Nobody wants that. 

For the record, the most successful deaf school in the United Kingdom is one that uses the oral method, NOT the signing one.  Would the UK government consider disadvantaging a deaf child because Deaf activism prefers sign?  

Deaf campaigners continue to lobby against inclusion, if push comes to shove in an open debate we would lobby against a BSL education because these campaigners have ignored parents, and keep trying to by-pass them, and other deaf people.  Their 'all deaf sign' mantra is relentless.

I'm all for a healthy debate on this campaign but they don't want one, they would lose, they don't publish proof and stats to back up their demands, they rely on a human rights law that is NOT designed for what they want. 

They will find 'right' won't allow them to do what they want maybe not even IF they have a deaf child, which most BSL campaigners don't, as 9 out of 10 parents are hearing and less than point 2% are hereditary deaf.   It is ironic in cultural terms hardly ANY deaf today have any deaf history at all. A hard of hearing granny isn't it.

What parent would be willing to have their role overturned even removed by Deaf campaigners?   None of whom who can take any responsibility? Every time their demand has been challenged they retreat to claims of discrimination and cruelty to deaf children, oppression, even genocide! they know they cannot win any other way, it is below the belt activism and a deliberate attempt to avoid justifications for their campaign.

By all means, lobby for more support for the deaf, but not demand the state create 1,000s and 1,000s more of the same.  Take deafness seriously and hearing loss, it is about communication, not politics,  It's about creating independence, not reliance, It's about real empowerment not just an image of it, a BSL Act/Bill just means more of the same.

Let's have a proper debate, let us see proof, justification, reason, and not hysterics, lies, and fear campaigns.  That takes advantage of deaf already struggling by playing on their fears.

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