Monday, 7 September 2020

Deaf Awareness month. Really?

The reality is 10m with hearing LOSS are not really interested in a 'Deaf' week or month. They see it as some deaf fest of culture and language that does not raise any awareness of their or our access issues. 

E.G. Capitalising the 'D' segregated deaf people because the 'D' area 'relegated' other non-signing deaf to a minor status and definition, either because they didn't use sign much or at all, or were not members of their 'community'.  They had own charities etc albeit these have mostly folded and were negative in campaigns.  The 'D' campaign is a major success and, a major failure to include as well.  But all depends on maintaining the community and schools.  There, they have lost ground.

This instantly created more barriers not only between deaf people who felt slighted by the terms created,  but the disabled did too as 'Deaf' challenged that term, and the ID's imposed by 'Deaf' on others with hearing loss caused anger, it also created support issues as the system started to accept those definitions and assumed them universal to all but still failed to provide equal access to 'non-Deaf'. This meant non-signers being offered sign support they couldn't use, or failing to get lip-speakers and text support they did need. 'All deaf sign prevailed' even all HoH did too.

The reality is that mainstream and the medical professions only have one image of deafness, and that is an inability to hear, and the support systems and those with hearing loss quote another explanation entirely, even that 'support' is an offensive term and it should be called 'empowerment'. Unfortunately, nobody defined what empowerment was meant to be like, so it became secular to a point. 

The hearing loss majority is a conundrum in that they are an actual minority in campaign terms, so again been sidelined by vociferous cultural campaigners dedicated 24/7 to promote their view of deafness, loss, and life as well as how that 'empowerment' should be applied or defined.

We suspect 10m in the UK with hearing loss are more than content to let them campaign how they wish but are not happy with the random usage of statistics and need definitions, coming out from this sector which is including them as well, either abetted by assumptions from the system, or deliberate vagueness from the cultural activism utilising some 'numbers' game to enhance their message even tagging themselves as HoH to increase coverage etc.  

The reality, as usual, is no figure exists regarding BSL users or usage other than one statistic from one singular BSL charity that has never provided a proof base for it.  The prime reality is cash as usual BSL/culture is a saleable commodity, hearing loss isn't, but it has led to widespread abuse and manipulation of loss and the needs it presents.  During 'Deaf' month we will see that in all its debatable promotion.  The irony in that as much reality exists that there are less deaf people that are cultural or signing than those who insist they are.

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