Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Much ado about nothing

(Or How to train your lip-reading teacher).  What grassroots said.

CAN YOU READ MY LIPS? on VimeoPerhaps holding classes when everyone is at work is one negative, as is insisting on useful hearing first.  If we could hear why would we need to lip-read?

Always watch the mouth movements carefully!

Yes obvious advice watching mouth movements, but we can get aggravation doing that, people would say why are you staring at me?  

Yeah 'stay and face me, talk naturally..' etc it doesn't work but the advice never changes.  A lot of pretty unrealistic advice that ignores joe public's response.  We should be training them.

A tutor I had used to write things on a blackboard then lip-speak it to help, of course, that approach rendered her lip-speaking point zero, I already knew what she was saying. The clue became the easier answer.  

As a plug for text support, lip-reading works well. As does BSL!

I suppose TV is the same? with titles there, you aren't going to bother looking at the mouth.   It is why sign users do not like captions being used because we read those and ignore the sign.  

The more I concentrated the less I saw really, I don't know why that is other than I was searching for other clues because the lip-reading wasn't working for me. The mouth alone doesn't do it, there are facial clues, body language etc.  Not all tutors used those. 

Every class can be different, there is no 'norm'.  By definition no real coursework let's face it.

A teacher may lip-speak very well, but joe public will be mumbling, half-turned away from you, or just ignoring the fact you need to see their face and look at you.  

In regards to the tuition of lip-reading we need on the street training so we can learn to cope in real-time with people who don't talk properly or face you.    Why isn't that done?

It is a failing of lip-reading coursework if you aren't taught how to cope outside the class, you are stuck with those within it, in an artificial atmosphere and once outside the same as when you went in.  

I don't do spontaneous at all.  I have to cut people short if they vary from the response or topic because I would be lost immediately, it's not being rude, so you also have to explain why you are doing that.  

Me too.  I have to deal 24/7 with speech outside the home or twiddle my thumbs at home isolated.  

Planning is essential. I never go anywhere before ensuring I have belt and bracers and alternatives in case.  My prime asset is my voice.  It's rather a restrictive way of life but, it works for me,  (apart from the fact everyone thinks I can hear....)

The only way is to get into the habit of looking at the mouth, it takes time to lip read. Some people look like they are mumbling and that’s why it’s hard to lip read, I rely on lip reading.

When do we get that time?  Only a few minutes in a class with a dozen others that's all, outside we won't get any clues or support to do it.

It is because classes are not there to teach you lip-reading as a first priority, initially, it is to encourage you to socialise like with like, (with a tutor assisting), so the pupil gains the confidence to attempt lip-reading itself later, but, that doesn't work when the class finishes.  Most classes are a few hours for a few weeks and for a few months.  

So every  3/6 months whatever, back to square one? and NOBODY tells you what to do when your hearing no longer IS an assist to lip-reading and you cannot use the class anymore.

It's hard to follow this is a system designed to address a serious sensory loss and disability isn't it?  It's more a hobby class to address a professional and clinical issue. 

Or to encourage them to approach clinical support? (Get a CI, MH support, or a better hearing aid etc).  I am unsure where that actually leaves lip-reading?

Pose any hearing loss issues at a teacher then the class can get seriously delayed as the tutor struggles to accommodate the ones struggling, these usually end up frustrated and leave or advised to go to the welfare/social system for help, this kills any real impetus to bother to lip-read, as pupils feel lip-reading is not viable or too hard.

If they wanted to approach social services they would have anyway, wouldn't they?

Perhaps they lack the confidence to do that.  It is why such Lip-reading classes need to be better organised and understand, if people take that effort to go to a class and seek help and it fails then they won't perhaps try again or seek help anywhere else.

That makes Lip-reading classes an essential way in surely?

The main point, but it lacks the ability to do that in most part with those needing the most help, the classes are simply not designed for them and once deterred, that's it. It becomes an exit, not an entrance to help.

I'm sure Lip-reading teachers do their very best, but I do wonder if their training includes those with a serious loss at all, or with the many age groups and varying abilities that are presented to them, that suggests quite a high degree of professionalism and clinical awareness is required that these teachers are not required currently to have and they can refer people to the right areas.

There aren't any 'right' areas, that's the problem, no set up exists for acquired deafness or serious loss, except a few unsupported charities, then if you have huge issues following how are you going to sort that elsewhere?  

They will just send you back to the class or ENT so you are in the wrong place again.  Most are at a Lip-reading class because every other avenue has failed.  It is a way in to further help, but that help and tuition doesn't actually work does it? If you are put off there, that's it you  won't go anywhere else.

Nationally the classes don't cover the entire country anyway, whole areas never see a class, it's all in cities or towns.  As someone already said, the classes aren't really viable either as they can only help a few for a short while.

Not possible to get effective help is it? there is no national support or back-up system for the hard of hearing who constitute the majority of potential pupils.  Or even classes for the most.

I'm totally frustrated with the advice to face me and speak clearly if you cannot lip-read its useless advice.  For most, it is a CLUE not a prime means of following. 

Therein lies the issue, we assume we follow more than we really do it's hard of hearing failing that stops everything else working.

So we stick to texting everyone?   It seems that most of us do that.

Deaf demaning zero risk...

Is it realistic to trade with zero risk? | FOREX ROBOTS HubStill, some deaf not in the real world it seems with deaf activism launching legal complaints via MP's about the workplaces and lack of clear masks for lip-readers, and generally not making the work areas safe for deaf people. 

Zero risk is never possible, risk needs to be as low as reasonably practicable.  

All businesses and organisations have insurances for employees and public liability, but no insurance area can guarantee it, the NHS and medical profession can't.  Living is a risk.

As a rule of thumb 3-5% is accepted as the risk factor mostly, but the risk factor will be considerably higher via Covid-19 as we haven't a handle on the virus at all yet, so virtually no one can guarantee much at present...

Yes the point I was making. The welsh assembly updates said today they cannot guarantee 100% even to protect teachers and children in schools and won't open them, they will try to do the best they can but 100% is unrealistic, unreasonable a demand,  and impossible. 

I'm puzzled at the deaf approaches to this virus it is all complaints and asking others to risk lives for them, and they seem blissfully unaware what this virus means to everyone, not just them. E.G Other campaigns for clear masks and claims they aren't getting signed access is also untrue they just refuse to listen basically, anyone deaf who wants a link to signed access can get it by looking  ATR put all the BSL links they will need on his blog.  

Those demanding clear masks all we can say is none are medically approved at present and the only ones we see DIY are not safe for anyone to use really apart from suggesting some mental reassurance, they offer limited if any 'immunity'.   The masks are to protect other people from YOU.

For aiding lip-reading, I am told hardly any deaf people are proficient enough to lip-read without extra signed help, and a clear mask isn't a help to an interpreter who will be hearing and not need it anyway. The deaf have to accept access is limited for EVERYONE not just them, adapt and survive, not complain and attack.

10 books about silence.


Office in a Small City by Edward Hopper, 1953.
Keep up that reading folks.

1. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare After being brutally raped, Titus’s daughter, Lavinia, also has her tongue pulled out and her hands cut off to stop her reporting who is responsible for the attack. Incapacitated and robbed of her precious chastity, Lavinia’s powerlessness becomes a potent symbol of the silencing of abused women. 


2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker Barker retells the Iliad primarily from the perspective of Briseis, the woman awarded as a prize to Achilles after the ransacking of Lyrnessus. With the narrative in her hands, there is nowhere to hide from the misogyny of ancient Greece. Ajax may be convinced that “silence becomes a woman”, but it is through Barker’s reclaiming of the voices muted by history that we realise just how much modern resonance these classical stories hold in the #MeToo era. 

3. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard When Steffi, a selective mute, meets Rhys, a deaf pupil at her school, their worlds begin to open up. For Steffi, the prospect of speech is riddled with anxiety and Barnard provides a sensitive exploration of the issue for a young adult audience. Steffi and Rhys communicate in part through BSL, a fascinating entry point into deaf culture. As their friendship quietly builds in something more, will Steffi find her voice and the courage to use it, again? 

4. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers John Singer starts the novel as one of two mutes in a small, Georgia mill town. When his best friend George is taken to a mental institution, John becomes isolated. Until, that is, he begins to take his meals in a local cafe and establishes himself as the silent confidant for the various people who frequent it. A beautiful exploration of conversation, its difficulties and the often-mystical search for understanding. Isabel Allende in 1985.

5. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende Following the lives of three generations of the Trueba family, this novel is marked by the decision of matriarch Clara to fall silent for nine years after the death of her older sister. In place of speech, Clara turns to writing, art and her spiritual powers as an alternative means to connect with the world around her. This is suitably beguiling proof that shouting the loudest isn’t always the best way to be heard. 

6. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil In this memoir, we follow Wamariya’s journey from the Rwandan massacre in 1994 through the six years she and her sister spent displaced in seven African countries until they are eventually granted refugee status in the US. As she reflects on her trauma, Wamariya struggles with the inability of language to do justice to her lived experience. It is impossible to forget the passage where she explores why “genocide” fails to capture the full scope of an atrocity: “You cannot bear witness with a single word.” 

7. Pilgrimage by Dorothy Richardson This little-known novel follows Miriam Henderson across 13 volumes (or “novel-chapters” as Richardson wanted them to be known), following her quotidian life as a young working woman in early 20th-century London. The text is characterised by a high quantity of ellipses (‘…’) as Richardson plays into a wider modernist fascination with absence and its representation. A long read, but one that more than rewards the effort and, in the process, sheds light on the silence that lies at the heart of consciousness. 

8. Atonement by Ian McEwan To keep shtum, or not to keep shtum – that’s one of the big questions in play in this Booker prize-shortlisted novel. From Paul and Lola’s silence over Robbie’s wrongful imprisonment to Briony’s attempt at repentance through voicing her version of the truth, it’s a story that shows just how compelling silence can be as a narrative device. 

9. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot At 30, Liptrot moves from London to Orkney, the site of her childhood, as she comes to terms with the alcoholism that characterised her 20s. In the dichotomy between city and island life, urban noise and wild silence, it’s a stunning meditation on the restorative power of nature and its power to heal. 

10. Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge As an adventurer, Kagge was the first person to complete the “three poles challenge”, reaching the north pole, south pole and the summit of Everest. Rest assured, he isn’t encouraging a trip to any/all of the three in a quest to find silence in the modern world. Rather, Kagge advocates finding pockets of quiet throughout everyday life – whether that’s on the walk to work, in the shower, or taking a moment of stillness over a sandwich during lunchbreak.