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.