Tuesday, 18 February 2020

SPD new communication Cards

It is rather accepting the police are being told we cannot speak and they need not bother to learn sign either isn't it?  Is all the deaf can do is point and mime?  I don't think this is awareness or access personally I would find it patronising and demeaning.  Most deaf can speak, if they choose not to that's silly.

Rights trump need?

Image result for pharmacy
Social media round-up what the Hard of Hearing were talking about.

(1) Last year my local Boots had a poster stating 'BSL' customers welcome in-shop support. It was the first time ever I saw any shop doing that. They had the sign poster up and the loop/ear logo. I went in the loop wasn't switched on nobody knew how to  do it. As regards to the sign access none of that either because it relied on a few staff who attended a free 'learn the ABC of sign' class and, they no longer worked there, ridiculous. 

The government also said don't pressure your GP, but to ask the chemist for diagnosis help, but no effective loop or sign there either. AOHL charity awarded the welsh assembly staff kudos for deaf awareness success with staff, on entering the building we could find not a single member of staff who knew what the AOHL was talking about and identifying staff was a no-no. Do you think awareness is just NOT working at all?  I should add after I complained they took down the access posters.

(2) Yes, its all just PR with companies eagerly ticking boxes in order to comply with the Equality Act but not actually understanding or complying. Hearing loop signs seem to pop up everywhere but they are very rarely working, either because they are not switched on, or because they have been installed by a loop installer that does not know what they are doing or doesn't care or a combination of both. I have seen numerous loops installed where they simply won't be able to work eg certain surfaces can block the signal, placed too low, too high. Also with the microphone facing the wrong way! But until there is legal obligation and, more importantly, enforcement nothing will change. Other than a few prosecutions of taxi drivers for not allowing assistance dogs in the car (on which the law is clear) I have not heard of any other legal cases involving access for deaf/hoh people. 

(3) Boots told me after I complained 'nobody asks us to switch it on really...' If that is true no wonder they get apathetic about it. Shops have the highest turnover of staff, so that was one excuse I got in that 'Tracy' (who did some sign), left here months ago. I know of shops GP's, and chemists with the loop logo and poster but, that is ALL they have, not the equipment! Seems nobody is complaining enough.

(4) We all need to complain more.

(5) I rather suspect the system is 'use it or lose it', training people up and purchasing equipment is wasted time if demand is seen as pretty non-extant. we have to ask ourselves what are the priority demands we want met? Offering and demanding access to everything then using next to none of it puts us on the backfoot, it also wasted access provision.

(6) Perhaps we should just prioritise essential areas and forget the rest? 

(7)  Yes, of course, a right of access to everything others have is the law, but the reality is what will we USE? and not just demand stuff we really are not going to use much at all. 

(8)  For my money access demands should be concentrated solely at this time on health, education, safety and support. I'm appaled the NHS is a no-go area for the lip-reader or the HoH e.g. I have few issues at all really now worrying the local shop has a signer or a loop.   It's cheap shots at profile areas by activists and campaigners who need to concentrate on specifics.  Support to buy a bunch of bananas while we still cannot get help in a clinical situation is beyond logic.  Do some of these 'campaigners' really understand need at all?  Maybe they need to attend classes!

(9) In the case of Boots it is a bit different as they dispense prescriptions and, we are told, able to advise us on health issues too, clearly this isn't happening, legal, or is viable. My local chemist was banned offering advice by the BMA, they said pharmacists are not Dr's so not qualified to offer medical advice except on what commercial cold cure they believe is best! One area they can help with is in checking which medication is dispensed and if other medicines can negatively interact with them as Dr's don't always check that themselves. But again NOT qualified to DIAGNOSE.

New Video Tests for deaf and disabled drivers.

Video clips are to replace written scenarios in UK driving theory tests to make them more accessible. 

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced that, from April 14, learners will be asked three questions after watching a driving clip of up to 30 seconds. The change follows research which found that learners with reading difficulties and disabilities felt more comfortable with video scenarios than written ones. DVSA chief driving examiner Mark Winn said: “Being able to drive can be life-changing and the DVSA is committed to helping everyone access the opportunities driving can offer. 

17 million Theory tests taken in the UK over the past 10 years DVSA “We have worked closely with road safety experts and learners to create a theory test which fully tests a candidate’s knowledge of the rules of the road and is more accessible.” A scenario could show a car being driven through a town centre or on a country road, with three multiple-choice questions on issues such as safe overtaking or why motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users. The bid to improve access to driving comes after the Department for Transport launched its inclusive transport strategy in July 2018. 

The DVSA worked with the National Autistic Society, and the British Dyslexia Association to develop the change. John Rogers, of community interest company Disability Driving Instructors, said: “A picture paints a thousand words, especially for candidates with special educational needs. Video scenarios should prove much easier to follow and the questions will hopefully appear more relevant John Rogers, Disability Driving Instructors “Having to go back and forth between the text in the written scenario and the written questions and answers was a big obstacle to understanding what was required. 

“Video scenarios should prove much easier to follow and the questions will hopefully appear more relevant.” Some 17 million theory tests have been conducted in the UK over the past 10 years.