Saturday, 3 October 2020

Simply misleading?


A recent youtube ad for a CI, criticised by deaf online as misleading.  Claiming a CI is a 'cure', and no deaf or HoH child took part in it.  Should they have used an actual CI user or a signer?

"In our TV ad, we draw attention to the important relationship between individual and community health by showing a community coming together to support a young child.  It’s a theme that many will recognise, but Ferris’s story isn’t a real-life case study. We did, however, take great care to ensure that the story represented an authentic experience and approached the sensitive subject matter with dignity.

Ferris is portrayed by a hearing child following auditions with both hearing and deaf/hard-of-hearing actors. A number of criteria were carefully considered in casting, including Covid-19 restrictions, child license requirements, availability for shoot dates and consent to miss school. Ferris represents a child who has developed hearing loss following a childhood illness. He was eligible for and received a cochlear implant. In the UK, most children receive bilateral implants, however, in Ferris’s case, he was one of the few children for whom this wasn’t practical.

In the TV ad we show a therapist scene in which Ferris and his mother work alongside an audiologist. Since having his cochlear implant activated Ferris, like many children, has benefitted from working with a specialist audiology consultant. In the TV ad we show a therapist scene in which Ferris and his mother work alongside an audiologist, it captures a breakthrough moment in a long therapy programme where mother and child celebrate the wonderful progress that can be made.

The journey for children, and adults, receiving cochlear implants varies according to individual situations and unfortunately, we are unable to show the full nature of these amazing therapy sessions within the time constraints of our TV ad. Instead we have tried demonstrate the outcome and show that over several months and years children can develop the speech and language skills that support them in living their day to day lives."  

Best Face Masks

Erm we don't need clear face masks to lip-read we need OTHERS to wear them, I wonder how many would wear these?

Friday, 2 October 2020

ATR and the NDCS.

A blog response to Mr Ian Noon of the NDCS.

From ATR:

HI, many thanks for your reply, sadly Mr Buxton (Some sort of politician), has so far refused to reply either in person on his blog or his social media, so referring to him appears a waste of time.  The NDCS said they won't 'suggest' to the parent what they should be doing.   I must express some doubt the advice to parents re BSL is to encourage 'informed' choice, the BSL campaigns are hugely emotive and considerably biased, and many of its grass root supporters have attacked parents online for using a choice not to encourage sign for their children.  

Informed choice? or 'sign or else expect to be attacked?' Indeed some openly attacked a soap opera star e.g. for giving her child a Cochlear Implant, calling her a child abuser, even contacting social services, what steps did the NDCS take in response? erm... none.

It appears others have to do this alone and risk then being accused of deaf abuse. The problem is these people are running the promotion of a BSL Bill as well.  The BSL Bill includes education which on the face of it by-passes informed choice to make it a law or something, what they will do if given their head is to drive wedges into deaf education approaches and disrupt a system trying desperately to counter the abysmal record of ye olde deaf schools and cause all but 19 to close down.  As you are aware Wales has NONE.  We don't need a deaf school because less than 4 deaf children had such issues they could not get taught anywhere else. This in essence endorsed mainstreaming as a superior education for the deaf child there.

The deaf mentor systems mooted, contain very very few deaf using BSL who are able to compete on a level playing field with hearing, and the huge costs of supporting what is a literacy issue as well must raise the issue of what are they mentoring?   

BSL campaigners OPPOSE acquisition of English or its grammar, it is discriminating against BSL and culture they claim, these are your 'informed' areas to advise parents?   Or that anyone suggesting they do acquire the necessary English to cope, are abusers and discriminators too?  

The NDCS would never endorse any sort of immersive BSL approach, they didn't in parliament because that would kill choice, informed or otherwise, it would 'positively discriminate' children into have, and have nots, some sort of tiered education e.g.   ATR's last blog provided the political evidence of their refusal to endorse a BSL GCSE by the legislature.  Does the NDCS even keep a record of what they are saying luckily ATR does and it suggests the NDCS is trying and failing to remain neutral itself and bowing to minority pressures based on a blame culture and hostility to hearing instead.

There is no validity that once acquiring BSL a deaf child then uses it to access the mainstream, indeed they are encouraged that any suggestion they should is discrimination.   Hence why their desperate requests for interpreters and support, deaf clubs, deaf peers, deaf socials, deaf everything really, which suggests they are not really into any sort of inclusion and/or, feel it is impossible.  The more 'Deaf' stuff they acquire the less of anything else as we know. There is little priority to use access or demand real inclusion, it all comes with a caveat 'hearing have to do this or that first, or else we won't want to know.. we are deaf you have to change.'  Older deaf can remember when there was no chance at all of 'choosing' anything.

You say young deaf are in support, I would not agree.  One 'statistic' quoted less than 100 deaf hardly representative of 1,000s of deaf children.   (Actually, we don't have a reliable statistic of how many they are or how they are being taught). Youth want what everyone else does and they also know without those essential linguistic tools, they are not going to get it.  I doubt they are demanding the dependency you advocate.

We can read today of claims inclusion means the end of deaf culture and their language.  It appears inclusion is a relative not an actual 'Deaf' aim.  Which appears a direct challenge to deaf can do everything but hear etc. Deafness is an issue, but again the BSL promotion ignores that fact as they ignore other deaf and hard of hearing. I think the NDCS is afraid. 

Who is giving impartial BSL information out?   BSL groups, that don't support other deaf? I do believe the BSL Bill and campaigns are neither balanced or genuinely informative, it's a blame culture that omits facts, over the years myself and many others have produced these facts and get slapped down as anti-deaf, they then kill any discussion and leave you with a bad name, if that is the basis of BSL informed choice, parents are well-advised to stay out of it.   

I don't see grass-root support for a BSL immersive education, every argument they use is a cultural or social one, not an educational failing thing or a suggestion to address it.  The only campaign is to endorse BSL to keep what they say is their culture extant.  It's an impoverished cultural on that basis. No campaign based on fear of hearing is helping.  The message is simplistic but highly effective I agree, deaf peers and social aspect overrides access to mainstream and the acquisition of the means to do it, it is a mindset that needs addressing as false in the first instance, and undermining deaf equality and futures secondly.  

5 years ago I did a blog on a Derby college where deaf students were offered two choices to use some additional funding, (1) more support/equipment in the classes or, (2) A room for a micro deaf club, no prizes for knowing they chose LESS support in a college to learn. In short, the suggestion is that deaf culture, language and social community, cannot survive real inclusion, so let's all run a parallel world instead, but keep insisting the hearing are keeping us out.   Sadly they have no confidence in what they are advocating or they would move outward and prove it.

My experience is deaf are very able, very determined, but lions led by rabid hyenas really.  All you need to do is suggest integration or inclusion means no more deaf clubs or something they will gather like frightened sheep and look vulnerable. The messages undermine deaf confidences in themselves. 

As regards for access in BSL, again campaigners have 4 or 5 equality laws to call on and a human rights law for that so a BSL Bill is unnecessary. The best deaf school in the UK is Mary Hare, an oral not BSL school with a proven success rate. By far the biggest concern of the BSL Bill is its NON-inclusivity of all deaf children or indeed others with hearing loss, or what works for them, this stark fact is what pits opposition against the BSL campaigns.  Politicians have to bear in mind they would be supporting division, not equal access campaigns.  Only, the 'Deaf' community stands to benefit, and only those using BSL, would it not be far better to unite for the common good and show the BSL users inclusion matters?  

A lifetime of interpreter dependency? not doing anything for access, is it?  They can call it 'empowerment' they can even call it a 'right', but they aren't fooling anyone but themselves really. The entire campaigns are a distorted message they don't need anything they have no disability. That continues to feed into the 'let us all blame hearing..' for it. These issues are what I am reading FROM parents of deaf children they are worried that the obsessions with culture and language are affecting education and what essentials their children need to manage in a hearing world, where they will live and work. 

The cultural message is 'who needs that? we have our own world, and you are undermining it.' Parents are wanting advice on their own child's future based on inclusion, the cultural message is advocating something quite different, and, inevitably, non-inclusive. The disaffected deaf adults' gripes and demands (Most with no deaf children at all), continue because their education failed them, they gained no skills to manage mainstream.  16 years wasted deaf education followed by a lifetime confined in a deaf club with deaf peers in the same position, there has to be more to deaf lives than that.  There are plenty of adult learning classes they can attend to try to fill the gaps they have, yet take-up is virtually non-extant.  They have given up and 'adopted the position'.

It would appear even financial support near £900 per week for some BSL deaf is being quoted so they can 'work' that appears a negative to me, not positive, they could be re-educating deaf to communicate better as obviously, the deaf education has failed them.  The only people 'working' are their carers and support. They are blaming deaf schools/mainstream for not using BSL all the time, it's what they use now as adults and it hasn't empowered them has it?  They get what they get because they are viewed as seriously disabled people, and I would not argue with that.

The reality for 'choice' to be valid, the systems have to be there to make it work, and they are not there. For many, the BSL Bill is seen as a 'trojan horse' to make deaf education a BSL one.  Until the NDCS offers its own concerns and clarity TO parents re the BSL campaigns, it is going to be a one-way street, isn't it?  If you came out stating the NDCS was against the negatives n the BSL world and not played Pontious pilate and let them get away with it, we could respect the NDCS view more.  

The BSL Bill is POLITICAL why is the NDCS even there?  There seems sufficient evidence deaf activism are abusing the rights message for own ends too.  They don't even HAVE deaf children themselves.  Would you listen if I interfered in your child's education or challenged your right as a parent?  Unfortunately, apart from having a BSL Bill in NI and Scotland, they are being humoured more than empowered, and the welsh Bill campaign is non-extant online more English BSL users were bolstering it to suggest Welsh deaf support.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Deaf. Then and Now.


The old system failed deaf people they prioritised social above academic because old deaf schools felt there was little point making an effort to educate them and looked on deafness as a mental disablement. Girls went sewing, boys doing manual work, there was no expectation they could go much further.

To a high degree, social interaction is still all, despite considerable inclusion, medical, and technological advance, to the point many aren't bothered to integrate into the mainstream because BSL reliance disempowered them communication-wise and left with dwindling deaf clubs, interpreter reliances, and still a failure and inability to compete with hearing people due to literacy, and language rights issues.  

There are numerous campaigns, laws, and proposed bills, but none are insisting on real parity as this means BSL gets relegated to second language status not first.  English is the language area they have to work in.  The campaigner views it as discrimination, but that is not necessarily the grassroots view, as increasing evidence shows young deaf are more included have more access and rights and are not opposing the means to attain a level playing field to pacify activism, they know that they need to learn how to communicate and relate to the hearing world not attend mainstream as spectators.  They want what hearing want, but that requires compromise not campaigns. 

The poster reiterates the same distorted messages and alarms we can read in many places on the deaf internet.  Ergo You will lose your friends and social circle, be forced to hear (!), and be isolated unless you adopt some 'back to the future approach to education that never worked academically for deaf people, neither will a BSL-driven system work, because that is a deaf social tool, not an academic grounding to work in a non-deaf world.

The poster attacks SSE which is really what deaf should be using as this closely relates to what hearing people are using so making communication easier.  If deaf want to sign BSL socially that is fine, but it is not a viable tool to work within the mainstream. The support costs can be astronomical and unnecessary, had they attained English grammar education and knowledge day one.  There is basic view deaf want deaf so the rest doesn't come into it, they would not be saying that had the state not empowered that ignorance because they view deaf severely disabled too.  There still seems considerable confusion with deaf people who claim non-disabled status but rely on its fiance and support to exist, even for its culture to exist.

The disability sector, however, accepts support for access, and inclusion, not cultural reasons. There is no disability culture. As regards to mentors, they are such as role models only because they have made it in a deaf world and can easily communicate with other deaf, but not a hearing one mostly.  So they won't be role models in that they can empower other deaf to break the BSL mould and move outwards.  Their function basically, is to empower and promote culture, not an ability to work properly by showing the example.

Idealism has overtaken realism and practicality and is fuelled with dire warnings, and a blame culture, this is not the way forward for deaf people.  To demand hearing sign and no attempt to go halfway by deaf is doomed to failure as is evident everywhere.  Various rights campaign tend to aim at reinforcing and making deaf isolation more comfortable and acceptable, rather than any aim to move forwards or outward.  

You can have a different culture and language, e.g. many migrants have these, but they also know this is the UK and they have to adapt, there is no reason the deaf cannot do likewise, after all, they can do everything except hear.... can't they?

A Bill too far?

The reality of the current push for an English BSL Bill following Scotland has resurged again despite the last attempt being left 'on the table' (Left to be forgotten).

Recently a British Blog and a Liberal Deaf representative Mr David Buxton are lobbying backbench politicians to promote the BSL Bill in England after the Welsh attempt fizzled out due to lack of grass-root support, and despite English BDA deaf reps posting to welsh sites to promote it disguised as welsh deaf supporters.  For the uninitiated Newcastle is not in Wales!

What these deaf DON'T tell those politicians they lobby:-

(1) The BSL Bill can/will be used to overrule parental choices in deaf education by splitting up deaf children into BSL and non-BSL taught children.  One sector being enabled to follow the host country language and grammar, the other to discard it in favour of a visual and cultural one that the mainstream does not use.  

Thus Dis-abling those children taught via immersional BSL because there are no teachers or sign academics or even academic signs to enable them as adults to compete work-wise to be educated on any level playing field.  There are just a few deaf scientists in single figures trying to invent some.  There are NO scientific, medical, or legal sign language dictionary references.  On that basis is it even a language as such?

(2) Part of the BSL Bill demand also relates to access to state systems like e.g. 999 emergency systems, and health and care systems.  Again the sponsored Bill and lobby does not clarify that 68% of ALL deaf using british sign language are NOT using professional BSL interpreters as support, in favour, of using own preferred family support, with virtually no accredited BSL qualifications.

(3)  That the promoters of the BSL access equality Bill e.g. the BDA endorsed the right of deaf patients to use family as legitimate support help, despite concerns this actually undermined deaf demands for help and endorsed system abuses of it. Thus relegating the deaf right to privacy invalid and also leaving health (And legal), decision-making to others.  When ATR challenged this as the BDA defeating the point of deaf independence and access, ATR was accused of attacking deaf people and undermining deaf right.

The issue is chicken-egg, in that for Deaf support and enablement requires DEMAND to be seen.  The idea you can demand what isn't actually there to make it happen is a moot point.   It could be suggested the BSL Bill aims to promote that demand, but there is no statistical proof of that. Logically, deaf support demands should start with a 'national' training scheme so that professional staff are there to do the job.  BSL is not a national sign for Britain, Ireland promoted their own alternative. Wales has its own alphabet but uses the English signed version. The UK is a devolved set up so a 'national' approach is difficult to attain, ergo why Scotland/Ireland (Not just BSL but ISL too), which raises issues of regional differences), has a 'Sign Language'  Bill and the rest of the UK does not. One-third of Northern Irish sign users do not use/want BSL.

Of an alleged 98,000 UK sign using deaf. ATR insisted that is a blatant untruth an unfounded or resourced figure, and suggested politicians being lobbied refer to the actual government source.

"The data that are available show BSL is the first language of 24,000 people, but there are only 908 registered sign language interpreters."

Even that source is questionable as it includes many free-lance interpreters and those concentrated mainly in city areas, so hardly a 'national support area. Registered does not mean full-time or freely available either.  Thus we refer back to the issue of deaf using alternatives and unqualified at that.  There is also the damning survey carried out by the BSLBT that challenged many aspects of BSL access and demands and the only real survey carried out exclusively WITH deaf people, as the data laws prevent any survey being undertaken in deaf (Or HoH) entirety, hence why outrageous statistics and claims continue to pour out from its activists, there are few if any ways to challenge them on a statistical basis.  

Efforts to quote medically diagnosed deaf people,  or even listed state care and support provision for the deaf was ignored and gained hostility from campaigners. Free state provision of BSL interpreters tends to show less than 25% of deaf people are using them. If we include ALL deaf people then we are in single figures only.  The BDA and the AOHL also rely on the fact their claims cannot be challenged and, as they are also the sole source of them there is doubt of their accuracy.

Two primary charities who support the English BSL Bill are also set to be challenged,  the UKCoD e.g. has no significant grass-roots membership of note it is a deaf 'quango' in that is suggests it speaks for a collection of the UK's most primary charities of deaf people.  That is not true, the two major charities go their own way.  Indeed the BDA offers up challenges to the AOHL on a regular basis as they 'support' different areas of deafness and hearing loss.  Of the two, only one provides 'national' BSL care provision, but this year sold it off to private enterprise.

The other reality is that the NDCS itself has not fully endorsed the BSL Bill and the UKCoD was accused of barring smaller deaf support groups from joining, or attending meetings, because "They don't have the money to support the UKCoD."  They just want the big players.  They operate a form of financial discrimination against smaller bona-fide deaf or HoH support areas, hardly deaf inclusion. The UKCoD would cease to exist without the AOHL, the BDA or the NDCS.  

It's a layer of 'representation' without an actual membership itself.  In reality, serves no function but to suggest to the politicians it is 'another' deaf voice endorsed and has to be listened to.  Politicians buy into the hype which is all the UKCoD is.  It's basically another 'front' for the real policymakers in the deaf area.  That it has charitable status also, suggests the Charity Commission has lost the plot.  Charity is widely abused as anyone can set themselves up as a 'support' area for deaf people, few if any checks are done as to their viability or if they are duplicating what is already there.  One Trustee on a well-knwon deaf charity was also a trustee of no less than  17 others making it her job for life.

Until common sense prevails in the deaf world they are being led by mean-wells and pointless people, draining the funding well dry.  The biggest obstacle to support and let us not say anything different, is that the state turns a blind eye to amateurism in deaf support because it means they do not have to honour access and inclusion laws, they  'enable' charities to do it instead, and, charity has neither means nor wherewithal to make it happen., otherwise, a BSL Bill would not need to be enacted, the deaf or disadvantaged could quote FIVE other inclusion and human right/access laws already on the statute.

The NDCS 'support' seems highly ambiguous too. Now supporting a BSL Bill that contradicts that statement?


Having said that, however, I think there is a small conflict between the title of the petition and what people were being asked to sign. The title states, “Make British Sign Language part of the National Curriculum”, but the wording asks why BSL is not taught in schools. The National Deaf Children’s Society has reiterated its position on a BSL GCSE: the society does not believe that it needs to be a mandatory part of the national curriculum, but that it might be easier for the DFE simply to approve the GCSE in British Sign Language that has already been piloted. That would make it an option for schools, should they deem it appropriate, but the DFE appears to be refusing to give the go-ahead due to a blanket policy on no new GCSEs.