Monday, 13 April 2020

25 reasons to say no to BSL?

ATR prints a selection of 25 comments on BSL in the UK taken from 4 HoH areas and 19 dedicated online sites over the last 5 weeks, (that it was able to view, not easy with most 'closed' and only open to those with only closed minds it seems).  Some views are obviously dismissive of sign language, deaf areas, deaf culture, and even some respected deaf people, but unless we act adult and address why this happens, the undercurrent of negativity to sign and sign users are going to continue.  

NOTE: ATR will print any responses to what is read here assuming no abuse/hate or such is included.  I don't want a slanging match, too much of that goes on already.

#1 I wouldn't want you to see my response as anti-BSL.  There is so much anger aimed at those who want to see real deaf equality and inclusion, and not just campaigns to make the 'Deaf' isolation cosier, or more acceptable.  

#2 What the proposed BSL act/bill doesn't explain is what they expect to get out of it, and, how?  More BSL in schools? where are the teaching staff? a curriculum? how does it work nationally?  More deaf schools stuck in a field again?

#3 Access, where and how? describe HOW they see access?  Everyone else's responsibility, and not theirs? They expect all hearing will sign? unrealistic.

#4 How does inclusion work? and how do the deaf expect it to? Or is it 'carry on culture' and do your own thing anyway so nothing really changes? They are hamstrung by their own idea of rights.

#5 What type of support are these deaf going to use?  Just BSL? 

#6 They want a form of communication apartheid, don't they? with them at the top of the communication deaf chain. Where is the training set up for this BSL utopian world? It's online bllx mostly, and I expect they want US to pay for it all as usual.

#7 What curriculum are they to follow in education? Adult and child?  Considering how BSL is progressing or rather regressing, how are they justifying it practically?  ATR pointed out Further education is a non-event in the adult deaf world, either in improving their own literacy, or their own signing skills.

#8 How is BSL to be taught? as a communication tool?  as part of a culture?  Currently, culture is their main 'tool' because that carries more kudos and funding than sign does, which near all regional governments and assemblies are highly reluctant to endorse, and half of them have refused already.

#9 Deaf already struggle to find BSL terps let alone anything else!  

#10 We read on deaf sites they demand BSL on films, all TV output etc, which is impossible, the people to provide that sign-wise do not exist and captions will devalue their signing point.  Nobody will watch BSL if captions are there.  Else why are those online refusing to use them?

#11 They demanded NHS staff expose themselves to coronavirus recently so they can lip-read them, then downplayed the importance and use of it.

#12 It's pointless, these and any other such questions and issues people ask the Deaf just get short shrift and they can be ostracised and banned online if they demand answers. Alternatively, we can read unadulterated trivia on 'How to speak to the deaf' '10/15/20 things not to say to them..' No wonder hearing just think let's leave them to it, it's like walking in a minefield even to comment at all, there is a lot of paranoia in the Deaf community.  

#13 This is probably down to a complete lack of confidence they can survive without BSL.  They are screwed before they start, they need more positive examples of the deaf who have succeeded to break that mould.  Their mentors aren't that. More deaf who have integrated and worked OK alongside hearing people.  The deafened have done it, but few BSL people have.

#14 A lot started with the BDA (I know! but they really are to blame for most Deaf issues), are the prime area misleading the deaf and the nation, they make Diane Abbott look like Einstein.  they feel they are the only 'real' deaf and the deaf the only people who use sign language correctly. 

#15 Right!  Years ago they took my membership money then gagged me for 2 years.  I demanded a refund of my fee, I got abuse instead along with threats of legal action for 'discrimination', crazy people.  

#16 Yeah I read that area is the sole one in the UK that has a complete legal gagging clause on its members and its staff?  

#17 That started with St Doug of Alker whom the RNID gagged for 5 years,  who then went to the BDA and did the same to his own members, a deaf person who threw away a real advantage (being the CEO of the UK's largest charity the RNID), because after attaining that position he ignored 80% of its HoH members who promptly voted him out.  All his signers went with him, game, set, and match, to the RNID.  No BSL reps or members at all of any note now.

#18 A legacy of the 'Deaf way'!  Unfortunately, these old farts are still pulling the Deaf campaign strings and adding more gospels to the Deaf bible.  They get MBE's, doctorates etc, etc and demand respect, for services to the silent, but have done nothing at all for the majority of deaf or anything for Hard of Hearing whom they still ignore.  The new crop are savvier and making a killing flogging sign to the highest bidder with them as the sole authority on it.

#19 It is BSL and 'Deaf' people as if, they are the only deaf or only sign users on the planet or the only people who suffer hearing loss and isolation.  

#20 They command support because they are all deaf school old boys/gals, entrenched in these areas and view hearing and others as aliens or something, hence why, inclusion doesn't and cannot work for them, they don't know anything else, they lack experience or the will to get it.

#21 Compromises have to be made by all.  There is no fairness or honesty in campaigns and I would really like to see charities like the AOHL and BDA got rid of, closed and dedicated deaf online sites broken up and the deaf move outward.  existing in a vacuum is bad for your health.

#22 There is only unity in strength, none via being a minority.  A few 1,000 BSL people cannot hope to change the lives of 10m with hearing loss. Don Quixote is alive and well and using sign language.

#23 Inclusion cannot work unless deaf move out of the comfort zone.  It's defeatist to insist they cannot hear, the hearing cannot sign, and 'they don't understand us', quit with the excuses already.  

#24 Young deaf view these people as dated and out of touch, but youth is not challenging the status quo and apathy breeds more apathetics leaving these isolationists a clear run.

#25 Leave them to it, they have to run out of steam at some point.