Tuesday, 18 August 2020
Posters are challenging the UK's leading HoH charities recent stance on offering BSL access to its output, not everyone agrees this has a real point. One poster said why do HoH WANT to learn BSL anyway? and received an angry response from someone presumably who was a BSL user saying why shouldn't people with hearing loss learn BSL?
#1 My response, was based on the experience of having hearing loss and going deaf myself, learning sign is not taught with the reality of how it works, you need an interpreter or to immerse yourself within that 'community' of born deaf for it to be viable, sadly, this is not possible even IF you learn sign language, because HoH don't adapt well to other people's social norms, languages and culture, which makes sign work, whilst also dealing with the loss itself.
Unless your family and friends also manage to sign your social circle is quite limited. HoH would prefer Signed English if anything as this mirrors the language they already know. The BDA e.g. people would not accept that. We are social people that's our biggest worry. Nobody in the BSL world will tell you what you must accept to make it actually work, of course, translators don't support social activity either. As I am aware that is the primary negative of it.
I would want to maintain the social circle I have already not adopt someone else's. I think most HoH would agree. Why else do we show desperation to lip-read? A system hardly any of us can master? Because we don't want to be 'seen' as deaf? Why do we 'hide' our hearing aids, and pretend its a fashion statement? Why do 3 MILLION of us refuse to even wear one? AOHL understands these things and cannot find a way to deal with it, at least not without appearing to challenge the BSL set up.
AOHL relies on 'supporting' people so has to play the game whose rules change before they can act on them. There are a lot of 'rules' and 'rights' being thrown in our/their way by way of excuses, and not accepting what is already a reality in that deaf and HoH are already doing their own thing. As such AOHL is wasting time, energy and developing a rift with its core membership. It has to accept the realities that HoH don't want the messages of BSL they keep putting out,and wondering why the AOHL is plugging the BDA. (And even by BDA members having dual membership at the AOHL).
To all intents and purposes HoH have already found their own alternatives to sign, to AOHL and the BDA, in that technology has given them a way of dealing without hearing loss support charities. I think a recent blurb by AOHL praising its own support to 90yr old Hearing aid pensioners was telling, and of course, the AOHL 'clinical' approach to hearing loss is abhorred by the BDA people, whose members have attacked CI's in the past opposed research into hearing loss 'cures' even opposing the tuition of speech to children. All that is tied up with learning BSL, if courses made this clear I suspect far less would be deciding BSL is for them. Behind the promo is the reality and they try to hide that.
#2 Charity should be supporting ALL areas of deaf, not just oral ones!
#3 This is AOHL charity, it is not the UN. As I can see it is already 'supporting' BSL users via this topic asking for their input. It also ran deaf mental health care homes until recently. Its remit is to meet those most in NEED not run a human rights campaign for every area in the UK, and a recent attempt to include BLM was a mistake, if they supported such areas why wait until now to do it? It just seems they are responding via a knee-jerk and don't want to be left out or vulnerable to a negative response. I'm sure BLM would see it that way too. They claim oppression of 100s of YEARS not this last 3 months.
Rights is ultimately the government's job or ours, (As is access). AOHL's remit is actually supporting disabled THE AOHL REMIT. Disability is not a term born deaf want to see used in regards to their area. Clearly, whilst we have been engaging on BSL the AOHL has altered its remits which didn't actually mention deafness or hearing loss last year. AOHL has been an HoH charity for as long as I can remember. As stated earlier Deaf left some time ago.
When the AOHL was asked to support rights campaigns in the past it responded with a NO, because they said their charitable status 'prevents them being involved in 'political' issues' and, rights are political issues. At the basis of all this hypocrisy is the fact COVID has exposed it all and AOHL has offered little support to the BSL user until now and not much to the HoH either. Too little too late, the BSL users have already own setups they use.