Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Effective communication to Deaf/hoH

Fire Alert/Help

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting the importance of deaf people having the right smoke alarms to keep them safe. 

People in Warrington and elsewhere can get vital information on smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard or hearing by visiting HERE.  Smoke alarms save lives and give people valuable time to escape from house fires and a whole range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, with features ranging from strobe lighting to vibrating alarms. These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting residents to a fire in their home even if they remove their hearing aid at night. 

Deaf people can place a vibrating pad under their mattress or pillow at night. If smoke is detected, the alarm will sound and set off the pad and a strobe light will flash to assist in waking them. An emergencySMS service has also been developed so people who cannot make voice calls can contact 999 by text from a mobile phone. Since September 2009 the emergencySMS service has successfully handled hundreds of real emergency calls. Head of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s prevention department, Nick Evans, said: “It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are still able to contact the emergency services and have the right technology in their homes to protect them. 

“You can get help and advice about the most appropriate equipment for you to use via our website. Ordinarily, we also can offer those who are deaf or hard of hearing a home safety visit, which gives them the opportunity to get invaluable advice about their smoke alarms and planning an escape route. “If anyone knows someone who is deaf or hard of hearing I would urge you to ensure they are aware of the help and support available to them.” 

To register for the emergencySMS system, text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions sent back. The service was developed by The Royal National Institute for Deaf People, BT, Cable and Wireless, the Department of Communities and Local Government, OFCOM, the UK emergency Services and all mobile operators. For more information, visit HERE.  

Information on the website is also in British Sign Language.

Blink and you will miss it.

Hooray png 9 » PNG ImageHooray !! It's Deaf week! Really? I hadn't noticed as every week is deaf week for me.  It's just a BSL thing...

The thing about UK deaf awareness is they don't really raise any outside own clubs or sites online and it isn't an awareness that is inclusive but exclusive to one area of quite disabled deaf people who see no way out of their issue.  

We'd all much rather a proper awareness that takes place  365 days a year out in the mainstream, and not the odd week ONCE a year, which in reality has turned into a celebration of BSL, not an awareness gig because deaf lack the confidence to go for real inclusion.

They make excuses they sign and others don't so it is not their fault, they will campaign until everybody else signs like they do or promote their own isolation so the risk never gets taken where they have to make more effort to address why inclusion, awareness, and equality is not really working for them. It's just a never-ending row about being discriminated against.  You get the occasional skirmishes, then the rapid retreat to the community again.  They don't see how that is seen by everyone else, as a lack of real desire to act on what they demand and take their place in society, and not just a novel area that communicates with their hands because they don't hear anything.  They are more than that so let's see it.

There is no point 'preaching to the BSL converted' on their own sites, you need to get out there pitching and including yourself.  'I sign, they can't or won't so I am staying where I am'.  Of course, that is never going to work, is it?  Until that effort happens no awareness campaign is going to get anywhere it is just 'BSL by rote' or sheer habit, with no real desire to move away to the inclusive angle which after all, is supposed to be why deaf campaign i.e. to be accepted and included as equals.  That cannot happen by remote.   

We gather areas like the BDA and AOHL etc have own awareness approaches and indeed did not the BDA say it did not recognise the official deaf week because it moved away from the community and BSL emphasis? The BSL being not the right 'kind' as they know it. So they all went introspective again. 

'Protecting the 'Deaf Space' is reinforcing the deaf isolation let's face it.  It's their ONLY space.  It's little to do with respecting language, community or culture, but a refuge to avoid making the effort to include yourself.  By all means have deaf friends and clubs, but the rest of life goes on 'out there'. Don't be a spectator.

The excuse being if deaf don't stick together culture will fall apart, sign language will be sidelined etc, so these deaf never make up their minds what they want.  Computer says no... All we will see this week is randoms doing a bit of signing ABC for a few days and then back to the 'nothing really changes' stance.  It's time the Deaf campaigner came in out of the cold they are enjoying a little bit too much.