Saturday, 21 March 2020

Language Service Provision: Update

Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns
Language Service Providers Respond to Coronavirus Lockdowns.

As governments around the world step up attempts to contain the coronavirus, the language industry, grappling with the fallout from the pandemic, has been striving to react with a measured response.

We looked at the websites of languages service providers on The Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), a number of which published their responses even before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Slator LSPI companies have, generally, assured clients that they will remain operational through the pandemic. Most have outlined contingency measures, which they state have been in place even before the Covid-19 outbreak. What follows is the gist of each response.

From Lionbridge (LSPI #2): “This page offers resources for any professional looking to guide their company through the challenges this global health event creates. We will update it regularly with informational pieces, tips on crisis responses, and ways we can help keep your team, your company and your customers happy and healthy.”

From LanguageLine (LSPI #3): “We long ago put in place contingencies that minimize the impact a health event can have on our ability to provide services […] we consider it our obligation to not just maintain, but elevate our services during times when they are needed most. Please know that we have anticipated your needs and will rise to this occasion.”

From SDL (LSPI #4): “Business continuity is one of our key priorities here at SDL and, as part of our plans, we have activated a global crisis response team, who are working to manage all impacted countries and regions, to safeguard our people and minimize any impact to your business.”

Slator Research Strategy Package - Translation Industry Research
Strategy Package.

“Business continuity is a key priority at RWS, and our contingency plans have been put into action throughout all RWS divisions. As part of this activity, our IT teams have enabled virtualized environments to allow critical production staff to work from home and help our customers and supply chain partners avoid any major operational disruption.”

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

ATR: Local update.

Current acute shortages yesterday were:

Paracetamol.  Online sold out too.
Toilet rolls.
All kinds of pasta.
Tinned foods.
Frozen Vegetables.
Washing up liquid.
Portal (!) Facebook TV equipment.
Dog and Cat foods.

Home deliveries:  Still failing to ensure vulnerable get essentials as panic-buyers have cleared stocks and queuing up before shops open so older people who arrive later have nothing to buy.

More warnings scammers are posing as government agents or 'community support' and offering to provide food and services for those unable to go out, and asking them for credit cards and numbers, then emptying accounts etc.  

Latest is scammers knocking on people's doors stating they are government testers for the virus, there are NO 'Testers' going around housing doing this.

ATR and an old lady at a Tesco outlet were elbowed out of the way by two women already heavily laden with toilet rolls, when a few remaining toilet rolls were seen, this left the older lady with none, we gave her ours.  Staff said there was deliberate 'bulk buying' and these two women were ushered out of the shop as they were said to be selling to vulnerable at twice the price the shop was.  They claimed they were buying for elderly relatives...

It seems the 'stiff upper lip' assumption of the Brits no longer applies and old, vulnerable or not it is everyone for themselves.  We can only hope the state moves to put a stop to the panic buying, while some retail outlets open specifically for older people and vulnerable stocks are so depleted they still may not get what they need.

Deaf clubs are closed also and deaf advised NOT to commute to other clubs that may still be open.  Inevitably they will close anyway.  We can still keep in touch online so far but some phone provision is having difficulties with the surge of home workers using online more.  ISP's are switching to AI to monitor online, mistakes will inevitably occur.

Rogue sites are advertising face masks and gel, they have no intention of providing, please check these are bona fide sites before you order, take care with financial details too as the scammers could take advantage of that too.  Before this is over we will probably see the full extent of selfishness that exists.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

I want one !

A slip or trip, a collision, an allergic reaction, a seizure, a heart condition or medical emergency ... it happens every day, everywhere on earth. It can happen to you or someone you love. 

If you, or someone you love has been hurt this product helps authorities notify family much faster. If someone you love is rushed to the Emergency Department, chances are they won’t be capable of providing this vital information. Without up-to-date Emergency ID it often takes hours, even days, for authorities to track down and notify relatives. However, a simple, In Case of Emergency USB device on their key ring or in their wallet or purse could be life-saving. 

The USB file contains their vital information: Current medical conditions and medications, allergies, contact details of relatives, friends, carers and doctors. The file can be read by all computer systems. It will hold over 200 pages of information but is usually restricted to the absolutely essential details. There is no need to load information that a thief could use; no address, no date of birth, no bank details etc.

Printable communication aids.

Might be handy if you are self-isolating.


Introduction to lip-speaking.

Hearing loss research trials delayed by Virus.

The French company Sensorion has been forced to delay a phase II trial in people with hearing loss due to slow patient recruitment amid the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. 

The clinical trial is designed to test Sensorion’s lead candidate drug in people with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a rare disorder where the patient can go deaf within several days. The trial results were to be released late 2020, but the company now expects to release them in mid-2021. Nawal Ouzren, CEO of Sensorion, stated that slow patient recruitment caused the delay, as well as hospital resources being reprioritized to handle the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The global outbreak — labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization last week — threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems around the world without an effective vaccine or drug approved for the disease. The company stated that it will keep monitoring the Covid-19 situation, which is changing very quickly. 

“We are doing our utmost to ensure we can provide the clinical data set as quickly as possible,” stated GĂ©raldine Honnet, Sensorion’s CMO. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the sensory hair cells in the inner ear are destroyed, most often for an unknown reason. Sensorion’s drug is designed to treat the condition by protecting hair cells from damage. Sensorion raised €20M in a bonds issue last year to fund the phase II development of treatments for sudden deafness and acute unilateral vestibulopathy, a rare disorder causing vertigo. 

The company was confident that the funding would sustain the programs until late 2020. However, this latest delay, along with the phase II failure and discontinuation of its treatment for vertigo in December 2019, have proved big setbacks for the French company. 

UK BSL Program to offer Coronavirus advice live.

After numerous concerns on deaf social media (Mostly unfounded), that the government was not making coronavirus advice accessible to the deaf, today will see their BSL Zone program offer a live question and answer session for the first time, so at least one of the BSL areas is doing what it gets funds to do anyway (I.E. INFORM and EDUCATE!)

On a number of deaf social media sites complaints were made against the government not offering BSL with daily briefings, but have been ignoring their two subsidised BSL programs (BSL Zone and SEE HEAR), who were doing it anyway.  Which raised questions why were the deaf demanding stand-alone BSL output and then NOT utilising it?  Also, captioned parliament output was available that a lot of deaf seemed unaware of.

It would seem the apathy of deaf people to politics has left a lot of them unsure how to cope with a national health issue.  One 'Plus' may come out of all this in that self-isolation and limited social interaction may well mean hearing communities start including and supporting the vulnerable in the deaf community.  

However, there are deaf people who will not be able to cope with isolation over many months as they are isolated already, again media output for the deaf needs to adapt and quickly to filling what is going to be a huge void in socialising which is more important to the deaf than many other priorities.  Social media may come into its own as the deaf switch to socialising a lot more that way, but, spare a thought for older deaf not only unaware of deaf TV output but, not online either.

Now is the opportunity to learn additional and practicable means of getting communications more effective too, maybe learn to lip-read better, or be more literate and read more? Those needing support are going to have to make it clear they need it and the best way to make it work.  The virus has no respect for personal pride.

If/When your otherwise unknown hearing neighbour steps up to help you you are going to have to find alternatives anyway aren't you?  It will be interesting to see how the BSL media approach this issue.

We would like to see all BSL areas online moving outward to hearing mainstream immediately to explain how help/communication can be more effective, bearing in mind demands 'sign or else', would be seen as negative as we all need (Hearing and deaf people), to work together.  How the deaf react to this serious health threat can be a positive, but only if we treat it that way.  Your deaf friends will not be able to visit you and your social areas subject to closure.

Keep calm friends.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Tips for the deaf (Coronavirus).

Do NOT take any notice of advice UNLESS it comes from a validated source, i.e. the government, or the health services. Also deaf need to take care as scammers are visiting elderly offering to do their shopping for them, then disappearing with the money!

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay at home advice.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

These pages are for the public. There is coronavirus information for health professionals on the NHS England website.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Read our advice about staying at home.

Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
your condition gets worse
your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Use the 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

always wash your hands when you get home or into work

use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Travel advice
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.

Treatment for coronavirus.

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

ATR says much advice is subject to an immediate change, so keep yourself updated from official sources ONLY.  Do not rely on advice from social media.  There needs to be clarification as of yesterday 14/3/2020 they are suggesting elderly over 65-70 and vulnerable may have to stay at home for anything up to a month but are unclear on how they will be supported.  There is confusion self-isolation will prevent infection as after self-isolation and outside there is still no cure.

They appear to suggest the health systems will be overrun and hoping the communities will rally round and offer support, but community care and indeed community itself is very fragmented at this time do we even know who the next-door neighbour is? or, if they are elderly and at risk?  Would they help out if you knew they HAD the virus?  as given advice is to avoid.   Those at risk need some reassurance from central government how we are all to proceed.  are those at risk to be just left?

It would also help if shopping areas held 'elderly hours' shopping so that those most at risk can get what they need, they are currently being denied by panic-stricken selfish people less at risk than they are who are clearing shelves of essential goods

ATR says deaf are still experiencing difficulties contacting the state advice helpline, which they say is often not answering calls, and, many deaf cannot access.