Saturday, 12 December 2020

EU last handout to promote signed access.


The issue is really will they use the access it may provide? or still maintain their status quo?  Or refrain of outrageous claims the UK has 87,000 daily BSL users? (Which won't get any of it because we have left the EU and it looks like no deal is possible).  

We don't know the 'Irish' situation but the UK part (Northern Ireland), has never received any funding from Europe itself since we joined in the 1970s.  How it works, is the UK sends £15B or so a year to the EU so they can get 'free trade/travel' there, then the EU decides to send some of it back in the form of grants, but in essence, they are simply sending back a minor portion (Less than one 8th), of what we send them, the rest is distributed to countries that joined for the money too poor to fund themselves, a few billion for a building in Brussels, and pools-figure wages for what passes as governance there.

The EU granted €5.6M (£5.1m), to a project that addresses the communication gap between hearing and hard of hearing people. (Which is as much the will as the technology).

SignON is a 3-year project led by ADAPT at Dublin City University (DCU), which claims to be on a mission to address the communication gap between users of spoken languages and deaf sign language users. In a recent development, the SignON project co-coordinated by Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences has received Horizon 2020 funding of €5.6M by the European Union (EU).

Use of the funds

With the funds, Prof. Andy Way (Professor of Computing at Dublin City University), Ireland (coordinator), and Dr Dimitar Shterionov Assistant Professor in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University, The Netherlands (scientific lead), will conduct research and develop a mobile solution for automatic translation between sign and oral (written and spoken) languages.

ADAPT is a leading SFI Research Centre for digital media technology that focuses on developing next-generation digital technologies around how people communicate by helping to analyse, personalise and deliver digital data more effectively for businesses and individuals. 

ADAPT researchers are based across seven leading Irish higher education institutions: Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Technological University Dublin, Maynooth University, Cork Institute of Technology, and Athlone Institute of Technology.

About the SignON Project

SignON is a user-centric and community-driven project with an aim to facilitate the exchange of information among deaf and hard of hearing, and hearing individuals across Europe. The project is primarily focusing on the Irish, British, Dutch, Flemish, and Spanish Sign and English, Irish, Dutch, and Spanish oral languages.

The project claims, there are 5,000 deaf Irish Sign Language (ISL) signers; in the UK around 87,000 deaf signers use British Sign Language (BSL); in Flanders, Belgium some 5,000 deaf people use Flemish Sign Language (VGT); there are approximately 13,000 signers using Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT), and it is estimated that there are over 100,000 Spanish Sign Language (LSE) signers.


Thursday, 10 December 2020

BDA in decline

Despite this ageing charity for sign users blocking feedback (and refusing to respond to concerns of deaf people and threatening own members with legal actions if they do to prevent them going public), they still churn out promotional adverts to deaf people off their own site, and there, is where they have to respond to them.  Or do they?

"What can we do to enhance deaf membership of the Brish Deaf Association' given it has lost 70% of its membership over the last few years and is looking increasingly irrelevant to sign users, and replaced all their trustees twice in a  year?"

"Dropping the sign exclusive nature of the BDA would be a start they don't have the right mind-set to enable deaf people. Only point 2% of all deaf people have any historical or genetic link, 9 in 10 of their parents have hearing. But for the ridiculous application and gravitas being given to deaf rights the deaf advance would have much higher than it is now, they cannot attain inclusion or real access via their current chosen path."

"They are going to have to justify what they are asking for and that means outside the wall they have built to hide behind. 12m with hearing loss are outside their gates and twice or three times as many other deaf are too, but excluded because they don't sign or something."

"I've lost patience with these people,  there is no perspective in the 'Deaf' area just an ongoing diet of hearing paranoia being dished out 24/7."

"Mr Buxton is obviously still adopting the position of the BDA, he is getting nowhere doing that. Any politician knows he has to include and appeal to the widest sector possible, instead he champions a lost cause of a minority, an otherwise admirable underdog stance, but he won't find any hearing voters or HoH ones offering him their vote."

"The Achilles heel of the BSL community is their determined ignorance of the world outside it and a reluctance to find out, or get involved, turning a deaf ear to inclusion is one of their least endearing traits."

"It is amazing the deaf community in 2020 is still buying into the hype the BDA is the sole saviour of the deaf sign user, their membership doesn't reflect it at all.  One wonders how long it's history can sustain them with a policy that is still locked in the 19thc.."

My least favourite things.

If music truly be the food of love, then for god's sake up the volume a bit.

My least favourite things.

Deafhood on deaf blogs, Audism on web sites,

Confusing viewpoints, on rights and empowerments,

Facebook meanderings,  deaf twittering strings

These are the least of my favourite things.....

Blogging and Tweeting, and vlogged sign language

My mode is better, than ever your own is,

Can't lip-read at distance, hear no doorbells ring.. 

These are the least of my favourite things.

When the mods bite

When the view stings

Then I feel so sad,

I simply remember they're all very dim,

And then I don't feel ...... so bad. 

Deafies who sign but who never subtitle

Worship deaf authors then make them deaf idols

Replacing speech with hand waving means

These are the least of my favourite things

'ist' and 'ism's' and 'phobes' are all  around me

We are all told off and all very soundly

Maybe if we all play the game

then we will all .... be the same?

When the mods bite

When the view stings

When the sites close down,

I simply remember it's all very sad

And then I don't wear a frown.

Online or offline, we talk without barrier?

don't need to be geeky,  but could be much happier,

We skype and we text, and translate everything

Those are a few of my favourite things.

Apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.

Monday, 7 December 2020

UK Welfare dept offers signed access.

Deaf claimants and those with hearing loss can now access British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters across all Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) helplines and services. The Video Relay Service, rolled out for Universal Credit in April, has been extended to all its 62 benefit-related lines and services.

The Video Relay Service allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call in English to a member of DWP staff. Since the extension of the Video Relay Service to all DWP helplines, there has been a 43% increase in uptake, while a recent customer survey showed respondents were ‘very satisfied’ with the overall service.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “This is another vital step on our mission to increase inclusion and accessibility across government. We already know it works and that it’s had a life-changing impact for many people so it’s only right we offer this service as widely as we can.” The Video Relay Service app and an introductory video are available HERE