Friday, 13 March 2020

Assistance dogs (UK) an announcement.

Assistance dogs for the deaf organisation are sending out letters to dog owners urging them to join a central register of valid assistance dogs and owners.  [At least they should be doing that].

They should be doing this in response to numerous concerns some dog owners are abusing the concessions a service dog provides to its owner, by purchasing online authentic-looking dog vests cheaply with 'Trained assistance dog' written on them for their own untrained pets.  

This has caused issues for the deaf, and for blind people, with publicly accessible  area owners claim to be unsure who qualifies or if the animal actually is trained and some have been banning dogs to comply with health and safety laws.  Deaf and Blind have also complained about taxi owners doing the same thing.

Purchasing a dog vest that states it is an assistance animal appears to be freely available without any checks at all via Amazon and eBay as well as various dog supply outlets, with no check at all the purchasers had a trained animal.  ATR found 15 sites in as many minutes.  We gather there is a registration process in the USA and fraudulently claiming a pet is a trained animal can incur fines.

No such law appears to be extant in the UK. One enquirer claimed she was offered a hearing dog for the deaf vest with their official logo on from their own site with no checks.

Image result for deaf assiatnce dogsThe problem also appears to be in that there is no legal requirement to insist on an assistance dog in the united kingdom is either registered or indeed the owner has to provide real proof their animal is a trained assistance animal.  

Currently, owners point to the law and the 'proof' is there via the vest the dog is wearing. To this end, a suggestion is being made to register all owners and their trained animals, and to then issue then with a validation card they can produce if asked and a barcode individually issued for a nominal fee that a dog can wear on its vest that can be scanned as proof.

Concerns are being raised the UK charities still have no legal requirement to set up any such a register which can render the whole thing pointless.  Frauds are buying these vests to confuse challenges.  Is this an issue the RSPCA can take up?

Disabled with other less obvious disabilities are also buying 'trained assistance animal' vests for their pets.  Mainly on the grounds, their pet is emotional support of some kind.  Again whether such pets are recognised by the systems or trained as such is unclear too.

Coronvirus: New Advice.

Dear ATR

Image result for letter to the editorToday ATR includes a long missive sent via a Facebook PM to him, and leaves the reader to form own view.


I read with great interest recent coverage of the deaf approaches to the arts and more recently, in the way they see the inclusion of deaf people.  It's a perennial issue and one I don't think in the long run will benefit the BSL user, being as it is based on a form of acceptable isolation by the people using it.  

It's a really novel set up they have a re-invented wheel in most part, but still unique and to be scrupulously fair, ATR does at times look very negatively on their determination to stand alone, and apart to maintain their way of life. Which today is a matter of choice. ATR maintains this is not the case and the choice is being made by the few not the many.  ATR is on a loser challenging personal choice even if He can prove it is a bad or pointless one.

Diminishing deaf schools and specialisations and even fewer interpreters to make interaction viable and issues abound on just how do they teach deaf people to manage a hearing world? In that respect, ATR has a valid point to make.  As it all seem to slow down real changes that will benefit everyone.

Today text rules pretty much, and technology has decimated deaf clubs since deaf no longer have to meet in any club, or natter all hours 'Under the Lamp', to maintain the community, and deaf youth as youth everywhere drops the old attitudes and wants areas that suit them age-wise.   That area of the community has moved out of the clubs, but it still hasn't moved into the mainstream, and as ATR repeatedly insists, this is because they are pursuing culture and language to ensure the status quo is still there, albeit what that status quo actually is, seems to vary a lot, only time will tell if that approach is successful.  

It does seem the BSL deaf follow the mainstream route of online socialising, [which I don't think works for the deaf the same way because sign is still a minority mode used even with the deaf, and online, deaf are still pursuing a segregational approach].

I see lots of sign online, mostly it is of ASL, but BSL to a far lesser extent and near all 'Deaf' sites using mostly text in response [which is great, because it displays at least online they can contribute equally on hearing platforms],  ATR insists they won't use it for that purpose, as the aim is to stay in some 'parallel' aspect instead.  Deaf say not it is just empowering their own culture and language.

The community as it tends to show young deaf do not really mirror the online images of Deaf people other than they sign.  Grassroots have moved forward, but a lot of old habits die-hard and some (Like their dedicated charities and professional support), are trying desperately to backpedal.  One area to prevent the social aspect folding, the other area to ensure pro support still have a job to do, but ATR pointed out many deaf themselves are 'cashing in on culture' so do not want inclusion and 'vested interests' are at work to confuse the emancipation of the deaf person.

I think we would all rather see all deaf and with hearing loss sorting the matter of access and inclusion out like adults and that reflected in a decent and coherent debate to put a stop to all the arguments.  ATR suggests that is never happening or wanted currently.  ATR could be an asset to the deaf community, he obviously wants the issues resolved, displays a considerable knowledge of the community, and wants everyone moving forward, but there is still viewed a lot of negativity in the output and it may be too late already for either crossing that bridge.

Using imaging and profile campaigning is again showing how adept some deaf are, and, able to match hearing campaigns and even surpass them, what we need to know,  is where it is all heading? and given a lot of heart promotion is blurring the head realities.    There is a real problem they can paint themselves into a corner.

The BSL only areas just seek to maintain that status quo despite being based on the 'Deaf'' version of inclusion, active marginalising, and the labelling and stereotyping of the deaf by themselves trading their stereotype for the mainstream version, which they insist, theirs is the only true and supported one.  ATR said they cannot show any numerical proof of that and using numbers that aren't applicable to them. 

That caused issues with many deaf who ATR claims do not sign at all, acquired after formative years, and the 'Deaf' blurring of imaging spilling over to areas like hearing loss and the hard of hearing, causing issues, since at the root of Deaf cultural aspiration they attack imaging of hearing loss.  A label is a label is a label, but few are seeing this. Next year another one will come out because of the desperate need of these deaf to maintain their ID.  Carry on ATR, I have stocked up on popcorn.