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.