Friday, 14 February 2020

Inspirational Porn

'Inspirational porn' is not really understood in that disabled/deaf/mental health individuals can vary considerably via personal responses themselves. In part, IP exists to counter trauma and misconceptions about how issues affect people.  There is further confusion that relates to certain areas of deafness and disability that despise online expressions of succeeding despite the odds etc and others that for deaf-politico reasons hate youtube vlogs that extol how people respond positively to implants or such, which they feel reflects badly on people who do not see an issue being deaf at all.  

To be 'devil's advocate' the 'Deaf' area continually puts out content about us against them, and succeeding despite the odds, online is full of such content, which in turn may well upset deaf who are not coping with deafness or those with severe loss who might see 'positive' deaf imaging as refusing to accept there is any negative side and feel under pressure to confirm when they are struggling.  

If Inspirational Porn is being criticised then perhaps some criticism should be levelled at areas who are criticising those who are not coping well at all with deafness and loss, a number of whom, are being called whiners and moaners by the more aggressive activists who feel their 'negativity' undermines their 'positive' messages, indeed can be actively discouraged to talk about it on certain sites where deaf are.   We are all for positivity but the downside still exists.

It mainly manifests itself via 'social versus medical modelling' where the suggestion is no problem exists with US, it's someone else's fault for trying to cure the issue.  If an individual is totally traumatised via having deafness or hearing loss and has clinical issues, then they are entitled to say so, as is their support for people who have managed it or had alleviations that work it holds out hope, should we criticise that?  Equally, those who never heard can be forgiven for not understanding what the fuss is all about, at least in the past, today perhaps they don't have that excuse.  It is about accepting reality, and not pushing an image that suggests that this reality does not exist or we would rather not know about it.

The issue seems quite different, e.g. Disabled do not 'downgrade' the physical or mental fact of the issue they have, but the deaf do.

Avatar-based support.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Top marks to this vlog for offering up the accurate descriptions of people with hearing loss. Aka deaf are people that cannot hear, and Hard of hearing are people with various levels of hearing loss, and none of your cultural/sign excuses or diversion.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

More deaf charity mergers.

It would seem Australia is yet another country that is being forced to merge its charities with others to survive, as deaf and Hard of Hearing alike, stop being members and supporters of charitable institutions and are instead pursuing a rights-led approach to support and access, with little success.

Already this has forced the UK's BDA and AOHL to downgrade levels of care they operated too, The AOHL selling off deaf care homes, and the BDA and other sign-based charities struggling to survive and in the red financially mainly because they abandoned need for culture. Charities are creaking at the seams as a result.  Northern England saw many deaf who were being cared for and supported left high and dry, with none, as charity collapsed no longer viable.  Deaf schools continue to close down.

It is clear only the fittest charities are going to survive, and even mergers do not mean a more solid foundation but, more cuts to consolidate and survive, obviously aspirations are going to suffer as a result.  Unfortunately, rights-based campaigns are not inclusive which is fragmenting the support systems as each area goes for own needs ignoring the other.  By definition have divided themselves making tthem more vulnerable to discrimination and lesser support.  Only uniting for the common good is going to save UK charity that means the BSL and HoH areas have to work together or face the entire hearing loss support areas to fold like a pack of cards.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Deaf denied internet access.


A Deaf man from J&K travelled all alone to Punjab just to use the internet. Let me tell you about his story. On 5th August 2019, when the Indian government divided J&K into the two territories all communication lines in J&K were cut off. Although the postpaid mobile phones sprang back to life more than two months later, the internet continues to remain off. 

He cannot speak or hear. He uses sign language to communicate with his family and friends. Tajamul's father said, "He was extremely fed up with the internet ban as he could hardly connect to any of his deaf friends". "He would frequently make video calls to his friends and chat with them", He added that the long-drawn-out internet ban has made him, and many other Deaf people feel very isolated.” Tajamul knows very basic sign language and has completed his education in various institutes in Kashmir. He would spend a lot of time on the internet to learn the language but the internet ban has also disrupted his learning process. For almost 6 months, the internet has been down in J&K. 

Many petitions were in Supreme Court about this. On January 10 the SC said that all Indians have a right to Freedom of Speech and conduct any form of business through the internet. This is why on 14th January the government restored the internet in all government institutions. The ban, however, continued for the general public. Tajamul was desperate to use the internet. He had not communicated with his Deaf friends for so many months and felt very lonely. This is why he decided to convince his father to allow him to go to Amritsar. As soon as Tajamul reached Amritsar, he checked into the hotel and connected his phone to Wi-fi. 

Within seconds he began receiving the messages at fairly good speed from his outstation friends. He responded to their messages and also made video calls to some of them. Tajamul said, "They felt so happy to see my face after so many months. Even we shed tears of joy," Saleem Pathan(16), another deaf boy from Bemina, Srinagar. He would use the internet to make video calls to his deaf friends. But when the internet shut down he became very frustrated.

Another Deaf boy in J&K is forcing his family to leave the state as he is unable to communicate with his friend in Delhi & Chandigarh. Many other deaf-mute persons have said that the internet ban has been gnawing at their minds and spirits. Umar Ashraf Beig, General Secretary All Jammu and Kashmir Association for the Deaf, has sought the immediate lifting of internet service in J&K because the ban has caused a lot of suffering and trouble to the local Deaf people.

Here, there, and everywhere

Welcome the dual captioning, unsure what the point is?  They appear to be getting more professional at stating the obvious.  But the UK contribution seems lacking somewhat.

Croeso i'r pennawd deuol, yn ansicr beth yw'r pwynt? Mae'n ymddangos eu bod yn dod yn fwy proffesiynol wrth nodi'r amlwg. Ond mae'n ymddangos bod cyfraniad y UK yn brin rhywfaint.

SignHealth campaign suspect?

Image result for sign healthSignHealth's latest campaign on deaf mental health support suffered a drawback when ATR pointed out that the charity itself had not the BSL specialisation to support the deaf themselves.  In a reply to an ATR request for proof, they stated they were not aware of any BSL interpreter system where specialisation in deaf mental heal existed or a system set up to train them, the ASLI also confirmed they know of no BSL interpreters with a specialisation in Deaf mental health.  

If you needed brain surgery would you use the local butcher?  85% of medical staff who diagnose deaf mental health issues and decide on treatment are hearing who don't sign so rely on terps without the background needed.   It's appealing they assume a knowledge of BSL is all you need to treat a mental health issue when the nature of the illness affects the ability TO sign or understand.

At present 'any old terp' will do at present as there is no training scheme for BSL specialisation.  Lip-speakers do specialise in court issues, health areas there is almost a non-extance of BSL interpreters with any specialisation other than BSL.  Despite Level 4 terps at Bury Hospital e.g. terps were criticised for failing to convey issues adequately to hearing psychiatrists and throwing cultural excuses at them instead.  Its also a scandal in that the CQC (Care quality commission), has no power to insist on trained BSL terps OR carers for the BSL deaf (Also confirmed to ATR by the CQC).  

Mental health is a huge issue, 1 in 4 hearing and  40% in deaf children.  The lack of adequate diagnosis and support gets amplified with those who have issues of understanding basic communication without help, let alone having to cope with poor mental health a well.

Wales were using part-time carers often with no sign at all to support deaf e.g. with Alzheimer's, 2 of whom died of neglect because Social services could not support them 24/7 one drowned himself and the other died of the freezing cold after wandering the streets half-naked, his home had the stairs blocked off so he could not fall down them, but the part-time carer only went to the house 2 hours a day and the doors were left open so the otherwise unsupported deaf patient could come and go at will. 

SignHealth are demanding a support system that doesn't exist or is being created.  Apparently relying on some BSL relay system instead, which only suggests there is lack even of basic BSL interpreters.  They haven't established the basics are yet. Most deaf diagnosed are 'deported' miles away from home, family or peer support to be cared for. Now that AOHL is pulling out of deaf care you have to fear these deaf are not going to get the support or monitoring they need.  It was far from clear charities were being monitored themselves.

Private carers are far less regulated, local authorities are cutting care fees, a perfect storm and a recipe for deaf abuse. In mitigation, one charity said they felt 'free-lance' interpreting was primarily to blame, they could never rely on a terp turning up when needed in an emergency etc, and that a 24/7 system has never existed or can be established as it stands. There was little continuation of support, and terps were pleasing themselves when and where they worked, causing uncertainty and unreliability of support.  Terps said most were only able to work part-time as they had families to work around.

Their ongoing rows with WITS were also causing mayhem as they are opposing a regulated and a reliable BSL support set up, even the ASLI has no power to ensure compliance membership being voluntary, but the main issue was systems wanting to set up a proper pay and regional/national structure and set of regulations to ensure BSL/Deaf support reliability, which obviously challenged the free-lance aspect.  

It is amazing in 2020 there is still no dedicated set up for people who cannot hear or follow basic English, but who totally rely on a support system that itself is random.  Their almost total confidence in BSL seems hugely misplaced.

The (USA), police and the deaf.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

New rules for Finland subtitling standards.

Finland Introduces Subtitling Standards for Consistency Across Platforms
Finland is the latest European country to roll out a new set of quality requirements for subtitles in television programs. The quality recommendations comprise two sets of guidelines; one for Finnish subtitles and another for Swedish subtitles. (Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish.) 

The AV Translation Center published the recommendations on January 27, 2020, and the Institute for the Languages of Finland (also known as Kotus) endorsed them in a January 29, 2020 website post. The guidelines are the culmination of efforts by a working group that included language professionals from organizations such as the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL), the Association of Language Experts, and Kotus. Eivor Konttinen, a translator and editor for Finland’s national public broadcasting company, Yle, explained in an April 2019 interview with Sprakbruk magazine that the Finnish initiative was inspired by quality criteria developed in Norway in 2018.

Denmark’s own guidelines soon followed. According to SKTL, the recommendations are meant to create consistent subtitling practices, set quality standards for subtitles, and consolidate vocabulary used in the field. The working group also hopes that the recommendations will help subtitlers avoid negative influence from practices in other countries, especially the US. Anna-Maija Ihander, a participant in the working group and a subtitler for Yle, said in a January 2020 interview that the recommendations are meant to be used by different channels and streaming companies. 

Apart from sounding natural in Finnish, the recommendations focus on readability and legibility: line segmentation, rendering, time coding and scheduling, and tips for using punctuation and italics. The recommendations touch on linguistic quality to emphasize that translations should follow Finnish grammar and spelling conventions for sentence structures, and should only deviate if absolutely necessary. Recommendations state that translations should avoid anglicisms and false cognates and should not replace original cultural references to Finnish equivalents unless appropriate and necessary. Among the back-to-basics guidelines for translators, the recommendations state that translations should avoid anglicisms and false cognates (a more common problem for novice linguists) and should not replace original cultural references to Finnish equivalents unless appropriate and necessary. 

Maintaining original cultural references prevents “over-integration,” which takes the viewer out of the immersive world of the program. A number of organizations have already signed on to the quality standards, including Yle, MTV, and Alfa-TV, as well as language service providers BTI (IYUNO), Pre-Text, Saga Vera, and Rosmer. Others are expected to follow. Although Netflix has not yet signed on, Ihander said that a Netflix representative participated in the working group. She added that Netflix has recently updated its Finnish Timed Text Style Guide. SKTL said the working group plans to make recommendations for same-language captioning, again for Finnish and Swedish, later in 2020.

Make 'em Laugh, Make 'em Laugh.

ADULT humour, topicality, and the deaf, can interpreters hack it?  And can the deaf take a joke themselves? What you don't want is to change the dialogue to suit the deaf. We should be against anything that has a hashtag in front of it.  If you have to explain a joke no point.  It seems deaf want inclusion but not the ribbing they could get with it the same as hearing do. People like Robbie Williams were really funny guys, so OK he walked the edge now and then.  That is the best kind of humour and indeed very pro-active in making nonsense of bigots, and bringing the stuck up themselves down to heel.  Interpreters are there to translate and need to stick to that.  Deaf don't need prompting when to laugh!

What they said:

"Once he noticed an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter parked close to him, Robin Williams, like many other comedians, had a habit of getting crude with them. In one performance posted to YouTube, Williams addresses the interpreter as though he is an exotic carnival act. After the interpreter dutifully signs something Williams spoke, the comedian feigns marvel and says to the audience, “How cool is that?” Facing the interpreter in anticipation of his inevitable next sign, Williams burps, “Blow me.” 

The interpreter does his job, and the audience laughs — at the interpreter, constrained under lingual subjugation. Then, Williams gratuitously adds, “What a great fucking night,” imitating the interpreter’s hand gestures. He says the interaction is fast becoming “like Deliverance with Helen Keller.” Such a bit, caked with condescension, might play well with many showgoers, particularly the hearing ones. But ASL interpreters themselves may not be so charmed by a comedian breaking the deaf audience’s fourth wall. “I’ve had to educate so many comics on that,” says Emilia Lorenti-Wann, an ASL interpreter who’s worked comedy shows for the past 25 years. 

“It’s the worst thing because it’s like you are just throwing my job out the window, and your job out the window, to get this cheap laugh.” Prior to showtime, Lorenti-Wann pleads with stand-ups she’s working with not to interact with her during their set. “They’ll just [say], ‘How do you say ***? How do you say ***? How do you say motherfucking ***?’” she says. “Everybody thinks it’s funny except the interpreter.” 

She remembers one comedian who went so far as to lick the bald head of an interpreter she knows. These gags often upset the interpreter, disrupt the service they provide for the hearing-impaired attendees and call attention to the presence of those special-needs individuals who, for a change of pace, may just be looking for a relaxing night out in anonymity. Like most interpreters, Lorenti-Wann believes the comic should take care of the hearing showgoers, while the interpreter produces as close to an identical performance for the deaf audience members as possible. That requires hours of dedicated preparation beyond baseline sign-language fluency. 

“You’ve got to give them an experience; you can’t just give them ‘access,’” she explains. Denise Herrera, an associate interpreter at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a New York school that often books comedy shows and has 1,200 deaf individuals among its roughly 16,000-person student body, thoroughly researches the stand-ups she signs for. (Her ASL comedy interpreting résumé includes John Mulaney, Leslie Jones, and Sebastian Maniscalco.) Even if the performer’s routine is new to her, she says, “I’ll have an idea of what they’re talking about because I read their whole Wikipedia page, or I read a book that they wrote, or I’ll have notes on what they’ve been working on or what they worked on in the past.” 

She’ll also run a set in front of campus tutors ahead of time, signing along to a video performance of a comic she’s set to work with. Her colleagues may flag certain bits that need work, which allows her “more time to dissect how we can bring this joke or this concept into another language, in ASL, that will make it funny.” Fast-talking comedians like Kevin Hart mean the ASL interpreter has to be conditioned to keep pace while signing, Lorenti-Wann says, adding that interpreters coupled with stand-ups who favour timely material should catch up on the news. And if a comic relies heavily on callbacks, the ASL interpreter must be hyper-vigilant with their signs — if an item’s first reference doesn’t ring true enough for the deaf audience, the second certainly won’t hit as hard."

Monday, 10 February 2020

The real cost of deafness...

Deafness World Medical Education from OCB Media on Vimeo.

Not all sign, community,  and culture then?  Just a huge $750b dependency system suggesting they DON'T have any problems except hearing people.

Seeing Music

International Cochlear Implant Day!

International Cochlear Implant Day 2020
Tuesday 25th February 2020, is International Cochlear Implant Day which celebrates the life-changing impact of cochlear implants for deaf and hearing-impaired people around the world. The Sunshine Coast CICADA ( Cochlear Implant Club and Advisory Association Queensland ) group is a growing group on the Sunny Coast supporting all who have a Cochlear Implant or are considering getting a Cochlear Implant. 

We will be celebrating this special day, this year, at our Meet up at the Sunshine Castle Bli Bli from 10.00am to 12.00pm. Come along and join us and tell us 'What does your CI mean to you ' and enjoy a cuppa and a chat to celebrate how lucky we are.