Friday, 17 April 2020

AOHL: More sell-offs.

Action on Hearing Loss LogoFollowing the January news release AOHL was selling of its deaf care, and taking major decisions to retain its solvency, today we see them selling off more areas, this time assistive devices to the Deaf and Hard Of Hearing.

AOHL to no longer sell assistive products

We regret to inform you that from 1 May 2020, Action on Hearing Loss will no longer be selling assistive products.  We would like to explain the reason for this decision.

Last December, the Charity decided its future strategy and the areas that we plan to focus on over the coming year. We plan to focus on doing fewer things better, so we can have a bigger impact on a larger number of people. As a result, we decided that as there were other organisations selling products the Charity’s most appropriate contribution in this important area of activity should be to provide impartial advice about the best products available to support people with deafness, hearing loss or tinnitus.

This has been a really difficult decision, which we’ve not taken lightly. We understand that assistive products can make a huge difference to people, which is why we will be continuing to offer advice and information to all our beneficiaries about the different products on the market, and where to buy them. This will be available on our website, our social channels and through our Information Line.

Our accessibility solutions from Louder than Words including our hearing loop maintenance and installation system will continue to run, as well as both our interpreter and other communication support services. Training and consultancy services provided for employers, their staff and customers will also continue.

If you have bought something from us recently, the product may be subject to either our 28-day returns guarantee or our one-year warranty. In either case we will continue to fulfil our obligations, as detailed in the terms and conditions relating to our sale of items to you, irrespective of the fact that we will no longer be selling products. Please contact with the manufacturer directly if you experience difficulties with your product outside of our one-year warranty.

The truth the whole truth?

The Whole Truth: Part 2 – A New LifeATR is reading proposals to sue the UK government for lack of BSL interpretation during the coronavirus outbreak.  This is not true it is a campaign that is economical with the truth.  BSL coverage of everything on TV or online is never going to happen.

E.G. Wales had a BSL terp day one and alongside the daily updates from the welsh assembly and still does every day at 12:30pm,  also HERE, so did Scotland, also at day 3 of the lockdown ATR noted  73 BSL videos came out by BSL organisations, individuals and groups updating everyone, and are still coming out.   Any inconsistencies are coming from the rank and file DIY deaf with their own versions.  ONLY use an official source.

Part of the issue is deaf not being aware where that advice is despite SignHealth, the BDA, the AOHL, the RAD etc all putting out this information in BSL.  Charities the campaigners actually claim to support but choose to ignore.  One popular UK blog supports no less than 32 of them, it is unfortunate they don't actually read or keep up with those they claim to support or they would see that BSL advice is already there. 

Another problem was a lot were uncaptioned, so BSL users could not follow what was going on effectively.  Near all who use BSL and follow own media rely on captions for detail, both free UKTV/Online BSL programs use it and offer advice too, are these BSL deaf unable to see them?  Or the 100s that are on youtube and elsewhere?

This is BSL activism trying to capitalise on the outbreak to push their BSL-only messages, irresponsible. Maybe if BSL activism stopped insisting the deaf were illiterate and cannot read and can only follow via sign they too would be more informed than they are. Another example of a distorted rights message being used to block real access in pursuit of culture at the expense of that access.

The nature of the 'Deaf' community is such that they don't tend to refer anywhere else for what they need to know, but even on dedicated BSL sites, numerous BSL information about the virus and events are there daily.  In essence and in part, deaf activism was demanding BSL interpreters risk their health to support them, even to remove safety equipment to lip-read.

There is a coronavirus reality, risk has to be assessed. Terps have families too, they are no use to anyone if they go down with the virus.  For those who complain about lack of face to face interpretation, there are actually online relay options, they have existed for years.. and NHS options, perhaps deaf activism could be more useful highlighting those options are available to deaf and not creating a mountain out of a molehill, we are all in the same boat, 10m HoH are, they aren't complaining.    Get a grip and provide something useful or shut up.

Fair Play!

Retired British Army Captain Tom Moore, 99, raises money for health workers by attempting to walk the length of his garden one hundred times before his 100th birthday this month as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Marston Moretaine, Britain, April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Above is a picture of 'Captain Tom' who has raised currently near £18m for the NHS in the UK who are fighting the virus. But some are concerned JustGiving who manages the campaign for him, is allowed to take a 5% of everything he raises.  

This means they are currently making £90,000 out of our support for Tom's campaign and the NHS.  Let this go viral and ask Justgiving to waive their fees, so our caring NHS who are risking their lives daily to save us, get all of what they deserve.  ATR finds it a real concern charities are hiring such people to raise money because they are too damned lazy to do it themselves.