Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Trouble at t'mill?

Oops!  What IS going on there?

Auslan service Deaf NT closes

Jessica Nolan hero image
Auslan service Deaf NT closes as clients struggle through coronavirus. Jessica Nelson says she was unable to learn Auslan until she was nine years old and is worried others will struggle with Deaf NT closing.

As many deaf people in the Northern Territory struggle to understand COVID-19 emergency updates without access to an interpreter, their situation will worsen today with the closure of the NT's only specialised Auslan service. 

The World Health Organization considers hearing loss a public health emergency in the NT Despite the need for support, the NT's only specialised Auslan service closes its office today The decision has outraged many in the disability community Deaf Children Australia operated Deaf NT in the Territory for eight years, providing Auslan lessons, social events and advocacy for people with hearing loss. 

Deaf Children Australia chief executive David Wilson said closing the service came down to a "business decision" after Deaf NT's funding ended through the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). "It really has been unsustainable to have that office operating ongoing," he said. While an NDIA spokesperson said the agency would ensure impacted Territorians would continue to receive support, the closure has Deaf NT client Jessica Nelson anxious for the future of the deaf community. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, an Auslan interpreter had to be sourced from interstate because the Territory's only full-time interpreter employed through the National Auslan Interpreter Booking Service resigned and the role was defunded in October. "Why aren't there enough people here? Why isn't there any funding, Where's all the funding gone?" Ms Nelson said.

The ultimate in speech to text.



Wednesday, 24 June 2020

So Fly....

The Fly Remake Buzzing Around 20th Century Fox - Dread Central
Scientists at UCL have discovered sets of regulatory genes, which are responsible for maintaining healthy hearing. The finding, made in fruit flies, could potentially lead to treatments for age-related hearing loss (ARHL) in humans. 

Gene discovery in fruit flies ‘opens new doors’ for hearing loss cure in elderly Scientists at UCL have discovered sets of regulatory genes, which are responsible for maintaining healthy hearing. The finding, made in fruit flies, could potentially lead to treatments for age-related hearing loss (ARHL) in humans. 

Globally one-third of people (1.23 billion people) aged over 65 experience hearing loss, and while there are thought to be more than 150 candidate genes which may affect hearing loss, there is no unified view on how to use these to develop novel preventive or curative hearing loss therapies. In the study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers at the UCL Ear Institute assessed the hearing ability of the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) across its life span (around 70 days), to see if their hearing declines with age. The fruit fly is a powerful model in biology and its ear shares many molecular similarities with the ears of humans, which make it an ideal tool for the study of human hearing loss. However, so far, no study had assessed the fruit flies’ hearing across their life course. 

Using advanced biomechanical, neurophysiological and behavioural techniques, the researchers found that the antennal ears of fruit flies also display ARHL with nearly all measures of sensitive hearing starting to decline after 50 days of age. With this knowledge, the researchers turned their interest to the time before flies developed ARHL: they wanted to know if there were any ‘age-variable’ genes in the flies’ Johnston’s Organ (their ‘inner ear’), which have kept the ears healthy for 50 days of their lives. Using a combination of molecular biology, bioinformatics and mutant analysis, the researchers identified a new set of transcriptional regulator genes: these are so-called ‘homeostasis genes’, meaning they are the genetic actuators, so they control the activity which keeps the ear sensitive. 

For researchers, one of the principal advantages of the fruit fly model is that it allows for easily testing the roles of individual genes by either increasing their function (overexpression) or silencing them (RNAi interference). Exploiting these tools, researchers also found that manipulating some of the homeostasis genes could prevent the flies from getting ARHL. Lead author Professor Joerg Albert (UCL Ear Institute) said: “While many studies have been conducted into the hearing function of fruit flies, ours is the first to look at the mechanistic and molecular detail of their auditory life course. 

"Our twin discoveries that fruit flies experience age-related hearing loss and that their prior auditory health is controlled by a particular set of genes is a significant breakthrough. The fact that these genes are conserved in humans will also help to focus on future clinical research in humans and thereby accelerate the discovery of novel pharmacological or gene-therapeutic strategies. “Building on our findings from Drosophila, we have already started a follow-up drug discovery project designed to fast-track novel treatments for human ARHL, we urgently need to find effective treatments able to prevent or slow the loss of hearing as we age.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Medical academic pleads for clear face masks

A Brighton medical school academic who is profoundly deaf is calling for clear face masks so people who are deaf can still lip read. 

Andrea Pepper said: “For people who are deaf or have hearing loss, masks can prevent them from understanding spoken communication.” Dr Pepper, a reader at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), run by the universities of Brighton and Sussex, relies on her ability to lip-read and see facial expressions, and has struggled with the increase in personal protective equipment (PPE). 

She said: “It’s made me quite worried about going to the shops, petrol stations and places like that in case I need to communicate with someone and they’ve got a face mask on. “This hit me the first time I went out to take a parcel to the post office and suddenly thought ‘what happens if they’ve got a facemask on and ask me a question?’ “I had to take my daughter with me and she had to interpret what was being said. 

“I’ve got this feeling of a loss of independence at the moment and wonder what impact this will have on me and other deaf people in everyday life.” It is a problem that she shares with some 466 million people around the world who, according to the World Health Organisation, have disabling hearing loss. And it’s not just face-to-face communication that has affected Dr Pepper since the covid-19 outbreak – the increase and reliance on virtual meetings have also proved difficult for her. 

 She said: “The connection can often be bad which makes it really hard to lip read. “There is an automated captions function in software like Microsoft Teams but I find these can be hit and miss, inaccurate and delayed. “It is also difficult to know who is speaking as it just appears as a list of words without signifying a different speaker.” With hearing impaired people depending so heavily on lip reading and facial expressions to interpret what’s being said, Dr Pepper said that all universities should be aware of the issue, particularly as many are currently planning to return to teaching in September.

She added: “As a nation, we need to address the issue of face masks. We should aim to introduce clear facemasks or possibly visors with a band so that people can see the whole of someone’s face. “Covid-19 has changed the way we live and we need to be re-evaluating the processes in place to help people with disabilities.” 

ATR COMMENT:  While we can empathise about lip-reading difficulties the 'clear mask' issue is never really explained. Initially, they don't offer protection, to either the medical staff or the deaf patient.  Masks are to stop YOU from infecting others.  It's a huge ask to demand medicos risk infection for you even for access. Clear masks are neutralised if they steam up or if the medical person has a beard or such too.  Some people you will never lip-read regardless if wearing a mask or not.

The reality is dedicated sign language interpreters have said no themselves.  It's very low-key complaining against those they accept sign terps can do that so why discriminate against health workers?  It's been said so many times how MANY deaf CAN effectively lip-read?  i.e. rely totally on lip-reading for their own access?  We are never told how many deaf lip-readers actually presented the demand, we know it is a 'right' but COVID doesn't care for rights, human or deaf ones. There are no stats evident anywhere as we can see.  The needs of the many outweigh etc so sadly a few dedicated lip-readers are not going to get priority with 10m HoH apparently settling for text and alternative options.

Yes, speech to text is random but I suspect lip-reading is well up there for poor effectiveness too.  It is a 'supplement' for many deaf, a lot who rely not on lip-reading but sign language, the reality is more hard of hearing utilise lip-reading than the deaf, and they are silent about masks.  Mainly because they know how to adapt to other means to follow, but deaf don't feel they should adapt anyway.

They are stuck in pre-COVID mode.  It is surprising the health worker is unaware that only one clear mask medically approved is available, or, that currently, none are.  ATR gave out the only supplier link of such approved masks recently.  If ATR can find it why can't medical staff?  These DIY masks simply won't do.  Adapt and survive, because COVID (Not medical staff), are dictating how access can work and just loves people who offer it an easy in.  With all the issues the NHS face daily trying to save lives the last thing we need are deaf attacking them for discrimination.

Can you see facial 'expressions' if ONLY The mouth is visible? Discuss. Maybe 644m have a hearing loss but I doubt they live in the U of K, or are all lip-readers either.  Most deaf reject the disability tag as well so we are wondering why they are now suddenly disabled as well?  They aren't adapting to the situation frankly and desperate to return to some old status quo, which is we are told, not going to happen. Anyway, access was crap then too.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Does what matter?

Tony Leon Quotes | QuoteHD
Having just read a reversal of view via posters on social media now claiming all lives matter is wrong as they now understand what black lives matter is all about, prompted an interesting reply.

I will apologise for the length of response, my sole concern was their law-breaking in regards to the lockdown.  Most of us have isolated and been apart from our loved ones (Myself near 4 months), to help the NHS, my family, the scientists and others fight this killer virus.  

That was all undone via the BLM marches.  It is a valid message but just entirely the wrong time to campaign this way.  Who knows how many more lives will be lost because of what they did? and to their own people who are most vulnerable? I question they had any right to put MY life at risk.  

Statue removal is entirely a pointless option it is just symbolic and basically vandalism not much else, it won't remove the history that has happened already.  Why remove the proof anyway? The hysteria that surrounds this campaign allows the ultra-PC and Marxists to gain ground, I expect more opposition to BLM not less and worse, but it will be covert.  The very thing BLM says contributes to racism ('White silence' etc).

They will duly respond by calling us all racists and it will lose effectiveness. Those who live day by day and just getting on with their lives and avoiding marches, focus group plugs etc (And OK basic human rights issue elsewhere),  will pay lip-service to BLM and carry on taking no active part in it.  The ridiculousness and hypocrisy of people suddenly coming out with BLACK LIVES MATTER when hitherto and the last 2 generations they said nothing is simple testimony it is the bored and COVID isolated who are fuelling all this and it remains to be seen if that will continue once COVID is addressed.

The behaviour of our media was and is appalling, you have to thank whatever God you serve for the net alternative.  I doubt there was a journalist amongst the lot of them and the omission of detail was sheer and deliberate bias and cowardice in most part as was the government and police standing back whilst they undid months of isolation we have all gone through.  

Many of us are staggered at the sudden face and image of media who appear to all be BAME people now, black issues cover by black people, Asian issues covered by Asians, Jamaicans covering the Windrush debacle, and even polish presenters covering European ones etc.  It was so pre-determined and obvious as the whole point of this inclusion is lost, a massive exercise in tokenism.  You get the feeling media desperately went out trying to hire that image when previously they were represented as per their actual representation in the community. (Which is  1 in 11/12 in my area), the BBC went to 1 in 3 overnight and even some news reports without a white face anywhere.  White people became a minority overnight?

I don't believe racism will be affected because many will feel they have made our lives worse by their actions, will that engender empathy?  I never believed in the multicultural community as a viable proposition, that is the pat 'mantra', (Along with community and inclusion), they always trot out by rote. There is as much lip-service and Hypocricy within the law as is elsewhere, they don't understand it is less a law more a request since you cannot enforce equality it has to be a mutual acceptance thing.  Short of being seen slamming a door in the face that is the most of it you can address

There are multi-cultures obviously but they are APART from the rest of us and legally enabled to be that way, which suggests the interpretation of equality means different things to different people anyway who can express choices that mean something quite different to including you. Ergo you cannot choose to ignore others who ignore you, actually, you can, that's the crap that is equality law.  Trumped by human rights.  There seems a conundrum as to why others should not do likewise and then it is racist so to do.

Then we enter the dodgy world of preference and choice, my own deaf area has gone down the Sewanee already following that route.  It created segregated areas by race, and communication mode, and by choice.  If hearing can do it, why can't we?  Inclusion is going to be very difficult for them to undertake or to ask of others because it is conditional not voluntary and like other areas, and with different languages, social structures, and religious views too. Inclusion has never been enabled by law because people see that as coercion, and oppositional to choice.  Is a collective of segregated and go it alone areas a community?  Not from how I would see it. I don't want to be included in what they do, I have my own thing going on.

I see people erstwhile who never lived with or mixed with the BAME community coming out with 'we are all equal' and, 'I have black friends..'  Most simply don't, this is part of the lip-service approach, they assume having said that they can get less pressure to change, and to be seen as supportive,  and then get on with ignoring the BLM thing altogether, after all there are 100s of UK minorities who all want inclusion aren't there? and we can't do anything we only have one life and 24hrs in a day. Being a total hypocrite is the new norm. 

Some minorities are more than happy doing their own thing and co-existing (Deaf included), and apart from passing us in the street with a nod or complete indifference that is your multicultural society but it isn't inclusion and are we just patronising each other by respecting the difference?  the jury is inevitably still out and either way, we aren't integrating or including them in OUR lives.

How do you address it?  E.G. If I have a social circle that has no BAME people in it, how are they going to force others to include who are in effect, total strangers?  Is it not going to look pathetic we all roam around the area looking for BAME friends to justify the fact we are not some sort of racist?  Racism is identified as deliberately denigrating the BAME community. They are not doing that, so is that racism?  Not by definition.

I don't agree with BLM people using the term 'White', that suggests reverse racism, from what I saw of the marches there were white people with them. It probably is their biggest blunder.  Most a few teenagers and well-meaning who felt like a day out joining in, because the usual cause celebs are thin on the ground since COVID, but it is not going to do a thing for inclusion or equality.   I just feel embarrassed they are all kneeling on the ground as well, pure theatre. (Or as one UK politician said an example stolen from a TV serial), albeit various empires have used the same position to suggest obeyance or subservience.  They do it in churches too.

Marching is easy, and they have yet to prove most of us are racist, failing to join a march is hardly that proof.  I don't know if I am racist or not, I don't really mix with BAME areas it just never happened.  Am I going to make effort now?  Only in as much as my lifestyle isn't impacted on, but mostly I think no, I am not going to seek them out.  I will probably carry on as I am.   As I can see the BLM movement has no answer to that.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

R U D/deaf friendly?

deaf signedone, Deaf "but friendly" 6 Cm Round Badge | Zazzle.co.ukSome deaf still complaining mask-wearing is making life difficult for them, because the wearers won't take them off, but still refusing to use any alternatives.

Being deaf-friendly is using text, not sign language as we see with a complaint about a shop worker refusing to remove a mask for a deaf customer. 

Indeed most of the online deaf input is in text. I'm just wondering how much deaf engage WITH hearing groups anyway? It is easy enough as it is all text accessible.   If we want all views and stories then we have to engage with others. I do it all the time very rarely with deaf groups mainly because they lack topicality and talk about things that concern them only. I have to move outside deaf areas to know what is happening in the world otherwise. 

It can be alarming at times to see deaf who are so unaware of what is going on outside their own sphere.  Deaf campaigners really need to take note as nobody is going to listen to them or their awareness until they show they can engage. I don't think the lack of BSL access or lip-reading access is an excuse now they can hide behind.  There are dozens of text alternatives they can use.  So they would rather complain than adapt?

It is COVID doing this, not people trying to blank the deaf.  The issue of lip-reading isn't a deaf one, but a Hard of Hearing one who by far and by number, prefer and use lip-reading to any other access mode beside text. They reverted to text approaches and the 'Deaf' (who up until then were all sign using are now suddenly all lip-reading.)  Because they have accepted their BSL terps won't put up for them?  COVID has exposed some of the many flaws in the Deaf campaigns and they are now struggling to justify their 'preferences'.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Twitter apologises to deaf people

Twitter apologised to deaf people for not making voice tweets accessible.

Product designer says accessibility options for those hard of hearing should have been factored in from the start of the test. 

One of the designers behind Twitter’s voice tweets has apologised for failing to make the feature accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. The social network launched a test of the new option among a sample of users this week, allowing them to record up to 140 seconds of audio to post as a tweet. But the announcement was met with concerns about it excluding those with hearing disabilities. 

Although the firm initially responded saying it was “exploring ways” to make voice tweets accessible, critics argued accessibility should be factored in from the beginning, not at the end. Maya Patterson, staff product designer behind the project, has said it was a “huge error” and the team is “working to fix this as soon as possible”. “We f***** up, I f***** up,” she tweeted. 

“We launched a test and we should have included accessibility features in that test. “That was a huge error, and one I personally have made myself sit with all day today.” #deaflives matter

Friday, 19 June 2020

A BSL Education?

including deaf children
It is rather amazing there are still people who believe this comment accurate...

"Did you know deaf children leave school with a reading age 8/9 years old when they are 16 years old. Education is not fully accessible for all deaf children. We have a right to learn equally BSL is a british recognised language."

"That statistic is not true and hasn't been since mainstreaming replaced most UK deaf schools, it was the old deaf schools that limited the deaf child's education, mostly because it was assumed they couldn't speak or learn.  Deaf schools are the left-overs of institutional deaf support. Is BSL a recognised language? Not explained properly, the EU recognised it, along with 53 other regional 'languages', but it was left to the UK to ratify it and they never have in Education, nearest they got was TC (Total Education)."

"That was a BDA falsehood, they suggested BSL was accepted, but it was 'recognised' and that is not the same thing, as it carried little legal clout. If it did they wouldn't still be campaigning to get it into education."

"Demands for a BSL curriculum have been left 'on the table' year after year, there is very little political will to go with it. It would challenge parental choice."  

"An immersive BSL education has never been tried as I am aware, so he or she are asking parents to risk it in the hope it works for their child?  Big ask.   Deaf children are scattered all over the UK in small numbers, the only way it could work would be deaf children put in boarding schools in a field again. support for that would be next to nil."

"There are no teaching systems to enable that. Since most deaf schools closed (Less that 20 exist), the teaching support set up and specialisation mostly collapsed and it only was viable before because deaf children were segregated.  Both deaf education and the deaf 'world' relied on segregation to survive, we have to change the mindset."

"You won't find many hearing parents willing to go back to all that again, their kids come back strangers.  The only reason many were sympathetic to deaf demands was that lack of access in the mainstream but parents still don't want their children taught in isolation and annexe's."

"Yes, that is the real opposition to the  deaf demanding a signed education, they refuse to accept parental rights and challenge them.  Deaf children need the means and ability to access the mainstream where they will live, work and play, and little of it is based on sign language i.e. unless a deaf charity is recruiting or deaf arts get a disability subsidy, the deaf have to prove they can manage on their own without help."

The issue is not signed education enablement at all, but support in the mainstream, there are problems there, which enable deaf activists to demand an end to mainstreaming and go back to some glorious BSL educational future that actually has never existed, and the old system was shut down as inhibiting the deaf. Immersive education has never been tried. It means near every child would be unable to access further education properly and be hugely dependent on hearing interpreters, that isn't inclusion or empowerment.  A lot of the current issue is the support these deaf need is unavailable not being withheld.  They haven't 30% of the BSL terps they demand yet." 

"True deaf activism is illogical it is not even idealistic. They will probably insist on a UK Galludet or similar, which has failed in the USA with a few exceptions, and led to discrimination by decibel and the inherent racism in part as well as Hard of Hearing getting blocked from classes, ousting their own deaf head and vandalising statues and such.  It's losing money hand over fist too with their shenanigans." 

"That suggests putting all empowerment in one deaf basket is a bad move, it goes to extremes and becomes insular very quickly and becomes a ripe recruiting ground for the negatives.  They are never going to learn about acceptance or inclusion that way, just 50 shades of D.."

"Yup, 'Deaf Lives Matter!' and an inherent reluctance to accept others not signing the same as them makes it all look a bit dodgy, the UK would not go for it.  For UK BSL activism (All 6 of them BDA permitting!), to want to repeat the same mistakes is not going to happen,  While there will always be a minority within the deaf world so disabled and with learning issues etc who need a school that specialises, the majority can function OK in the mainstream, despite activists insisting they can't. Sign isolates and it is time that was realised."

"The reality is ANY school or educational system entirely sign based needs teachers, a curriculum, exams, basic technological hardware and software and everything academic in a BSL visual format, none of it exists.  Politically the basis would need to promote real inclusion and that won't happen in a segregated school or classroom somewhere.  Being an occasional visitor isn't inclusion."

"It would need massive training before it could happen, that takes years itself, there would have to be a direct link and requirement in any curriculum to enable as far as is possible the deaf child is literate and able to follow English, it is all very well insisting BSL has its own grammatical way of doing things, but the mainstream has too and it would be criminal to deprive any deaf child of the opportunity to advance themselves via an unrealistic demand to defy the country's norm and then expect deaf children will still benefit."

Deaf Read, undone by D and d?

It seems that is the case as recent changes to deaf.read (Pick your own capitals it makes no difference), is only found in the UK once via searches an average for every 20 attempts,it's not unusual for days being unable to log in.  We don't know what changes deaf read have made but the number of posts and reads tells its own story.

The 'Old' site is found easily but no longer updates anything, the new site cannot be found most of the time by any search option, and has single figure views by a very small number of people able to find it.  Amidst the confusion of Deaf.Read and deaf.read issues, it has been phished twice and listed in the UK as an unmoderated and suspect site too with security software suggesting re-direct options have been hacked and re-directs to trojan hosting sites.  Deaf read left front and back doors open apparently.  

Requests for a link that is viable produced no accuracy at all. The old deaf.read link is no longer viable, initially, we in the UK got a link that only sent us to ASL vlog site which has little following here and had an attack of 'rainbows' or something.  Clearly unless deaf.read changes its site title and removes the old site entirely then deaf are not able to find, or make a contribution to it. Can the site owners explain how we can effectively log in?  

As an aside dropping the D/d thing would make a great deal of sense.  Search options being what they are they don't really discriminate or identify us via the D or d thing at all it is either or both or Hard of Hearing or disabled.  I rely on deaf.read for my blog as the UK has no equivalent and still works a la old email vacuum site modus.   If this continues I may just have to take it down.  Basically, we are losing information too which is a shame.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Wearing Hearing Aid when deaf?

Most simply fail to understand the psychological reaction to hearing loss, and that is down to polarised views online mostly and biased awareness none of which is either valid or successful.

I didn't find the video all that clear when he went into 'different levels of deafness.' of course there are no different levels, you are deaf or you are not, otherwise you have a degree of hearing loss which may or may not be alleviated via an assistive device, but each individual has a different reaction and acceptance of what that hearing level and effectiveness is. Most don't hear a lot! and the response is usually the 'Nod' as we know.

As an ex-user of hearing aids many many years ago, ANY sound would have suited me and I would wear an aid all the time regardless if it gave me any in, to the spoken word.  In part I looked on it as a safety device,  I may not have heard a single word spoken but could mostly know if a lorry was coming at me.  In reality, I was relying on my EYES mostly. 

Many years ago, a UK politician once declared 'Noise is Life'  when there was some political argument regarding heavy traffic and aircraft near his constituency, he then declared 'OK so move the deaf next to the motorways, by-passes and airfields it won't bother them.'

BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, Norman St John-StevasNoise is life, was about the correct description of how many with hearing aids see their use, even when it non-inclusive of the spoken word.  People need to understand for those losing hearing noise IS life, it is the only thing left to connect them with their peers as they see it.  

Irrational? maybe not, but a hearing aid or a CI, can save a lot of mental health deterioration, and as we read the last few years stave off dementia too where silence is definitely not a help.  You can get isolated from a lot of what is happening in the world and your own shrinks to very few people who can stimulate you as they are all in the same boat..

Without a signing community, they wouldn't manage either, they don't have HA so sign is their fall back. The HoH are nothing like those people for whom hearing is a complete mystery or non-event anyway, and part of the issue is various groupings trying to blur the lines and suggesting the modes they use will work for others too, but the mindset is completely different, it isn't about effect modes and alternatives, it is about hearing.  the HoH area has only one desire, to hear, and hear just about anything really.

My parent was deaf without an aid, my grandmother too, both spent a LOT of money investing in very expensive hearing aids that still could not counter the fact they were deaf, but ANY sounds they felt kept them in with a shout.  Noise WAS life to them, and that's the basic answer as to why people wear hearing aids.  It will be no use others suggesting they sign or such, or ridiculing them, basically they want only sound and any db will be ok.

To be deaf is to lose contact with others, Ms Keller made that point often enough, the reason why hearing aids are worn that still don't effect useful speech has that bottom line, and why near all HOH want deafness erased from the planet.  They drive near all research into that elusive cure. Unfortunately, HoH are unaccepting of their own foibles regarding what they hear, or how they see it being addressed. They are holding out for hearing nothing else will really do.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Epistle #2

Kia Ora, kei tepehea koe?

Just a line to let you know we are still in the land of the almost living in banging downtown Wales (But avoid Barry Island for a few months it still glows in the dark). 

I have included the obligatory sop to the local language sorry if it is dodgy, I hope the greeting anyway finds you well, which roughly translated means 'may you drown in gallons of orange squash and father many lentils' or something... and earnestly hope it won't lead to another march against us colonials (If only because its a pretty wet walk from Wellington NZ to Cardiff). Sue google translate not me.

The English here are being ornery again, and just to be democratic they sent two visitors to NZ  recently who were COVID carriers in case you ran out of them there.   Let us know if you are short there are another 126,080 we want rid of.  Wales is holding out, hanging on, waiting for a hero,  and televising daily a  dozen more mind-numbing adages that pass for government policy here, and the backing group needs a lot more practice too.  Roughly translated it means we are in the s.h.i.t. and then some.

First World War Bovril Advert Photograph by Library Of CongressThere are few if any other changes here apart from some idiots of indeterminate intelligence, marching up and down the street about race, colour, Winston Churchill's penchant for Cuban cigars, and being highly offended by Basil Fawlty (who poked fun at Germany, not black people), but any port in a teacup for the permanently pissed off brigade will do.  Next week it is the ginger-haired alliance, and the week after the league of the left-handed Bovril haters or something.

I foresee a further outbreak of mass hypocrisy,  more rabid focus groups,  and lunacy on demand to be honest. Being prime candidates for COVID-19 (What happened with the other 18 I want to know?), I suppose the BAME people just want to get it over with.  If they think banning Basil Fawlty is going to cut it, I have grave misgivings they are going to succeed, had they demanded a ban on daytime or weekend TV they might have had a lot more determined support they have caused more premature deaths by boredom than any virus. 

Dinorwic Slate Quarry - quarry track - Picture of Dinorwic Slate ...2 weeks ago racism didn't exist, that's COVID power for you. Now we have more isms/ists than we can swing a metaphorical cat at. We also fined 1100 English people many Kopeks for trying to enter Wales illegally, making the pretty lame excuse they thought they were in Basildon, which was never going to fool anyone in Blaenau Ffestiniog, or Llanfair P.G. was it?  Our police told them to come back when COVID has gone away and not until Lloyd George re-appears to sign their visa.  

It is amazing the English still think Wales, Scotland and Ireland are the same thing as England, lesser assumptions have caused world wars as you know If I was English I'd be doing my uttermost to hide it frankly.  We all have different assemblies doing own thing, (pretty badly mostly, but that is our norm and we will defend to the last pint that right).  

We HAVEN'T forgotten Europe either we are leaving them for good December 31st, some Millenium or other,  had they created a ban on COVID immigration we would not be in the mess we are now, it is so bad there they are boating across the channel to get away from the EU now, although the logic of coming to the UK where COVID is everywhere sounds a bit puzzling. 

Using the duodecimal system will make your day-to-day life much easierThe only negative is we cannot blame them again for everything that happens, so the English are the fall guys. Thank goodness, my education (based on the duodecimal system which created the Empire for us), and I learnt logarithms, pounds and ounces, and feet and yards wasn't a complete waste.   We'll soon colonise the planet again given a few years and rid the planet of Coffee.  The Europeans using the 10 system was their downfall because that's all the toes and finger digits they had, it was a non-starter,  once they ran out at 21 they were screwed basically. 

We won't have to learn other languages any more either and can go back to shouting at them which was the sort of universal language that everyone understood, who needs Esperanto when you can shout 'Oi! Stavros! uno pinta savvy?"  I  mean chwarae teg, Where would Mandarin be of use in Ponty? and the Euro was never a currency we used here, which is still £. s. d. (and half crowns I think.)     

We mustn't ignore our Royal family, (Yes we must I am just making conversation), now affectionally known as their Royal Highnesses' the living dead (You only have to look at Prince Phil to know Boris Karlof is still alive and well and in better shape), I put the mention at the bottom of this blog and as far away from the photo as possible so we didn't frighten the kids. 

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/persons/8967/8967_v9_b...Much relief all around also we got rid of Harry and let the Americans put up with them. Serves then right we haven't forgotten how they dumped decent tea in Boston Harbour.

Hope this finds you as it found me (Pissed as a fart mostly).

Your Bro, y'all.... (let no one say I am not inclusive).

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Web result with site links , Where would Mandarin be of use in Ponty? and the Euro was never a currency we used here, (which is still £. s. d. I think.)     Our Royal family, affectionally known as their Royal Highnesses' the upper class living  dead (You only have to look at Prince Phil to know Boris Karlof is still alive and well and in better shape), 

Monday, 15 June 2020

2 Deaf Drs.

Puts to rest the effectiveness of DIY clear face masks there is only one medically approved version and they aren't available to deaf Drs so DIY ones are strictly NOT for medical usage.  

What seems to be missing is what percentage of deaf or HoH lip-readers are COVID patients?  The numbers quoted are the stat ones the BDA/AOHL turn out and were not relevant prior to COVID.
By: Helen Grote and Fizz Izagaren

We are two deaf doctors who rely on lipreading in our daily work. The debates about personal protective equipment (PPE) during this coronavirus outbreak have revolved around adequate supplies

(1) Whether the fit testing and face masks supplied by hospital trusts give enough protection.

(2) The communication needs of those who rely on lipreading have been completely overlooked.

At present, we have found only one company in the world that produces transparent face masks approved for use in healthcare settings (https://safenclear.com). These are currently unavailable, and, despite involving our respective hospital trusts, the BMA, and NHS England, there are no transparent masks available for use in healthcare settings in the UK.

On a practical level, this means participating in discussions on ward rounds is all but impossible—aside from reading entries in-patient notes and the pre- and post-round discussions in non-clinical settings where masks can be removed. In a medical emergency that requires PPE to be worn, and where safe and effective communication is essential, this difficulty is a concern.

Similarly, the effect on patients has been overlooked. Around one in six people in the UK live with hearing loss—and in people over the age of 70 an estimated 70% have hearing loss.

(3)  The use of masks has made communication with healthcare professionals harder for many of these patients, and yet the General Medical Council states communication “in a way patients can understand” is vital for informed consent, patient care, and safety.

(4)  Face coverings don’t just affect those who lipread; studies have shown that 60-70% of communication is based on non-verbal cues from lip patterns and facial expressions,

(5)  Which is essential for anyone with communication difficulties.

While we recognise that masks and non-medical face coverings do reduce viral transmission from coughs and sneezes, the attitude of policy makers and the public towards the D/deaf community has been disappointing.

(6)  Politicians including Sadiq Khan and high profile doctors such as Twitter’s Dr Ellie and Trisha Greenhalgh have supported campaigns such as #MasksforAll. In an analysis in The BMJ Greenhalgh and colleagues concluded that, despite limited evidence, masks “could have a substantial impact on transmission with a relatively small impact on social and economic life.”

(7) The negative impact of #MasksforAll on the social and communication needs of the D/deaf community is, however, substantial. It risks those with hearing loss becoming increasingly isolated, with all the detrimental mental health consequences that can ensue.

Those advocating the mass wearing of masks have overlooked its impact on the D/deaf community. In the rare instances that the matter has been tackled, it is dismissed as a short term concession that the community could make for the greater good of society. Yet the time needed to produce a safe, effective vaccine against COVID-19, together with the acknowledgement of England’s chief medical officer that social distancing measures will need to be in place for “really quite a long period of time,”

(8)  This makes it likely that the wearing of masks will become normalised in the longer term.

In a society where manufacturers rushed to produce ventilators and generous communities produced scrubs and homemade visors, no one, despite our calls for help, has been able to produce a suitable transparent mask in this time. Although one thoughtful US healthcare student has produced a pattern for a homemade transparent mask,

(9)  These are not classified as suitable for use in a healthcare setting, where type IIR or FFP3 masks are required. We, as a society and as a body of healthcare professionals, need to ensure that in our response to covid-19, the rights of those with hearing loss are not forgotten.

We would encourage all healthcare professionals to consider the communication needs of their D/deaf patients. Apps, such as Google’s Live Transcribe, may help to decipher speech from behind a mask in quiet settings. Clear signs and pictures can also assist with communication; resources such as Cardmedic, a digital package of communication flashcards, can be helpful in some instances. Written notes, however, are not always an effective means of communication for those whose first language is British Sign Language, as the grammatical structure is entirely different.

The lack of support has been one of the hardest challenges we have faced at work during the pandemic. It leaves us and our D/deaf patients feeling isolated and ignored. Reading articles and tweets about the importance of masks, with no consideration of the impact on the D/deaf, leads us to conclude that policy makers and academics have forgotten about the importance of equality impact assessments in this area.

We want—and need—access to suitable transparent masks in healthcare settings and are keen to work in collaboration with manufacturers to enable this to happen. Most of all, please advocate on our behalf. As we have heard often, tackling this current pandemic together “is a marathon, not a sprint.” A focus on ensuring access to transparent masks, and enabling safe, effective communication for healthcare workers and patients with hearing loss will be a legacy for years to come.

Deaf Lives Matter.

Friday, 12 June 2020

I'm Spartacus!

The BLM thing seems to have spawned a nation of 'let's remove anyone and everything that they find offensive.' (So that is most of us told). I'd advise readers to copy and paste before they get banned.

Censoring Fawlty Towers makes the BBC look more bonkers than Basil ...
Now they want Basil Fawlty banned not because of jokes about black people but he insulted the Krauts, (Sorry Germans). I suppose the fact they were the reason millions died is incidental? Their final solution an accident? (They were actually building a theme park...  not Gas chambers) they said.

16 Epic Facts About 'Spartacus' | Mental Floss
Should we not be banning ANYTHING to do with Europe as well? After all the last 1,000 years they have continually invaded our country and slaughtered us including the Romans who built their Empire on slavery. Looks like we didn't leave the EU soon enough. If we are suddenly going to go at everyone who did anything years ago there will be no sector we don't go at. The thought police have been let out again.

Lord Baden-Powell, the Scout-Spy - Paul Dettmann - Medium
Dib, dib, dib? No more ging gang goolies for the scouts, they gotta go too.  He was a fan of Adolph, but to be scrupulously fair so was the Queen and her Uncle who were filmed practising their Nazi Salutes, And Uncle Edward often used to crack a few lagers with Adolph in Paris during the war,  Prince Charles' uncle changed his name to Mountbatten because his real name was Battenburgh and it was being mixed up with a cake of that name or Identified him as german which was negative during WW2 for some reason.

The Black and White Minstrel Show - History of the BBCAnt and Dec two child(ish) TV presenters had to grovel after dressing up as black people, so did Little Britain.  ATR has to fess up his Mum was a fan of the BBC TV program the Black and white minstrel show, so son of a racist too.  

Lots of good old British TV humour now consigned to the bin of history we must all frown and scowl now and laughing is racist, (or is an ism or ic or something.)  Currently, ATR is off to delve into the local history to compile a list of everything that mentions Black or White and anyone found laughing can expect at least 6 months in the Pokey and to be re-educated in what is or isn't acceptable any more (Which is everything currently).   Grey is the new black.

I fully expect the league of ginger-haired people to start marching soon and the left-handed. One thing for sure when the pubs open again we are all going to make the most of it.  I suspect the current display of holier than thou and thought police areas are probably forming a new religion or something and buying up gender-neutral/grey bin bags to stick over their head, at least we will know who to ignore then.  

I actually had some clown posting to ATR to stop using the black background on this blog, are they for real?  would pink suit? or could that be construed a dig at Gays or something?  Can't be too careful.  Alternatively, we can just tell them all to get a grip before they screw it up for us and themselves?  I'm praying for an outbreak of common sense personally.  I know the virus has prevented a lot from getting out more, but they seem to have lost the plot now they can.

Have you noticed? All of a sudden everyone is against racism?  they have not done anything the past 250 years but... Question? how do we address COVID that is deliberately targeting and indiscriminately killing black and BAME people? And nobody can do a thing about it.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

We are ALL Racists.

Image may contain: text that says "It's not white VS black It's everyone VS racists"
The picture is a rather naive opportunist one but... All of a sudden 1,000s of UK white people are empathising with BLM, but only because of a killing in the USA, nobody took much interest before or acted on racism prior.

COVID has provided the perfect storm for protest. We are a nation of hypocrites following the latest hashtag and paying lip-service to equality. It's easier to suggest we include everyone, how awful black lives are etc.. then carry on ignoring them and their issues but ensuring no kickback by supporting their cause at least on social media.  The net isn't what the street or reality is.

As regards to the UK we were more concerned all these people violated the COVID Lockdown putting many others at health risk their colour was immaterial, that got lost. There is a time and place for a demo now isn't one of them and given those who demonstrated are at higher risk of COVID than most, why risk it?

Do I think pulling statues down and banning TV programs will stop racism? No, history has happened and it is against the interest to hide or obliterate it. They pulled down Saddam Hussein's statue look at the chaos that followed that.  The southern USA states got a pang of conscience and allowed the pulling down of icons of their civil war, but it changed nothing, especially the fact the war was waged because of slavery, why would black people NOT want the civil war known, or its reason?  Because the North won? Abe Lincoln still endorsed segregated armies. George Washington was a slaver we are told.  The USA wealth was based on it.

Yup the UK did their bit too.  Slavery is universal e.g. the Romans, the Egyptian empires were built on it, we should be going at those countries it's a matter of dates, it is too far back.  

Harsh Lessons From Top Court's Judicial Passivism - India Press ...It isn't the rabid racist you have to worry about, they can be identified easily it is the placid and passive 'cest la vie' majority who don't mix with the BAME (Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic) areas, who to be scrupulously fair do the same. The passivists don't socialise with them, do their own 'white' thing, that isn't inclusion and multiculturalism is just whitewashing inclusion suggesting we are integrated and equal when we are all 'going our own way.'

You cannot stop racism with law, that is naive thinking, it is debatable you can educate it out either. School is only part of our lives.  You have to get people onside because they want that, saying they have to is to invite opposition nobody likes being told what they HAVE to do. 

With the virus telling everyone where they can now stand, where they can or cannot go, what they have to wear, and at what distance already, I don't see how enforcing black history in schools is going to make any dent in that COVID doesn't care. There are 100s of areas who are demanding inclusion in education, e.g. deaf people are demanding sign as a compulsory lesson in the UK.  

Where do you say the line must be drawn? our kids haven't the time, nor the schools the wherewithal, and differing areas of ethnicity will be demanding their inclusion and on their terms just the same, *Sod's law rules.   Black people learning black history by all means, but it won't hold relevance for others who will demand their own history too.  Welsh people were oppressed and their language declared illegal by England, who sent in armies to enforce it and later educationalists to schools who banned its tuition and use.  There is a very long queue of people who want their history included.

When I was in school I was taught the 'Kings and Queens of England' in history lessons, but a number were Welsh not English and we had our own history book via 'Hanes Cymru' that they refused to teach us about. Our current Royalty are Germanic Greeks.  This is living memory not 200 years ago. Is there a nation that HASN'T been oppressed?

Only recently in the UK we saw Asian areas attempting to block aspects of UK sex and gender education, so we won't accommodate everyone, that contributes to segregation, it may not be advisable to do that as equality such as we view it, will prevent these areas telling others what they can and cannot do just because that is their norm. That is a fact of human nature. We can only go on merit.  Only the middle ground exists.

Sod's law is a British culture axiom that "if something can go wrong, it will".

In one area of the UK one-THIRD of its white population sold up and moved to areas where there are little or no migrants or BAME residents.  We could suggest that is racist, but also suggest it is their own choice and right where they live.  The more 'profile' an area gets the more marginalised others can see it for them.  Human nature tends to demonstrate choice is paramount, (The deaf use the term preference), but it is # semantics.

Semantics is commonly used to refer to a trivial point or distinction that revolves around mere words rather than significant issues.

Once the lockdown eases, I don't envisage much change after.  Maybe more focus groups more marches, more pulling down statues, TV programs removed, or books burnt, references to facts rewritten, following the age-old truism the victor determines what fact and history is.  You still cannot control vested interests who will see the issue as an excuse to cause mayhem.  They will provoke to get a reaction and once that happens it encourages more martyrs to the cause who believe provocation is the only way.

The majority will then encourage a fightback and support rule of lawYou are in it for the long term or not at all, but, life happens and has a way of messing it all up again.