Monday, 30 November 2020



I could have gone deaf, what's that like?

I have been deaf 50 years I don't have a sign name why? lol  Do I need one?


Bit more common sense and practicality here which identifies the fact most deaf and certainly the majority with hearing loss, don't actually use sign language, but have other means and needs to follow.  The danger is quoting statistics of hearing loss and confusing that with the minor statistic of deaf people and an equally smaller area of those who rely on sign language.  Sadly 'awareness'; tends to concentrate only on this minority who sign and project them as a majority, either by default or by deliberation.  

The UK has an alleged (But unvalidated figure), of 95,000 deaf signing people, but only a need for approximately 900 sign language interpreters who work part-time.  Compare that with another figure of 12 MILLION with hearing loss none of whom rely on sign language, then we tend to gain perspective.  To dismiss this signing area is to make a mistake since they are the most effective area selling their issue to the public at large.

It is sadly to the detriment of real awareness because of spurious claims and a determination to polarise campaigns to the extent of non-inclusion of others, and this tends to be because the majority with hearing loss never challenge anything they say or do because they may feel they are discriminating or, fear cases brought against them in that cause if they do challenge.

Unfortunately, this allows the more extreme elements in that signing community to make all manner of outrageous claims and attack the educational or medical intervention systems trying to enable the deaf to manage a society based on hearing and speech.  So a 'back to the future' system can be reintroduced where all deaf are educated together and presumably via sign language alone.  Few believe this is viable or even wanted by deaf people and the statistics such as they are bear it out.

There is still a determination for deaf and hearing to not mix and accept 'each to his or her own', when the only answer is to attack that premise or inclusion is lost.  Knowing sign language alone then only enables more work for support and help, and still limits who you can interact with.  It is little use then insisting deaf are being ignored or discriminated against, communication is the leveller, not the courts.

The 'Deaf' community needs to look to the facts of inclusion and then ask, what they can do to lower the barriers and make inclusion a reality and not an issue of we will take some of it but not all of it and only then on our own terms, because it doesn't work that way.  Deaf education has failed and is still failing today, for different reasons.  Logic suggests we address the rot that starts at day one and NOT at the adult stage when adapting is no longer viable for many and ripe for exploitation by areas of deaf extremes who tell them hearing have it in for them.  It is all part of a drive for the 'Deaf' to do own thing regardless if that actually works in mainstream or if the majority of them want this.

What we have seen over the years is a deliberate attempt to distort facts by some areas to bolster their point, and lately, via COVID it has all been exposed as many deaf have been isolated mainly because they have no means to communicate outside own area.

Friday, 27 November 2020

Contacting your internet provider.

Apparently, there are still internet services providers who don't know there are users who can not hear.   The concensus of official advice is to use text relay systems in the UK, but providers are refusing to take those calls and demanding others act for deaf people.  E.G. demanding a voice call response this was what they asked of ATR who had an issue with his provision.   

ATR casebook: ATR had called in initially a freelance computer engineer, who said the issue could be sorted easily by the provider instead, as there were some password and set up issues, so he obligingly made a call to the provision and was told they would not help the person making the call, the client had to make the call.  He said 'the man is deaf he won't hear what you say, if you tell me I can do it for him', they hung up on him.  

So he called back and said 'I used to work for your company, if he cannot hear you, how can he respond to what you say, after another 15 minutes of arguing they relented and said 'does he talk?'  He said 'yes he can', so they said 'we ask you to take the call and then that deaf bloke can use his voice to tell us the answer we can record it, but you have to use HIS phone not yours.

The man wrote down what they said and I spoke into the phone in response and said if it was my partner's service that would not have been possible because she had limited speech, they said no problem get her to sign you are her carer form then we can do it with you, I said I am calling now via someone else because you wouldn't take a call from me!  I don't have nor need a carer and, why aren't you accepting text relay calls? they hung up on us again.

Official BT survey 2019.

Only 1 in 20 of those who are deaf or have hearing loss can complete tasks over the phone, according to a new survey, leaving 70% of the deaf community (8.4 million) to ask friends or family members for help with basic calls.

The poll commissioned by BT and in partnership with the UK Council on Deafness, reveals that despite the rise in digital technologies (such as web chat and social media), phone calls remain an essential form of communication for 80% of the deaf community, with 46% calling businesses at least once a week.

However, for many, the calling experience for everyday tasks such as booking appointments (90%), paying bills (53%) or purchasing products and services (53%), is poor, with certain services (such as healthcare and banking) inaccessible for a quarter of the deaf community. The research comes as the Next Generation Text service provided by BT– which helps people with hearing and speech difficulties communicate over the phone – is rebranded to Relay UK.

The Ofcom regulated service translates text to speech and vice versa with the help of a specially trained Relay Assistant based in one of BT’s contact centres[ii] around the country. The new app offers an improved customer experience and new functionality. The technology, developed by BT, enables a user to easily make a call based on their own accessibility needs. The user can connect to a call by selecting one of three options: Type & Read, Speak & Read, or Type & Hear.

Available for download today[iii], the new Relay UK app is free to use[iv] and is available to UK mobile customers in the UK. The development of Relay UK has been led by BT on behalf of stakeholders across the deaf community, such as Action on Hearing Loss, UK Council on Deafness, National Deaf Children’s Society and Hearing Link.[v]

Relay UK provides a vital text relay service to help people communicate by phone with the use of a text relay assistant in real time. This service provides an essential way for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss to access everyday services, from booking a meeting or accessing healthcare including emergency services to booking a table at a restaurant or booking a cinema ticket.”

According to BT’s research, the biggest barrier (78%) to a successful call is frontline staff who are not trained or are inexperienced at taking calls from deaf customers, while the use of automated transfer services that are inaudible (67%) and a lack of technology available to help handle calls are also highlighted.

With a range of unique challenges facing them, 89% of those in the deaf community said that businesses and organisations need to do more to make their services more accessible. When unable to complete a phone call with a business, almost 70% of respondents said that they have to physically go to the store and a further 18% said that making phone calls to businesses leaves them feeling like they are not valued.

The Irony is that BT is one of the providers who also don't have effective access.  ATR reviewed 6 major internet service providers and could not find ANY deaf relay advice area, contact or advice on how deaf can get a service set up on their own.  In advertising a deaf relay service it appears nobody told service provision it was illegal to refuse.  Areas like Virgin etc don't have a contact today.

Part of the problem is people trying to scam provision by claiming to speak for those who can't and this made issues even with text responses or email.  So part of the issue was intense verification of users which blocked telephonic or electronic contact by default.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Support Bubbles

The UK has agreed on a Xmas support bubble:

The big question we have to ask ourselves 'Is there a possibility I am taking an unwanted Xmas present home to my next of kin? a lethal covid infection? and if it is better we stay away until it is safer?'  Much criticism has emerged already that post-Xmas/January we will inevitably see a 3rd wave higher than before, is it better stay away at Xmas, and stay safe?  especially as it is inevitable a mad rush home is going to emerge.  

Ironically few if any trains or buses will be running for those 5 days anyway, and we suspect the various governments are trying to be too clever by offering this travel option for 5 days at a time when travel is difficult anyway, they really do not want people travelling across the country from high covid areas, so why offer that option?  So they can blame us who took the bait?  Sounds irresponsible to us...

What the UK governments said:

Up to three households will be able to meet up during a five-day Christmas period of 23 to 27 December, leaders of the four UK nations have agreed. People can mix in homes, places of worship and outdoor spaces, and travel restrictions will also be eased.

But a formed "Christmas bubble" must be "exclusive" and would not be able to visit pubs or restaurants together. The leaders urged people to "think carefully about what they do" to keep the risk of increased transmission low. They added 2020 "cannot be a normal Christmas" but family and friends will be able to see each other in a "limited and cautious" way.

However, some scientists have warned that the relaxation of Covid restrictions over the festive period could spark another wave of infections and further deaths.  The measures will see travel restrictions across the four nations, and between tiers and levels, lifted to allow people to visit families in other parts of the UK.  Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December, but otherwise travel to and from bubbles should be done between the 23 and 27.

People will not be able to get together with others from more than two other households, and once a bubble is formed, it must not be changed or be extended further. The guidance says a bubble of three households would be able to stay overnight at each other's home but would not be able to visit hospitality, theatres or retail settings.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Life and Deaf in Covid.

Life & Deaf in Covid from Film Oxford on Vimeo.

The ongoing assumption is deaf are all good lip-readers but the signers really do not rely on lip-reading.  Clear masks present issues in that they aren't protection from COVID, so apart from risking yourself, you are asking others to as well.  The pandemic means you may well be asking someone to risk their lives so you can lip-read them.  That may be a 'right' too far to make a demand with given no law would empower that.

It is difficult without seeing all facial features, but it has to be balanced with risk. One charity survey suggested that more HEARING were suffering communication issues with masks on, up to 89% of them did.  We have a disability of the sense that is our bad luck, so nobody to 'blame' about that.  COVID means the usual debates and issues regarding rights have gone out the window and you cannot fight a virus with a rights message.  It will still infect you.

We just all have to accept everyone is in the same position and adopt the rules until a vaccine gets it under control.  Deaf suffer because they are isolated anyway and in part, because they prefer to isolate themselves within their own community, which COVID has seriously undermined by making social contact virtual instead or actual.  From what we have seen deaf haven't switched to that option and more isolated as a result.  This may be down to the reality their reliance on each other wasn't as good as it gets, and they need to find more effective ways of reaching out to hearing instead of going it alone.

COVID has proved the deaf way is its own Achilles heel so perhaps now is the opportunity to change the way we address isolation.  From what we know deaf won't adapt and will wait it out and carry on as before, I am unsure that is progress the opportunity to acquire viable alternatives are now.

Letters down under

Hola! Just the usual post to ask how you are managing there in these covid-ridden times, now the bush fires are out, the wildlife and beach bums and barbie fellowship are being a bloody nuisance again?

I suspect you have probably read the UK is in a worse state than before, but you know us, what's new? we don't listen to advice ever so nothing much has changed really.  A lockdown they all go mad and then they get pissed stab each other then spread it all again after, cue another lockdown etc. We just go out for food and come home again avoiding anything on two legs and hoping the TV doesn't pack up because that is all there is really, I'm probably the world's leading authority on the potters' wheel by now.  I can't stand the other stuff they show, it's either idiots jumping about with fits they call dancing or people cooking crap nobody in their right mind would eat.  What the frig is lychee anyway and who cares?

Our family is much the same and getting paranoid about leaving the house for anything.  Since we emerged from the latest lockdown, masks have gone by the board again, social distancing has been abandoned, and public transport are the new mobile coffins.  Of course, should you negotiate all that, hardly any shops exist to shop in.  Xmas is off until 2022 at least I gather.  Let's face it, Santa was an overrated  Yank anyway and his ancestor was probably Turkish...

We haven't entered a pub in 9 months either because you get the 3rd degree, they want your name, address, your mobile phone number, but they stopped short of counting our teeth, if you manage all that you are on the clock, 1hr they want you out again.  Deliveries to your door usually mean a van turns up they throw stuff over the wall take a photo and then gone again, and what isn't smashed to buggery gets stolen.  

A lot of my neighbours have lost stuff because there are a few nere do wells following the delivery vans and then taking the stuff left outside the doors for themselves.  Yet another set up are dog and cat snatchers, people around here have lost nearly all their pets.  I suppose N Korea is buying them all up, or MacDonalds.  If it means less dog s.h.i.t. to step into I'm all for it.  

I gather our Bro is OK according to his kids but umpteen years down under still hasn't taught him how to use a phone or write anything (which is a conundrum given he runs a post office or something the last 15 years). This last week has seen 3 neighbours move away in 2 weeks, we must be using the wrong soap or something.  Now only 3 of them actually speak da lingo, the newcomers are Polish and Asians one talks in consonants, and there isn't a vowel to be heard from any of them and the others face Mecca 5 times a day and the bloody sand gets everywhere.   

I never went abroad in 40 years to avoid all that, now they are coming to live next door.  I suspect post-Xmas we will be going too, so at least we can communicate to someone.  I'm too old to speak to foreigners every day, I much preferred ignoring them up to now or shouting at them. Now our GP's don't want to know you,  and none of them speaks the language either, hospitals are full of covidiots who thought rules were for others, and the health and advice helplines need helplines too, now they have run out of unemployed, or locked up students to man them.

Not only is it 'physician heal thyself', but I gotta do it as well, thank the gods google exists, if they cannot diagnose you with some exotic malady they can at least sell you enough lethal drugs to stop you worrying about it. Most are off their heads around here on nitrous oxide sniffing, which I gather are gas canisters for use on cake making equipment, no wonder everyone is baking lately... Our local pub erstwhile deserted for 12 years is now a cannabis factory, there was a fire there recently and half the village was out of it.  

The Welsh government says we can travel all over Wales if we want to.  The problem is nobody wants to, and they don't seem aware they also told us don't travel anyway because that makes things worse, roll on the election next year, rin tin tin is my favourite to win it or maybe Trump he wants a new job now.

Get out in the fresh air is the advice, (Which drew a few incredulous titters here), we live in WALES (Nuff said), if the flu or covid doesn't get you the flooding, the rain, and the frost will. Failing those, most around here are walking plague carriers anyway.  You get a real 'pick n mix' of issues here to catch.  We just read 40% of GP's are due to retire, (that is the ones still sober enough to still operate). No trainee wants to be one so it is back to witch doctors again and home remedies.  Which means Instagram is set to make a killing advising us all to do a mantra or slam doors for Jesus on December the 25th.

Hoping this letter finds you as it does me, or the postman stuffs it up again, in which case you probably haven't read this.


Monday, 23 November 2020

Are deaf people good signers?

Some controversy on social media where suggestions deaf were not all perfect signers was reported as an 'attack' on deaf people. Quite often we can read deaf stating 'I don't sign that way..' or, 'that isn't the same sign I use..' some gets passed off as regional but a lot are signs deaf have acquired from others who may have made then up to suit. Language evolves and deaf are always playing catch up. Given the poor academic attainment at school leaving ages worldwide, there must be some truth in the report deaf are unable to improve their signing skills too. We know in the UK there is virtually no take-up of further education or adult education by most deaf people, who view them as 'literacy' classes and they feel literacy is a tool used to deny the sign languages and its grammar. Where DO deaf learn sign language? obviously, the community is one source (i.e. assuming they belong to it), or sign used as an 'in' to English in education where BSL and its grammar is not the ultimate aim of it. Criticism abounds at Interpreters who use 'wrong' signs, or make it difficult for those deaf academically challenged to follow interpretation. This is a well-known issue with Interpreters, who have to assess the deaf client often with no prior engagement so starting from 'scratch' and pitching translation on how they assess the deaf are taking in what is being translated and adjusting accordingly. This gets criticisms sometimes unfairly, as 'dumbing down', or using advanced BSL they cannot follow. Hearing attend BSL classes in colleges and Universities so have to attain a proficient level in both, often a higher level of signing than deaf would normally use day to day socially. Interpreters have to double take too and translate bilingually, something deaf do not have to do. Having said that on the spot assessment can be prone to errors, not deliberate. Interpreters are learning as they go what works and what doesn't. Occasionally we get Interpeters trying to be 'inventive' to simplify, that should not be undertaken really as deaf tend to be quite literal. Deaf understand this, it is why many ask for an Interpreter they are familiar with and can struggle with those they aren't. Current usage of BSL interpreters is pretty mundane, e.g. Dr visits health etc, but few interpreters are trained at all in technical areas or specialised so that too, contributes to issues of translation. even a basic visit to a GP may create issues if there is no straightforward way to explain technical jargon. Simplifying an explanation can create issues too. At higher educational levels there are issues put down predominantly to 'poor support' in schools etc, the reality is in higher education there are not the interpreters or the signs to be used, certainly not at University level, as we write the few deaf professionals/scientists etc, have to develop own signs for what they are doing because the dictionary of BSL hasn't those signs, they are hoping they get entered colloquially although in the context they may not be exact enough, who is to say different? The dictionary was created as a 'focus point' for sign as a bona fide language but it didn't have the signs collectively as the English dictionaries did or the academic texts because it is a visual language. The pictorial BSL dictionary was a mess of sorts with claims many were invented or put in to create a context which grassroots had issues with. Indeed the BDA opposed BSL tuition based on it and attempted to create a 'real deaf' alternative. There is a gap between how Interpreters are taught and what the deaf can follow. That gap will always remain whilst there is an educational divide and whilst one hears and the other doesn't. Deaf tend to pick up signs within the community, signs others saw and acquired etc, regional sign evolved that way, but little was based on accurate description or in-depth detail, it was conceptual in approach. You get the idea OK you don't need to now much else Simplistically, I might have a mobile phone, a TV maybe a computer, it makes no difference I don't know how it works so long as I know how to use it. That tends to fall down very quickly if you need to know that or want to build or service them etc.... And become a serious issue in understanding complex health needs. At grassroots level, simply because your immediate peers follow you doesn't mean everyone else will. A language relies on its users, here there is little attempt to improve or normalise it. Here is the 'proof' but it only served to suggest the opposite.

If we need a prime example of a complete mess we have only to look at acquired signers like Paddy Ladd an ex oralist, who wrote a book on DEAFHOOD in a language few deaf could understand, (English), and then used technical Jargon for which no signs existed and even English readers would be confused by. There is no doubting his intellect, but it is obviously one honed via oralism, hearing and English because it would not have been written otherwise. As an example of the need to acquire English by the deaf, he could have written something simpler as an introduction.

They are still attempting years later to try to interpret that in the belief it 'could' suggest there IS a higher academic BSL thing going on. Americans suggest it validates ASL although Brits remained unconvinced. There is the 'proof', but it only served to suggest the opposite because his opus was ABOUT deaf people for hearing consumption, it was never intended for the deaf.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

English COVID Advice.

I wonder if the signs actually exist to cover the details of what she said?  Like Boris and Co, the charts and details explaining those must go over the head of deaf people too.  Are they just following 'stay home' and 'stay away from others'?  Do they understand the tier systems?   If they do explain it to the rest of us?

What is the sign for Field Epidemiology? 

Friday, 20 November 2020

Face Mask misery.

ATR has been asked to clarify a recent UK blog claim regarding a deaf children's charity survey.  ATR is happy to do so.  It's claim 3 out of 4 UK adults surveyed had no idea how to communicate to a deaf person, but the charity survey stated 2,000 were surveyed when the actual UK adult population is 53m approx. Three quarters would be nearer 39m not 1500. 50,000 deaf children statistic have never been validated, the children's charity has never claimed there are actual 50K profound deaf children, let alone sign using ones, the clinical statistic relates to children with hearing loss and deafness, they are not one and the same thing and only a minority of those are in special education schools.  

NOTE: ATR requested a FOI on those statistics from all 4 educational regions this year of the UK, and the result was no clarification of loss degree at all they are all 'lumped' together.  It isn't possible to acquire an accurate statistic because they all list hearing loss differently.  That should not mean charities and activists can publish any statistic they like and invent them to suit their own cause celeb.  The fact that charities provide own statistics and the state refers to those instead of checking them, has meant widespread abuse and lack of belief in their validity. Ergo, nobody has done a real survey because it isn't possible.   It is 'prove differently' which of course is impossible. We got 100K signers and 12 m HoH, none of it based on actual proof, either by loss degree or mode or education or support required.  The last census rubbished them.

Quoting 12m without clarity, also suggested 12m deaf as well, this is a constant concern to the hard of hearing where their community and communication is projected as a Deaf one by inference and as an inclusive set up, when it isn't at all and their charities stand alone. By far the greatest issue with mask-wearing is deaf are asking for their removal while the government is insisting not, and most clear masks are no protection against covid.  Only 2 clear masks have been approved for NHS use, one is unavailable, the other out of stock on a regular basis, the DIY ones are no protection at all.   Personally, ATR has little issue understanding sign with or without a mask. Deaf adapt pretty quickly.  Whilst exceptions to the rule are there, the deaf cannot demand hearing remove theirs no more than hearing can insist they remove them.  Statistically more hearing are suffering communication issues than the deaf are by their own survey. 

We are in a pandemic that indiscriminately kills, there is no cure currently, we cannot counter that with blaming others and demanding rights that leave others exposed to it, we adapt. No government can insist they put themselves at risk and there is no kickback if they refuse.  It is not 'up to hearing' to research how best to communicate to the deaf, it is up to the deaf themselves to make it clear what works for them, full in the knowledge it is unrealistic to expect all hearing acquire sign language, not least, because that would still leave out those who don't.  Given all the hints, tips and 'demands' are on restricted deaf sites mostly which hearing don't access (Or can't), then it is hard to see where coercion by law would make much difference and given every deaf person communicated differently.  It is a great sadness genuine surveys get reprinted with 'additions' and distortions' to make hearing people look bad.

‘Months of face mask misery’ ahead for deaf people as only a quarter of the public know how to communicate with them The UK’s 12 million deaf adults and 50,000 deaf children have “months of face mask misery” ahead because three in four people don’t know how to communicate with them, new research suggests.

Although lots of different communication techniques exist, an UK deaf children's charity latest poll of 2,027 adults, showed just 23% knew how to communicate with a deaf person when wearing a face mask. (But a higher number of HEARING people [89%] who also had difficulty understanding speech with other mask wearers), The charity said that the results were very concerning because while public health must take priority, deaf people would be left facing an even higher risk of isolation and loneliness.

The poll shows that one in five (21%) said it happens most or all of the time. However, the results also show positive news for deaf people because the general public is clearly very willing to help improve the situation

Four in five (84%) said they would change their behaviour if it would help a deaf person, while 68% would lower their mask on public transport to speak to a deaf person, as permitted under Government guidelines. As a result, the UK children's charity is calling on people everywhere to “play their part” in helping include deaf people feel included in conversations and social interactions, which it says everyone will benefit from. 

ATR: So when you need effective communication TELL people, because they cannot see deafness and don't know which works for you. While many hearing people are more than willing to help, they aren't mind-readers.


Thursday, 19 November 2020

Young deaf mute girl gang raped..


Earlier this year, on 16th March 2020, BACA reported on the dithering police that failed to take action after a 17-year-old Christian teenager whis both deaf and mute, was kidnapped from her home, then forcibly married to a Muslim neighbour under a sham Islamic marriage.

Police at Sanda Police Station, Lahore failed to take action despite registering a First Information Report (FIR) 405/2020 on 17th March, in which they listed the crime of kidnap of a minor - though at the time no suspects were identified.

Several attempts to garner a police response by Komal's parents failed to start any investigation. Infact, it was only two months later on 17th March 2020, when a local MP Tariq Gill got involved that police initiated a trace on the last call received from Komal by mother Rubina (45 yrs), just before Komal went missing.

During the investigation, two suspects were identified Ali Mubashir and Mohammed Azeem who had been before to the home of Komal at around the time she went missing. Local police called Mr Azeem's telephone number and got through and he agreed to meet for questioning, but then absconded and become non-traceable for the duration of the two months with Mr Mubashir.

Then on Good Friday (10th April) a call was received by the mother of Komal, Rubina (44 yrs) who heard strange mutterings on the phone that sounded like her daughter. She reported this to the police who began a trace on the number.

Two weeks later the trace identified a man named Kashif Ghulam Rasool, who was also a local neighbour and a search began for the fugitive. Unfortunately his phone was now switched off and he had also been found to have absconded.

On 12th of May 2020, Rubina Patras filed a subsequent bian (statement) and nominated 5 persons involved in the abduction of her daughter Komal. The subsequent bian stated that on 16th March 2020, close relatives of Rubina Patras, Mubarik Masih and Saleem Masih witnessed a distressed Komal sobbing in a van along with five unknown men.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

The BSL Act. Time to get real?

Social deaf media the saga rolls on...

"I thought BSL act already setup few year ago but still slow don’t know what happened to them ?"

"The BSL Act is a fudge really, the great patronisation of the sign user. Lot's of 'talking' shops not really any advance for BSL or its users, basically, the UK is split on accepting this act with only Ireland and Scotland going for it. 

Given deaf support is mostly funded from 'Central government' in London and then lost in the various devolved care NHS systems, its effectiveness is minimal to non-extant, with only the BSL user getting any real support so far, mostly those with additional needs. E.G. Wales has no ground-swell of support for it and no deaf schools either. England has a lot of BSL activism but the state stops short of enabling any of their campaigns, they feel 4 human rights and equality laws are more than enough. 

The fact remains these laws/Acts cannot be applied 'globally', not even by setting precedent, and mostly, it ignores local realism etc.

As always, the real 'battle' for BSL is in Education and here, there is no UK census on BSL. As we all are aware there is no grassroots BSL professional back up to make it viable and they would need translators too. If anything such a set up can only work if hearing support it.  

There are still questions posted here on this site, in that BSL is still an incomplete language so would be suspect as a tuitional aid in schools, currently, they use sign as an 'in' to English not as any 'in' to BSL sign language and grammar itself.  And that is a major requirement of their social aspect, so creates issues in adulthood via work, health, and social outside that area, etc.  Deaf are left with little option but to rely on each other.  The road to inclusion has been diverted.

Statistics put the deaf campaigns in perspective, with 9 out of 10 parents being hearing and the odd 1 out seems to be the deaf activist with no deaf child but with a lot of baggage to unload. It is time these activists (most in it for themselves), gave up their negative campaigning and concentrated on practicality instead of doom-mongering us all with their dire warnings hearing are determined to remove sign language and the community.  Maybe its time for social media to start removing this fake news too?

The siege mentality still rules.  We could point out all the teachers, all the support, all the interpreters, and own families, are hearing and the deaf groups are in no position to replace it, even if they tried 10m with hearing loss would object to being told by sign users how to live, or for them to set up own systems where the eligibility for support relies totally on your signing ability and not your need.

That need is being blurred with politics and emanating from a very select hierarchy of deaf activism that wants to retain control over peers by fear.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Being Deaf managing COVID

Deaf have really noticed that where the choice to mix with peers is limited and poor access via covid they lack the skills to interact with hearing.  This is a problem that has always existed with deaf they move from deaf education to the deaf community and then when that is difficult, suffer via lack of skills or confidence to interact with the rest of society.

Repeated requests to make inclusion a real concept with the deaf has been defeated time and again by opposition, and by a lack of deaf confidence with hearing people.  Rather than spending 24/7 of their social life just with other deaf they need to acquire skills and confidence to approach hearing people who mostly are more than willing to engage, it is just that deaf prefer other deaf so that bridge has never really been built or encouraged enough, and random activism insisting it is all some 'hearing plot' to remove sign or culture.

When COVID is over they will just go back to the same old again.  Deaf have a great opportunity during covid to make that next step to engage a lot more with hearing people, with their own families even, who took second place to deaf peers.  Unless that is addressed day one at education nothing will ever change.  The deaf reliance on face to face is also an issue as communication is still an issue even with facetime and zoom etc where real-time access still is not working properly.  We may not have a community to get back to and many clubs may never reopen.

It's good some have used text and paper and pencil because these are a way in to inclusion and who knows, others may learn to sign with them, which they won't whilst deaf adopt the community ethos of going it alone.  Covid exposed this as unviable in a pandemic and a pandemic is something the deaf cannot challenge either.  Inclusion takes effort real effort, but the only way to make access a reality whilst a dedicated deaf community is a barrier to it.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Dept of Education and the care plan for deaf.

Does it empower support by right?  by practicality? or by cost?  Systems tend to only provide support at the very basic level to meet the rules.  I'm more interested in what qualifications the deaf need to enter further education? or university? since, Uni's complained deaf were enabled entry but lacked even the basics of English to follow their chosen course? Even demanded BSL-only tuition which hadn't the relevant signs to teach? or, the prospect of a mainstream job after?

Lockdown rules for English Deaf.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Mainstream versus deaf schools

The government has to take into account everyone's view in that 9 out of 10 parents of deaf children are hearing, and legally responsible for their own children, and also, that state policy is inclusion via mainstreaming. 

There seem to be dual campaigns running, 

(1) Parents (And many deaf themselves), are demanding more support for deaf children in mainstream and,

(2) Deaf campaigners want to pull deaf children out of that and operate deaf schooling again but with BSL as a primary medium of tuition. 

Pie in the sky views but, what undermines the 'Deaf' campaigns is predominantly they DON'T have deaf children, so the state is going to go with the majority and parental view. 

ATR is a mainstream supporter personally because you cannot include deaf people by operating an exclusive system of education.   It's OK to be different but not to make a meal of it and lose the point.

There is little support for sign language for adults either, not all deaf people use sign language, also, the huge sea change and retraining of teachers to conform to the BSL view doesn't exist to make it work, there is no national program for it either.  We are told 95K UK signers exist but only 900 BSL part-time interpreters, logic suggests these deaf demands in education are unrealistic. 

As regards to the oral thing the premier deaf school in the UK IS an oral school (Mary Hare) and turns out the most highly educated deaf people.  Who in turn pretend to be born-again sign users so they can control campaigns themselves, claiming they are worse off orally when their very obvious qualifications suggest no basis for it.

Deaf campaigns come out all the time (I think they are breeding them somewhere), but I don't think any of them are based on realism or logic, but come from some view hearing are against signers. Indeed this is the main thrust of their claims and spreading paranoia via cultural rights.    Some sort of lemming syndrome except they are claiming they are pushed over a cliff and not heading at a pace to the edge with blindfolds on and claiming someone else put the cliff there.

As Mr Biden said yesterday opponents aren't your enemies they are your own people... your parents, your siblings, your friends, etc.  Deaf kids need an education without that, no deaf community, or at best one impoverished with no tools to break out of it.  Telling them the community will provide is plain lies.

Monday, 9 November 2020

25 years of struggle, was it worth it?

This week marks 25 years of the inauguration of the UK Disability Act.   Is there a cause to celebrate it?  ATR was one of the very few (The only one deaf), who attended the launch in Manchester of the campaign for it at Manchester University.  I attended via my position as vice-chair of a coalition of a disabled people, the first in S Wales, and the only deaf person ever to join such a disability grouping at that time.

I found the launch a real eye-opener to the deaf world, although I was (and still), profoundly deaf at the time and supported by a disabled friend via note-taking observing the approach to a disability law by deaf was I found at the time, rather poor and the attitude questionable.

Initially, I took my place front row to follow the speeches by various disabled people, I asked someone there 'where do the deaf people sit?' as I wanted to sit next to them, I was expecting text access, of course only  BSL was, which the disabled organisers told me they had paid for so the deaf could participate, the BDA and its members being the prime area to include, there being few grassroots attending at all.

As the actual launch began I found myself sitting on my own, I asked the organisers 'where are the deaf?' One disabled man was very angry, he said 'They came and then they went, they registered their attendance and then left the campus to do a tour of the coronation streets set.'  Naively I said 'why register if they had no intention to stay?' he replied' I suppose because they are claiming expenses from their charity and needed proof of attendance..'

I was staggered, I said 'who paid for their support?' he said 'We disabled did.'  As the meeting had started I sat down, when I was approached by two women, they said 'Are you deaf? do you sign?'  I said 'I am deaf yes, but I cannot follow an interpreter I don't really know sign language.'  They then asked me if they could sign for me anyway or they won't get paid, so taken aback I said Ok.  They said it is important as the media is here that deaf sign language is seen on the platform with disabled.  I sat through the speeches and there was some music after as well from Johnny Crescendo a disabled musician.  I was the only deaf person in attendance and apparently 'carrying the BSL flag' there!

Afterwards, Clive Mason who was a presenter of the SEE HEAR program approached me and asked would I be interviewed for the program, I said sorry I don't sign and would like to point out I was disappointed at the lack of deaf support there, he then said OK we will interview someone else!  I watched the SEE HEAR Coverage later and he found out as I did there were no deaf people there to interview.  It's on record he interviewed Johnny Crescendo instead.

Later at home, I was watching 'No Need To Shout' on the TV [which was a text program on the BBC for deaf people], and I read flattering support for the disability launch at Manchester from the BDA.  I decided to contact the British Deaf Association to point out they did not actual arrive except to register and then had left again rather cynically doing that to claim expenses whilst they went somewhere else.  I was backed up by the 2 BSL interpreters who stated I was telling the truth.  

The BDA shrugged it off and I had a letter sent that said 'Well as you know deaf aren't really disabled, just discriminated against.' The fact they had cynically exploited the launch for a 'day out' I found pretty poor really and said so.  I said will you ask these deaf to repay the expenses they claimed for non-attendance? he said 'No,  We can't prove they weren't there..'  I said I was proof so were two hearing BSL interpreters, SEE HEAR, and the disabled committee itself as well as the Coronation Street set could, but to no avail.

To add insult to real disabled injury, the sign user has made the most OF the Disability Act, hypocrisy nowhere near cuts it. As regards to the Act was groundbreaking, it wasn't, it could have been but for the RNID who reneged on the  'teeth' the disabled demanded of the law to capitalise on the support aspect of it, so told the system as they represented the majority with hearing loss a watered-down disability act was acceptable.  Then promptly sacked the BSL using CEO, who promptly joined a new disability state-approved group and then was forced out of there too for being disability unaware.

If anyone is in any doubt of the ridiculousness of deaf and their campaigns for equality or dual approaches to inclusion, perhaps they need to read this all again and to understand none of the laws we got afterwards is really working either because the deaf and HoH systems are divided and want different things. One accepts a rule, the other challenges that same rule.  Their charities are just chasing the funds.  When I read 'Deaf aren't really disabled, deafness isn't a disability.' I just think they just haven't understood theirs... or taking us all for mugs.'

Their attitude to disabled people was tantamount to being openly discriminatory and dismissive.


Sunday, 8 November 2020

Mainstreaming deaf children doesn't work?

ATR getting in the neck for supporting the mainstreaming of deaf children.  The ATR stance is that specialised schooling for all deaf children that is just FOR deaf children had a history of chronic failure that killed aspiration and academic advance for generations of the deaf.  

Even if, it founded a culture and language of sorts, it failed them educationally and thus isolated them as a result.  The trade-off ATR finds unacceptable is it is 'better' deaf have a social community than further education, inclusion, or literacy.  What you end up with is an impoverished community convinced everyone is against them. 

We remain unconvinced the deaf own version of language and communication is a sufficient or viable trade-off in that respect and the need for its continual support from birth to death must be a real issue for all.  We believe the deaf fear a community falling unless they remain apart.  They remain unconvinced inclusion is a positive but a 'means' of destroying that.

We agree the lack of support in the mainstream is undermining the concept and arming those who want a back to the future approach where all deaf sign in a school and remain predominantly, apart from the main event.  The last few years more pressures being applied for opposition to mainstreaming by default.

Our comment is more about how mainstream in education for the deaf can enable the deaf child to manage inclusion.   Clearly, there are deaf areas who feel 'Who needs it?' we have our own community.  (Which is not strictly accurate today with less than 20 UK deaf schools, and a cull of 70% of deaf clubs). If the deaf children are prevented at day one from being included in the mainstream, then the die is cast.  The concept of mainstreaming is still valid.  Instead of adopting the position mainstream sucks and is anti-deaf, perhaps more effort into ensuring that support to make it work?  

Deaf campaigners have to understand mainstreaming is still a 'new' concept in deaf education after generations of failure via deaf schools.  Deaf schools/Institutions started circa 1800s mainstream is near middle 20thc.   It needs time to work.  The way deaf are today managing the net and English seems testament enough it is already working.  We can read any day of the week online clear proof English isn't an issue with the deaf as it was when deaf schools were about.

The issue currently in the mainstream is cost-saving, closing down special schools saves money, but, since mainstreaming, (And advances in treating hearing loss and deafness), there just isn't the deaf children to fill a deaf school or the specialised staff to manage them now unless we revert back to sending these children to 'boarding schools' and such which parents no longer agree with.   We would still need to re-train the professionals who scattered when deaf schools closed, or have retired. 

Statistic-wise only a small percentage of deaf children won't be able to manage mainstream, my area only FOUR deaf children were assessed as being unable to attend mainstream obviously you cannot set up a  class or a 'deaf' school for that small number needing quite intensive help.  It is why boarding schools etc came into being.  The mid 20thc view is that specialisation in many cases wasn't necessary, and did nothing for inclusion for the deaf,  parents were exerting pressures on the deaf schools because they hadn't moved deaf education academically from a plateau equivalent to a 9 or 10 yr old.

There is no proof or statistic than a sign based education would even work on its own, as again deaf children would be the 'guinea pigs'. Mainstream has gone too far to backtrack now and disrupt yet again deaf education.  We had the conundrum where deaf campaigners were demanding further education and University places based on that, accompanied by an interpreter or care support.

Educational pundits said the damage was pretty much already done via deaf/special schools and FE and Uni areas weren't deaf ones and posed the isolation of deaf, because so few could manage, meant a lot of deaf dropping out, but blaming lack of support for that, not, lack of academic nous.  Universities complained it was allowing students access to a system they can't use or were qualified for.   The deaf that did get to these establishments also demanded separate access and systems just like they experienced in deaf schools.  This again points to the damage deaf schools did to the inclusion and access issues.  Deaf were unable to adapt.

What we see and get is relentless claims of discrimination etc nobody is sitting down to attempt to find a workable answer. Deaf campaigners have just stopped listening.  The other sticking point is that the deaf campaigns tend to now demand BSL immersive schooling as an option, that is where the opposition is.  Such opposition suggests the language and signs are not there to make it work in further education, and all educational areas are English-based ones, areas, deaf are struggling with, or opposed to.  It is not remotely feasible or practicable even via access rights, they are going to adapt to the deaf way at all,  the issues have to be addressed at day one, not 16 years later..

ATR covered in-depth the fact, that deaf ADULTS did not pursue further education and literacy in the schools themselves, or as community-supported classes, even with support.  There is a mindset that prevents them, that mindset starts day one, which mainstream is attempting to address and is being determinedly opposed by deaf activism.

Friday, 6 November 2020

21 Reasons to avoid sanity

It's time for another bout of COVID madness. Being stuck indoors via the UK lockdown is NOT fun unfortunately unless you are on the phone/computer/iPad or whatever all day talking bollox and trivia or 'zooming' total strangers, and asking them why they are doing the same, you can be stuck with just turning the TV on, or posting rubbish like this to pass the time, which is my habit, i.e. up until COVID 19 reared its head something, I've been too pissed to care mostly.  I thought daytime TV was for old people trapped in care homes or day centres, that or having frequent nappy changes but it seems coma TV is the televised norm now.  The puzzle is why they extended Coma TV to prime TV at weekends.

Rather reluctantly I turned my TV set on and discovered it had nearly 200 channels on it, they must be breeding them, I thought only 2 existed? The BB of C or that other one with adverts about washing powder... 98% were unintelligible because me being deaf there was no access to them or they were programs made by idiots without much of a life and with the most boring hobbies or lives on the planet, from watching birds flying about to sitting behind a fishing rod catching fish, and getting pissed in sheds,  or collecting used bus tickets, called for some reason nobody explains 'Extreme' hobbies to inject some interest, one was about extreme flower arranging, just when you thought it was time to do some gardening the whole place is a toxic minefield apparently.

Up until now, I had no idea catching fish was dicing with death, or why on EARTH people would want to wander around the woods with binoculars staring at birds flying about, perhaps its a metaphor for something naughty? but I only saw a few owls not much to turn you on there but I suppose it takes all sorts.  I guess that's where the 'extreme' element kicks in, they are all as mad as a box of frogs and you have to avoid them and safer to watch from the other side of the screen.

Surfing the channels and only just managing to avoid RSI, I came across a daily TV 'magazine' program filled with very strange people talking about purple striped skirts being the new black, a competition where the prize was £20,000 IF you remembered your own name (I failed that one), but the text entry fee was an arm and a leg so its money for old rope apparently, they get people sending in £50K's worth of texts, so on a winner every time, amazingly nobody won this week...  That, and cooking food, no one with a taste bud would eat, and only enough for a starving sparrow, watched by a panel obviously recruited from Hitlers Gestapo, mostly failures who were failed for being too critical.

Some asparagus cooked raised a few eyebrows I gather because they cooked it 21 seconds too little or too much and the wrong way round which is tantamount to major crime and the police are on standby in riot gear, in case they get a bit wayward with the fish knives. Cooking food is being taken seriously for some reason I never understood because I only eat takeaways and prefer to let others poison me.

I finally found one section of this ridiculous program that appealed to me, it was covering the latest wines from the local supermarket stores, which didn't cover the one I use which sells bottles of wine from Western Patagonia 5 for £10, and 20 cans of Mexican rotgut, for £15 for some reason they said was a little downmarket, but I defy Covid to get past it.

Today they said they were specialising in 'Rose' wines, which is liquid sugared drinks women drink mostly and quite lethal if you are diabetic.   Women drink it because it is pink and tasteless or something... However, the presenter (a male who had just come out as Gay after having 9 kids and being married for 30 years),  lapped it all up and was quite expert on it revealing his secret vice was Rose having left real-ale to the straights some years ago, however, he declined to identify if this Rose was the one he was seen with having vegetarian tattoos and a beard.  His co-presenter threw up after two glasses she tasted and demanded to know where the gin was.

This one' the expert said 'is a cheeky one from the Dordogne region' (I know I've met him and cheeky isn't the term I use), "the vineyard is just 10 years old and run by English people," (who apparently escaped the rat race in the UK to join Le rat race in France instead).  "tastes a bit like hedgerow,' she said, 'but fruity.. with a hint of lemon'  Not that I have tasted hedgerow lately to compare what fruit it was actually compared to but...

There was some talk about 'berries' and 'cinnamon' and I started to lose interest, all I can say there is a distinct lack of cinnamon in the hedges around here, just plastic bags full of dog s.h.i.t. hanging from them.  Rose is a bit like an anaemic red wine which just tastes no matter how they brew it, like it is sifted through dirt first and god knows what they put on it maybe horse manure from a horse with gastroenteritis (Which is a French term for 'dodgy belly').  I get the same thing myself after 10 pints and a vindaloo.

Another wine just flown into Sainsbury's (and deliberately violating the social distancing by the look of it), an expert opined "This rose it really is different, it is made WITH roses..'  Have the french run out of grapes?  Or is that yet another side issue of COVID 19?  Despite doing their best, both presenters tasted a mouthful and ran for the toilet, leaving the expert non-plussed (what DOES non-plussed mean?).  I decided TV is not for me and definitely not for people to look at in the daytime without medication.  

If they decided to include lagers of the world or ciders with bits of wood in it, I might be tempted because that's all I drink.  I just think them using toffee apples as well, was one advance too far personally.   It's ok to stick one on top of the lager for the women but it sets a bad example to the kids, despite including at least one of their 5 a day I don't think cider counts...

The nearest I got to know about wine was following my Uncle Ifan, (known locally as 'Ifan Drip'), because of his love of emptying pub drip trays.  He has an educated palate, sadly that's as far as his education got... he has drunk everything that is liquid and a few things that were borderline.  He said 'The clue boyo is to look at the numbers, the higher the numbers the quicker you can get pissed on it, it's all the same stuff just different labels and bottle shapes that's all, that's just for the knobheads to look intelligent, they spend more time sniffing it than drinking it, and if it is that good, why do they spit it out after? also, you have to stop using piddling little glasses, or big glasses then putting a spoonful in it. Filthy habit, the French started it and they eat gastropods, nuff said...

"It's best to use a half-pint glass instead or a waste of drinking time trying to fill up the small ones."  From what I saw of Ifan there was little doubt he was right on that although he didn't talk much, as he is face down on the ground mostly, I've never really seen him upright.  

Another tip he gave was don't drink wines from S America or the EU areas of Croatia, Romania or Transylvania, they put diesel in it, and it doesn't really deter vampires, also, the South Americans overdo the Samba when they aren't burning down rain forests and that 'burnt wood' smell is a dead giveaway.  But, it does come cheaper than petrol.  The EU cigarettes are OK at two quid for 500, but have enough tar in and rubber content to lay a new motorway with, and fit the car out with 4 new tyres and a spare.

Now if my Uncle Ifan had a program that WOULD be worth watching... he gets to the nitty-gritty of things, at least when he is erect. 

[You are wondering where, 21 comes in.....]

Petition to save Townfield from Mainstreaming.



We are parents of Deaf children who attend Townfield Primary School.*  We are asking for your support to keep the Deaf Base open at Townfield  Primary School.  The base has been at the heart of the school for over 30 years and new management has decided that Deaf childrens lives no longer matter and they want to close the Deaf Base.

Deaf children struggle at every stage of their education.  Every child deserves the chance to shine at school, and deaf children are no exception.” Ten dedicated teaching units for deaf children in schools are being closed every year.  We don't want the Base at Townfield to be another one. In the base these children get an opportunity to be around their deaf peers and to learn about their own deaf identity.  It helps them to build their confidence and makes them more resilient to help them with the inevitable challenges they will be faced with in the future.

If the base closes these children will be sent to other schools with no deaf resources and more importantly separated from their deaf friends.  For some of these children, their only form of communication is sign language and they may be placed in a school with inadequate support unable to communicate with the other children or even their teachers.  They will become isolated and withdrawn.

Please help us save the base and save the future for these children and many more that could attend the base in the future.

*Townfield Primary School

Townfield Primary School has resourced provision which meets the needs of up to 12 children aged from 4 to 11 years, who are deaf and have significant additional needs. This will include children who have British Sign Language/Sign Supported English, but may also have a recognised communication difficulty.

Deaf pupils at the base will develop an understanding of the deaf culture and have access to a signing peer group. Each pupil has an individual, structured programme of inclusion into mainstream classes where appropriate.

New re-brand, same old?

Since WHEN, has the RNID been the home of deaf culture?  It removed all its social media contact, closed down its 'open forum' and feedback site, shut down regional contacts, (How does that make the RNID more accessible?),  and recently sold off areas of its deaf support and environmental aid arms.  It will be interesting to see if they allow constructive criticism to be aired via their new magazine.  If it is anything like the old one, only the RNID staff contributed to it.  

It's an issue they have failed to move on and not tapping into current opinion and the daily realism of those with hearing loss and concentrating yet again on the clinical model which was their undoing at the start, there is still a dire lack of inclusion OF those with hearing loss.    People suffering from hearing loss need to relate with people who have similar issues, not people who don't.  The RNID is about things, not people.

Their admittance they weren't inclusive and they had to change still hasn't hit the spot as they seem determined to carry on the same way with what looks like a pretty bland revamp developed by a 10 yr old, but worse, have removed many options that could have been more inclusive, like engaging WITH those who have hearing loss and not treating them like some sort of customer.  You cannot engage with people who are prevented from interacting with you!

"RNID’s new look marks a fresh chapter for the charity.  The UK-based deafness and hearing loss charity has gone back to its original name for a new era, working with agency SomeOne and brand consultant Dan Dufour on an approachable visual identity

Founded in 1911, for the last century the Royal National Institute for Deaf People’s mission has been to make life inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss, whether through pioneering new treatments for tinnitus or promoting access to sign language. The charity, which has been known as Action on Hearing Loss since 2011, decided to rebrand and rethink its mission in a bid to reach a wider community of people.

Along with the worrying statistic that an estimated 14 million adults in the UK will be deaf or have hearing loss by 2035, the charity cites the daily issues deaf people have faced during the pandemic, such as the barriers to communication caused by face coverings, as a key reason for reimagining its brand. To mark the new chapter, the charity has returned to its original name of RNID, after research found that it was more loved and better recognised by the general public.

Alongside the new name, a refreshed visual identity has been designed by London-based agency SomeOne, in collaboration with brand consultant Dan Dufour and the charity’s in-house design team. “We might be over a century old, but it doesn’t mean we’re stuffy and formal, in fact quite the opposite,” says RNID’s head of brand, Cheryl Hughes. “We want to show people that we are dynamic and responsive, and inspire the belief that together we can create a fully inclusive society.”

At the heart of the rebrand is a new word mark that resembles a smiley face, a muted colour palette of pinks and greens that avoids the charity branding cliché of primary colours, and a set of ten of playful speech bubbles that feature across its communications. New photography and illustrations were commissioned to reflect the full range of people supported by the charity, including those with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Meanwhile, a more conversational tone of voice has been introduced, with the guidelines published on RNID’s website to encourage the charity’s community to help shape the language it uses. RNID digital director Michael Wilkinson, says: “Culture and language is constantly evolving and we want to make sure we reflect that in the way we speak as a brand. That’s why we’re going to be publishing our tone of voice publicly and inviting people to help shape its future direction.”

Thursday, 5 November 2020


The issue is E.N.T. Depts (UK), are an area to determine your loss degree and type so DB-related.  Assessing how a person relates to that assessment is not really their area of expertise, it is a psychological thing as everyone can respond differently to hearing loss.

Some, when informed their hearing, may rapidly deteriorate, and/or will gradually go altogether react differently also.  Others issued with hearing aids or CI's will also respond differently. Hearing aid wearers tend to be the most complacent in that when a hearing aid does allow them to follow speech better, adopt the position and don't think any more of it except when an aid or a battery fails them or their hearing makes an aid a decoration more than a viable assist.  

E.G. There are 3 million with hearing loss in the UK who need to wear one and won't for reasons more about peer acceptance, image, or fashion than anything.  Various legislations and acts or laws on inclusions etc, haven't really empowered anyone but the legal profession and the activist.

Reaction to hearing loss can vary considerably and by sex too.  Females tend to adapt far better than males do simply because the female is a far better communicator mostly and has acquired subtle communication skills men don't seem to acquire socially.  Females are also more liable to get an issue seen to far earlier whilst the male will plod on until it gets really hard to manage, it's good to talk but males prefer to keep silent as if admitting things are difficult is some weakness or other.

ADVICE on how to manage hearing loss tends to be clinical only,  or stat messages from 'support' areas that don't really live in the real world, and those with loss are more concerned about family and social aspects of it.  E.N.T. is not equipped to offer that advice, indeed with so much political correctness/deaf rights etc sticks to own script and stays neutral.  Most with hearing loss DON'T really know what works best for them, and a lot assume approaches that they think suits them but actually isn't all that effective.

It would be far easier perhaps to do a more in-depth assessment of what really works for those with hearing loss and not what they would 'prefer' to use.  Ability and environment tend to dictate that far more than a better hearing aid or a smattering of sign language will.  Planning ahead is necessary too, and this never gets done really until the loss becomes too much.  Today you will get 60% tomorrow maybe less than 30%  later on nothing, then what?

Very obviously social aspects of hearing loss are a minefield anyway, with Hearing aid/useful hearing areas solely interested in maintaining what they had prior to that loss.  Whilst those early deaf or severe deaf doing their own thing.  Despite many years of suggested inclusions and acceptances, nothing has really changed for either area.

Social Services etc are one area that gets involved but they are hamstrung with rules and social aspects take lesser interest with them than something they may consider more urgent.  There is an acceptance if you are older then deaf is par for the course etc so isn't a priority. You can be advised to attend a class on sign or Lip-reading, or given the address of the nearest deaf club, experiences have shown neither actually work, they aren't designed to assist people struggling with loss and they near all demand useful hearing anyway. If you had that would you even attend such classes? (Discuss!).  Deafness and loss approaches are very different and not one (Or even dual approach), fits all, age and such is an issue too, as are when the loss occurs.

Over the years ATR has read and seen 1,000s of areas offering advice on how to cope and how to socialise how to communicate (And where), yet we are still at day one of diagnosis really with little or no real options or choices presenting themselves that would assist easy socialising with any area even with superior technologies because we cannot change perceptions of those who don't have your issue.  To expect an E.N.T. dept to advise on all those things is unrealistic and, that isn't their remit either.

There are a few areas in the NHS that offer psychiatric support to those struggling but they aren't dealing with loss as such but the stress and management of it, mental health.   That all rely as far as the patient WITH loss, on how much they can hear or will be able to, so it's all a vicious circle.  There are very very few who lose hearing who can shrug it all off and carry as best they can anyway.  It all goes back to diagnose and assessment and with a real plan to deal with the life aspects of it day one, and not when it gets too bad and other issues have presented themselves after years of struggle, we don't have that.

We need to understand hearing loss can be progressive and offer up real issues in our lives and not just sit there hoping for the best because it will be too late then.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Only Deaf people should teach sign?

This is politics and representation gig more than an issue of 'who is best to teach sign'.  From a Brit perspective, there just aren't the profound deaf teachers qualified to teach in educational areas at all.  From a personal perspective, I attended a Learner BSL class where the tutor was born deaf,  after the lesson started it was clear she wasn't being followed by the predominant hearing pupils who attended. 

It was only with my assistance the class was able to proceed effectively, as I knew enough signs to explain to the puzzled there what she was saying (or rather not saying as she didn't speak and used sign only), which was an issue with learners hearing and they were not convinced it was valid on 'Deaf' grounds despite her signing deaf don't speak, and that is why she didn't, so hearing had to first learn that reality.  Yet there I was living prove she was wrong.  She was fortunate any of them turned up for a second lesson.

The reality is BSL in the UK still does not have enough valid signs or established grammar to be taught effectively.  BSL learner classes vary by the tutor, there is no set system of teaching it because various deaf areas oppose a norm on regional grounds. ASL seems to have a better norm as such than the UK does and Europe is completely random.  Certainly, there are no deaf teachers at further educational and academic levels simply because the specialist signs do not exist to teach.  

This was discussed in some detail a few years ago where what deaf 'teachers' there were at that time insisted English and its grammar should not be an integral part of their work, it was discrimination and opposed a cultural right.  This meant by default they couldn't qualify in any educational setting because they wanted to omit an essential part of the curriculum.  There were concerns about abusing the educational system to promote deaf culture instead of learning basics.

We can refer also to the TRAINING of BSL interpreters here where the judging was awful for want of a better word, undertaken by biased judges who often failed Terps in exams because their own 'regional' signs clashed with what the interpreters had learnt in lessons, costing potential interpreters £1,000s of pound invested in qualifying, a number then gave up bothering.  Appeals in that certain signs were valid  because they were in the BSL dictionary fell literally, on deaf ears, 'It isn't what we use..'

Deaf teachers need a grounding in English or they won't be allowed in a classroom, and what is the point leaving the deaf without the means to follow what the country uses?  Ignorance and illiteracy isn't a deaf right.

Should deaf charities be able to count?

A recent FB query asking if it is worthwhile investing in proper accounting software?  Erm YES it is unless you haven't read your eligibility status for being a charity, you have to provide accurate accounts to be valid. Note: Abacus is old school and the BDA ran out of beads for theirs years ago.

To SAGE Accounting experts

I am looking for a friend who is highly experienced in the Sage 50 for Charities and Sage Cloud accounting. The reason why is that I need to understand the difference and whether a charity should be able to go for Sage Cloud accounting or not.

Charities like the BDA and other BSL led groups certainly need people who can count, a number have gone bust losing jobs and support for deaf people, mostly because they run these charities like some feudal system and not a professional needs-led system.  Huge amounts of public and corporate funding have gone down the drain.  It's the policies of Mr Macawber.  

What did Mr Micawber say? Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. 

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. 

No doubt why the RNID is more successful and abandoned support to these deaf again.  The BDA replaced basic needs for a cultural fest and lost their trustees as a result resulting in a new set of dodo's to make it even worse.  ELS went bust losing 90 people their jobs and a lot of deaf with no support in place.  It's issues like these that suggest far better those deaf reverted to the Social Service set up of years ago, at least then we can hold someone responsible for the mess they are making and a system that deals with basic support/need and not faffing about with culture and language politics to the detriment of deaf people.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Toward a deaf cure.

Blimey capitalising the 'D' 3 times alone, bit obsessive, we are assuming they are talking about born deaf who are unable to compare hearing to deafness anyway, so naturally supporting the only status quo they know, fearing the 'unknown', and will they cope with that?  Currently, their education and lifestyles won't enable them.

The issue of genetics they haven't understood, it is a research aimed at the prevention of deafness not the eradication of those already deaf.  The issue of genetic intervention if/when it becomes safely possible will still be a final decision made by the parents.  Given a choice, we doubt the majority of parents potentially would demand a child with a disabling issue if a choice is there to prevent it.  It also means 10m with hearing loss will support intervention as well in the UK.  It isn't only a few who are born with deafness but the millions who acquire it who will be pushing for that cure. Loss equals disability.

Again we are talking about a theoretical near 90%+ option of the eradication of the deaf gene, however, there are more than 46+ of them so targeting would need identification first.  Research has in fact already shown an ability to target some deaf genes, but uncertainty if a genetic 'bullet' would hit the deaf gene alone or others around it,  with unknown repercussions, but who knows? they are getting better every day at it.

The battleground such as it is, by some areas of the deaf community, is to prevent such identification and let 'nature take its course'.  Obviously, this means more deaf being born, when that may be an issue that can be addressed.  Hence more deaf people for the community.

Very obviously deaf and all types of disabled people living now may well feel this is a 'down' on them, their lives and its quality,  and what it costs the systems to 'maintain' them.  One insurance company suggested it would not insure a child born disabled if, the cure was there and a parent had refused it.  Ominously this was supported in some welfare areas looking for an opt-out to financial and care support for them.  

Very few disabilities have their issue unpinned with grants and funding for a 'disability culture', as they do for the deaf in the western world.  If genetics intervenes in the womb then this does not affect them at all, at least not for a generation. 

Deafness isn't just genetics, less than point 2% of all deaf people are born that way as an inherited issue via a deaf gene or carries them.   There are other medical issues that can make people go deaf, even accidents and loud noise etc.  Whether genetics can address those, we don't know where the research is taking that approach.

Various surveys undertaken with the decision-makers (The parents), favour genetic intervention for all types of disabilities assuming the intervention is safe and the child born healthy. Only a few deaf parents object to such intervention, but with 9 out of 10 parents of the deaf being hearing, the foregone conclusion is a positive for genetics.

There was a case in the USA where a deaf parent was sued by their own deaf child for enabling him to be born deaf ruining his life options.  The case suggested deaf parents were hypocritical and afraid they couldn't cope with a hearing child, and that they had actively refused to take various supplements or take tests while pregnant to identify issues in the womb, as such exposed him to disablement, parents countered having a child was a human right and it wasn't about culture, and there was no intervention available.

Most deaf parents don't set out to deliberately have a deaf child, some claim that but unless their history is generations of deaf ancestors and they carry a gene anyway choice is debatable it is a right or an inevitability.  Most Deaf parents don't have deaf children anyway, also take all the tests available to them to ensure their child is born safe and well.  They aren't supporting the 'let nature decide' view, after all, the community and culture do not do the upbringing and the child doesn't belong to that community either except by default at present.  Very obviously there is a counter issue with hearing children of deaf parents. CI's hearing aids etc are all overriding that inevitability by providing more options than they otherwise would have.

This 'playing to the Deaf gallery' approach made us wince really so naive and very uninformed too.  They aren't going to be the people making any decisions, so the point seems lost.  Genetic research is not about attacking deaf, but preventing deafness in the future.  In that respect they may worry their community won't exist as such, the alternative is that a child will be born not having to struggle as we all did, and no amount of access, recognition or support is going to endorse that struggle as a norm.  IF a choice is available Deaf culture will be trampled underfoot believe it.