Saturday, 18 January 2020

Astronomy has a sign problem.

We think the sign is the problem, it's 'language' and 'dictionary' lacks sufficient signs to do in-depth subjects and detail. Ask ANY deaf sign user to explain.  You might just as well ask them to explain thermonuclear dynamics in depth.  Mostly deaf were conned about how effective their language is.  Rather than understand their education and sign was poor, they blame hearing for not signing explanations no signs exist for.

ATR has already reported deaf 'scientists' having no BSL signs to do their researches and work, and geneticists having next to no signs at all, surely the 'blame' lies with the lack of appropriate signs deaf can use and understand, and the failing (Perhaps questionability), of whether the language is anywhere near sufficient for deaf people?  

Even Paddy Ladd was unable to do a signed version of his outpouring on the 'Deaf way' and the USA had to create a load of 'courses' to decipher his works, and without a 'Rosetta Stone' to help.

Why subtitles matter.

Deaf man sues for lack of porn access.

BANGKOK, THAILAND-FEBRUARY 15: Pornhub Website on the Screen on February 15 ,2018. in Bangkok Thailand.; Shutterstock ID 1025448961; Purchase Order: -
A deaf man has sued Pornhub over allegations that it does not place closed-caption subtitles on its videos. The hearing-impaired man said he couldn’t understand the dialogue in the site’s porn films and said he would subscribe to its premium membership option – if only he knew what was going on the blue movies.   (Is he blind as well?).

In his court case, the deaf man named films such as ‘Hot Step Aunt Babysits Disobedient Nephew’, ‘Sexy Cop Gets Witness to Talk’ and ‘Daddy 4K -Allison comes to Talk About Money to Her Boys’ Naughty Father’, TMZ reported. He wants Pornhub to caption the action in these films to make sure no plot nuance is missed – and is also seeking damages. In a statement, Corey Price, Pornhub VP, said: ‘We understand that Yaroslav Suris is suing Pornhub for claiming we’ve denied the deaf and hearing-impaired access to our videos. 

‘While we do not generally comment on active lawsuits, we’d like to take this opportunity to point out that we do have a closed captions category.’ The site's captioned collection includes over 1,000 top-viewed videos from the site’s straight, popular with women, gay, bi and transsexual categories. 

Friday, 17 January 2020

Accessibility Online

Corrrie gets deaf baby.

Coronation Street - Gemma Winter played by Dolly-Rose
Gemma Winter in Coronation Street to get ‘heartbreaking’ news one of her babies is deaf David 

Gemma Winter played by Dolly-Rose Gemma and Chesney face a fresh challenge New Coronation Street mum Gemma Winter will be told that baby Aled is deaf in a new storyline that aims to raise awareness of how a family can cope with the diagnosis.  

Gemma (Dolly Rose-Campbell) and Chesney Brown will be left upset when they get the news that little Aled can’t hear. Dev confronts Chesney Chesney and Gemma are trying to get used to being new parents in Coronation Street It will be a fresh challenge for the new parents, who’re trying to get used to life looking after four little ones. 

“It’s going to be heartbreaking for Gemma and Chesney to realise baby Aled has hearing problems.  “The hope is that the storyline will raise awareness of how a family can cope with the diagnosis.” MORE: Check out the latest EastEnders spoilers Trafford Deaf Children’s Society and Great Ormond Street hospital are said to have advised on the storyline to ensure its accuracy. A Coronation Street spokesperson confirmed the plot to the paper, describing it as a “very important storyline” and one they hope will “resonate with many parents who have gone through their children being diagnosed with hearing problems”.

ATR:  We wonder if promotors of sign language realise the utter negativity of the soap 'heart-breaking' headline and how the hearing view deafness?  But it seems only the Deaf themselves see it as positive and only a  select few of them. We expect the usual pro-BSL, pro-speech areas to pitch in which is the 'best way' to help a deaf child, and no doubt cultural areas will add their 10% too.  It won't pay Corrie to follow the oral route.    Corrie had a woman signer before, who the HoH criticised for launching into endless lectures on how the deaf sign doing nothing to raise hearing loss awareness, as did a signer on casualty,  The deaf tendency to make every appearance a seminar on BSL is why they don't get included as much.

EastEnders had a deaf son with a hearing aid who mostly forgot he was deaf, then miraculously self-cured himself and changed his face 4 times, not easy!  The reality appears to be little awareness gets raised because program makers are reluctant to make disabilities a permanent feature of inclusion apart from wheelchair using disabled who present few issues about communication.  The one in Corrie has been accepted as perfectly 'normal' and no different from anyone else.  The deaf laud difference.

Personally, I am against 'gritty realism' it's a soap opera not meant to be taken seriously.  Most these days seem to be assuming they are pioneers of awareness and raising real issues making the assumption we had no idea what happens anywhere else but in our own homes, it's a huge generalisation and patronisation.  Can they succeed where the charities and deaf community have failed?

Mostly, we don't want to see awareness 24/7 on our TV sets we want light relief, laughs, humour, it is what Corrie used to be good at before it followed the doom, gloom, and gritty awareness gig instigated by the social worker's favourite training program east enders, a travesty of life in London or any east end, unless murder, rapes, drug-taking, child abuse, alcoholism, and incest carried out by the ugliest and nastiest people on earth is the norm where you live.  

Rita SimonsIn real life one actor on EE WITH a deaf child who got it a CI was attacked relentlessly by sign users and called a child abuser, I trust Corrie is taking note.   If viewers want awareness they'd join a focus group and attend lectures, not watch TV.  Will they won't they get the baby a CI? go to a deaf school? use sign? etc.....  I can't wait, oh OK I can!


What is Signable?

Using cutting-edge technology, Signable provides the best way to capture an eSignature on a document between two (or more) parties.

Signable provides easy to use software to thousands of businesses using a secure online, digital process for signing documents. It’s easy to create an electronic document from scratch or upload an existing Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel file or PDF template to create and send:

Sales contracts
Employment contracts
Property leases
Order forms

Signable helps businesses to meet the legal requirements of electronic signing processes in legal legislation around the world and adheres to the European Union’s eIDAS regulation.

We keep your data and documents secure and record every action of the document signing process. With our audit trails, you can keep track of everything you worked on and all the different parties involved, providing a detailed overview of every step of the signing process.

Signable follow and exceed the legal requirements a document must meet to be legally accepted. These include:

Being uniquely linked to the signatory & being capable of identifying the signatory.
Using electronic signature-creation data, any change to the data is detectable and flagged up.

Forced to fund raise to communicate to own child.

Why didn't social services or the school teach the parents it?  It makes no sense to teach a deaf child a language the parents can't follow.

Parents of a toddler who is deaf hope they will finally be able to communicate with her after being forced to fundraise for sign language lessons. Ros and Josh Hannam, from Caldicot, were told after Lola was born that they would have to pay £6,000 for a British Sign Language (BSL) course.

They raised the money but said the situation was "ridiculous". It comes as an independent Welsh Government report found the provision of BSL classes in Wales was "patchy". Another problem highlighted was financial cuts to education, with the government vowing to consider the recommendations.

The Deaf Children's Society called on it to take urgent action. Parents of deaf children face funding 'postcode lottery'
Cwmbran Deaf Choir allowing isolated youngsters to be heard
There are 2,642 deaf children in Wales and 3,116 pupils with hearing impairments in Welsh schools, according to figures.

Mrs Hannam and husband Josh were shocked to discover how little help there was after Lola was diagnosed. "I couldn't believe that there was nothing available, because it seemed to me such an obvious need," said Mrs Hannam, from Caldicot, Monmouthshire.

They were told it would cost £6,000 to learn BSL and started trying to raise funds. A concert at Newport's Dolman Theatre was one idea they had to bring in the cash. Mrs Hannam added: "The expectation that a family has to raise thousands of pounds to be able to learn a new language just to be able to communicate with their own child is ridiculous."

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Wills does some finger-spelling.

Perhaps he can teach his gran now she has a hearing aid :)   He shouldn't bother with Phill 'though he stopped listening years ago.


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Are Hearing People Destroying Deaf Education

ATR: One suspects hearing areas are trying to establish a norm regarding sign language to enable children deaf more able to integrate with hearing?  But yes, commercialisation of sign language is the norm in the UK too, the success of deaf activism in selling sign language was seen an opportunity by hearing areas to capitalise on.   Sign is a victim of its own 'success' and the deaf cannot compete with hearing sales-wise.  I would have thought such commercialisation was part of the American dream anyway?  Many DEAF ASL users have made a business of it also, some less than sticking to the script!


Mary Pat Luetke-Stahlman Callista, a teacher of the Deaf with a masters in Deaf education posted a vlog on her personal wall discussing the issues of culture appropriation when it comes to ASL items for sale. 

She met with Mary Pat from The Deaf Report to discuss some concerns she had with a situation that happened recently. According to Callista’s research, the majority of people that work on ASL resources are hearing. One of the biggest concerns is that many of the resources being developed by hearing people are not utilizing proper rules or word order/classifiers. Missing things such as order of words and what needs to be taught first. 

These errors are critical in the development of language for children and because of the tools missing these things, the language being taught can be taught inaccurately and affect the quality of education students are receiving from the teachers utilizing these same tools. This is a widespread problem Sheena Lyles does a lot of videos demonstrating how people sign things inaccurately and are teaching these signs to hearing people. Destiny Slater also discusses issues in 3D animation and hearing people designing animations signing ASL that are not fully accurate. It appears that more people were utilizing a certain type of clipart, which was developed by a hearing person. 

With the increase in demand, the owners changed their terms of use was changed. Once that happened, Callista realized that continuing to use their clipart was not feasible for her future work so she stepped back and reassessed her products. Callista decided to start utilizing her own artistic skills to develop her own characters and signs. “This is so time consuming but it is worth it because I need the conceptual signs that have multiple meanings e.g. run. Run can be applied in so many ways such as “runny nose” or “running” or “the program kept running”.” (Callista) 2 weeks ago Callista received a take down notice from someone else. This puzzled her and in an attempt to understand what was going on, she did some additional research. 

“When I did further research, there was ONE product that looks very similar but the inside resource is completely different.” (Callista) How this is different is on the cover of the template that shows a “flip book” model that has five sections. You can develop any flap book from this. Both of them had classifiers. (CL:1 CL: B Cl:A ) “Hers (the woman who sent the take down notice) had just a word definition or description in text. Mine had more visual cues such as hand shapes to demonstrate each classifier. So because she saw the cover on Pinterest, it was reported that copyright infringement occurred.” (Callista) Callista did further research and both of them had developed the tool Feb 2018. Both Callista and the person that submitted the copyright infringement statement developed their tool at the same time without knowing each other. 

“After I’ve seen hearing people teaching wrong signs and then seeing Destiny Slater’s vlog, I realized it was necessary to say something” (Callista) When asked about changing the external portion of the “flipbook”, Callista explained that the change would require a lot of things such as the jpeg, PDF, and so forth. Many steps in changing one item. When Callista found out that other people were hearing, there was this feeling that something was not right. When Callista did some more research, this person is an ASL teacher in California and is hearing. 

This is what led to the vlog that she did to discuss culture appropriation within ASL material development. Most people that demonstrate their products use English spoken language without any sign language. This woman is selling ASL products without any kind of visual language in her vlog. “This is oppressive, speaking but not signing when selling ASL Products.” (Callista)

Lip-Reading: What is that?

Protocols for accessing the hearing.

Image result for the perfect meeting humour
The perfect meeting, does it exist? I've used various technologies but hearing workers rendered them unreliable because they kept talking over each other and would not wait until I could follow properly. 

The right protocol presumably, is one person speaking at a time and nobody having a discussion amongst themselves, (so that prevents the Deaf bothering to hold one unless they have a dozen cooks making broth they don't eat).

Basically, it is ensuring each point has been followed and understood before going on to the next.  Not rocket science. One bright deaf spark said utilising technology is the way forward, but it takes no account of hearing co-workers who ignore it or tell someone else to 'Explain to him what we mean', effectively zeroing your contribution at the onset and the point of assistive technology.  You have to be able to decode what you see and evaluate/respond at the speed of light it seems to me.

Many hearing workers will assume the technology (Or an interpreter if that is your bag),  can discriminate between all this chaos going on when you struggle to follow they say 'he has the access but still can't use it, not our fault', but using a 3rd party is no guarantee either and can invite curiosity and time-wasting too. The reality is nobody really listens at a meeting and assumes everyone there is there because they know what it is all about anyway. Asking for clarification because they keep yapping amongst themselves, can suggest you aren't up to it.  Then our fabled 'Nod' of assent kicks in and we are out of it really.   NOT asking means you can't keep up.  So using pride to overlook the fact you aren't following is another killer really.

The Deaf can do the same thing, everyone jabbers on and on regardless who is saying what, and rank and file may well be talking about something else entirely regardless amid themselves.  The way they all get to understand what is going on is via some system of 'Chinese whisper' where those most able to follow detail involved tell the next person who tells... etc; unfortunately, if you are at the end of that line you probably won't have a clue why you are there in the first place, but hey, the bar is open after.

I usually find most did not care anyway as meeting other deaf to socialise is all it is really about. At most hearing meets it is obvious there is co-worker 'power play' going on too and that can disadvantage you as well. It is essential all that is being discussed is given you prior to any meetings so you can ensure you can ask questions and get answers when you attend.

I used a palantype operator at one point and she gave up after 15 minutes she said too many people were talking at once and she could not ensure I was getting what was being said. My attempts prior to the start to ensure the operator gave me an indication not only what was being said, but WHO was saying it, said "that is impossible the way these meetings are run, by the time I ID who said what 5 other people have already chipped in, and the topic has moved elsewhere, I only have one pair of hands I may as well not be here then" and left me to work it out.  Apparently it is hard enough typing what is heard without having to memorise and indicate who is saying anything it only works at very small meetings where I can actually monitor 4 or 5 people visually, but if there are 20 then no. As regards to speech to text apps forget it, they don't indicate who speaks or ID's them. It's the same as background noise negating hearing aids.

Deaf signing meets are some sort of  'organised chaos', at least that is how it is explained to me, but I tend to avoid those at all cost,   I have all the chaos I need, hardly anyone but their closet friends can follow who is speaking and visitors get ignored in favour of locals. Of course, as sign is the prime medium of what passes for communication, it is a basic requirement you use it or don't bother to attend. But mostly, deaf avoid discussions on serious stuff and leave it to others who enjoy attempting to follow what goes on, being there seems to be the prime point. 

When people meet to discuss some issue, inevitably someone there will raise a point not included and when that happens you have no way to get involved because you had no prior notice it was coming up, at that point you should suggest that is for another day. We don't 'do' spontaneous really.  It does seem any time you make a point the meeting is not actually conducive to discussing and arriving at any decision really, they don't invite you next time.

If they fund your access they will be convinced there is no need to treat you any different to someone else hearing, it's a sort of follow-on to shouting at people who don't hear thing, but technology and support may still leave gaps you have to fill yourself, but dare you suggest that is the case?

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Top 10 Deaf responses to the BBC Teletext closure.

Image result for top 10Assembled from various Social media sites and collated to give a general overview of the BBC's decision to remove Teletext options, and then cross-relating it to TV media exposure for deaf people and their sign language.

#1 I think it (Teletext), has served it purpose really. It was wonderful years ago to be able to switch on the TV and see what other deaf people had to say. It even turned out that one of the editors was someone from my old school. Small world. That is the value of having a national platform for deaf people. Once the Internet kicked in I think that most people went straight for forums and other online groups. The problem with the BBC See Hear forum is that certain people were trying to impose their opinions on the rest of us and the BBC did not moderate the forum properly.

#2  Don’t watch TV News at all too much Waffle, plus newspapers too many advertising, both always boring or bad news,  Text is good short, Sad that is going soon.

#3 I need text service for weather, travel and sport results. I don’t understand why they want to close it. Now I look on my mobile or internet instead. Teletext is the service for those don’t have access to internet or mobile phone. Why close it?

#4 What? I personally having it on so same as you, why close it? But just wonder how many people using it ?

#5 We don't know, any more than we know how many deaf watch SEE HEAR, it is irrelevant anyway as SEE HEAR is protected from removal via equality laws, it doesn't matter if a million watch it, or just 1 we cannot get rid of it.   Use it or lose simply does not apply to cultural aspects although does apply to access. The 'Deaf ID' is protected even if they cannot get their rights otherwise, its a source of contention and annoyance within the deaf world as regards to what their priorities really are and screwed up the support/care and charitable systems.  

#6 The BBC's 'inclusion' policies are ridiculously biased anyway.  Its viewer base (SH), doesn't register on the TV listings it is too low to record. They did try to change the format to be more inclusive and sensibly refused to remove subtitles despite 'Deaf' activist allegations 'English' text discriminated against the BSL user.  The BSL user, in reality, blocked HoH inclusion on cultural grounds, they and the 'Deaf' actually stopped watching, and the BBC stopped feedback after very serious rows erupted between the HoH and Deaf on their feedback site, as ATR covered, charities caught in the middle like the RNID ended up removing forums of response, after WW3 erupted there, the blame clearly identified as by aggressive BSL activists who set out to create deliberate disharmony to prevent criticism and, it succeeded forums and feedback was pulled, the onset was near every charity connected with the deaf or hearing loss removing feedback options... even on social media.  They cannot cope with contention.

#7  The BBC is aware most don't want see hear, it has served its time and purpose, but although they cannot remove it from the BBC channel, they can shift it to all manner of obscure areas and times to dump it out of sight and do. The BSL lobby demanded we all fund the twilight (Sorry BSL Zone) as well. They initially tried to more inclusive but the HoH had already voted with their feet they didn't want to be classed as 'Deaf' which would be inevitable had they taken part, the image would be all sign language and Milan or something. 

#8  Hard Of Hearing have little interest in 'Deaf' things even less than the BSL user is showing at times, it's as if these deaf feel obligated to defend the BSL position and media by default, despite misgivings and some dubious imaging.  Sign users really don't care what a meeting or campaign is really about, it is just another excuse/reason to socialise.  

#9  Disabled did it better and they got inclusion without the aggro and controversies the deaf create by default and it seems by design, they didn't present their disability as a barrier as the deaf do via sign or waved culture in people's faces, and lectured everybody on the 'right way' to talk to them.   We read money is at the root of many BSL issues with hearing and deaf alike capitalising on the selling of sign language and culture as a commodity of some sort, while that exists people will support this even if it does not produce any of the real access and support these deaf need if it can produce work for deaf people and popularise sign they will go for it and defend it even if their own input is minimal and professional hearing areas organise it their way.

#10 True, but they can't sell culture, to hearing, or to their own deaf most of the time, because there is no hereditary background to 99 out of 100 of them.  To most at the grassroots level, support and access/education is the main event, culture is a cross to bear because at the end of a very long day it is an area the law enables their campaigns with. It's a constant re-invented wheel and survives because of that.  Although as more medical and technological advances emerge maintaining that continuity may not survive as such we are seeing signs (No pun intended), sign on TV is struggling and has been for a long time, literacy is the final frontier.  It's a frontier we cannot allow misguided deaf activism to downgrade or ignore, at the expense of need and common-sense.

Monday, 13 January 2020

BBC to close their text service.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Is the text service closing? Unfortunately, yes. From the 30th January 2020, the red button text based service will no longer be available. The text based service includes news and sport headlines and business, weather, travel and lottery updates.'

Deaf social media on the BBC's recent declaration they are removing their TV text service. 

ATR: We read this before we quite liked that service as it was essential before we all had access to the net on phones etc, but bear in mind many older deaf (Reputed to be above 60%), still don't access online and now won't have access via their TV anymore.   We appreciate apps and the net have moved on but the text access on your own TV set was a ground-breaker in access terms as was 888, sign language never was and still has issues of being viewed and complaints about content not being inclusive.  The text service also gave insights on medical, scientific and technological advances it's all in one place.  It was a one-stop Information area easily accessible to all.

The BBC used to have 'No Need To Shout', etc (A text-based feedback/letter site on the BBC), that ATR was a major contributor to, run by Chas Donaldson but later ruined by a BSL clone who drove feedback away), also a regular weekly RNID feedback social site, but the BBC's archive on deaf access omits text-based output coverage for some reason, no doubt it is political and run by atypical incoherent hashtag-based idiots now entrenched there.  Most want the licence got rid of so this appalling and biased TV channel gets sorted out and its right to raid our wallets with impunity removed, not least because it allows persistent and biased false images of a sanitised deaf and disabled community to tun riot. 

It is yet another assault on our diverse access need, by the BBC who also removed all deaf feedback to SEE HEAR on their site and installed these disabled who won't question blocked access instead so they can be some 'elite' within this deaf world they create for themselves. The RNID followed removing their open forum so we could not provide feedback publicly to them either. And as ATR posted only this week sold off its deaf care homes. It all seems silly given 90% of online output is text anyway.  

We get deaf 'luvvies' now from the smoke (London),  doing their thing which has no link to the realities of the deaf anywhere else. Proclaiming access nobody else appears to have but them.

Breaking News: Queen has a hearing aid.

A hearing aid is visible as the Queen Elizabeth II arrives to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham
Forget the Harry and Meghan roadshow, and will they? won't they? go with their dogs to Canada and then make a mint on Instagram trading on their royal status in case UK taxpayers decide to cut them off... And Meghan insisting American media will leave them alone to pursue social media money-making and the odd game of polo.

This is REAL News (For those presumably without a life that is). Let's face it the old gal is into her 90s now its a wonder she can dribble a speech these days let alone listen to the sycophants that surround her or bring unruly spoilt grandkids of dubious parentage to heel.  Apparently, she has the wrong aid in her ear..  ATR apologises for the article's lack of coherence but it appears to have been written by an 8yr old so bear with it.

Gasp! Queen spotted wearing hearing aid in public for first time

The hearing aid is visible as the Queen Elizabeth II arrives to attend a morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. The Queen has been spotted in public wearing a hearing aid for what is believed to be the first time. The 93-year-old was pictured with a brown and red device lodged in her right ear as she arrived by car at Sandringham on Sunday wearing a camel coloured coat and hat.

It comes five years after her husband the Duke of Edinburgh was seen wearing discreet behind-the-ear hearing aids too (They are still looking for his old one after he upended his Land Rover on a  motorway believing he had right of way to everything).

We wonder if we can get hearing aids by 'Royal Appointment' now? The type used by the Queen appear to be 'in the canal' hearing aids.  The NHS England website states these "aren't usually powerful enough for people with severe hearing loss".

Guidance states hearing aids are only helpful if someone still has some hearing left and can help wearers pick up on every day sounds like doorbells, phones, and speech if their hearing is beginning to fail. Members of the public clapped as the Queen left the church after the service.

She waved from her car as it pulled away. It comes as the Queen is set to have crisis talks with Prince Harry tomorrow at the royal estate in Sandringham.

My life with hearing loss

ATR recommends this blog written by Steve Claridge, as a deserving read.  


"I’m 45 years old now, I have been steadily losing my hearing since I was 5 and have been wearing hearing aids on-and-off for most of that time. Here’s my story:

Childhood Hearing Problems.

At the age of 5 my parents took me to the local doctor because I was sometimes not responding to them when they talked to me, the doctor referred me to the ENT department of the local hospital. I was diagnosed with a sensorineural hearing loss and came away with a pair of BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids that had full-shell molds, the piece of the aid that went behind my ear was pretty big and bulky and the bit in my ear took up the whole space and pressed against the sides — I hated it and didn’t want to wear it.

Making Everything Louder.

As this was 30 or so years ago, the hearing aid was an analogue device and did not have the sound quality and speech recognition that today’s devices do, it basically just made everything louder. My parents made me wear the aids to school and I do remember wearing them in class, but my Mum said, years later, that I didn’t wear them at school for long. 

I used to wear them up to the school gate and then take them off for the day, only to put them back in at home time so Mum didn’t realise. I remember being teased by the other kids about them, not a lot though, nothing sustained or evil, just the usual level of joshing that kids do with each other — some other kids got teased for being overweight, having ginger hair or other minor reasons, I got it for my hearing loss, to be honest I don’t remember it bothering me that much.

Just Stopped Wearing Them.

So after a short while, I stopped wearing the hearing aids, I guess even though I wasn’t too bothered about teasing I still wanted to fix it, to be normal and not to stick out. At the age of 5 I had a minor hearing loss, I missed the odd word and probably didn’t hear people at times when they were not in front of me. I left education at 18 and I didn’t wear my hearing aids at all after that initial period. All through school and college I was sitting near the front of the class so I could hear the teacher.

Progressively Worse.

During those years my hearing was getting progressively worse, what started off as a minor loss became a moderate one and as each year passed it became more and more difficult to hear in noise, in groups and when people were not directly in front of me. During my early teens, my parents took me to a private hearing aid dispenser and I got a pair of small in the ear (ITE) hearing aids that were by no means invisible but were much less noticeable than the old hospital ones. 

They were also a lot better at blocking out noise and allowing me to hear. By now, I was a teenager and the need to be cool and to fit in with the group was way more powerful than the need to hear, so I didn’t wear any hearing aids, despite it starting to become a real problem to hear every day.

By the age of 17 I was missing quite a lot of what people were saying so I was trying to cope in different ways. Lip-reading and watching the body language of the speaker were two things that worked incredibly well, over the years I’ve become very adept at lip-reading and when you watch someone’s body language quite closely it is surprising how much you can understand about the meaning and intention of what they are saying.

Hiding My Hearing Loss.

I did things that were less useful, I laughed when someone finished saying something I didn’t hear, I changed the subject if someone told me something and then a while later asked me about it I would say I’d forgotten about it instead of saying I never heard it. Often, rather than asking someone to repeat themselves I would just respond to what I thought they’d said — their laughter when I said something stupid was crushing and entirely my own fault."


ATR Comment:

Experiences can vary considerably of course but an excellent, if  potted version of the anguish and mental pain that can come with hearing loss.  Interesting in that the perceived dilemmas regarding identity or culture were non-apparent.

Of course, our times were different too so issues were quite different and black and white then, and there was no avenue to fight or confront huge disadvantages laid at our door.    I get responses 'Oh, that would never happen today!' but I am still seeing that it actually does..  Like the blogger described, I put all my considerable experiences down on paper a few years ago, as a more 'putting thing behind me after 50 years thing' but clearly I haven't and probably never will, as hearing loss defined me as a person and individual but left me in a permanent 'no-man's land' in reality.  

ATR did write to a publisher who had an interest in issues of hearing loss, (And has been approached twice since), but the publisher said 'It is all about sign language now and to be honest, nobody wants to read negativity, if you could rewrite parts with a more positive slant then certainly we would consider publication..."  

I decided (A) I would not take him to task for non-awareness and (B) OK nobody was going to tell me it would be better if I jollied it up a bit.   Personally, as regards to running frustration off, the only running I do is at systems that make issues for me and mine and put myself centre stage so to speak to confront issues of poor access and awareness, it is a thankless and unappreciated task I set myself and I get kickbacks from HoH and the deaf alike because I am not an A or B person.  

That is their hang-up, not mine.  Obviously, we all have a right to tell us how it was for us, but putting it to print.   I still never consider myself really disabled despite every single clinical area trying to convince me I really am.  If it came with cash I might have gone with it since there is no mileage in hearing loss alone you have to have some 'edge' these days.  

That is not so to say I have ever joined a deaf or a HoH community since I never did that either and my hearing membership is somewhat iffy if truth be told.  I will probably curse hearing loss until I am no longer able to.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Struggling AOHL to sell off care homes for deaf?

Mark Atkinson head and shoulders
We are seeing how the 'restructuring' of the olde RNID is now panning out, after re-branding failed miserably in a  lurid pink mess, and the 'Deaf' let that charity en masse. 

The changes come after warnings the AOHL were losing money, it's CEO said 'we want to now concentrate on the cure.'  At least if deaf care goes 'private' we can ensure more positive approaches are made to deaf care, as private becomes accountable, something charity never was.   SENSE was mooted as a potential new owner but

As regards to selling out deaf people less than 20% of their output is designed to support those. Tellingly, that output was deaf care homes.   They are staying online so write in instead.  Can we now see the Welsh AOHL ' annexe' given over to welsh people?

Action on Hearing Loss is to sell entire care and support portfolio.  A disability charity has insisted that it is not selling out Deaf people, after announcing the sale of its entire portfolio of care and support services. The sale will see Action on Hearing Loss (AHL) – formerly known as RNID – off-loading all 23 of its care homes in England and Wales, as well as its supported living, community, outreach and domiciliary care services across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

AOHL said there were no plans for any closures of services and no indication that any of its care homes would close under their new owner. The charity’s website says it has been supporting people who are Deaf, deafblind or have hearing loss to live independently by providing care and support services since 1929. The strategy is being carried out under chief executive Mark Atkinson (pictured), who said just 12 months ago that the charity had no plans to carry out the same kind of mass sale of services that he oversaw in his previous position, as chief executive of the disability charity Scope.  

An AOHL spokesperson told Disability News Service this week: “This was true at the time of writing, but the Board of Trustees made the decision at a later date.” AOHL also admitted this week that it had not consulted its service-providers before taking the decision to sell its care and support portfolio. And it denied that the sale would see it move further away from supporting culturally-Deaf people and towards a focus on medical and hearing loss issues and research into cures for deafness. 

The charity said it would “continue to work with the Deaf community through our community and information service and through our influencing work”. It insisted that the sale of the services was a “strategic decision to enable us to focus our resources on fewer – but more wide-ranging – activities”. A spokesperson said: “These will include community services and influencing which will positively impact people with all levels of deafness and hearing loss. “While we’re incredibly proud of our heritage as a care provider, we believe a different provider can deliver the same excellent and culturally appropriate service we do – but also offer more investment. 

This will benefit our staff and the people we support.” She said the charity was now talking to service-users and their families and supporters about its plans, and that they now “have the opportunity to tell us what they think so that we can ensure the new provider is aware of what is important to them about their service”. She said: “We don’t plan to close any services. All potential providers presented proposals to take on all services as well as care and support staff. “There is no indication that any of our care homes will close. 

Indeed, everyone is committed to developing services.” And she said those organisations that had bid to run the services had to meet “strict criteria”, including “a clear commitment to continuity of care”; the ability to provide a “culturally appropriate service”; a commitment to invest in the services; and a track record of operating similar services to a “good regulatory standard”. She said the board had also looked for a commitment to retain or deploy staff directly involved in delivering services, and added: “The expectation is that all staff working in our care and support services will continue to work in the services and transfer to work for the new provider via a TUPE process.” As well as AHL and Scope, the disability charity Leonard Cheshire has also attracted controversy by selling off care homes. 

In 2018, Leonard Cheshire was accused of making “a complete mockery” of its supposed commitment to service-user involvement after it suddenly told residents of 17 of its care homes that it planned to sell them to other care providers. 

Do deaf people?

If they never meet deaf people should you not be asking why? There are many within the deaf community who have no interest in integrating with or meeting up with hearing people on any regular basis and defend the 'deaf space' to the point of banning hearing going into the deaf community areas to SEE what they really do, all it is, is mostly half-hearted attempts to teach them some signing ABC.

Our experience at deaf clubs e.g. show there is little or no truth in the claim hearing do not understand us at all. It's all too easy to poke fun or criticise 'hearing ignorance' and no doubt this gets worthy 'nods' and support from those paranoid deaf convinced hearing and speech, or hearing aids and CI's, are the devil's very own tools of discrimination against us all, and the hearing just want rid of us.

At ATR, we suspect it is a cultural con act, and hides a lot of realities the 'Deaf' community is unwilling to face up to. Frankly, the constant 'criticism' by the deaf about hearing unawareness is down to the fact there is none that is done in an effective or truthfully accurate way, its hopelessly biased and inaccurate  ASL or BSL cultural bull manure mostly as we can see, and secular to the point awareness is only directed at point two per cent of the entire hearing loss and deaf population and has nothing to do with what is needed to breakdown barriers as its a cultural fest of some kind. Hard of Hearing get by in their millions with none of the angst, they don't have the luxury of signing or culture as a buffer or an excuse.

'What hearing need to do for us..' etc and never "What the deaf need to do to cross the divides themselves.."  It has to be a 50-50 approach.  Do we really think there is nothing at all the deaf can do unless everyone signs to them? 90% of us manage without it, or can utilise other means because we want in to what everyone else has and see no future in some glorious isolationism approach.  There is text, lip-reading, pencil and paper even, and just sheer determination to make the effort. 

Hearing don't sign, it is not our fault etc, how negative an excuse is that? According to a recent claim online TWICE as many hearing sign in UK BSL than within the deaf community itself.... so why aint it working? probably because those hearing have no access to the deaf 'community' or what passes for one these days.  Why would they go online just to be lectured at?  The only way to shut up these silly claims hearing do not understand us, is to get out there and show them how to,  or nothing will change.

I'm sure deaf wives don't understand them either...