Saturday, 1 August 2020

How I learnt to stop worrying about deaf things

Evelyn Glennie Percussive Genius! from Drum Talk TV on Vimeo.

Never signed, and hit stuff instead.

Call me Deaf.

But what does it suggest others actually DO? Sign to you? lip-speak to you? wear clear masks? wear NO masks?  Speak into this app on my phone? Write it down? Do them ALL? 

Given no two deaf people communicate the same way I don't see how this works, and 30 years ago when HoH printed similar cards, deaf panned and opposed them, and countered with handing hearing people the BSL alphabet. 'We aren't hard of hearing we are deaf.' etc. An approach still going on and an approach that has yet to show any results, because over time deaf took advantage of technology, or used free BSL interpreters instead.  Then, COVID set them back 30 years.

Little of the demand was realistic or practicable but received considerable profile.  If campaigners ever have to prove their case they are screwed.  The Deaf did not really want to be identified, many are still reluctant, usually, those who mostly struggle and who need help,  then the Deaf refused to register with police so they could get help quicker, and a lot STILL refuse today.  It's far from clear they are even using BSL access provision the 999 gives them currently.

Campaigners are still saying it isn't here when it is.  We don't know what is going on with these people, they must exist in a vacuum.  Now every one of them they say is a walking advert for deafness (with a capital D of course), and we have 1,000s of deafies all communicating their own way who want things done the way THEY prefer it, you have to feel sorry for hearing trying to accommodate all that, if they accommodate you, they won't be able to accommodate me, will they?  Bit of an own goal in access terms as this means everyone regardless of ability has to fight their own corner, tough if they can't.  Survival of the fittest and most able innit?

So much for 'community'.  Too little too late and no norm to give access TO.  That is before regional signers pitch in with 'We don't sign it this way, and we need this, that, and the other as well...'  I suppose it keeps these randoms of the deaf awareness in business but no awareness seems to be happening.  Probably because there is no norm to offer up to the systems.  The one unifying factor appears to be the very things they are opposing, Oral approaches, English, and text.  

The 'all deaf sign' thing is opposed everywhere but within the system and this has led to many with hearing loss getting zero support at all and HoH being ignored or opposed by BSL purists with the bit between their teeth.

It's good individuals are starting to make their own access more clear and defined, but, the charities and their own campaigners are doing something very different and pushing a 'norm' that doesn't exist.  'If we push for individual access, then it is never going to happen..' was one leading charity CEO stated, 'we have to concentrate on what we can SEE..'  Which means the BSL user, you cannot see hearing loss geddit?  

Now with the BSL users claiming sign is secondary via COVID and have switched to lip-reading campaigning instead, yet not a single one of them attends a lip-reading class, and as ATR reported, few able to prove they actually could and determined to oppose any sort of test or validating.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Deaf Arts, WHY?

Interview with artistic director Paula Garfield on Deafinitely ...Recent announcements that £500m is to be handed over to the areas of the arts in the UK, to save them during COVID, but some are asking are the deaf getting any of it? and if so why?

Deaf arts output is not available to most deaf people, so they are pouring money into deaf arts for us to access and it isn't happening at all.  It is just the favoured few in the cities doing ok and thanks very much.  

I'd want to know why all this investment is not enhancing deaf people's appreciation of the arts?  or being made accessible to them?  Perhaps if they weren't subsidised and had to rely on a paying audience they would do what they are supposed to be doing.  One suspects the primary audience make up is pals, care support, families, and those with a vested interest.

Most deaf aren't caring about signed arts anyway because they can access mainstream with subtitles, so I am wondering why it is being funded at all.  Given a  choice between some obscure and poor copy of hearing output in sign, or watching Coronation Street etc on mainstream TV,  which would most deaf choose?  It won't be a signed program without titles, will it? Or one you have to commute 50 miles away to see and pay for.  The claim of poor access to lip-readers and text users alike is fobbed off with claims of culture, but that isn't what the majority of funding is provided for. 

Is it not a false image of 'Deaf' arts to simply sign something HEARING created? all it is, is a BSL translation and often with no text access either.  You could go watch the actual hearing thing with a terp and the claim one terp can replace a full cast on stage is ridiculous. 

Are deaf pimping hearing talent?  The only deaf worth watching are those who we can see included in the mainstream output, they have managed to include themselves, albeit a lot still believe a lecture on 'deaf do this and Deaf do that' is necessary when the reality is it makes us look like whiners. We want to watch acting not listen to a focus group blurb. Let's face it there is no fame or fortune in minority output there never will be by default.   Being a legend in your own bathtime isn't what any artist wants.  Art is also subjective which means there is no 'across the board' demand for it.  

Artists, are also claiming the maximum amount of disability and A2W support allowances to work in their chosen field, (Up to £700-£800 per week maximum for signed support alone),  so the investment in deaf arts does seem out of proportion to its value to us as deaf people, or even art made to promote culture as few really see it, access it,  or understand it.  You wonder how long the culture thing is going to excuse this waste?

It's debatable if free funded BSL programs on TV or Online are valid, or even watched, no problemo! its cultural output if one watches them all that's validation.  This is where 'cultural arts' and investment is going.  It does seem a great FOR the artists themselves, but the underlying value has to be questioned, as does the actual content of their work.  

One piece of output a few years ago was 4 deaf Yorkshiremen, but this was a deaf rip-off of Monty Python, and the punch line was quite poor.  There is little desire to appeal TO deaf people, just deaf artists doing their own thing, nice work if you can do that most of us can't.  There should be ongoing and free online coverage as well outside a city centre, not just an ad on a BSL program, nobody else is going to see it. BSLTV output is minority viewing by the BSL minority itself.

It's not providing impetus to stretch deaf artists at all. In part, pigeon-holing them to minority output forever.  Little output seems designed to foster inclusion at all.  Being lumped in with disabled isn't recognising culture either, just recognising they are DEAF. Deaf signed art isn't viable for 10m hard of hearing who I am sure would welcome a few million quid to put their side of it too. Just get deaf artists to communicate better in the mainstream then we can see inclusion on the screens and stage etc and not because of 'disability' funding.  

Sport e.g. is all about INclusion, deaf art is about EXclusivity and emperor's new clothes, in which any criticism gets 'You aren't deaf you don't understand', we won't if you don't provide access for sure! and which 'deaf'; are you talking about?  Surely art is supposed to be inclusive? or 'This is our culture' (Nope its YOUR view of it), or even discrimination responses when those excuses fail.  A lot use culture as an excuse to prolong non-inclusion because they cannot include themselves.  COVID exploded a lot of those myths.

Time they stopped being obsessive about hands too, deaf are more than that. Some deaf artists are a bit snobbish about the fact too which is all rather silly.  I was amazed they already have a 'luvvie' set up.  I'd not like to think money is driving all this cultural hoo ha but...  Have they tried being topical?  that might work.

Deaf can do anything

But apparently struggle with captioning, subtitling, reading English text or it's grammar or providing access to others it seems.  Because of COVID deaf no longer sign either! they are all lip-readers if the clear mask campaigns are valid.  

The pandemic has caught the deaf out and raised questions on their rights and access requirements too, it became a free for all, and the fact they had no norm at all has been exposed as well.  Many deaf are challenging each other over clear masks now and condemning charities for misinforming the public. 

A lot of deaf campaigners are now on a 'hit list' of people that just have to go, some of the COVID campaigns have been ridiculously dis-informative and a few dangerously exposing deaf people.  Some charities will fold too, and some, not before time, deaf awareness has not worked.  They are up against a virus that cares nothing for deaf people, their rights or their access.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

When Social Workers were the norm

5 tips for booking and attending a medical appointment with ...On social media it was posted issues deaf were having to access the NHS, GP's, opticians, dentists etc.  

But one deaf woman wrote she had no issues whatever because she had ready access to a BSL Interpreter and a social worker as well as extensive family support, but a lot are not in that position and the fact the deaf lady was using TWO support systems, a BSL terp and a social worker every time raised a few eyebrows and responses...

We should be so lucky!  Deaf S.W. are an issue, remember years ago? deaf deciding they no longer wanted a dedicated social service? Young deaf felt the level of interferences in deaf lives by social workers was unacceptable and went for a right for a terp instead. 

Some deaf still uses family a lot, far too many in my view rely on them and that kills demand for interpreters OTHERS need. It also defeats NHS access because they don't have to provide trained help to you, this woman allowed her GP to phone her kids instead and then let them decide when an appointment was viable, of course the GP's used family for free as well, but the family are losing time out of jobs too.

There is no excuse for that most phones enable direct access now.  Some deaf are just lazy I know, and it is easier to let someone with ears do it all.  This is the system playing on the conscience of deaf families to save money, obviously family want to help, but it doesn't look good for deaf wanting or relying on that either.

Didn't the BDA defend their right to family reliance?

The BDA?  they are still there in the 1950s aren't they?

Many years ago social services for the deaf carried deaf clients from birth to death and all in between, e.g. read their mail or had it redirected to them, managed their money, took them shopping, attended courts on their behalf, what they should be doing or way of living etc. Deaf stood by and let them and were happy enough going to a deaf club and letting them do it all. 

No-one wants anything like that again!  Deaf are doing it for themselves now.

'Some' are.  There are still many access areas being empowered free by own family.  The deaf switched from one form of reliance to another. 60% of all deaf support is not by the system at all.

The deaf lady mentioned used a terp to access a social worker, because they, of course, they do not sign, so twice the cost for the system isn't it? 

It's not deaf money is it?

That is because a terp cannot act as advisors or social workers themselves and sign papers and stuff.  Social workers have a different and 'official' role altogether.  

I don't think a lot of deaf understand what a BSL terp's role actually is. Terps e.g. aren't recognised in courts as any sort of witness to proceedings, their own organisation makes this point, in the scheme of things, this means anything a terp tells a court a deaf person has said is hearsay technically.  

No interpreter will offer any guarantee what they interpret is valid.  Using a BSL interpreter means regardless if the terp has misunderstood you the fact you asked for them means what they say is what they believe you said. You can not refer back either.  A lot of deaf are not aware of that.

That is not what I am seeing.  I am seeing deaf ASKING interpreters to help make decisions for them on occasion because they don't follow properly even in meetings WITH social services.  Some treat terps as friends and that is not their role in officialdom.  Deaf need to distance themselves but don't.

The issue of their support is chaos and a lot of it their own making, god knows what their support or charities are telling them. Don't use family if they do not have a signing qualification, and of course, using family means you abandon your choice and right to them too. They may act in THEIR best interests not yours because it's easier.  Medical or legal Jargon can be beyond hearing family too, and if their level of sign is as mum taught them it simply won't do.

Redirecting phone calls to your family instead of you should not be allowed it violates privacy, I'm surprised there are still deaf allowing that.  If a deaf patient has NOT signed a waiver form in the surgery a Dr can be in serious trouble.  Deaf need to understand if they DO sign such a form they give their rights away, and have said their family are their carers too.

GP's love 'helping' deaf this way because it means they DON'T have to pay to provide deaf with a terp, or even use this system to avoid an interview with the deaf patient altogether, get wise... It's hearing making things easier for themselves.

You cannot get independence by relying on others, simples. I love my family, but I love my privacy and making my own decisions too! To that end, my child is NOT allowed to act as my support in any area, because that is MY duty as a parent. we don't have children so that we get free help.

If my GP started phoning my family instead of me he'd not be my GP any more!


Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Awareness the first casualty or emancipation.

Emancipate Meaning - YouTubeThere is too much misinformation being given out by deaf activism, and awareness it isn't. 

Ergo how many deaf exist in the UK (No statistics available), how many deaf can effectively lip-read? (No stats available), how many deaf rely on sign language? (No stats available), how many Hard of Hearing are there? (No stats available), how many deaf have issues the make them exempt from mask-wearing? (No demand identified), etc etc...  

Deaf don't need clear masks, it is HEARING that do if anyone, so lip-readers can lip-read them.  They may be deaf people, they may NOT, they may be Hard of Hearing, or other areas too.  Charities have lied to the system for 20 YEARS, nobody have the numbers or can identify the people either, simply because a LAW prevents anyone knowing, it's called the DPA (The Data Protection Act), which stops any survey taking place mainly because it means identifying people and keeping records of them, so we get the areas like AOHL  stating 10m of us all, the BDA year on year doubling its sign using statistics, and all with no validity.  

Nobody spotted the glaring flaw in the information presented, the charities were producing their own stats themselves, and without anyone asking for proof, such statistics varied and/or multiplied according to what they think they can get away with to make the Deaf or Hard of hearing look needier and needier, so they could gain more and more funding, but providing less and less support because the deaf left charity behind years ago, mostly to DIY and then they screwed that up too.  Systems failed to question charitable 'proof' even when they have access to the reality.

The ONLY way to identify any need or support is to interview and assess the person, or simply to ask systems how many have applied for help and support? that is the prime statistic because that is actual people identified and asking for it, but not a single BSL  or lip-reading campaign lists THOSE stats, perhaps because they are one quarter and less of what THEY are claiming or simply unavailable.  Official support stats are manipulated too and often stated lower than actual as well, so politics are involved.  One campaigner asked for local statistics of deaf people requiring help, it was he said, to determine what type of support was needed for his peers locally.  

He was told 314 deaf existed, which puzzled him given his local deaf community was regularly at about 30 or 40 at his club and most not from the locale either because the nature of the 'Deaf Community' is they travel club to club, area to area, until Local authorities started demanding proof of how many locals were actually availing themselves of local provision they were funding?  Many deaf clubs/rooms were provided and rents paid for by Social Services etc, so when the Local Authorities started asking for proof of local residency a lot of small clubs couldn't do that, one near ATR has to register members every attendance, and a few small clubs have already folded.   Deaf are told to 'Ask your own LA for a club we aren't funding it for them for free..'  Only areas with a large deaf population are now viable.

One deaf club found 60% of its 'Members' did not even live in their own area.  On going back to his local authority to ask why the discrepancy with figures, was told, sorry, we don't update our records any more since the deaf social services were disbanded, so probably a lot have since died, entered homes,  or moved away etc.  Thus rendering his project unviable, or did it?  He then launched a campaign and approached the charity commission for help in raising money and support for..... 300 neglected deaf people.

The system could challenge but why bother? if a campaigner manages to get money for support, that is less they have to provide for. But, basically, all deaf won't comply with assessment, HoH won't nobody will, it is why every survey is less than 1,600 people or so and as such is not viable either.  8 out of 10 cats say.... The DWP assess deaf people for allowances but they tuned down 46% of the applicants as not needing any help.  Hard of Hearing had 63% turned down. The Local Authority assessment areas say less than 5% of the deaf have ever asked for their help.  To read current campaigns you would think 95% of them do.  Lies damned lies etc...

Systems and Deaf campaigners support 'freedom of support choice' for deaf people, which means they have a right to use untrained help like families or friends etc, again thanks very much from the system, it means less support THEY have to provide but, the campaign for more of this unused support goes on.

BSL use has no real stat other than those that use terps to access NHS or such and the NHS does not differentiate between someone deaf or someone hearing with loss.  Many areas have no statistic at ALL for lip-speaker provisions so its a perennial puzzle why lately so many are suddenly reliant on lip-reading. BSL is listed in the NHS alongside Urdu or even Polish, (because deaf demanded language status it gets lumped with every other minority or ethnic area that requires translation), nobody knows anything really because they don't ask if e.g. a deaf Urdu person uses BSL or not, they could be listed twice over as Urdu speakers, and as Deaf BSL users, thus doubling stats and rendering stats unreliable, except to the deaf campaigner of course who realises this could suggest more demand, and thus more effective for whatever campaign they are running.....   Being compliant with the D.P.Act (!) of course they don't identify those facts too much.

E.G. the Senedd (Welsh Assembly), lists deaf people under ELEVEN different descriptions, (including hard of hearing, the deafblind even Alzheimers), because clinical identification is listed as the same as 'cultural' support.  You can be deaf, can have Alzheimer's, have a limb missing even be partially blind etc, then you get a mention 4 times.  Sign and culture are just 2, but they all are one and the same stat for support purposes, so deaf-blind are the same as deaf BSL and they are both the same as some severely deaf who neither sign nor lip-read, or is disabled, BAME, or something else as well.  

It's all about effective book-keeping and nobody does that. You can quote whatever you like.  Attempts to identify WHO was cultural wasn't possible either because of the clinical identification of hearing loss. Systems tried to placate cultists and then it all got logged in together for everyone else to sort out.   The primary issue with records is that the deaf screwed definitions up by capitalising the d. Online and system record-keeping, cannot differentiate between one deaf area or any other so no statistics are viable, rendering all access, inclusion, and supportive campaigns suspect of being exploited from that chaos.  Think of a number, who can challenge it?

Deaf managed to exploit and screw up Google/Youtube as well who are unable to validate who the deaf are any more because of the grammar software's inability to show that difference and the campaigning deaf using the Deaf & HI remit for own ends by adding tags that did not really identify them alone but capitalised on the d/D thing. USA attempts to get HI out of the running is another avenue for their activists to expolit.

In essence, it is all quite clever, but in practice making things harder for everyone.  There are so many goalposts it is too easy to score for everyone.  Log online any day for hearing loss and you will probably get ASL or something, so it appears the Americans are the prime culprits abusing the system to make the most for the ASL user.  The Brits tried it but there is no real push from the deaf there would rather continue to practice their apathy instead.  They don't have time for the ASL or Audisms of the world, and the mask campaign has faltered too.

Nearest we got was copying BLM and that was hijacked by anarchists as well.  Currently, the mask issue is getting attacked now as 'Deaf' paranoia and even invalid a campaign because it conflicts with the prime mantra of the signing community, in that sign takes precedence NOT lip-reading.  Sadly for them COVID has zeroed face to face sign support and there is nothing they can do about it. Some areas decided instead of 'all deaf sign', it is now, 'all deaf lip-read' and have got opposition from their own purists.

If COVID has done anything useful at all, it has exposed the myths deaf have promoted the last 25 years... Culture and sign have met its match, many campaigns exposed as dodgy or manufactured, awareness a distorted sham, but we suspect it won't deter those who abuse it all, nice earner for them and money talks louder than principle.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Dr refuses mask exemption for deaf man.

It was alleged on social media a deaf man in Wales (UK) has complained of discrimination after his GP refused to give him an exemption note so he would not have to wear a mask, the patient deaf suggested he needed to lip-read and also needed other mask wearers to lower or remove theirs so he could follow.

His Doctor said no.  The reasons for refusal, were, that as his regular patient of many years he had never presented as an effective lip-reader, or asked for a lip-speaker to support him, to all intents and purposes had never exhibited that he could lip-read effectively at all, and had always attended his surgery with a BSL interpreter, or a family member as support.  Indeed had just presented his demand with a hearing friend who said 'He can't lip-read much, he can't get an interpreter so I am helping him follow.'

The latest idea to request exemption notes from medical areas appears to have hit a wall of refusal. Many GP's suggesting deaf don't require exemptions if they sign they would need someone signing to them or translation help, not mask removal.  This suggests many current BSL campaigns have been misleading the general public by not really explaining issues of deaf awareness.

There was some light a the end of this quite dubious BSL tunnel by one area in Cambridge (England), who are offering 'cards' for a nominal fee, explaining difficulties deaf have with COVID at present, to its credit not using the lip-reading angle.

The only reservation I would see is that anyone can buy them, including hearing.  In 30 years of watching various cards come and go, few if any have actually been seen to work but...  They could also have suggested speech to text can be used as well as the deaf themselves using the apps on their phones, (if deaf show willing then others will too).

Read one response that was to a deaf video telling other deaf to 'stop whining' about masks.

It's been a long time coming but putting a stop to these excuses and campaigns for masks etc needed to be challenged. As said on another post a GP refused to exempt a deaf patient from wearing a mask because his claim he lip-read wasn't accepted. The deaf man had attended his GP for years with no lip-speakers and used sign language, so this deaf excuse had been rumbled. 

It also suggested deaf need to lip-read was a false demand because in essence many signers couldn't so campaigners were misleading the public as well. Now we need to put a stop to AOHL and the BDA still plugging this mask idea. PROVE you can lip-read then maybe it will be supported but, ONLY for yourself.

Some deaf are saying they need to lip-read when they can't?  Why would they do that?

The issue is that BSL campaigners demand SIGN LANGUAGE not lip-speaker support. With or without a mask if the other person doesn't sign they will have issues following. I am supportive of lip-reading, deaf are pretty rubbish at it usually, there are good lip-readers but they won't rely on sign will they? or find with a mask removal hearing are good lip-speakers either. 

You can be sure post-COVID the deaf demands will be for the sign again and NOT lip-reading! It's time deaf were more honest. They use aspects of facial features to follow and that is what they are wanting to supplement their visuals, but not lip-speaking. It would be better if they said 'We need to see your face, as this helps us to follow..' not, we need to see your MOUTH because we lip-read, when a lot actually can't.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Deaf-blind woman called a liar.

A deaf-blind woman and her teenager sister were verbally abused on a train after the young girl briefly lowered her face mask so that her older sibling could read her lips.

Karolina Pakenaite, who has Usher syndrome, was travelling to Southport with her 16-year-old sister Saule and guide dog when they were confronted by another passenger. Despite explaining that 24-year-old Ms Pakenaite's condition meant she was both hard of hearing and visually impaired, the woman refused to accept their explanation.

Their ordeal was recorded on a mobile phone as they travelled on a Merseyrail train from Liverpool Central on July 16. The woman can be heard in the two minute-long clip questioning whether Ms Pakenaite was really 'deafblind' after she was able to respond to her comments. 


ATR: So why are some deaf BSL sites refusing to acknowledge the LINK?