Total bullshit! A response from ATR to a site that published a video in BSL suggesting this was happening and discrimination. The BSL access video complaint and issue isn't an honest one and they don't explain the circumstance whereby an interpreter may not be in attendance (Or a lip-speaker etc).
E.G. My partner uses a BSL interpreter her GP and the hospital cannot (Not WILL not), provide her with one i.e. in PERSON. There were 4 reasons, none discriminatory.
One, the interpreters themselves (and understandably), were unwilling to risk their exposure to the virus in a medical setting where they believe they would be more at risk, (they have families too in lockdown to care for, and restricted movement like everyone else). Deaf chose to ignore that and demanded they take those risks and even asked them to work without PPE. That was never going to happen. Medical staff with PPE have died.
Two, The BSL support system is still predominantly a 'freelance' one in that they can in practice, pick and choose when and who they will support, for many it is a part-time job, although currently, the emergency systems want to change that because of the unreliability of booking help for those deaf demanding it and getting it in the neck from reckless claims of discrimination every time a shortage appears. You cannot provide what is not there.
Three, Hospitals and GP's have adopted video BSL RELAY options so areas like the 'SignHealth' (A BSL charity), can interpret remotely, a much safer option all around. Deaf said we want real people not a screen. They need to understand there is a virus out there and acute shortages anyway. How do they think the rest have to manage?
[The current campaigns regarding face masks was another BSL red-herring as hardly any of them are decent lip-readers anyway and a lot insist on BSL only. Face mask issues actually affect the HoH lip-reader far more than the deaf who have alternatives to use, and who failed to prioritise or adopt either in the emergency claiming they were unable. Some refusing to adapt 'on principle'.]
Four, Only 300+ terps exist for an alleged 98K BSL users (currently sourced from the BDA who cannot substantiate their claim.). BSL Interpreter training is pretty much at a plateau with no demand, confusing rules, and far too expensive to take up, so where IS demand coming from? Not the deaf apparently, there are obviously post-code differences, e.g. London/Birmingham will have high demand, other less populated areas may have no 'face-to-face access at all and probably never did have. We are told 45% of ALL demand comes from London alone. Interpreters to make a living will concentrate where their clients are in insufficient numbers to make the job worthwhile.
[Wales has near 500K HoH with no text access, no lip-speakers, and next to no classes in lip-reading either but they are still resisting the BSL promotions aimed at them, by comparison, the BSL users (estimated as approximately 1,500), had 47 professionals available.]
Is the reality, that demand is just NOT there for either lip-reading or sign language?
Charity support, what is their involvement that affects help?
The AOHL is now supporting compulsory BSL in education an issue the NDCS doesn't agree on, have they abandoned their own core membership? the Hard of hearing? Why aren't they promoting the alternatives hard of hearing say THEY need or want?
AOHL chooses to 'follow the money.' BSL can generate this and hearing aids and lip-reading doesn't. AOHL and the BDA see their funding as coming via BSL support with the emergency and Local Authority systems paying for it as required by the law, in reality the BSL system is a free-for-all and chaotic anyway because of too many amateurs and self-proclaimed 'BSL experts' are messing about.
Once organised expect these charities to be obsolete. The prevailing problem is still the random nature of BSL support and getting the professionals to start acting that way and to get themselves sorted out. If these deaf do need a reliable support system then the present system is unable to provide that so don't shoot the messenger.
Hard Of Hearing access and support need.
Hard Of hearing areas should use the opportunity this virus has offered them and set up a 'Hearing loss' social media, there are millions of them who do not have this and fed up with ear wax and and hearing aid battery issues, that is the clinical aspect it doesn't include the person or the personal experience. Start to reclaim their hearing loss issues and start promoting what they need, they have sat on it for far too long, become apologetic and apathetic too, with more and more people suffering hearing loss it is not good enough.
The Deaf have their set up and campaigns, and that doesn't include the HoH. They need to stop posting at us to sign all the time, or suggesting we are them, if we want BSL we will do it ourselves, and how it suits us, and if we don't want it, please accept our decision.
That means IF HoH start to adopt sign in numbers, its tuition/support will have to change to meet that 'market'. It would not be 'BSL' as the other deaf know it. There would be much more emphasis on the verbals e.g. HoH awareness hasn't even started in the UK yet. The Deaf already tried to define us all with their D/d promotions. Please stick to your own side of that line you have drawn you cannot have it both ways.