Saturday, 17 October 2020

Where is the Interpreter?

He's behind you (Oh yes he is, oh no she isn't). Joking aside, No, it's not a new game for Christmas for the kids, but a current campaign and lobby to get Boris with a BSL interpreter so we i.e. the English 'we', can follow what he is saying (Good luck with that the rest of us haven't a clue and not really interested either!).

The latest welsh advice.

Because of how the UK is addressing COVID, which is targetting northern England rather unfairly, the deaf have started lobbying for more BSL and insisting COVID infects us all the same way deaf and hearing, DEAF POWER!   Now, the latest wheeze is instigating a 'tiered' system of lockdowns with varying severity, depending upon various individual statics area via area, and dependant on if the buses are still running,  (Try to keep up). God help the terp trying to make that as clear as mud to deaf people via sign language, and those who think graphs are something inside a pencil.

The 'Tiered' system is in 3 parts (Allegedly but), it goes 

Tier 1

Take care, its out there.  Wear a mask and don't touch anyone without a 2-metre bargepole that hasn't been smeared to buggery with dettol.

Tier 2

 It gets worse, gym classes are closing, no more nooky with the neighbours. Or travelling to Nova Scotia on the pretence they sell better apples.

Tier 3

You are in the S.H.I.T and then some, we did tell you, but you didn't listen, now pay up, lock up the elderly in prisons,  and quit the partying.

ATR has been at DEAF Tier 2 for years. To be serious... (Albeit covid madness does spare us some of the mental pain of trying to understand UK hieroglyphs), I think the deciphered runes will say we're screwed basically.  Is there a real point in getting miffed with Boris when fair play, he is in the dark as much as we are?  Would a BSL interpreter standing there make it all that clearer?  ATR suggests for COVID information the random nature of signed explanation is not helping anyone really and emanating from respective devolved areas 'looks' like access but apart from that image, those for whom nothing gets through unless it is signed (There must be some like that), they still aren't getting any in-depth detail are they?

It is more important local authorities explain the rules as it applies to you. What Boris says doesn't really apply to Wales/Scotland or N Ireland who can follow or ignore what he advises etc Wales just banned the English from going there. I don't watch him anyway as the devolved government here has BSL every time and titles even some welsh language if that is your forte. 

We could probably do without the constant adverts for Armageddon 'though. Scotland and N Ireland also ignore that bloke who doesn't own a comb in London.  It appears Northern England is starting to ignore him too, you touch their pubs at your peril obviously.  Democracy means you can be as bloody-minded as you please (BLM and 563 other hashtag issues permitting).

It follows then the responsibility for signed support rests with your council?  (You know those people who empty your bins now and then or you pay council tax to), and with every area in England doing different things that is the logical area to lobby for signed support not Boris, who says in the room he gets with 2 others, a Terp is one person too far, social distancing and all that, or a concern BSL is infectious too. He explains the overall government view but localised issues and implementations rest with the local authority itself. 

Like Boris they are saying use the app, go online etc or even watch the BBC, which is considered quite contentious advice as most presenters are running around our streets yelling the end of the world is nigh. 18% of the population isn't online and consider the internet a tool of the devil.  In some deaf surveys, 38% of those thought the internet was for catching butterflies or newts.

The online BSL channel BSL Zone lost all those viewers overnight, but, who is counting anyway? Thye could try SEE HEAR but it would be cruel to disturb their sleep, they are getting on you know.  One question campaigners never ask, is why did neither of these dedicated BSL channels do the updates? after all it is what they are paid for, not following deaf bicycle riders around etc..    They could have come into their own but decided access is for hearing to provide not them.

Sadly it seems some local areas are defying Boris, so again local support seems essential and will raise awareness a lot quicker too.  Where is the terp?  ask your councillor.  Sadly mine is still in glorious isolation in the Bahamas somewhere waiting for the whole thing to be over.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Deaf Academy closed by COVID


Exmouth Deaf Academy closes after pupils and staff test positive for coronavirus

The Exmouth Deaf Academy has closed its doors and moved its teaching online after four students and three staff tested positive for Covid-19. The academy said it had been informed of a confirmed case of the coronavirus among its staff and pupils over the weekend, and immediately closed the school and college as a precaution. A total of three staff and four students have been confirmed as having Covid-19, and a number of adults and children are also self-isolating as part of measures to control the virus.

The academy said no date has been set for reopening the site. Sylvan Dewing, Deaf Academy principal, said: “We are working closely with parents to ensure the temporary closure does not have an impact on teaching. “We established a successful online academy during lockdown which is in place and has resumed. “As ever, education and student and staff wellbeing remain our utmost priority.

“We will continue to be in communication with our parents as we receive the latest updates from Public Health England.” The academy liaised with Public Health England and school governors on learning of the initial positive Covid test. Its day pupils, and the residential students, will now be taught online while the academy is closed.



It's not acceptance alone, the reality is we DON'T HEAR, it is also a sensory loss.  While there is an increase of educated deaf people both the USA and UK still suffer considerable issues following the country's language.  In an 'ideal' world for some areas if everyone uses sign language that's the aim.  In practice, it won't happen because the ASL and BSL signer doesn't want inclusion, i.e. except in limited and own terms, and mainstream/society (Indeed inclusion), doesn't work that way.

As explained HERE inclusion cannot work, and acceptance is relative, we are still viewed as a disabled area by virtue of the fact we need support and welfare help, these tend to suggest to everyone else deafness is a disability else why the demands for so much physical and financial support?  To accept we need that support is a valid point, but to then suggest actually we don't if everyone hearing signs or something equally impossible to achieve.

Most deaf are neither signing or lip-reading much as the years go on, technology has freed them to a large extent.  Again this doesn't mean we can now 'hear' and mange easily without it, or other help, or indeed keep the deaf culture alive without 'Disability' funding, which also gave the UK no less than 2 dedicated BSL TV programs for free, both of which incidentally, failed to utilise that medium to offer the deaf COVID updates! Every time we see able deaf communicating with speech and subtitles, but promoting sign it tends to confuse the message too.

Of course most deaf DO communicate this way, Deaf campaigners used the term 'empowerment' instead of 'support' but, the UK e.g. has over 900 charities helping them out, and 954 BSL interpreters until all that ceases others are sceptical acceptance alone is going to work, it demands by default everyone signs too.  I don't see an acceptance of deaf except as a seriously disabled area, again the UK welfare state supports that financially and on that basis.  They don't pay money to keep the culture going but to help deaf cope with the disabling effect of deafness, and perhaps sign reliance?

Last year e.g. 68% of hard of hearing failed to qualify for welfare help, despite them having no support system extant.  By comparison, the welfare agency gave some deaf signers near £900 per WEEK because that was the cost of their signed support to work. What have the deaf got against the disabled anyway? they are always negative about them.  But they continue to claim disability funding.  If they have a principle then let's see it. Stop claiming help.

The USA like the UK is still at a plateau whereby literacy is still around a 9yr old and illiteracy IS a greater disability than being deaf.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Deaf , Disabled or Hybrid neither?

'Deaf people are not disabled, they are simply disempowered and oppressed by hearing.'  There is no disability register etc... Oh dear here we go again, I blame COVID personally and deaf bored at home.   There is registration by deaf people if they utilise social services e.g. This is total distortion, initially, many deaf ARE disabled, the fact they don't 'think' they are is immaterial, special education, interpreter support, an inability to communicate in mainstream alone etc, the image of help and support is one the deaf community itself trolls out 24/7 and 365 days a year.  A seriously disabled area is the Hearing loss one, comprising of 10m of whom have (Unlike the  'Deaf'),  no support system nationally.

Ergo HERE is a list of 132 areas. The UK charity commision lists over 900 more.  Obviously, the deaf don't have problems! Being deaf is clinically registered as a sensory loss, your hearing failed.  With virtually no exception, hearing didn't cause it. The fact (As yet unproven), that many have overcome that doesn't mean everyone else has or is able. Calling support 'empowerment' has fooled nobody but the deaf themselves.  In essence, they are stating other deaf aren't disabled either, so speaking FOR the disabled and others without their consent.  

Like many other deaf, I was asked to register to get a reduced train ticket, and, a free bus pass, so did near 100% of my deaf peers, I nearly got trampled underfoot, also the old DLA allowance which deaf students in Derby on SEE HEAR said 'lovely jubbly a few more pints for free!'  The arrogance and attitude towards genuine welfare help and support were astounding. I also saw deaf peers who claimed reduced fees to Zoos, stately homes etc because 'they can't hear.'  That DLA allowance was to allow deaf people more help to get around.  I was also asked to register with the police so that in any issue I could use a dedicated line to get help.  They had published openly a deaf contact number after lobbies for that.

Like others I asked "Why do I have to register and hearing others don't?'  It was explained to me hearing people and even some CODA's had abused the public and published contact and sent spurious posts and false alarms to them, so by registering they knew the call was only coming from a genuine deaf person (who got a different number only after they registered), and they had the details (including communication support then), hearing people had also abused Minicom access too and tried to hack into police emergency systems.  It is far different now, where no issues really present themselves for deaf needing 999 help, the issue is still lack of awareness as to where that help is and activists insisting there isn't any.

The ONLY people, not 'deaf/disabled' are those who can manage with no support at all, (Or make 'scatter-gun' statements no deaf are disabled at all), how many of those are there? And, they are hardly showing a real example, are they? Some, are still claiming welfare help.  It's a right?  discuss!!  As stated if you have a bus pass, welfare payments, any concessions at all because you cannot hear, then you claimed to have a disability, did you lie?

If you aren't disabled then your support/concession/interpreters/arts funding etc are being claimed under false pretence surely?  Since being disabled is the criteria for eligibility.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

A for Accessibility.


This is SignHealth using a 10m statistic to describe an access issue for a few 1,000 'Deaf'.  No figures were declared who they asked or how via their PDF downloads, nobody I know was consulted for a view.  Their own website listed just 93 contributors in support.  How the mighty have fallen from 24-85K to just 93.  But printed as 'deaf people.

There is plenty of signed access all you need to do is look for it, only one region of the UK does not have a BSL terp 'in view', that is England, all the other regions do, however, England does provide BSL access to its deaf but on a different channel (BBC News),  and Boris Johnson whom the 'Deaf' are going at was actually the very first politician to use an interpreter in March 2020, it was only when Downing Street updates commenced it became a health and safety, and practical issue to include one in person, so a dedciated BSL access slot was provide on the BBC News channel.

By far signed access is not an issue, but the difficulty, of an interpreter, being able to keep up with the complex details in the short time allowed.  As its stands with in-vision BSL access 65% of all detail is not signed, the terp hasn't the time, and the deaf audience varies far too much in comprehension, to satisfy all of them, or indeed most.  Just like your usual day to day support for BSL a Terp has to adjust to the person in front of them, obviously an impossibility for someone on a TV program.  So you will never satisfy all the people all the time, or even most of them.

Hence why the English access area took the option to put detail on a channel at length so deaf had that time to follow.  Which in retrospect seems the best option.  The issue as always isn't just when the access is there, but IF it can be followed effectively, at the time, or later in detail.  As always subtitling is there and extensive.   

Like most deaf (Or hearing in the UK), the problem currently is wading through the detail, and mind-boggling graphs and statistics, and here, deaf are at a complete disadvantage they haven't the ability to do it and rely on peers explaining, or, edited 'highlights' then they follow the herd view.  Just like clear masks and such are no use FOR a deaf person, it needs others to wear them, even then comprehension relies on the individual's skill.

It is not as simplistic as putting up an Interpreter for the deaf, that campaign is to profile sign rather than make a point it is sufficient access, as detail requires the length of time to follow and the media doesn't give anyone that time, politicians refer them to websites etc for that.  Perhaps a case for BSL websites, but there are to our knowledge already 9 dedicated charities already doing that.  ATR published them 6 months ago.  Which also included the same charity that published this 'survey'?

I'm pretty astounded they provide a BSL explanation themselves and get funding for that and then omitted to say so!  Obviously older deaf are struggling as many are not online and a number struggling to read titles etc, but we could suggest even signed detail is not going to go a long way in sorting those issues out as they are lifelong ones.

Accessing Radio

The World’s First Radio Channel for the Hearing Impaired - Frequen-See - BIGFM from ENTRY on Vimeo.

Monday, 12 October 2020


And does ASL provide better access to American English than BSL does to its own?  Social media talks about it...

#1  Did you know American deaf more wise than British deaf cos reason they learn more spelling with hand than we does...

ATR: Sadly an example!  Average USA deaf reading ability is their '5.9' 5th-grade norm which is roughly on par with children 9-10.  Much the same as UK deaf results.

#2 I tired to search for this but didn't really find anything except a recommendation of this paper which I'm reading now!

#3 According to the WFD "approximately 80 % of the world’s 70 million Deaf people do not have any access to education."

#4 This isn't covering USA or UK attainment!

#5 USA literacy rate is much higher but it depends on a lot of factors including how you define literacy. As another user suggested, try doing better searches or use better databases. 

#6  USA defines literacy differently? The UK used to use similar (one-handed), signs, views/examples of the old BDDA (British Deaf & Dumb Association now the BDA), would also see extensive fingerspelling and sole hand signing was used far more than expressive signs later included, because the UK insisted on teaching deaf the way they taught hearing children there was no system that encouraged a differing grammar etc only after the 1950s was there a deaf view that it was a 'system of oppression'. 

#7 It would appear when the deaf adopted the BSL dictionary and extensive two-handed signing, it went downhill from there. I have old photos of deaf handwriting too in perfect copperplate font e.g, today the printed grammar of BSL looks quite poor, to be honest, and the grammar quite awful. It seems rather than accept it is poor some deaf are making the excuse its perfect BSL which again it isn't. 16 years at deaf school? what for?

#8 In reality, the USA tend on the whole to be more inclusive than the British, despite it having their own ASL extremists too. The manual dexterity is astonishing in part, but they still have huge access issues, which they manage better because their education approaches are better than ours too. The way the USA works is a lot more simplistic than ours in that if you have literacy issues you are in real trouble, so they make more effort than UK deaf to address it, unlike the Brits who stop acquiring FE after their 5-16 norms. 

#9 That is because the USA does not provide opt-outs or welfare support to the degree we do in the UK, which gives some deaf the 'luxury' of doing not much about it but blaming hearing and deafness being a disabling factor instead. The USA deaf schools demand results and adopt lower assumption, deafness IS such a disabling factor, so poor schools can get closed down, their teachers sacked etc, the expectation is much higher than the UK is, its also 'pay by result', although their flagship Gallaudet does show quite adept deaf students it can also show quite aggressive deaf-politico extremes that hinder too, so USA approaches are still pretty random, or cash-driven, and they also suffer an 'overdose of democracy'. 

#10 It is essential deaf acquire a grounding in English there is no place for politics in education really, so the UK ought to be following the USA example of enforcing a deaf educational system that is result-driven also.  Why reward failure when they have already have (Deaf schools etc), 12 years to get it right?

#11 This is obvious to most sadly, but the deaf child is being hindered by BSL negatives who want to make teaching singular and even less useful to them. Their priority is culture, not literacy.  

#12 Even getting a BSL immersive education means after 16 the deaf can't go anywhere because the entire FE/UNI system is not based on sign language, there is no signed reference material and no signed support either. Further education doesn't get pursued by UK deaf either.

#13 The access isn't there!

#14 The real issue is the systems accepting the cultural arguments and the BSL charities trying to cash in it, with 'mentors' equally lacking in literacy, school is for learning it isn't a base to promote culture as such, even migrants know they learn our language or they cannot progress, 

#15 I doubt many deaf are happy BSL is being used as a cop-out, illiteracy is a greater disability than being deaf is.

#16 I recall someone who took over the secretarial post of the old BDDA and was handed the past secretaries' minutes book. He started to read from the very first pages of the early days of the BDDA and was hugely impressed with the grammar & English but as he went on through the pages, the language deteriorated at an alarming rate, ending with ink blots, scribbling out of so many words, evidence of multiple attempts at erasures. What has happened here? Are schools/colleges/ universities to blame? Consider this, trainee teachers wishing to become such and to work in Deaf schools, do an extra year to college/university before they can qualify as fully-fledged teachers of the Deaf, actually have a very low success rate working with Deaf pupils who leave school at the end of their term.

#17 An issue with further education (FE), for the deaf is the lack of academic tuition material, the BSL dictionary covers very basic things, there is no scientific, higher educational, advanced English, or medical e.g. material in BSL so the deaf even with interpreters helping in FE cannot refer to that as an access medium, as such cannot advance obviously.  Give the deaf a BSL interpreter each it won't help as the basic 'language and grounding, isn't there to start with.

#18 As is the entire direction of deaf education, which is pretty random and being influenced by areas who oppose aspects of mainstream education being applied to the deaf child.  Deaf teachers are 'buying into' cultural demands and rights etc instead of ensuring a grounding in English is necessary for basic progress and not some 'attack' on the deaf 'language and its accepted poor grammatical approach, which provides nothing but conflict for the deaf who have enough on their plate as it is.

#19  I don't know what the approaches need to be, I do know the current ones don't work, you need changes at day one, not AFTER the first 16 years of failure, that is shutting the stable doors after the horse has already gone.


A Pink Nightmare...

Action On Hearing Loss here. You might know us better as RNID. And today we’re pleased to announce that we’re returning to our original, much-loved name.  The return to the household name, which dates back to 1911, is part of our ambitious plans to reach more of the 1 in 5 people in the UK who are deaf or have hearing loss and the 1 in 8 who have tinnitus. The focus on the daily issues deaf people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the barriers to communication caused by face coverings, has highlighted the need for us to be a stronger brand.

We carried out research with 6,000 people which led to our new strategy and brand purpose, which is that “Together, we will make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.” The research found that RNID was still more popular and more trusted by you, despite the name not being used since 2011. You told us that the current brand did not reflect the charity’s history or communicate the amazing work we do.

Here’s a message from Mark Atkinson, our Chief Executive:

“Returning to RNID and redefining our purpose is a critically important step in our journey to make life more inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus. RNID continues to be a well-known and much-loved charity and I am proud that we have the confidence to make bold and radical changes which are crucial to our ambition to grow our audience reach and impact.

RNID will be a stronger voice for deaf awareness and invest in campaigning for change. We will connect people to the information and advice they need. And we will continue to fund new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.  Our new purpose, name and identity is about making it clearer who we are for and why we exist. Because now, more than ever, it’s vital that people across society understand the challenges deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus face.” 

We’re really excited to start this new journey with you on 2 November when we launch the new brand. (Our registered name remains The Royal National Institute for Deaf People but you can call us RNID.)

ATR:  It's PR team is desperately hoping nobody checks the facts of ye olde AOHL.  E.G. The Fiasco of its re-brand:-

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) will undergo a full rebrand and name change to Action on Hearing Loss effective from June 2011, when it celebrates its 100th anniversary.   Following extensive brand research with focus groups including staff, supporters and service-users, the charity decided the new name "better describes the breadth of help and support we provide for people with all types of hearing loss – from people who are profoundly deaf, to people who are losing their hearing".

RNID chief executive, Jackie Ballard, said: "For 100 years RNID has been working to change the world for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. During this time we have achieved a lot, but we still have a lot more to do to reach everyone that needs our help - 'Action on Hearing Loss' will help us do just that."

In August, a Civil Society report on the cost of the name change - £260,000 - received mixed responses from the sector, with one charity chairman, who rebranded his charity ten years ago for £1,500, proclaiming the cost of the RNID rebrand was "absurdly profligate".

In reality, they refused an offer of a FREE re-brand from a member of its old forum, and then proceeded with an awful disaster in pink instead at cost (Then closed down forum members and the feedback forum, who had complained it wasted money.)  They had only just recovered from BSL activists bringing down all feedback on their forum.  Earlier this year they also decided to sell off its assisted device area, then followed that up with a sell-off of its Deaf care division.

The blurb suggests it consulted 6,000 people, (Which is one-SEVENTH of its actual membership).  The reality is that the RNID/AOHL or whatever (!) is a  business run as a tax-free charity, and they were losing funding and support hand over fist, pre-COVID, (sell-offs were stated in January 2020.)  There are areas of BSL activism who will claim their opposition has brought the RNID down to its knees, the reality is it got too big for its boots and neglected to take any notice or inclusion of the very people it claimed to represent, the hard of Hearing as BSL membership was non-extant.  Now it languishes and relies on mending OAP's hearing aids, but still uses high profile events at posh hotels where fundraising rather than awareness is being carried out, after chugging failed to get them any money.

Recent attempts to suggest they are referring back to its original remit to support the deaf has not worked for them, and the 'Deaf' had with little or no resources the AOHL can call on wiped the floor with them, and replaced not only the AOHL/RNID but its own BDA too as any sort of voice. They rejected the charitable approach to awareness and opted for a rights approach, or did they?  One prime UK deaf blog still advertises its 32 charitable sponsors!  However, the activists are still not the ones holding the money or, have the voice where it counts. (As the RNID was today keen to point out).

The RNID feel they have to fall back to tried and tested ways of getting money by offering corporate areas 'Awards for awareness', and a thinly-veiled promise Her Majesty may well throw a medal in their direction as a result, as corporate sponsors want to know what is in it for them.   They recently suggested they may even recognise the Deaf approach of rights, which they had opposed so far as 'Political campaigning charities are not allowed to support.'  It never stopped the NDCS, SCOPE or the BDA.

AOHL had dropped the Royal 'link' so shot themselves in the foot, a back to the future approach they hope will encourage corporate money again.  It had failed to engage WITH deaf people, and the HoH members are to be seen but not heard. Who can forget the total farce of the RNID at the palace being made fun of by Prince Philip?  

One royal source quoted their CEO as grovelling sycophant, who later left the RNID for another charity,  the background she came to the RNID with, was a cat and dog charity. LIke the BDA and others having an actual person with deafness or loss was not an image they wanted to portray.  

Many BSL deaf had already left the old RNID because its first signing CEO Was rather unceremoniously dumped after claims he was failing to include or recognise the RNID's core membership of the hard of hearing in favour of 'Deaf-Only' which he believed was the reason for the RNID's existence.  He was told to leave, legally gagged for years,  and left to write a book, after joining, then again having to leave a newly established  National Disability group for doing the same thing he did at the RNID, this time ignoring core disability issues in favour of BSL.

BSL people will look at that as discrimination, others that said the CEO was actually unqualified for the positions he gained and did not understand inclusivity as a concept.  Today many deaf still do not understand that concept and still off in a 'Deaf world' of its own. His disregard of other deaf and hard of hearing members led to his demise, or rather 'Deaf' obscurity preaching to the already converted.  However Deaf cultural support charities have mostly failed to be viable, and a number of high profile charities gone bankrupt.

What is the future of the 'New' RNID? a new slimmed-down model? but who still don't rate grassroots?  Sadly charity will still exist because grassroots of HoH or deaf remain a rabble un-united and with diametrically opposed purpose, which means the systems we all need to impress, are only going to listen the RNID's and BDA's of this world anyway.  Those celebrating the RNID on the backfoot are still no match for a corporate RNID.  All is not rosy at the NDCS and UKCoD either, they may blame COVID, but we all know differently the writing has been on the wall a few years.