Sunday, 3 May 2020


Ouch - Comic Expression Vector Text Royalty-Free Stock Image ...Many thanks to OUCH too, for the response to my blog, I believe a few more facts about the deaf community (as I see them),  can help for understanding things are not really what they seem and you have to get between the lines to form an opinion which hopefully you will compare to other deaf views for balance assuming the cross-referencing covers ALL types of deaf and HoH areas.   

Obviously, there is a lot of printed matter in my response, unfortunately, that tends to suggest to the sign user I am not including them, but it is MY communication format and I believe most deaf have no issues reading.  Any signing I would undertake would just be targetted and divert away from the point.

"I don't want immersive BSL on the curriculum, because I think deaf need more emphasis on literacy and FE as well as lip-reading options etc, they aren't getting at present, (lip-reading tuition is a gross failure mostly with an 83% fall out rate and no qualification to attain, so no encouragement to really advance the skill either).   Attend any class it will only consist of those WITH useful hearing, attend a BSL class it will ONLY consist of hearing people.    A lot of deaf can come to a complete standstill on leaving school and after having what really is a 'protected'' environment do not cope well after.  It all contributes to the problems they then face as adults.

The sign is seductive and easier for the deaf to master, no surprise then that they don't want anything else despite BSL not really being an 'In' to what they really need, and requires 1,000s of interpreters for it to work.  There is a lot of misconception regarding BSL as an 'In' to greater literacy/English and thus making it easier for the deaf to work and to advance, but, this is not what is happening.  We get exceptions to that rule, but not many.  They are just asking for more BSL support and go-betweens instead as they do own thing.  Learning another language is great but the deaf reject English grammar so aren't really 'bi-lingual' as we understand it.  They sign therefore they are etc...

BSL is based like most countries on the 'host language', ours is English.  BSL is a rogue sign option, where Signed English is more reflective of what everyone else uses.  It allows I think liberties to be taken on its use and promotion.  It also tends to cover up areas in the deaf community that have learning issues, it gets passed off as a 'BSL norm', and a poor reading ability dismissed as not existing, their grammar is different, end of.   

Further education or even vocational support to improve their own signing and communication abilities isn't happening.  Hearing people don't stand still, if they did they would not work or advance, so the deaf cannot afford to do it either, yet, educational options after leaving the school aren't being taken up.  Basically, if you are not in it, you have no chance of winning anything and resorting to the blame game isn't an answer either.

In essence, and being pessimistic, I DON'T believe society will adapt to any of us the way deaf want it, not even via law-making unless we are prepared to meet them more than half-way, it's a hearing and able-bodied world we need into, and much more our need, than their need to our world.  So the onus as ever is on us.  I'm just being realistic and I am sure most can appreciate you only get back what you give.  Nothing is for nothing, not even a right.  It has to be earned and adaptable.

You don't just insist and campaign 24/7 and expect people must comply and you don't have to do anything, it takes two to tango its human nature, ergo, what is in it for me?  Like yourself my education was at the start good I was a first in class, then on going deaf came last in 6 months, THEN it started going downhill.  My teacher said I will be lucky to be able to write my own name as an adult.  I think I proved him wrong there, but it took considerable stress, many years, and no support to get there.

I suppose the sum total of my experiences suggested if I don't do for myself who will? and undertook many battles on my own to get there. There are just 3 options you can take, you DIY, you rely on others, or you pay a real price for that which isn't nice at all. I tend to view deaf who just sit there demanding support and making little effort themselves as hypocritical and worse the peers that encourage the thinking behind it.  

For those with learning difficulties obviously, it is not their 'fault' but the insidious promotion the cure is in BSL doesn't help.    It will be surprising to most, how poor a lot of deaf signers are at BSL, with regards e.g. to the technical and scientific areas/FE etc the signs do not exist so they can be taught effectively IN BSL.  There are few if any BSL academic books as a reference so advancement stalls while they try to develop them.  The BSL dictionary is a fairy tale in most part. I was there when it was first developed and there were huge issues of 'on the spot' signing included deaf didn't actually know or use.

Before deaf can advance in their 'choice' of BSL it needs to be a complete and an effective language, it isn't that.  My blog contains many instances where deaf professionals have had to invent own signs for what they are doing.  Culture is about Beethoven (A NON-deaf signing person), and Milan 1880s where it was stated a ban on sign use must happen and an oral approach used instead.  It just gave deaf a cause celeb really.  

But only in the 1960s did it take off go figure.  I stick to my own mantra in that I don't see deaf education based on BSL alone as any advantage for deaf people except socially.  The curriculum angle activists see as their very own 'trojan horse' to immersive BSL tuition of the deaf child.  The government won't agree with that.  Wales rejected it and closed all deaf schools.

It would just create 1,000s of deaf children all needing a BSL interpreter and a social welfare system geared to support it.  Hardly a positive view of deaf people or their language preference, bilingualism and being effective suggest English is their priority as a 'first language'.  They are claiming bilingualism but aren't bilingual.

There may be areas where inclusive education is not possible but that isn't the majority of deaf people.  The argument for special schools tends to be it is necessary for some disabled areas.   I suggest the deaf area is not one of them however.  Indeed the state in introducing inclusion in all schools proceeded to shut most of them down in deaf terms after research showed, the deaf were not advancing in real terms from those of a 9yr old.  Obviously putting all deaf together created their community ethos so a lot want a 'back to the future' approach again. A collective ignorance is not a system the state wanted to support.

The activists are not getting their way, as this can and does, (apart from the government approach to inclusion), means the Deaf would have to challenge the parental choice, and near all are hearing parents not deaf one's, who support inclusion, implants, hearing aids, and wider acceptance which deaf schools were a barrier to.  Any 'success in deaf getting their own way has to challenge the parental legal right, an onus the state says is theirs.  

By far the greatest block on it is the fact that lack of training or resources via teachers, interpreters, dedicated social service provisions,  and a contentious non-agreement on a 'Deaf'  curriculum means it is a real problem to implement what is demanded. At the very best it would lead to a system of deaf children have, and have nots, making it all worse. From what we see it is a very few deaf activists stirring it all up and for reasons that have little to do with advancing inclusion and creating a format and an awareness that is a poor joke at my expense.  

There were quite vicious rows on some deaf sites who turned on parents and called then child abusers. E.G.  'Roxy' an 'Eastender' soap star had a deaf child and went for a cochlear implant she got 100s of hate messages aimed at her by BSL hardliners. Someone even contacted social services and said she was being cruel to her child.

Those who see a bit of sign language as a novelty or a 'right, are not really au fait with the realities behind it all.  Our ultimate aim must be the liberation of deaf and disabled people, their real independence, and not as a novelty or a  tokenism, (which currently is lauded rather strangely by Deaf as 'inclusion').  These deaf want separatism by default, I don't think that is right.  They will be pulled kicking and screaming into inclusion at some point, we can only hope they don't destroy a lot of deaf lives in the process.  

We want out and there is no easy way to do it.  I envy disabled just able to get on with it and without all this cultural aggravation."