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...