Saturday, 30 May 2020

One World?

Coca-Cola's 'Hilltop' Ad ("I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing ...[Cue 'I'd like to teach the world to sign...'] As a poster challenges both a UK dedicated BSL site and a Hard of hearing one on their own remit failures.

"This group is for ALL people who have a hearing loss. Some of those people rely on interpreters and this is an amazing campaign to support people like them. Like Jasper says, we are ONE community fighting for equality!"

I would disagree respectfully, we don't really need a constant barrage of awareness of other people's needs but a distinct focus on our own, I would agree the concept of altogether is a great idea (if unrealistic as areas are already going it alone).  

I do not think it works, as we can see any query we do things for our own HoH area without proclaiming we all sign as well,  is seen as some sort of discrimination, you can get a quite hostile response if you say I would rather this not that.  I've stopped paying 'lip-service' to others because it is dishonest, it's being false, and cowardly basically. 

The UK has no HoH system of support and no real awareness either. There are obviously HoH who sign as well but that is just blurring the definitions they are minuscule in number,  unrepresentative, and it's not really advancing the HoH case.  

Charities and focus groups, awareness seminars, individuals and minority groups, deaf and HI awareness campaigners etc all can 'specialise' legally,  e.g the BDA, who don't include the HoH, and often won't provide subtitles either and speak in our name statistically they also claim a 'Deaf and Hi' remit along with many others because they lose funds if they don't look inclusive but we know they aren't.   Once BSL is mentioned we know that isn't the HoH automatically.

Why is every plea for our HoH support seen as an 'attack' on the signers?  A stand-alone system for HoH is perfectly legitimate a demand.  We have the numerical clout to do it as well.  Most people posting here declare they are ...

(A) Not the same people.

(B) Do not have the same aims.

(C) Do not have the same social norms.

(D) Do not have the same communication needs.

(E) Do not have the same view of hearing loss or deafness.

Saying we aren't inclusive, is failing to understand long-established norms.  Deaf aren't inclusive, only of each other that's all and have some legal right to stay that way.   I don't see your sites viable in those respects to say we are 'all one and the same' it's not true, and this isn't a coca-cola advert it is our lives.

I wish the signer well but I'm not them, and I'm not spending my life ignoring my need because it isn't theirs.  We can co-exist it's what they are doing already.  THAT is equality.  Stop with the one world crap, never heard of diversity? or a right to choose?  It doesn't mean only YOU get to do that, equality is a double-edged sword.   You cannot do what you want, IF, it affects someone else.  You cannot speak in other people's name either.

Democracy is a myth too.

The 'Freedom' Pass

Freedom Pass on Twitter: "London Councils are closed until 2 ...
"Has anyone been turned down when reapplying for their freedom pass after holding one for 5 years. I’m being told I no longer meet the criteria, which hadn’t changed and being a previous holder means didley swot!! I’ve appealed and no joy and cannot appeal further as it’s a “policy” decision???"

Here they are removing them.    I don't know about other areas but the rules seem different depending on where you live because it goes through local authorities or used to, also subsidies are not being funded by a lot of areas who cannot afford it.  A lot would look to see if you were registered with their social or welfare services, if not they would be reluctant to approve or renew a pass without another assessment, they won't just accept nothing has changed for you, obviously, if a change for the worse has happened, it would need a re-assessment also. 

Using LA social and welfare provision was a rubber stamp to get one as they have already approved or supported your issue etc. It's a throwback in part to the deaf people who were with social services all the time and had their own dept as well as LA's being heavily involved in their disability/mobility support.  It's fair to say a lot of deaf are now not getting automatic passes either or welfare allowances.

The price of deaf emancipation it seems. The pass provision was expanded by legal test case brought by a hard of a hearing woman, who proved that an inability to hear announcements and such on trains or airports or bus station/coaches or able to follow speech properly, meant she got lost or left behind and incurred higher costs as a result.  

It was still argued this did not justify free travel as that situation still hadn't changed, communication would still be an issue, the legal case was however successful in proving subsidised travel was proven a case.. the system was already subsidising disabled with same/similar issues. It was a breakthrough, in that it changed the definition of 'mobility' (And indeed disability). 

HoH got them initially, regardless of how much loss they had, but that has changed, systems now demand you prove a very high degree of loss first and to prove you needed assistance with it, deaf signers had lesser problems doing that because most rely on interpreters.  

HoH had huge issues because they didn't or had a support system as such, and it came down to how you managed in front of an assessor, lip-reading well invalidated a claim etc.. you can be punished for doing the best you can, pride was a fatal approach as HoH then wouldn't press the issue or challenge a denial despite a success rate of 65% if they did.  Many lost a pass altogether, 63% recently lost PIP/DLA for the same reason.   

Hearing loss awareness hasn't a norm, and affects different people in different ways, a db here or there (or using a hearing aid), means systems demand 'proof' that even with such 'help' it is still a problem for you.  There are cases where sign users were challenged recently because they can travel on their own thus 'proving' they don't need any special help/free travel concession to do that.  That is the system challenging again the original breakthrough case criteria to make it not reliant on hearing loss problems.

If you undertook an assessment alone then your claim could fail automatically, the fact you were able was proof enough to the system you can manage. HoH are not social or welfare users mostly, so no reference point there to quote, the DWP has also hardened the rules and are challenging hearing loss claims. The more independent we all become the less need for support is the view.

The rows are on mobility because the passes were designed initially for people e.g. who had wheelchairs or had physical issues getting around, (as is the LA 'Direct Payment' allowance designed to help further), no deaf can claim that it is pretty specific to the blind mostly or deaf-blind despite the criteria stating it covers 'sensory impairment', the deaf and HoH aren't deemed in that same definition unless there are other serious disabilities as well.

Claims by HoH get challenged because by and large our 'mobility' issue is specifically a communication problem not e.g. walking etc. A lot still get challenged on buses because they are showing no sign of an inability to get around, our issue is invisible, thus what you cannot see doesn' exist to others.  Deaf people using assistance dogs are being asked to prove they are blind etc...  

Free or subsidised travel on public/rail transport may well become a thing of the past for many disabled areas.  The more access we win the less welfare support you can claim it follows.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Why you should wear face masks.

Hearing Aids are a Fashion.

Hearing Aids Just for Fashion from Kirsty Ramsay-Hogan on Vimeo.

ATR: I'm up for a laugh but it slipped into lecture and irony mode (again), it's why deaf doing own awareness doesn't succeed.   Sadly I think topical and cutting humour (And awareness), should be left to hearing people.  

The 'let's take the pee out of hearing unawareness to make a point', gig is too dated now.  Try humour that crosses the divide?  I Just feel deaf are far funnier than this but need to find a level with hearing to make it work by being more topical.  Perhaps if she did it with a red nose and wig it might work?

How many deaf does it take to change a light bulb?

None, they can't see each other in the dark so didn't understand the question.

Readers should not this isn't a poor joke by ATR, but a joke taken FROM a deaf BSL site, don't call us.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Cochlear Deaf and Covid

Absolutely brilliant.

New Zealander's got better access than us?

Good on New Zealand supporting their deaf community signers.  

Unfortunately, we didn't read what support they offered to the deaf who do not sign or even the hard of hearing there.  Like the UK they don't really exist I suppose, a penalty for being literate.

The New Zealanders seem to have swallowed UK BSL hype regarding lack of supported sign updates, [which wasn't actually true].  The UK has 4 autonomous regions each responsible for its own area, and allegedly (!) following a unity course and approach to battle the COVID virus.

As regards to lack of sign access, Boris Johnson had live BSL interpretation for the very first public broadcast he made regarding the virus on March 18th, [and before he succumbed to it himself].  In order to protect the head of government and its ministers at Number 10 Downing Street, it was decided not to put the BSL terp or the government representatives, at potential risk of infection in what was a smaller room.  

This is STILL the case as interpretation is done remotely, where prior to the interpretation (Also done remotely) was put on the BBC news channels afterwards instead.  This has been an established norm on the BBC News channel for the BSL user for years.  The difference only being updated sign broadcasts are at a different time (but still daily).  The other regions also broadcast at differing times to avoid area updated transmissions clashing.

Some regions were seen with a terp in the same room, this triggered claims England hadn't done that, so discrimination claims ensued.  However regional updates consist of only ONE person in the room where government/England live updates have 2 or 3 so not practical in one room at Number 10 to include another one (The BSL Terp).  Boris was also infected so health and safety kicked in as regards to BSL terp inclusions.

There were also concerns the BSL interpreter would be unable to effectively live translate everything given a large amount of technical slides, statistical information, medical jargon, and remote questioning that was taking place.    The BSL terp does have its limitations.

As we know BSL hasn't the dictionary, or many deaf the knowledge, to follow all that detail in a 15-minute update, not all hearing do either, details were expanded on for them afterwards in more simplistic a format and at greater length.  Like the hearing all you get really is edited highlights on any news broadcast.

As ATR stated there emerged dozens of deaf charities/individuals taking to the online area including SignHealth etc who assist in explaining the detail a BSL terp was not really able to convey on those live updates, discriminations never really existed.  There was a query that remained unanswered in that the two deaf TV BSL programs of SEE HEAR and BSL ZONE did not step up its support and coverage at all which the channels are designed to do for the UK's BSL  deaf population.  It was their time to justify their output and they didn't do that.

BSL terps rarely go into detail live, there isn't the time. As an aside most UK interpreters of BSL do not possess the specialist knowledge or training to explain details and BSL has limitations itself via lack of signs.  Some Interpreters do train for specific translating areas (E.G. Law, or mental health etc), but most don't.  The UK barrage of statistics would baffle most mathematicians, the political response, even more of a lottery!  

In doing a national broadcast, regional sign variations, learning difficulties etc all mean it gets pretty simplistic to appeal to the most.  

The prime access was subtitling, we doubt any deaf missed much.  More people speak polish and Urdu in the UK than BSL but they got nothing.  It's an anomaly the deaf seem unable to adapt as migrants have to.

The deaf approach to the virus has been one of claiming poor access and neglect, it's a perennial issue and they object by rote or habit regardless, but the real issue is a lack of understanding how their own communication works in the hearing environment, or, how effective their language is in doing that. 

Some responded by demanding the removal of protective equipment from the Drs and Nurses so they could lip-read, which raised a few eyebrows,  although few deaf rely on that except to assist the sign, they rely mostly on sign language and lip-reading would have been all they got, by people who aren't trained to lip-speak, so this would not have addressed BSL access issues.

A lot of deaf failed to utilise online access (or as we know many older deaf are not even online at all), or knew where the televised access was.  If there was an error it was clearly the fact BBC TV and other media had failed to put any links up as to where it was. Access was there, the deaf and government failed to move quick enough to tell anyone.  Regions still have a live terp, England doesn't it's 'in-vision', because it updates differently and in far more detail it being central government.

New Zealand boasted 100s of languages used but did not on their TV updates provide access for hardly any of them either.  It isn't practicable.  The UK/USA deaf are still getting the 'Lion's Share' of live update access by comparison, be happy OK?

"As we emerge from the last of lockdown and begin to look beyond our borders again, let’s not forget the vital role language skills play in strengthening our economic, political and cultural connections to the rest of the world, writes Sally Hill. This week is Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoan Language Week – and despite the restrictions of Level 2 many people are finding innovative ways to celebrate the richness of our third most widely-spoken language. 

Others will be aware that this is also International Languages Week, “an opportunity to showcase, learn, and promote the diverse languages and cultures in our schools, communities, and nation”. Yet, with our borders closed to the rest of the world, some might question the relevance of international languages to the challenges we currently face. And unfortunately within those borders even the importance of all our official languages is not universally recognised. But the Covid-19 crisis has in fact vividly demonstrated the ongoing and increasing importance of translation, multilingualism and intercultural communication in Aotearoa New Zealand. Within our unique bicultural setting, more than 160 languages are spoken. 

Over the past couple of decades, New Zealand’s linguistic and cultural diversity has increased to the point that we are now one of a small number of nations identified as “superdiverse”. This means fast access to accurate and up-to-date official information in multiple languages about a threat like Covid-19 is essential, particularly for potentially vulnerable communities. The World Health Organisation has long noted that “[l]anguage can be a barrier to accessing relevant and high-quality health information and delivering appropriate health care”. Numerous studies have shown poor intercultural communication in healthcare settings can have devastating consequences, and – especially in stressful situations – even people relatively fluent in the dominant language benefit from access to clear, reliable health information in their own language. 

While minority language communities in the UK lamented the lack of translations of crucial health information, and in the US the Trump administration ordered immigration judges to remove bilingual Spanish and English Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus advice posters from court buildings, New Zealand saw rapid moves across a number of agencies and organisations to ensure speakers of languages other than English were able to access key COVID-related information. "

Wednesday, 27 May 2020


Swan Lake to be performed in dancers’ own bathtub

A performance of Swan Lake recorded in the dancers’ own bathtubs features among 25 works announced by BBC Arts as part of its lockdown programme.

Swan Lake to be performed in dancers’ own bathtubs
Choreographer Corey Baker has recruited dancers from various companies for a short film, titled Swan Lake Bath Ballet, based on Tchaikovsky’s music.

The commissions are backed by Arts Council England and are part of the BBC’s Culture In Quarantine programme, prompted by the Covid-19 lockdown. Elsewhere in the programme, Cathy Mager’s Sign Night sees the performances of deaf artists projected onto landmarks and buildings.  

[I blame the virus myself, albeit it's a step up to playing with your rubber duck.]

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

To CI or Not to CI

50 years of Test Card F - TV ForumIs it even a question?  Social media agonising (that is what the lockdown does to you, you start watching TV again), about a UK soap opera currently obsessed with the burning issue, well, smouldering anyway, i.e. does the character, a gay murderer, should or not, get a CI after going suddenly deaf for a reason nobody is quite sure?  As is the common BBC political response a sign user emerges who doesn't really need to, because is a decent lip-reader, advising him to sign instead as the deaf community is lovely, and accepts the fact he hears less than we do or does he? (Bit of a spoiler there).

I don't watch EastEnders its BBC crap (And that was just the producer opinion), and from the start, it appears to be about people nobody likes and nobody cares for, being as disgusting as possible.  As a TV version of a back street Soho cinema where the audience is mostly comprised of furtive middle-aged blokes wearing plastic raincoats clutching the nudists' monthly magazine,  and fumbling about in the dark, it may be taking inclusion perhaps a bit too far to make it a prime time viewing program.

BBC Archive - 1952: Interlude: Potter's Wheel | FacebookAttempts to be 'with it' by including everyone from paedophiles to yer local and average rapists, gays to ethnics, (They appear to be missing a trick failing to include a transgender character or someone with 3 heads but), most are alcoholics or teen family killers being converted to Islam overnight (Like that happens!), and in between drug sales, or sleeping with your own relatives, but there is no 'issue' they won't include in their drive to look 'inclusive'. 
If that's inclusivity I don't want it.  If that is London I want to emigrate.  Apparently, online suggests the 'deaf' man used to be hard of hearing with an aid, who then stopped wearing one for 5 years, changed his face 3 or 4 times, (I wouldn't be happy with it either), who went from straight to Gay and the Albert to Broadmoor, i.e. after serving time for murder, and then wanting to kill his own father (As you do, but he'd have to queue up with most BBC viewers first),  now he is struggling with  CI or sign language angst.  We are betting sign language because we doubt he can spell Cochlear.  

Byron Bay Naturist Group And Agenda - Posts | FacebookDo both?  Do neither? or get banged up again? decisions, decisions... Don't try to understand the logic behind this TV show it hasn't any.  I don't really care if he has a CI, signs or his hearing miraculously returns next week in the post either just don't let him out on the street without letting us all know.   The result is intended to be controversial by warming up old chestnuts and it isn't even Christmas yet.  Controversial is telling him to shove it up his backside and use an ear trumpet instead.

Perhaps it's just a rustic social service training video? ergo this is the really worst scenario you could encounter (Assuming you live in or just arrived from Neptune), what would you do about it? (Short of praying someone levels the place and builds a theme park on it dedicated to the plight of gay badgers or taking up macrame instead).  

David Icke kicked from Facebook for peddling misinformation | E&T ...You can be sure the BBC's addiction to being politically correct and taking advice from any loony tune London focus group not yet locked away somewhere, or not yet run by David Icke (Whose convinced wayward lizards are all behind it all and created Donald Trump),  will mean a total fudge anyway.  

I'm with the 'let's all watch the test card or potters wheel instead' campaign and hope the BBC licence is removed and the show producers start taking their own advice and seek clinical help somewhere.  They often put at the end of some ridiculous 'gritty' episode 'if what you have seen upsets you, please contact..' and gives you a list of do-gooders currently on day release to make things a whole lot  bloody worse.  

Maybe they get 5% like justgive to point funders their way? It could then mean they aren't targeting 80yr olds to pay more for this rubbish.  It's bad enough they are confined to care homes for the duration. Sorry, we're all fed up of being made 'aware' thanks.  Such people don't exist if they do London is in REAL trouble. We'll end up like the USA, where it is apparently obligatory to include at least 4 or 5 minorities regardless of what the TV soap is about, or include someone with leprosy and no legs determined to run a marathon in the terminally ill wards, and god blessing America, we do too and hope they stay there.

I'm full of ideas if the soap creators want to consult me... for a price of course.  Just stick to the unbelievable rubbish like e.g. Dr Kildare who cured everything in an hour from Cancer to brain transplants then sewing legs back on his tea break in-between ads, and won the girl every week (usually the blind one)...

No wonder the rest of the UK defied London and voted to get the hell out of Europe too.  We even thanked the virus for killing off Eurovision, although they did wheel out a few on Zimmers who won it when we had only Black and White TV, the black and white minstrels shows,  and 2 channels with people dressed like Fred Astaire accompanied by the Palm Court Orchestra.  

No more soap operas please I'm in awareness overload on my fourth Chablis bottle, and don't care for anything at present, perhaps a lesson to those creating awareness? Drink less Chablis more white lightening?  give it a rest, please.  You have depressed more people than Covid 19.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Carry on up the deaf club!

The Carry On movies are getting a reboot with two new films in the ...
'Doesn't equality mean Deaf can do as they choose?'

"The view of equality means doing your own thing your own way, but that tends to prevent real equality happening.  It becomes relative not actual. 

I am I suppose, the Don Quixote of the hearing loss area in many respects, but to paraphrase an old Frank Sinatra song 'oops there goes another rubber tree plant.' in that it was a view if you stick to that point and chip away eventually you have to get there in the end and topple that tower at least create a situation whereby debate can actually occur.  Jaw Jaw better than being War War.

I don't see questioning culture or support approaches as an assault on freedom of choice, mostly because I don't believe choice or preference has much to do with it. I don't know anyone who prefers disability. I do read there are people who 'prefer' to be deaf, blind or even wheelchair-bound.  Even a group in the UK and USA who deliberately disabled themselves because they 'envy' the community ethos and closeness the Deaf have.  I did a blog at the time where I infiltrated that group and saw advice on 'how to make yourself deaf by sticking knitting needles in your ear, pouring acid into it, or feigning deafness and being mute and using sign not speech etc to square the circle of how they saw the deaf.

What can we do about it?  deafness or other disabilities are, so just we just get on with it, I do anyway.  Looking at the bigger picture that tends to mean coping/managing your issue means you tend to accept nothing much can be done about or no changes will ever occur etc.

I don't go with that.  Some deaf areas took it a step further declared not being able to hear was a right etc and started to attack others who sought out cochlear implants or hearing aids, promoted oral approaches, or were against alleviating hearing loss, they said it justified attacking other people's 'choice' (Or their parents choice),  by saying it demeaned them and their culture.  

At that point, I thought that's the line you are not allowed to cross.  Nobody can be 'more equal'' than others. You may be entitled to your view no matter how obscure it is, but, you cannot go at other people's.  Do no harm to others.  Obviously, the Deaf can bring in the heavy weaponry then by throwing discrimination claims at you regarding their 'disability' (Despite not accepting that description of their issue), and you are going at their culture by default as they don't see the difference.  They are a minority pretending to be a majority. 

I have rarely seen them able to defend a lot of it outside their own closed areas and social aspect.  Where curiously the image promoted is one of deprivation and discrimination and blaming everyone else for it.  The elephant in the room are the other deaf and those hard of hearing, currently playing lip-service whatever they do, because they can not be bothered to challenge them.  They  run scared of being accused of some discrimination or other, so cest la vie rules and stand well clear seems to be the order of the day.  

I never chose to do that but to challenge the fact promoting isolation as a necessary norm to protect culture e.g. is undermining equality access and integration, not only for others worse off but for themselves. Awareness is done by rote or plain bias, with no real desire to take advantage of any door currently closed, being opened for them.  If it is they can demand where that door leads to and usually, that is back where they started from if it means outsiders coming in.

Of course most deaf have no time at all for the nonsense as managing their daily lives takes higher priority.  I think most is online and done by people who barely rely on sign at all or are able to function in hearing and deaf situations without much issue, but the tail is wagging the dog mainly due to rich pickings from funds if you go about it the right way.  You can become a cultural or deaf expert overnight and charge people to listen to you. 

Recent closures of deaf culture charities and support charities for the deaf has shown such people are wasting huge amounts of disability funding and undermining support for their own too. ELDS saw 130 deaf left with no care cover after the charity was found financially incapable of running deaf support, 70 deaf staff lost their jobs too, the BDA saw ALL their trustees mass resigning and they still run that charity on some feudal based system threatening members with legal action if they disclose how that charity is run or how it should be.  The RNID/AOHL sold off their deaf care too and assistive device market lets all campaign instead, they been there done that and look at what happened.

It suggests to me the emphatic over-focus on the cultural/sign aspect overrode common sense, divided people by mode used, and created neglect of duty and care to the deaf.  I complained to my MP that culture should not be recognised as a charity at all also that any area setting up a charity has to provide proof of a capability to run it and for a cause that is recognisable and not being met anywhere else already.  

You and I know the CC is a government arm in reality and they are quite happy to let disabled, deaf, whatever, screw it all up for themselves, blame then doesn't go their way.  I suppose I want support charities that try to emulate a system the government and health authorities abandoned years ago should be closed, and state care returned again.  It is a simple admittance we made a mess of it ourselves and it has allowed care to deteriorate not improve.  Deaf and HoH charities blew it.  Let's get back to a system that sticks to the rules and is there all the time and is accountable which charity does not seem to be.  

To avoid being exposed, some charities are becoming Limited 'Companies', charity was never designed to do that surely?  They no longer are charities once they do that and challenge the status quo by being tax-exempt which other legitimate companies are not who are delivering same services.

The equality laws are now unviable.  Having been at the launch of the original back in the 90s we knew then the acceptance of the '90s Disability Act was a sell-out. We wanted to stick to our guns, our charities wanted the funding and saw a way to cash in, so we lost.  All I am seeing now are re-runs of issues the Act was supposed to have addressed.  the state divided the disabled and the amateurs moved in to screw it all up.  Thus proving we can make as much of a mess as anyone else can."

Sunday, 24 May 2020

We are ALL deaf enough.

What happens in practice seems different, the USA seems more 'inclusive' of others who don't sign, but in the UK that isn't usually the case. Deaf tend to segregate 'like with like' and don't really socialise with those who don't sign on the simple grounds they say they cannot follow. 

End of discussion, it's very frustrating.   There is an area of ' sign purism' that would rather not include themselves with non-signers as well, these are the people who say you are not deaf enough, as being deaf means something different to them than a profound loss of hearing. The ability or choice to sign (Or not to), is not really understood it usually results in a parting of the ways or annoyance, who makes effort is an issue signers don't unless you attempt to sign as well.   But they still won't adapt to what you are using.

Nothing further then happens.   Younger deaf are more outgoing and willing to adapt, but it seems to tail off as you get older. So that is not really accepting choice its saying you won't adapt and I cannot in most part. Everyone signed on the video, without being negative I would think, this is not to do with me as a deaf person. I don't do that I use something else, its a choice then do I attempt to integrate with the signer? or stick to the hearing world I prefer to, and use whatever helps with that? 

The culture means nothing to me or the social area because my own choice was to stay with what I knew.  It seems the background of these deaf follows the same approach they stick with people and systems they know.  The 'You aren't deaf enough' thing is an extreme deaf attempt to 'defend' sign language against all other formats, choice-based or not so inclusion and acceptance are the real victims.

Dr, Dr...

HoH not happy with BBC TV's poor awareness attempts on its medical soap opera 'Casualty' (Claiming the major casualty was, in fact, awareness itself), and failed to include or make people aware of those with hearing loss.

"Not sure if this has been mentioned anywhere but on tonight’s episode of casualty on BBC 1 there was bsl as there was a deaf patient who only lip reads and signs but there was also a deaf nurse who was an interpreter. Thought it was worth a mention on here. I believe if you watch it on iPlayer you can get subtitles."

"Do we ever get a speech to text reporter/lip speaker/notetaker/palantypist shown on a programme for the 10-12 MILLION non-signing hard of hearing/deaf folk? I seem to see interpreters for 250,000 THOUSAND signers but no mention of help for the majority?"

"I am absolutely with you on that. I'm fed HoH are playing second fiddle to someone else's awareness and the image is HoH are all signers too. I am all for inclusion and awareness whatever format is used but it is all so one-sided. You see someone deaf or someone hard of hearing out comes the BSL, why? Eastenders is doing the same, Ci's won't work without BSL either and those seeking a CI are in BSL denial or something.."

"At the start, the deaf man claimed he was a lip-reader, but the next thing we saw was not a lip-speaker, but a sign using nurse with a hearing aid instead, she was not an interpreter. HoH should complain or at least make some attempt at own awareness, but it doesn't happen does it? TV is killing hard of hearing awareness off, titles that's all we will ever need is the view. We should have seen speech to text apps there, the medical flashcards, and yes a lip-speaker too. If only to justify the fact some of us lip-read, this man clearly stated what his preferred mode was and got something BSL instead.."

"250,000 BSL users?  someone must be breeding them or importing them! even the BDA the font of all BSL claims, statistics and wisdom, only stretched it to 78,000 and got it in the neck for that, lies, damned lies."

"Who asked for a BSL terp? apparently, it was the Dr so they are out of the awareness loop as well. As someone who understands some sign language the patient deaf got few details it was all broken down to simple explanations, either they know BSL doesn't do details or assume the deaf won't understand anyway (oops!).

"Yes I saw that the Dr said 'is there a sign for haemoglobin'? There aren't any BSL medical signs, its point at the bit that hurts mostly and then ask how much... so most staff wing it using educated guesswork and tests, a system you would use on a child basically."

"They are taking out this, testing that, without explaining why, then he wandered off and collapsed (As they do on that program, someone needs to tie them to the bed)."

"We all know signing deaf can read minds, so no explanation is necessary."

"I didn’t see it but read the post I responded to which mentioned BSL or signing and that in itself meant none of the majority’s needs would be seen or referred to. The simple question “how does he/she communicate?” Would have provided the chance to refer to these differences. Those for whom sign is the first language have all my sympathy and support, but it would be nice to know they could have some sympathy for us struggling to communicate in a different world too ......"

"The bit I saw was the man with good speech. He didn't ask for sign help, the Dr requested it on seeing he was deaf, sign help was offered by the nurse (who was an ex or something), and knew he signed as well, although a bit later on in the story his wife turned up as a non-signer who he had no trouble following, continuity was all to the wind after."

"Deaf or HoH awareness a complete mess. And it all looks like token inclusion I don't see how the awareness works. But the sign is the thing so long as it is seen that's the awareness, it is never about hearing loss  The BBC needs to consult other hearing loss areas, not just the signing ones."

Thursday, 21 May 2020

New world order.

What isn't properly explained is that difficulties in lip-reading people (or not seeing anyone using sign for you), has been the norm pre-virus. Today interpreters are reluctant to stand anywhere near a deaf person to facilitate them either.  Everything is being done by remote.  

Who do they want wearing these clear masks?  Medical staff have no approved safe clear masks as we understand, so we are assuming the deaf want the public to wear them?  or just certain areas of them? But will that satisfy sign users?

They are also critical of 'homemade' masks (As are medical people saying they are only partial protection from others in the street and not approved for clinical use as they need stringent safeguards built-in), as stated, patterns and vivid colours detract the eye away from the clear panel they want as well. At two metres, lip-reading starts to pose problems anyway doesn't it? As we know next to nobody on the street is sign using or aware either.  

COVID 19 has 'exposed' the two primary means we use to facilitate communication, i.e. sign language, and lip-reading, should we not now be adapting to systems or devices that rely on neither exclusively?

Video conferencing also posed problems as did phones because of the unreliability, or simple non-existence of speech to text technology included, and/or it being ineffective too.  More than 4 participants participating renders following academic.  The prime area benefitting, is the sign user who relies on visuals anyway, but not the lip-reader who followed oral speech approaches, often with with hearing aids.  

Deaf communications are heavily reliant on face to face meetings, club social aspects, dedicated schools, peer signers, etc, it is an essential part of their community ethos and cultural aspiration, the virus has stopped that to a large degree too.

The 'New World Order' post virus means those with hearing loss are going to have to set up/learn alternatives, there will be no 'norm' to return to, and the old norm has clearly been found wanting.

Quit with the complaining

Despite 6 blogs notifying deaf where their BSL support is, and 14 notifications to BSL sites, they are still complaining there is next to no BSL access during this pandemic, here is the official version of what's available, try reading it!

Covid-19 poses unique challenges to the 12 million people in the UK with hearing loss, many of whom rely on visual cues such as lip-reading and sign language, which leans heavily on facial cues and expressions for communication. 

[1] In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, not all UK government briefings were accompanied by British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and this provoked appreciable concern among the 151,000 people who are BSL users. 

[2] The Equality Act requires reasonable adjustments to be made to support disabled people, including providing information in an accessible format. The Accessible Information Standard puts a legal requirement on all health and social care providers to identify communication needs and provide information in people’s preferred format. The government should provide and publicise comprehensive, timely public health information in BSL and ensure BSL interpretation for all daily televised COVID-19 briefings and emergency announcements. As a result, a petition was put forward by the Deaf community. 

The recent response by the government explained that in accordance with Public Health Guidance it is not possible to safely include a physical BSL interpreter in the room for daily briefings, without potentially putting them and others at risk. However, BSL interpretation of the daily covid-19 briefings are now provided via the BBC News channel and iPlayer. 

[This will put at rest the current complaint England is not providing BSL updates live. Downing Street is an exception.  Such BBC access has been there since early March in reality.]

[3] In response to the needs of the Deaf community to have timely and accessible information, the UK’s D/deaf charities have mobilised swiftly. Charities such as the British Deaf Association, SignHealth and the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) are providing BSL versions of the Government’s briefings on coronavirus. SignHealth continues to provide Deaf mental health support to members of the community and have moved their service for helping victims of domestic abuse online during the pandemic. deafPLUS charity’s BSL advice line remains open and Action on Hearing Loss have set up a BSL information service to support Deaf people during the outbreak. Due to social distancing Enabled Living set up virtual drop-in sessions for Deaf patients to access GP and Health Visitor appointments via video call, to address health concerns. New innovations and free services for people with hearing loss A great example of organisations coming together during COVID-19 is BSL Health Access. 

[AOHL is also running a campaign about LACK of access on the BBC too, where HAVE they been?].

[4] The service provides immediate, on-demand access to BSL interpreters for communication with Deaf people in all health settings, including pharmacy, opticians, general practice and dentists, free of charge during the current coronavirus situation. Access to BSL interpreters takes place through two methods: Video Relay Services (VRS)—when a BSL interpreter relays information over a telephone call between a BSL user and the hearing person receiving or making the call; and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)—where a remote interpreter is used to facilitate communication with a Deaf and hearing person in the same location. Innovation in response to covid-19 has been notable. A student in the USA reminds us of the importance of compassion and not overlooking the unique needs of people as we respond to this challenging time. She created a mask that uses a clear panel to enable people to read lips and facial cues. 

[Clear panel masks are an issue currently, none are approved for use in medical or clinical situations, and DIY masks are not deemed reliable or offer any immunity to COVID 19.]

[5] However, there are no transparent masks available for use in healthcare settings in the UK and these are not classified as suitable for use in a healthcare setting, where type IIR or FFP3 masks are required. The Government’s latest guidance advises wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces such as public transport, where social distancing may not be possible. Nine charities all joined in solidarity, led by the National Deaf Children’s Society and asked for future Government guidance on face coverings to include advice on speaking to deaf or deafblind people whilst wearing masks. They also wrote to Public Health England and NHS England asking them to commission transparent face masks. A UK Doctor created digital flashcards which enable medical staff to ask critically ill or Deaf coronavirus patients questions and share vital information on digital flashcards displayed on a phone, tablet, or computer. 

[6] In just 72 hours it was used by NHS trusts and hospitals in 50 countries across the world. Cardmedic is currently available in 10 different languages and features a “read aloud” option to help those who are blind or too unwell to read. An app is in development which will include illustrations and videos for British Sign Language, as well as creating downloadable PDF versions for healthcare professionals to print, laminate, write on, wipe off and reuse. Personal protective equipment communication barriers, isolation and loneliness are challenges common to many patients, but the needs of those who rely solely on lip reading have been largely ignored. Two deaf doctors have recently written powerfully about their experience. 

[7] I have witnessed this myself, with my grandmother who wears bilateral hearing aids. She is in hospital currently and struggles to understand what the healthcare workers are saying beneath their face mask as she’s reliant on lip-reading. This can be exhausting, especially with each new encounter, update or explanation. Simple measures to aid patients with hearing loss who don’t use BSL and cannot use visual cues, such as on the telephone or when wearing PPE, including speaking clearly but not too slowly, and not loudly; checking understanding by asking the patient to repeat information back or rephrasing if the patient asks to repeat the information; using plain language; sticking clearly to the point and reducing background noise as much as possible. Using the written word, speech to text apps or digital flashcards are additional helpful aids.

[The deaf are going to have to use other/additional means to follow, albeit remote interpreting is a better option for those who are BSL reliant there is no system of lip-SPOKEN support, there never has been, see-through mask effectiveness is relative obviously to the person's own skillsIf you are not 100% confident you can don't use it.  COVID 19 doesn't forgive errors or guesswork.]

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Much ado about nothing

(Or How to train your lip-reading teacher).  What grassroots said.

CAN YOU READ MY LIPS? on VimeoPerhaps holding classes when everyone is at work is one negative, as is insisting on useful hearing first.  If we could hear why would we need to lip-read?

Always watch the mouth movements carefully!

Yes obvious advice watching mouth movements, but we can get aggravation doing that, people would say why are you staring at me?  

Yeah 'stay and face me, talk naturally..' etc it doesn't work but the advice never changes.  A lot of pretty unrealistic advice that ignores joe public's response.  We should be training them.

A tutor I had used to write things on a blackboard then lip-speak it to help, of course, that approach rendered her lip-speaking point zero, I already knew what she was saying. The clue became the easier answer.  

As a plug for text support, lip-reading works well. As does BSL!

I suppose TV is the same? with titles there, you aren't going to bother looking at the mouth.   It is why sign users do not like captions being used because we read those and ignore the sign.  

The more I concentrated the less I saw really, I don't know why that is other than I was searching for other clues because the lip-reading wasn't working for me. The mouth alone doesn't do it, there are facial clues, body language etc.  Not all tutors used those. 

Every class can be different, there is no 'norm'.  By definition no real coursework let's face it.

A teacher may lip-speak very well, but joe public will be mumbling, half-turned away from you, or just ignoring the fact you need to see their face and look at you.  

In regards to the tuition of lip-reading we need on the street training so we can learn to cope in real-time with people who don't talk properly or face you.    Why isn't that done?

It is a failing of lip-reading coursework if you aren't taught how to cope outside the class, you are stuck with those within it, in an artificial atmosphere and once outside the same as when you went in.  

I don't do spontaneous at all.  I have to cut people short if they vary from the response or topic because I would be lost immediately, it's not being rude, so you also have to explain why you are doing that.  

Me too.  I have to deal 24/7 with speech outside the home or twiddle my thumbs at home isolated.  

Planning is essential. I never go anywhere before ensuring I have belt and bracers and alternatives in case.  My prime asset is my voice.  It's rather a restrictive way of life but, it works for me,  (apart from the fact everyone thinks I can hear....)

The only way is to get into the habit of looking at the mouth, it takes time to lip read. Some people look like they are mumbling and that’s why it’s hard to lip read, I rely on lip reading.

When do we get that time?  Only a few minutes in a class with a dozen others that's all, outside we won't get any clues or support to do it.

It is because classes are not there to teach you lip-reading as a first priority, initially, it is to encourage you to socialise like with like, (with a tutor assisting), so the pupil gains the confidence to attempt lip-reading itself later, but, that doesn't work when the class finishes.  Most classes are a few hours for a few weeks and for a few months.  

So every  3/6 months whatever, back to square one? and NOBODY tells you what to do when your hearing no longer IS an assist to lip-reading and you cannot use the class anymore.

It's hard to follow this is a system designed to address a serious sensory loss and disability isn't it?  It's more a hobby class to address a professional and clinical issue. 

Or to encourage them to approach clinical support? (Get a CI, MH support, or a better hearing aid etc).  I am unsure where that actually leaves lip-reading?

Pose any hearing loss issues at a teacher then the class can get seriously delayed as the tutor struggles to accommodate the ones struggling, these usually end up frustrated and leave or advised to go to the welfare/social system for help, this kills any real impetus to bother to lip-read, as pupils feel lip-reading is not viable or too hard.

If they wanted to approach social services they would have anyway, wouldn't they?

Perhaps they lack the confidence to do that.  It is why such Lip-reading classes need to be better organised and understand, if people take that effort to go to a class and seek help and it fails then they won't perhaps try again or seek help anywhere else.

That makes Lip-reading classes an essential way in surely?

The main point, but it lacks the ability to do that in most part with those needing the most help, the classes are simply not designed for them and once deterred, that's it. It becomes an exit, not an entrance to help.

I'm sure Lip-reading teachers do their very best, but I do wonder if their training includes those with a serious loss at all, or with the many age groups and varying abilities that are presented to them, that suggests quite a high degree of professionalism and clinical awareness is required that these teachers are not required currently to have and they can refer people to the right areas.

There aren't any 'right' areas, that's the problem, no set up exists for acquired deafness or serious loss, except a few unsupported charities, then if you have huge issues following how are you going to sort that elsewhere?  

They will just send you back to the class or ENT so you are in the wrong place again.  Most are at a Lip-reading class because every other avenue has failed.  It is a way in to further help, but that help and tuition doesn't actually work does it? If you are put off there, that's it you  won't go anywhere else.

Nationally the classes don't cover the entire country anyway, whole areas never see a class, it's all in cities or towns.  As someone already said, the classes aren't really viable either as they can only help a few for a short while.

Not possible to get effective help is it? there is no national support or back-up system for the hard of hearing who constitute the majority of potential pupils.  Or even classes for the most.

I'm totally frustrated with the advice to face me and speak clearly if you cannot lip-read its useless advice.  For most, it is a CLUE not a prime means of following. 

Therein lies the issue, we assume we follow more than we really do it's hard of hearing failing that stops everything else working.

So we stick to texting everyone?   It seems that most of us do that.

Deaf demaning zero risk...

Is it realistic to trade with zero risk? | FOREX ROBOTS HubStill, some deaf not in the real world it seems with deaf activism launching legal complaints via MP's about the workplaces and lack of clear masks for lip-readers, and generally not making the work areas safe for deaf people. 

Zero risk is never possible, risk needs to be as low as reasonably practicable.  

All businesses and organisations have insurances for employees and public liability, but no insurance area can guarantee it, the NHS and medical profession can't.  Living is a risk.

As a rule of thumb 3-5% is accepted as the risk factor mostly, but the risk factor will be considerably higher via Covid-19 as we haven't a handle on the virus at all yet, so virtually no one can guarantee much at present...

Yes the point I was making. The welsh assembly updates said today they cannot guarantee 100% even to protect teachers and children in schools and won't open them, they will try to do the best they can but 100% is unrealistic, unreasonable a demand,  and impossible. 

I'm puzzled at the deaf approaches to this virus it is all complaints and asking others to risk lives for them, and they seem blissfully unaware what this virus means to everyone, not just them. E.G Other campaigns for clear masks and claims they aren't getting signed access is also untrue they just refuse to listen basically, anyone deaf who wants a link to signed access can get it by looking  ATR put all the BSL links they will need on his blog.  

Those demanding clear masks all we can say is none are medically approved at present and the only ones we see DIY are not safe for anyone to use really apart from suggesting some mental reassurance, they offer limited if any 'immunity'.   The masks are to protect other people from YOU.

For aiding lip-reading, I am told hardly any deaf people are proficient enough to lip-read without extra signed help, and a clear mask isn't a help to an interpreter who will be hearing and not need it anyway. The deaf have to accept access is limited for EVERYONE not just them, adapt and survive, not complain and attack.

10 books about silence.

Office in a Small City by Edward Hopper, 1953.
Keep up that reading folks.

1. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare After being brutally raped, Titus’s daughter, Lavinia, also has her tongue pulled out and her hands cut off to stop her reporting who is responsible for the attack. Incapacitated and robbed of her precious chastity, Lavinia’s powerlessness becomes a potent symbol of the silencing of abused women. 

2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker Barker retells the Iliad primarily from the perspective of Briseis, the woman awarded as a prize to Achilles after the ransacking of Lyrnessus. With the narrative in her hands, there is nowhere to hide from the misogyny of ancient Greece. Ajax may be convinced that “silence becomes a woman”, but it is through Barker’s reclaiming of the voices muted by history that we realise just how much modern resonance these classical stories hold in the #MeToo era. 

3. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard When Steffi, a selective mute, meets Rhys, a deaf pupil at her school, their worlds begin to open up. For Steffi, the prospect of speech is riddled with anxiety and Barnard provides a sensitive exploration of the issue for a young adult audience. Steffi and Rhys communicate in part through BSL, a fascinating entry point into deaf culture. As their friendship quietly builds in something more, will Steffi find her voice and the courage to use it, again? 

4. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers John Singer starts the novel as one of two mutes in a small, Georgia mill town. When his best friend George is taken to a mental institution, John becomes isolated. Until, that is, he begins to take his meals in a local cafe and establishes himself as the silent confidant for the various people who frequent it. A beautiful exploration of conversation, its difficulties and the often-mystical search for understanding. Isabel Allende in 1985.

5. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende Following the lives of three generations of the Trueba family, this novel is marked by the decision of matriarch Clara to fall silent for nine years after the death of her older sister. In place of speech, Clara turns to writing, art and her spiritual powers as an alternative means to connect with the world around her. This is suitably beguiling proof that shouting the loudest isn’t always the best way to be heard. 

6. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil In this memoir, we follow Wamariya’s journey from the Rwandan massacre in 1994 through the six years she and her sister spent displaced in seven African countries until they are eventually granted refugee status in the US. As she reflects on her trauma, Wamariya struggles with the inability of language to do justice to her lived experience. It is impossible to forget the passage where she explores why “genocide” fails to capture the full scope of an atrocity: “You cannot bear witness with a single word.” 

7. Pilgrimage by Dorothy Richardson This little-known novel follows Miriam Henderson across 13 volumes (or “novel-chapters” as Richardson wanted them to be known), following her quotidian life as a young working woman in early 20th-century London. The text is characterised by a high quantity of ellipses (‘…’) as Richardson plays into a wider modernist fascination with absence and its representation. A long read, but one that more than rewards the effort and, in the process, sheds light on the silence that lies at the heart of consciousness. 

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan To keep shtum, or not to keep shtum – that’s one of the big questions in play in this Booker prize-shortlisted novel. From Paul and Lola’s silence over Robbie’s wrongful imprisonment to Briony’s attempt at repentance through voicing her version of the truth, it’s a story that shows just how compelling silence can be as a narrative device. 

9. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot At 30, Liptrot moves from London to Orkney, the site of her childhood, as she comes to terms with the alcoholism that characterised her 20s. In the dichotomy between city and island life, urban noise and wild silence, it’s a stunning meditation on the restorative power of nature and its power to heal. 

10. Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge As an adventurer, Kagge was the first person to complete the “three poles challenge”, reaching the north pole, south pole and the summit of Everest. Rest assured, he isn’t encouraging a trip to any/all of the three in a quest to find silence in the modern world. Rather, Kagge advocates finding pockets of quiet throughout everyday life – whether that’s on the walk to work, in the shower, or taking a moment of stillness over a sandwich during lunchbreak.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Postcards from the Pandemic.

Gavin and Trisha Balharrie discuss news on the coronavirus using sign language and the assistance of an on-screen Auslan translator onscreen.
From the absence of Auslan interpreters on TV to the struggle to adapt to life without face-to-face communication, the pandemic has posed unexpected challenges for the deaf community.

Gavin Balharrie, the president of Expression Australia, a deaf services provider. Being deaf during the coronavirus pandemic has brought a fresh set of challenges for him and his wife, Trisha, who is also deaf. He and his wife, Trish, who is also deaf, ‘are really looking forward to [coronavirus] being over’. 

Even before isolation, Gavin Balharrie was used to feeling isolated. It’s a side effect of being deaf in a hearing world. “In a way [the deaf community] has been preparing for this our whole lives,” he says. “There have always been barriers for us, so we are kind of used to it.” There were plenty of extra barriers for Balharrie as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia. 

The first hurdle was just getting information, as Auslan interpreters weren’t initially common at press conferences. 'A huge hit': Balharrie is the president of the deaf services provider Expression Australia, so professionally this worried him, but personally he also knew how dangerous it can be to be left in the dark. On 30 December last year, his family was in Mallacoota, in eastern Victoria, with a bushfire raging towards the town, and no idea if they should stay or leave. 

For hearing people, figuring out the seriousness of a situation is as easy as turning on the radio or TV, but Balharrie and his wife Trisha didn’t have that option. They are both deaf, and none of the local broadcasts had an Auslan interpreter. “There was information available in English, written out or in apps, but it’s hard to understand the gravitas. The emotions are removed from it,” he says. Gavin and Trisha Balharrie discuss news on the coronavirus using sign language and the assistance of an on-screen Auslan translator onscreen. 

Gavin and Trisha Balharrie watch the news using the assistance of an on-screen Auslan translator. Photograph: Christopher Hopkins/The Guardian Their 10-year-old daughter can hear, but they are careful never to place the burden of an interpreter on her. Coronavirus: the week explained - sign up for our email newsletter 

Balharrie recorded the local broadcast on his phone and managed to find a translator to send it to. When they got the video back 30 minutes later, they knew straight away they had to get out of there. “You could see the CFA [Country Fire Authority] walking around but, you know, it was still a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the kids were still playing. I don’t think we were quite cognisant of how serious the situation was until we got that information in Auslan.”

Monday, 18 May 2020

9m face masks

Staff in the ‘red zone’ of the ICU, where the most serious Covid-19 cases are treated
The see-through mask saga rambles on, with one leading UK deaf blog claiming 9m deaf are missing out because they cannot lip-read NHS staff.  

Whilst also claiming no signed access is there for BBC updates either.

Casting aside the fact 9m deaf do not exist in the UK let alone 9m of them capable of lip-reading, and BSL access has been there on the BBC since day one,  perhaps this clear explanation can help?

Masks have to meet strict medical UK PPE criteria for safety, no clear mask have been approved by the NHS, and few if any demands for them. 

COVID-19: Where to buy the materials to make masks at home
Certainly not home-made ones like the photo left that are a dangerous DIY joke, which doesn't even work unless double or triple-layered with appropriate material. It is far from simple to put a bit of clear plastic over the mouth and then complain about why others don't do that, it is because they aren't SAFE. 

NHS staff have to wear masks, goggles, and visors or you could get infected. They will be demanding goggles and visors make it hard next. Yes, they do but given the alternative.... COVID-19 is lethal. Unfortunately, face masks with clear windows tend to mist up when you breathe plus light and sun reflects so you can't see through them, even if viable, it's no help to a sign user.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Face masks and text Apps.

Google Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier to help deaf and hard ...Hard of hearing people and charities uniting with the deaf to complain about mask-wearing disadvantaging them, but not getting much sympathy with that.  

The AOHL charity asking users which app did they think is best? while deaf stating they want to lip-read via clear masks, despite them not being effective in stopping infection of Covid-19 or the majority of deaf not able to lip-read effectively if they did provide clear masks.

"I've 'Live Transcribe' best of the current bunch really but their detection of speech still gives errors and an accent is going to render it problematic.  You can use it with a remote microphone via Bluetooth, I find this is better than using the phone in-built microphone, as it means less interference from background noise.  Phones are concentrating on the camera at the expense of the audio it seems to me. 

Crystal clear videos and selfies but no idea what the people are saying, welcome to our world.  The problem as ever is the reluctance to develop a speech to text app as a NORM that works on ALL phones because of competition, but I would have thought the audio is universal to all anyway.   

AOHL should be putting the pressure on video app developers to ensure speech to text is a built-in norm.  

We've seen it easily done if you are a sign user so why are 10m people in this country just ignored?  

AOHL said it was going to campaign more, but it is following the BSL gravy train instead when up to recently less than 15% of their campaign-related to that area and they sold off deaf care and assistive technology sales as not worth it anymore. 

The reality is hard of hearing (Their core membership), haven't a campaign worth a s.h.i.t  lets face it, or support for one. 

The mask issues and lip-reading thing, does not address the chaos and ineffectiveness OF (UK) lip-reading approaches, or the ridiculous insistence it is for those with useful hearing only at classes, be they lip-reading or wanting BSL (Which only has hearing people attending because of a job possibility at the end of it).  Again 10m out in the cold because there is no effective communication system approach in the UK aimed AT those with hearing loss.  Lip-reading is a hobby class like flower arranging and with no end aim and no qualification either.  It's an amateur approach to an area that needs professionalism and clinical integration.

Can you effectively teach the Hard of Hearing?  It's a problem with such wide-ranging age groups and abilities, as well as loss degree, it would demand a specialisation to teach, that doesn't exist at present, and unviable in a 'class' scenario, a lot need one-on-one help.  Currently, if you need serious help they dump you on the welfare state who refer you back to where you started because there isn't anything they can do.  If the current system doesn't work there is no point referring you anywhere else.

A few well-placed boots in the rear need to be applied to both signing and lip-reading areas.  It's a job-creating scheme to keep charities going as it stands and isn't helping US.  More 'reliance', more 'support', more 'help', and awareness is the biggest joke being played out on us all.  

The virus has shown us all where the loopholes are, please, start acting on those not criticising the NHS risking own lives to save us.

I'm bloody ashamed to be deaf currently and do not support this campaign of demands for deliberate exposure to Covid-19 to score brownie points for systems that are clearly ineffective as they stand anyway.  Are these people not aware there is a virus about?"