Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Where is the Deaf Plan B?


Plan B from Outer Space-au
There is Angst on some BSL sites of people saying they should stop using BSL interpreters and make more effort themselves.  Which launched a Deaf tirade at the English language, it's grammar, it's users(!), and anger the deaf culture and language were under attack.  Alternatively.....

I suspect the negativity comes from hearing (And HoH), who see BSL support NOT as empowerment, or a right, but a necessity and needing a life of reliance, supporting the right of BSL terps, but it then follows deaf are, or have, a 'problem' (They can't do anything without that help), and the terp is visual 'proof'.  Two is company, three an issue...

Hence why deaf are angry that reliance was being attacked, that sign alone is little use without it, but you won't see deaf admitting it. A lot still exist away from mainstream almost totally on a social level, so long as they have that they won't understand the access and inclusion things that mean you have to move away from that and into the mainstream area, there is a mental struggle with it and a fear they cannot integrate even with help.   This is totally true of migrants e.g. entering the country for work, they know knowledge of the language widely used is key to their future, and they still retain their own.  They adapt, the Deaf cannot or won't?

There are areas (Mine included the deafened), who feel the root is the insistence on being reliant on a single mode to communicate that needs translation, it's a 'barrier' before you start. I do feel BSL isn't enough. If I had to rely on it, I would be in serious trouble trying to get the help to make it work and I have a voice of my own so prefer to use that not someone else's, so you see other deaf areas do not always see it as simple as the BSL user does. 

We have had to make do as best we can, and without BSL, without interpreters and at the start without a deaf social service, without 888 even. Bitter experience has taught us BSL was not much use at all, there were NO BSL classes, NO Lip-reading classes, NO acceptances by BSL deaf, and no support of course. We will survive without BSL and don't feel there isn't an alternative or other skill we can use.

I would never put rights in the way of my own access that is silly. I wouldn't say NO BSL terps, some would seriously suffer without it, which tends to prove the point.  I would just say deaf need a plan B.  I just think those campaigning AGAINST English are just making their own access even more remote a possibility. When faced with the poor viability of one mode, or that mode just isn't enough,  logic suggests you need an alternative.  We should not make a lifetime of reliance a virtue,  or worse a right of some kind, human nature suggests we don't want that.

We do need to expose the 'smoke and mirrors' of rights lobbies determined to hide the deaf reality and label it something else entirely.  If it quacks it still tends to be a duck.

Why the Hard Of Hearing ceased to exist.


A few sad but realistic exchanges on a hard of hearing site.

I find it very hard and stressful to follow people, and the nod goes at everything, I just cannot follow anything much at all.

They say deaf make the best listeners!

lol yeah, Except when tired or long conversations, where it's just too much hard work.

I suppose the answer is we are using the wrong means to follow and not going for the simplest that would work for us. Lip-reading has to be THE most difficult format we can try to use. Of course, there are no decent lip-speakers even if we were good at it. 

I went text reliant for years and just didn't want the stress of struggling to lip-read people who had their back to me anyway. Hardly any of us have any qualification in lip-reading it's mostly guesswork, isn't it? Our pride is our downfall, well it used to be for me, now I just say I haven't a clue what you are saying and ask them to write things down or try something else. Once we admit our real inability to follow it gets a lot easier. HoH are their own worst enemy.

That's very true my friend, I'm often totally lost, or way behind in the conversation by the time I've figured out what is being said. It's exhausting and demanding, anything you are doing at the time has to be dropped, and full attention on the speaker. It's very frustrating sometimes, especially when trying to watch the TV or read a book.

I've spent half a lifetime suggesting it would be far better if we adopted a communication class set up for us all, I just do not think the lip-reading versus the sign language set up has done a thing to help any of us, I'm appalled they vie against each other. If you take an example of a deaf child, then they try anything and everything to find out what can work. 

Only adults have to choose one or the other, but few if any classes actually are designed to teach them. In a school, there is a common age group as an adult it can be anyone from16 to 90 and across a huge variety of abilities, disabilities,  and hearing loss degree. Quite simply neither modes are fit for purpose, as even the support for them to work isn't extant. We need to cease promotions of A or B approaches as we are neither. each, according to need.

Right, Sadly the whole area of deaf or HoH support is polarised I am pessimistic there will be any unified approach to our issues. The sign user e.g. has made it political, and sign, of course, is now a saleable commodity that provides work, so HoH have no chance to put their needs as they have nothing to 'sell' and nothing to identify themselves either. A few deaf have outdone 10m HoH as a result. I am always saddened the HoH just won't speak up for themselves.

'Text Life'?