Friday, 4 September 2020

Thought for the weekend Marcher.

How awareness doesn't help deaf and the HoH.

“If you do not face me, I cannot hear you. If you call for me from behind, I may not respond. No, I am not rude. I am not ignoring you. I simply cannot hear you." 

Another dated awareness blurb that fails to address hearing loss, or the issues those with it, have to deal with.

I'm not sure who the AOHL is campaigning FOR or on what basis? It suggests people are perfect lip-readers or maybe sign users and hardly any area is, even so, joe public are not versed in either speaking properly or sign at all, and that is without identifying the skill and ability of the person WITH hearing loss and skills to follow.  

Listening is an art.  You need to fully understand what you can or cannot follow and plan for it, not struggle to follow, or as advertised ask people to communicate in way that still may not enable you.  There were posters to ATR who complained they have to ask hearing 3 or 4 times to repeat themselves as they couldn't follow, despite the hearing person doing what was asked of them.  Such areas with hearing loss had not assessed their own hearing loss issue, or over-rated it.  Of course, loss tends to get worse, not better, and many aspects of daily life can block the ear's effectiveness and the hearing aid effectiveness.

It's very simplistic bit of advice that doesn't really raise awareness. E.G. 

(1) Hearing aid users still unable to follow even with 'useful' hearing.  Mainly because 'useful' is relative a term.  Everyone is different in loss degree and ability to follow.

(2)  Equally pointless are 'cards' telling people the same things.  Deaf wouldn't use them, Hard Of Hearing were reluctant as well.  There are numerous issues surrounding hearing loss, like denial, lack of confidence, fear of ridicule, and shame etc.

(3) Deaf people sign reliant who won't meet a hearing person that signs. Face me and speak clearly is not what they are demanding currently and interact with systems via translator assistance, or friends and family, and socialise amidst other signers minimising stressful communication points.

Proper advice is to write things down etc which by-passes lip-reading and sign language access, that suggests the current awareness rehashed from the 1960s (!) to face me and speak clearly etc is unhelpful and in most part not widening awareness at all.  Street-wise is mostly impracticable.  It was a hard of hearing 'mantra' many years ago,  pre-internet and the mobile phone.  In short not relevant to 2020.

Most with hearing loss are still doing the best to avoid showing anyone they cannot hear much. A lot simply avoiding declaring what they can hear or not, or just don't know. 3m (AOHL own stats), won't even wear an aid when they need one, and most of the others are trying to hide the fact. Ergo read 'hidden hearing' 'miniature aids' and 'discreet' adverts for hearing aid usage, manufactures tend to contribute to the uncertainty because they know denial is a norm for many.  However, this doesn't address a lack of hearing to follow.

More relevant would be using your voice if you have it to ask for a text explanation as everyone has at least one phone or maybe 2 or more and text is a mainstream norm whereas lip-reading and sign isn't it's a minority and many of those already use alternatives.  

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Hearing need to butt out!

Communicating with Deaf Children flyerA recent blog on the irate response of half a dozen people to the fact BSL was not included as a norm created a backlash at ATR calling him a 'bitter old man' who lacked the joys of learning or using BSL, (actually ATR does sign but...).  Then proceeded to rubbish and attack parents of deaf children.  If ever deaf activism wants to understand why deaf are isolated then read their own responses.  

Even the UK's leading BSL charity has never objected to total communication. The BSLBT survey also shows little or no research going on into deaf requirements.  The deaf are just getting targetted by random deaf activism claiming to speak for everyone else deaf and doing very nicely thank you out of it.

Read the nonsense and 'hate' these people are posting and all in a language they are demanding should NOT be taught to deaf children but enabled them.  They oppose bilinguality too. Not a single response bothered to check the organisers to see how many deaf parents there are, or, wanted BSL only access. or even wanted to attend this seminar. Given it was about tuition and the parents why would they unless they had a deaf child too?  They never bothered to check the deaf children's own charity the NDCS either or they would have read nil support for immersive BSL education from them too, or, politicians lobbied on that vein who simply left their demands 'on the table' for 4 years to be ignored.  

The appalling lack of awareness on how deaf children today are educated was clear too, their prime BSL mover and charity posted at length on Facebook and Twitter complaining at 'oral abuse' of deaf children which got 78 mainly BSL responses of indignation,  only ATR and one other poster pointed out the oral school they attacked was in MEMPHIS, Tennesee and not the UK! and 2 primary objectors were educated in an oral UK school.   The same BDA poster a CEO, wasn't even aware his own charity supported TC (Which includes, of course, oral approaches). It seems in teaching these people to write English and attack others, they failed to teach them to read properly, or respond in their chosen BSL.

The BDA reports 50,000 deaf children and that isn't true, it was 50,00 with hearing LOSS.  Not the same thing.  How they teach the with hearing loss but may NOT be 'Deaf' but suffer varying degrees of loss and/or use assistive devices like hearing aids, or CI's etc), the blanket assumptions and declarations are that all with hearing loss are all deaf and demanding sign language.  

UK Education is via mainstream with very few dedicated deaf schools left, as this is the policy of inclusion.  An ardent campaigner against inclusion wasn't even aware no deaf schools existed in their own country (Or conveniently forgot to mention it).  Far from being denied sign language, it is included, but not as a dedicated 'sign only' educational medium.  That is because there is no way to establish such a curriculum, it lacks necessary academic material and tuition to succeed.  To what end is the point of immersive signed education?  it isn't access is it? and it would require the re-establishment of deaf schools and the agreement from parents their children attended them and that is not going to happen, they spent years demanding their children be included.

What 'arms' these people is poor support in mainstream and they should be lobbying for that to be addressed not pulling deaf children out altogether to attend some institution that ignores the rest of how the UK works, keep 'em in ignorance?  Bilingualism is essential. (Which objectors should realise has already empowered THEM). Does BSL even 'travel' in world sign terms?  It is people like these posters whom the deaf area needs to isolate, and their simplistic and emotive posts and campaigns are designed to set the deaf back another 25 years.  They don't appear to realise either, that deaf have voted with their feet against them anyway. They also insist most caption readers are not deaf anyway, if they weren't why is captioning and subtitles the PRIMARY means we all use to follow?  Try removing them and see how much support you get!

#1 deaf education is the domain of deaf adults who have experienced deaf education as children and are best placed to ensure young deaf kids are enabled to succeed. Hearing family/adults shouldn't have a say. I did read the poster, and I object to it.

#2 We've literally NEVER said deaf people *shouldn't* learn English, we just don't want to have to be forced to be bilingual just to survive.

#3 Newsflash: 4 in 5 caption users are not deaf.

# 4 No, deaf education is down to deaf people, not clueless hearing family members.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Whose business is it?


Complaints no sign language access was being offered, seems to have missed the point it was a seminar for HEARING parents and Hearing support professionals of the deaf.  Being global BSL would not have carried either.  Deaf activism still fails to understand they have no voice to raise, and no rights, regarding other people's deaf children, nor to oppose what approaches are used to educate them, or to attack various approaches and alleviations, parents choose to assist their children.  

Unlike deaf activists, parents don't see their job as providing future signing members for their community or for promoting sign language or its culture, it is about the right of parents to choose what they believe is the best for their children.  That might be some sign it may not. These constant 'digs' at areas who don't promote BSL or ASL do nothing to change a parental view that others are trying to interfere in their child's upbringing.

The idea to provide signed support to an area that probably doesn't use it predominantly seems to have gone over the activists head too.  The purpose of using sign at an educational seminar about tuition is to promote sign not assist parental decision making.  Since the seminar was NOT about deaf rights on sign language, why include it?  Seems the activists are also unaware of the role of sign in deaf education too.  

Quoting Milan was silly!  Sign is not an established norm or legal UK educational right yet, and unlikely to be without the approval of the parent and again, the state is unlikely to approve of a 'Deaf' campaign that overrules the parent, or, oppose its own inclusion stance that is against immersional signed education.  What works is used and that is how it should be.  Bearing in mind the need to access the hearing world not just the deaf one. 

Hence why the seminar is not there to 'promote' BSL. Not least because the base is not there to make it work. The support is not there for translation, the teachers aren't there, the schools are no longer there etc.  Immersive BSL education has no track record, and we doubt parents are going to approve of a system untried and their children used as guinea pigs.  The only 'proof' of immersive sign 'success' is via the ADULT community, and that is in disarray, and their deaf schools virtually extinct.  Let us face it, 83% rely on captions anyway.  BSL activism doesn't fess up to the fact they advocate deaf cannot read or understand captions, because they are relentless BSL grammar promoters.

They oppose English, and just how MANY deaf are 'incensed' this seminar didn't provide BSL? knew about it? or would have attended it?  Probably next to none.

Pig with chip in its brain.

q who borg - Google Search | Star trek costume, Star trek images, Star trek
Next up, a computer chip to process sound?   'Return of the Borg'? 

Elon Musk has unveiled a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface.

"It's kind of like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires," the billionaire entrepreneur said on a webcast.  His start-up Neuralink applied to launch human trials last year.  The interface could allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers with their mind. Mr Musk argues such chips could eventually be used to help cure conditions such as dementia, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries.  But the long-term ambition is to usher in an age of what Mr Musk calls "superhuman cognition", in part to combat artificial intelligence so powerful he says it could destroy the human race.

Gertrude was one of three pigs in pens that took part in Friday's webcast demo. She took a while to get going, but when she ate and sniffed straw, the activity showed up on a graph tracking her neural activity. She then mostly ignored all the attention around her. The processor in her brain sends wireless signals, indicating neural activity in her snout when looking for food.

Mr Musk said the original Neuralink device, revealed just over a year ago, had been simplified and made smaller.  "It actually fits quite nicely in your skull. It could be under your hair and you wouldn't know."