Friday, 15 January 2021

You're banned!


She swore at an idiot now banned, how many of us have been taunted to do that!    The poster needs to ID trhe site as one to avoid.  We need deaf and HoH to know we aren't' going to tolerate these people their sites or their 'Trump democracy'.

When you see some of the stuff that is posted then see someone has been banned for something pretty harmless it is rather confusing. Weird fb.

ATR:  I believe I hold the online record in the UK still being banned from 2 deaf sites after 6 YEARS. Some of these sites are run by Hitler clones, who bask in the adoration of other wannabees, it is sad because they deny deaf or others a place to see both sides of any question.   I had to leave my country in (UK), to be still online via an American Aggregate, some of these clowns followed ATR there and lambasted the aggregate for allowing me to post.

A  right to disagree has to be upheld.  All too often those losing their point can resort to baiting others to get them banned and to cement the view they were right, and you, were wrong.  If the responses heat up then the accusations of you being personally abusive, racist, homophobic, tone-deaf, (from people who have never heard a tone in their life),  discriminating, are a deaf or disability hater, any ist or ism, you are the personification of them, short of being convicted as a mass serial killer it gets no worse.  All because your view differed from theirs.

They are the homes of isolation and extremism, don't be fooled by the suggestion they are people like you they aren't. They are the 'Janus' sites forever presenting two faces.  That is the bait to lure you in. So long as you stick to the 'rules' they invent interpretation of, all is fine, disagree, then you are out. 

Sites to avoid in the UK are the BDA/Deaf EU/Deaf UK ones, hotbeds of real discrimination and purveyors of lies who don't allow discourse, you support what they do or you don't, if you don't you are out.

True there are many misconceptions of charitable, media, and dedicated deaf sites, to a lesser degree Hard of Hearing ones.  E.G.  The RNID closed down social media, and forum feedback areas, they don't allow open criticism or constructive criticisms to be aired.  The BBC removed all their deaf SEE HEAR and disability feedback sites too.

Users are not allowed to disagree and must remain obliged they even get a mention.   The net is not a free platform for everyone, it is more closed than most. 

The sad issue is that deaf are being deprived on awareness, and just fed a constant diet of hate against hearing people or criticism their right to be a hidden minority fully supported by those they want to ignore isn't playing the game.  Many are fake/distorted news sites and one-sided views of deaf want or need.  All presumably based on what these losers think what news deaf get assures their continuation as big fish in small pools.

They will use 'facts' and stats to bolster their stance, but don't allow other equally valid facts to counter them being seen.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

The Deaf Way to endorse abuse.

It has to be said the isolated nature of the 'Deaf' communities,  and some accepted 'norms' borders on real neglect of women's rights to their detriment.  There is almost an incestuous nature of the communal makeup where a dearth of females can mean they get 'passed around' the deaf menfolk, women may feel that is still their choice to choose a partner, but that 'choice' is very limited.

Promiscuity can be pretty evident too with a number related by marriage or by children, who become part and parcel of the set up too.  Women can be assaulted on a regular basis and they appear to put up with it, and it is all down to the restrictions a deaf life puts on them, feeling where else can they go?  You can find an acceptance of abuse tends to go on even when other deaf peers know about it.  

The Deaf Way' contributes to more of the same, and women deaf need to understand they don't have to put up with it, and there are alternatives to abuse.  If you need to leave that deaf set up where are the options to do it?  Having deaf history related to me over the years, teen sex and abuse started pretty much in deaf schools, some down to ignorance, a lot down to a refusal to educate deaf children on sex, contraception or relationships, so as to 'not put ideas into their heads' attitudes.  

Of course, sex knowledge is discussed by deaf children at very early ages the same as hearing children, so they don't get real knowledge except by experimentation, with obvious negative results.  Good relationships and socialising is at risk because of the real lack of options.  You can have any colour so long as it is black etc... Hearing-deaf relationships can and do work, but the closed nature of the 'Deaf Way' is a ripe hunting ground for the abuser, who knows his peers tend to turn a blind eye to it all.  A lot of deaf men don't respect their deaf women. 

The cultural 'closing of the ranks' when issues appear contribute to more of the same abuses happening.  Deaf women and Menfolk tend to adopt the view they only have each other to choose partners from, because of issues integrating or communicating to those unlike them.  In some Asian deaf areas that tends to vary because parents arrange who their partners are, so deaf women can be married off to hearing men.  A lot of deaf Asian women are also not allowed to attend non-Asian deaf areas or have relationships with non-asian peers either because of their 'norms'.

A lot of deaf women in the clubs who are older will relate on how things were as teens in school and their blithe acceptance of what the men and they engaged with on a sexual basis would be wholesale abuse by any hearing norm today, the institutional and isolated nature of deaf schools provided a ready-made situation deaf men could easily exploit, some came from the people caring for them.  Teens, of course, ignore tuition anyway, but the deaf years ago never had it to start with and the social norms were what they got away with mostly.

Yes, rape was more a norm in the deaf world than they care to admit. We would urge any deaf woman get out of it, tell someone, stop it all, no one has a right to abuse you.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

I need an ID, so what am I?

I know it might sound silly, but i don't know anything about hearing loss etc, so now there have said I've got mild-moderate hearing loss does this get classed has partiality deaf??? , I'm really sorry if it's a daft question

To be or not to be seen, appears to be your question.   I don't envy the poster wondering what on earth his 'classification' is, just pick 'n mix your own, where a silly hat,  it really doesn't matter, it won't address your loss of hearing.  Searching for an ID suggests you have other issues, not just hearing loss.  Perhaps get that seen to first?  Not everyone needs to be social 24/7.

All is absolute confusion and awareness whatever you make it. There used to be a quite simple identification of hearing loss, if you CAN hear ANYTHING [with or without alleviation], then, you are NOT deaf, if you CANNOT hear anything at all with or without alleviation then you were deaf simples. 

Didn't the DWP make a legal challenge to 'deaf' people who took their aids out and stated they were deaf, as attempting to gain welfare and concession support by fraud? insurance companies did too.   Look at the problems of mask-wearing today and nobody believing you have a valid excuse.  

Deaf were refused ID cards that identified them because nobody clarified what deaf meant, and the Deaf themselves felt it ID's them as disabled, then rights entered the fray and all was clear as mud because a lot of Deaf had some useful hearing, but changed the debate to lack of inclusion.

The issue is not what they can or cannot hear but if what they do hear can be effectively followed, however, the DWP said that 'moves outside clinical loss', because not everyone follows everything the same way hearing or not.   This led to legal challenges where deaf lip-readers were also said to not be deaf at all by the DWP AND by BSL deaf areas too, who said that lip-reading and speech, was a clear indication you were not deaf.  It descended into rank silliness.

The arguments seem to go on and on and on about it. 'Quality of life' entered the arena, but nobody could quantify it. Quality of deaf life revolves not on lack of inclusion but on ensuring their lifestyles are protected, that lifestyle seems EXclusive not INclusive..  Access is still primarily via 3rd parties so social inclusion is relative.

BSL people have it easy! 'I sign therefore I am obviously deaf', and the system accepts that, but, a number of them we would identify as severely hard of hearing, NOT profound deaf because 'profound' means total/extreme, it is an absolute, and their loss isn't. The HoH version tends to be shrugged off as 'hear when we want to..' because hearing loss varies considerably, and because those with it are unsure what they are supposed to able to hear.  

Hearing loss isn't subject only to ears failing.  It can be nerve induced, a mental health issue etc, it is incorrect to put it own to  hearing loss alone.

Goalposts shifted, they were a culture, debate erased. 

For them! I think personally HoH rolled over far too quickly in accepting that point which effectively shut them out and replaced any voice they had. 

That's their problem, they need to speak up for themselves.

BSL is a visible disability, hearing loss isn't.  In obtaining help and support it pays to take up sign language clearly, but is that fraud? Given it is not aligned with deaf culture or that area at all?

Who cares? Desperate people will take desperate means to get help.  If you are struggling, all's fair.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Kids, can YOU design a cure for deafness?


(Now all we need is a cure for the negatives...).  A global competition inviting children aged 6-12 to create an invention for people with hearing loss closes this coming Sunday 17th January.

The annual, worldwide search from leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, MED-EL, invites youngsters to create their very own design which will improve the quality of life of those who suffer from hearing loss. Entries can be sent via a video, drawing, or sculpture, but the most important factor is for young people to think big and channel their ideas to support those who cannot hear.

Due to the COVID-19 situation worldwide, the ideas4ears contest for 2021 is focusing on children and adults who are currently home-schooling. The contest is a great opportunity to participate in a fun and educational activity the whole family can do together while at home.

The brains behind the ideas4ears contest and the Head Judge of the inventions is Geoffrey Ball. Geoffrey became deaf as a toddler and then went on to invent a revolutionary middle ear implant to treat his own hearing loss. As of today, Geoffrey has over 100 patents to his name.

Ball said: “Children should see their deafness as their superpower! Being deaf as a kid gives you many powers; the ability to have empathy for others, to become adaptable, and to find creative solutions to everyday problems when you live in an environment that is not set up for those with hearing loss. The challenge is ending this week and I can’t wait to see the ingenuity of the inventors this year!”


Monday, 11 January 2021

There is no Deaf community.

Only deaf communities.  At least this buries the myth of all deaf sign and all deaf together, doesn't it?  We are as discriminating as any hearing person is.  It also explains in practical terms why deaf inclusion is entirely relative, it doesn't rely on education or even signed support.  Current issues are that everybody is being enabled to exclude by right of their own cultural/religious/disabled/ political/communicational and language norms.  ATR posted last year deaf clubs where no Asian deaf attended, no black deaf attended, fewer or no disabled attended,  no Islamic deaf attended, and no Jewish deaf either.  So do minorities prefer not to know the white deaf?  Or are they endorsing 'choice' as an excuse?

Lost to deaf culture.

And nowhere else to go?  Why hearing loss awareness has failed worldwide, and people unable to find their place in the world are hosting unrealistic expectations of integrating with someone else's culture, adopting another language, and living another person's lifestyle.   It doesn't happen, does it?  So you live a life of frustration instead?  All you can do is face up to reality, decide where you want to fit in and work at it, but being something you are not, is never going to work because you are always expecting what you had before. You cannot expect those who have no knowledge or preference for hearing things to be able to support those, who still crave that.  

It is interesting there are areas of deaf people that will include non 'Deaf' online, but, online is not face to face, and you still aren't living their lives.  If you are using text as a means you aren't using their preferred communication either.  The problem is zero advice or support for those with serious hearing loss on what expectations they can go for and what ability they have to make it work.  Going deaf is the start, there are lots more hurdles to overcome, and, adopting more limitations, alternative social norms, you don't expect deaf culture and lifestyle will impose on you, nothing is for free, and most are still battling with trauma. Learning sign language and attending a deaf club alone won't provide those alternatives since, they are a way of life, not an area you can just pick and choose from.  

Pessimistically only 5% of those with hearing loss ever manage to adopt a 'Deaf' lifestyle.  The answer is simple they don't want a deaf life, they may just prefer social parts of it.  It's far from clear 'Deaf' want to be included, and prefer to stay like with like, their battles aren't about inclusion, but about the right NOT to change and to get more support to stay that way.  They also oppose educational things those with hearing loss consider their norm, so conflict is going to be there.  Topics like non-sign use or deaf cures won't help you either.  The naivete of HoH who think they can switch from a hearing to a deaf life with few issues is why they fail to it.

#1 People have different ways of being deaf in the world—whether it be deaf people, people who are hard of hearing, or cochlear implant users.  In the spectrum, I lie between deafness and hearing, someone psychologist Neil Stephen Glickman considers “culturally marginal deaf.” These choices aren’t mine but the result of my circumstances and decisions made by my mother who has dictated most parts of my early life. She chose the path for me to regain sound moderately and to live with a cochlear implant.

Unfortunately, my implant doesn’t ameliorate my hearing completely or reconcile me with my peers. It pulls me back from the deaf culture without really allowing me to enter the hearing world. It is a Janus-faced kind of existence, as I try to find balance in both worlds. And since I live with predominantly hearing peers, complexities arise and social adjustment is hard when I try to join the deaf community. I feel very lost and benighted.

There are deaf people who have a realistic understanding of both cultures. They develop a bicultural identity. There are also deaf people whose first language is sign language, securing their sense of belonging in the culture. I am neither and it feels like I’m eclipsed away from both worlds. When cochlear implants were newly invented, many believed they could magically restore hearing. After discussions with physicians and audiologists, many hearing parents were convinced that this was the answer to their child’s hearing loss.

There are early birds and late adopters. I was an early bird, making me new to the deaf culture and engaged in the hearing world. Late adopters are more immersed in deaf culture since they got their cochlear implant late. We are also often coerced into speech therapy, forced to learn a culture and ideal that are not ours. Think of it as “colonialism” from the vantage point of the deaf. The deaf community sees this as a threat and a struggle for acceptance and recognition. Being able to hear at the age of 3 developed my initial speech. I remember my mother telling me how “lucky” I was that I wasn’t like the other children.

This hegemonic notion allowed me to be lulled by a sense of complacency. It created ignorance toward the deaf community, causing me to be shunned from the community.

#2 I lovingly refer to my cochlear implant as Cleo. Outside my house, I would have her by my side round-the-clock. But at home, it was exactly the opposite. I would ditch her, making my auditory perception progressively worse. People I interacted with lost their patience, misunderstanding my “huh?” as trolling or an ironic response. Eventually, I stopped asking “huh?” and just pretended like I heard them. This caused me to feel like I was dissipating or drifting away from the world.

This somehow affected my speech development and further retracted me from deaf culture because my life was fixated on the hearing world. Sound was the only thing keeping me away from oblivion and connecting myself with the world. However, owning a cochlear implant doesn’t help me understand words distinctly—which in the past had helped me become the class clown.

The many painful and hurtful encounters I’ve experienced taught me to let others normalize this perpetual kind of oppression because my ignorance and complacency made me lazily accept things like being shouted at, being misinterpreted and misunderstood. When I first joined the deaf community on the chat app Discord, I sensed hostility from my deaf peers. I had no prior experiences with them nor was I heavily influenced by or exposed to their culture. I hardly knew sign language.

Joining the community

I joined a social gathering on Zoom arranged by one of the admins combating oralism to reinvigorating sign language. I felt useless because I, along with one of the hearing individuals, disrupted sign language communications. But that didn’t anger anybody. They typed as a way of communicating, bringing hearing and deaf peers together.

Everyone had to introduce themselves. When it was my turn, I gave a short introduction about myself and the reason I joined the community. I talked about how rarely mainstream deaf culture is in the Philippines. We all shared feelings on an intellectual level, that degree of loneliness because we all live in a predominantly hearing world. I asked: “What’s the purpose of the call?” Pika, the owner of the server, replied with a simple yet firm answer: “To sign words.” The purpose of the call was communication and to make the participants feel less excluded.

Zoom calls were held every Sunday. During my second time to join, the participants were predominantly deaf people and people hard of hearing. They signed seamlessly. I couldn’t join them or catch what they were saying, reminding me of the unique combination of exclusion I continue to face. In the deaf world, I don’t know sign language, and in the hearing world, I can’t discriminate syllables and organize words, I only hear sounds.


Sunday, 10 January 2021

The Deaf Cure, yes or no?

It is surprising there are still huge distortions being aired by Deaf signers online regarding the 'Cure' or indeed, any form of alleviations on deafness or hearing loss.  A lot in this video is actually misleading, and incorrect.  One contributor was annoyed an option to ascertain in the womb of a child had Down's syndrome, or deafness etc, there isn't an accurate test to determine deafness at that stage.  As regards to putting people in 'planes and doing 'loop the loop' to cure deafness, that is ridiculous and doesn't happen.

We can point readers to deaf health sites that encourage alleviation and mediations/supplements to take by pregnant deaf women to prevent Down's and most deaf women take them, is there a difference in the value of a Down's syndrome individual that is unworthy of life, but a deaf one is?  This raises all sorts of ethical and moral questions surely?  As does the repeated claims deafness is no disability, of course for millions of us, it really is, it is classified as a sensory/clinical loss.  It has 1,000s of variations as well which means the 'global' statements issued by deaf activism has no basis on truth.  A veritable and absolute definition of 'one size fits all'. As does all deaf sign and have a deaf culture is a myth promoted as a truism..

Using a child in the video was deliberately playing to the activism gallery, (And beneath a parent to use a child this way), in that no child is going online with a parent wishing they were something else, they don't know anything else.  Actually, there are many CODA's who will state their experiences are not the same at all, after having parents relying on them 24/7 to manage the world outside their own often for a lifetime, we don't see their views aired.  Personally, I cannot see any deaf person who has common sense buying into these distortions and the bias borders on fake news.

Research has produced CI's, better hearing aids, text and signed access to media, phones, and the genetic promise of a real cure etc, all of them promoted by deaf people and embraced, but the bottom line these deaf claim of some sort of 'deaf genocide' or attack on deaf people does not hold any water.  Access is an issue, but different deaf wants different access, so a deliberate attempt to keep deaf out is unproven, nothing is black and white and certainly, managing hearing loss isn't.  

Nobody can be coerced to have their deafness removed, (Even is that was currently possible which it isn't), what is ominous is deaf extremism attempting to prevent any sort of cure or alleviation happening at all, even when they have a choice to reject any cure themselves, they want to restrict choices for others.

Why advocate limited or no choices for anyone else?  The issues surround communication, not cures, and it is time these deaf fessed up to it.   To sign or not to Sign? to utilise alternatives?  or not?  Nature? or Nurture educational approaches?  It is particularly striking deaf extremism is a USA thing, perhaps a misguided view of what choice really means, we can look to their recent issues on their own populace storming their Capital as an example, or the sacking of headteachers who offer alternatives and other options to sign language in deaf schools, to meet that fabled 'choice' the USA is so proud of.   It means we all choose to sign or not to have a culture or not or to take a cure or not, simples.  There is no proof that any deaf person is being forced to stop being deaf.

If we are talking a child then that choice is a parental one, that is the law, a law deaf quote as well, parents, after all, have to care and protect and do the best for that child they are able.  Ditto deaf parents who can do the same.  Would they deafen a hearing child, I think not! or consider a down's child is not worth having? erm yes according to this video. Disappointing is the mildest term I can use here and put it down to ignorance frankly.   Children aren't a political statement.  The 'Brave New World' is inclusion, not separatism.  It means that IF a cure presents itself then we allow the choice to take it or not.  I have no doubt 10m HoH Brits would take it.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Happy birthday CEEFAX!


Lots of older deaf people in the UK will remember when CEEFAX was launched on this day 1978 and how it influenced awareness and access for 1,000s of isolated deaf people, (who recently opposed the removal of its text services on the BBC).  Here, we see someone who has actually established a similar version.

A software engineer has recruited a team of dedicated volunteers to create and maintain a retro version of the classic teletext information service Ceefax. Peter Kwan has spent years perfecting his own system, which he has called Teefax, after Ceefax was shut down in 2012 after nearly four decades of service. Available to anyone with an internet connection, Teefax is formatted in the same style of the old teletext system and sources its news directly from the BBC. The service has pages of classic Ceefax-like content as well as an archive of old teletext pages. It also features pages displaying Tweets among its pages of up-to-date news.

Teefax can be viewed through online servers but with a Raspberry Pi – a small, credit-card sized computer device that costs around £25 – the service can be connected to and viewed through a TV. Mr Kwan, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, said users find his Teefax system “nostalgic”. “It’s got all the original stuff like horoscopes, weather pages, travel,” the 63-year-old said. “People can mostly find whatever their favourite page was on Ceefax. Usually they’ll have the page number still memorised.

“We’ve got a couple of quizzes and games, too, although at the moment they don’t get updated very often, so people might have to wait a while for new ones to come up.” Mr Kwan has now been running Teefax for about five years – and has dozens of contributors working on it from around the country. “We don’t make any money from this – it is all run by enthusiasts. It’s not something we take too seriously,” he said.

“There are about a dozen contributors around the country, who all concentrate on their own bits. “We have a chap in Ireland who provides regional news and weather, and we have people who do art. “We also have quite a few gamers from Digitiser magazine who contribute – the magazine has a fanatical following and was quite closely related to Ceefax, so this is good for us. “We have a solid fan base, that’s for sure. Lots of people do like to see that the medium has come back.”

Mr Kwan admitted that although the news and information for Teefax comes “straight from the BBC”, he has never requested any licencing rights. Peter Kwan has created his own version of the teletext system Ceefax with all the same favourite pages as the origina Peter Kwan has created his own version of the teletext system Ceefax with all the same favourite pages as the original (Tom Wren / SWNS) “I think they [the BBC] probably know about what we’re doing, but we haven’t had a cease and desist”, he said.

“I think the BBC does allow their news to be used in this way, as long as we’re not making a profit from it, or trying to claim it as our own.” Despite all his work, Mr Kwan doesn’t actually know how many people use the service. “As for audience, I have no idea because the logging is turned off to stop wear and tear of the server,” he said.

“If it breaks I quickly get complaints, so I know that people are using it, but that’s all I know about the usage.”



Cultural awareness a myth?

 We note there are still certain deaf areas insisting deafness and sign language solely belongs to them, only deaf people can sign and only certain deaf are actually that.  When the world was young, the born deaf or those with nil useful hearing ended up in an institution or deaf school apart from everyone else, which allowed a culture of sorts to be honed in isolation, this hasn't been the basis or norm of deaf people for the last 30 years in reality, and what constitutes the 'validity' of having a separate culture today is becoming quite loosely based as the criteria and situations no longer apply as they did.

Obviously, those who insist they are still a la as they used to be in those times even today, have seized upon the film and acting professions as a 'target' because hearing actors are being used to portray deaf people and not deaf actors playing themselves.  I am deaf I can sign why shouldn't I play the role about the culture? I don't belong to it, but it just requires someone deaf who can sign to plug the image let's face it.  However, I risk the wrath of them all by speaking and lip-reading too, or even having a CI or something.

It is such critics who defeat their own inclusion. The crux of the issue is HOW deaf people come across as actors in whatever role they are playing.  They tend to not stick to the script which may or may NOT be about deaf culture.  Then we can see the relentless drive by them to 'lecture' the audience and anyone else within range on how they must adopt the position with deaf people. (Deaf do this, deaf do that etc.).  Which may have no place either within the role or the script.  Everyone is an advocate. It's not exactly clear WHAT they are advocating but....

It is misleading to suggest the 'Deaf' lifestyle and perceived culture is one that is a norm for deaf people because we know it isn't.  While activism can lobby at the hearing to promote their lifestyles their way, they are getting opposition FROM deaf who don't actually share their view.  The idea sign belongs TO deaf people is wrong also, hearing made it a means to communicate more effectively or it would have remained mime.  Hearing created their basic ABC.

Culture identities are pretty easy to acquire, the actual criteria simply state 'Any two people or group living and acting in the same way..' can call itself a culture.  The Hard of Hearing could do the same tomorrow, and it is a conundrum as to why they haven't utilised the cultural gig because the kudos would have given them far more support and profile than they are getting now.  

At the base of all these rows is a stark reality, deaf actors cannot portray hearing ones.  That is because they cannot hear and there is no way around that.  However certain deaf areas that DON'T use sign and e.g. lip-read, can do a passable imitation (And risk getting attacked for it as not being really deaf). Which they are, and the reality is a lot of deaf do not have a cultural want.    More inclusion by default means deaf have to adapt to new realities, like using alternatives to sign basically if they are able.  Bi-linguality has to be real.

It would seem the fact those deaf actors who are reliant on sign language, is at the root as to why it is difficult for TV and filmmakers to include them without it drawing attention away from the story or other actors.  Not everyone wants to risk including a deaf signer bent on telling others what they have to do to accommodate them all the time, that is for deaf awareness gigs.  We know children of a lesser god was mooted as a major breakthrough, but it was done toning down cultural aspects (There were no deaf peers etc), and the deaf actor was able to bridge communication issues which a lot of current-day actors do not seem to want to do, but to stay 'true' to what they believe deaf people are, but they remain a minority, albeit able to punch well above their weight, there is no getting around their stance presents issues for deaf actors who mostly, tend to be involved in deaf output, a minority form of the arts and aligned primarily with disability output.

The more they do this the less they are able to, or want to adapt, little wonder then those that make films or shows employ those who present less aggravation or confrontation to them and prepared to step outside their own perception.  Playing yourself is stereotyping let's face it.  Deaf culture cannot exist apart and be included as well,  inclusion demands compromise they do not appear to want to do.  Nobody deaf or hearing wants tokenism either that would kill off cultural awareness, demean the point.  The facts remain deaf actors lack a lot of basic skills too and awareness of 'hearing' things is alien to some of them so they encounter issues relating to roles and revert to typecasting.  

At the end of a very long day, acting is about pretending you are someone else, and the Deaf are struggling to do that.  The intro photo needs an explanation?  or maybe it doesn't....

Friday, 8 January 2021

Selective Listening.

No, not 'hears when he wants to..' but asking why recorded sound or live sound output via listening equipment like TVs, radios, etc don't have a more selective sound 'edit' option as a norm?

There has been a growing interest in addressing sound output on TV's.  Because of the variances in what we can hear and follow via sound, it is suggested we lobby TV manufacturers to install as a norm, sound channel/split edit options, so we can listen to them editing out those sounds that don't help us listen, and to remove background sounds that make listening difficult. Regardless of how effective some hearing aids or CI's are, quite often we still struggle to follow, enhanced/louder volume is not the way we want it, or even clearly hearing background noises, but choice, in what sounds we are hearing.  

Being very simplistic (Sorry), a TV show may be a singer doing a song and dance in from of a crowd of people, we will notice every area on that show will have a microphone attached to it, what we 'hear' as output is the final mix.  What we could benefit from is us doing that 'mix' ourselves via an option on our output equipment, the technology is actually quite basic re the recording.  Certain frequencies are not possible to hear for some of us and so clearing away surplus sounds that don't help us follow would be more useful.

I used to have an old vinyl record player (!) whereby I could switch stereo channels on and off, which meant I could listen to the music, or, the singer using it because that is the way they record things, different channels for different instruments and singers etc.  Personally, I preferred the music to the singer but... 

Karaoke was developed that way originally where they sold the music channels off so wannabee singers could have professional backing to their efforts. You can buy such recordings today easily.  The old player allowed me to select which I wanted to listen to, surely in the 21stc this should be a doddle to include on TV and film equipment now despite 100s of sound edited options they use to record? I  am unsure if that was via the vinyl makeup itself or the channel split option in my player?   

We don't really understand sound, only what we can hear or can't.  E.G.  I could do without traffic noises in the background or loud music. If such editing equipment was pre-installed in TV manufacture then the cost of so doing would make it worthwhile?

Sound options you can currently use. NOTE: These don't contain sound channel split options, but options to raise/mute or lower some of them.  Those with hearing loss need a more comprehensive option as frequency and hearing loss loss varies so much.



Thursday, 7 January 2021

Democracy has failed...

The US Congress certified Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election, hours after Trump supporters stormed the building in an attack that saw four people die.  Lawmakers resumed the session after police managed to remove the mob, which had been encouraged by President Trump in a bid to overturn his defeat.


Sad that across the pond in the USA, democracy has resulted in the complete opposite to what it was intended for.  The USA which was envied for many years as a bastion of freedom and freedom of speech (But not now),  has enabled the rabble-rouser, the extremist, and just about anyone with a petty grudge or gripe, or who is different (Which means the entire population really). America has failed to understand human nature and their own people, in that in attempting to enable and equalise everyone the sole result is anarchy and a free for all, and a right to shoot at those who disagree with you, even plant a few pipe-bombs at their seat of government.  

There are leaders, and the led and any attempt to address that is against what the USA stands for where anyone can be or do anything.   America now needs to change the way it approaches democracy or descend into absolute minority rule.  Yesterday's events did more for countries like China, Korea and Russia who could not have hoped for a better reason to state, 'this is what you get for being democratic..' Incompetents rule and extremists support them.  They, of course, would have shot the lot or sent them away somewhere for the rest of their unnatural.

Obviously who the Americans choose to lead them is down to how they vote (Which doesn't seem to be all that straightforward).  But there does seem a total lack of political awareness in the USA whom the Brits assume politicians only get to be elected via how much is in their bank balance and not by any suitability for the job, it costs billions of dollars not votes to get to the white house.  As a result, they got Trump. The wild West came to town.  They need to dump the gun culture and start educating their populace, greed isn't good.

The future of hearing healthcare..


How do you see the future of hearing health care? This is a difficult question, but one that Ida Institute is tackling in its Future Hearing Journeys project. In December, Ida organized two online innovation workshops with stakeholders from around the world to examine the trends that will affect hearing health care. I was pleased to participate and represent the consumer point of view. The project’s goal is to help people with hearing loss and hearing care providers better navigate this changing landscape. Read more about the workshop here.

ATR COMMENT:  Research needs investment badly, there is a growing 'acceptance' of deafness that while helping hearing loss sufferers, is making issues for progress towards its alleviation or eventual cure. 

By all means, support those now, but the bottom line has to be aimed at eradicating deafness and hearing loss as much as possible, and I don't see charities doing this, (except the RNID who heavily invested in research), but they are struggling now and reverting to supporting deaf-only approaches again, whilst other deaf charities have simply refused to back research at all, and objected or opposed it.  It started with CI's but extended to objections to oral support, lip-reading, hearing aids, basic English access and divisions by decibel, attacks on hearing parents of deaf children,  and biased communication and supportive approaches.

Minority rule is overruling majority need. The drive for rights and support is clouding that bottom line, research has to have an equal priority. I'd also like to see the haphazard class approach of BSL and Lip-reading scrapped altogether to remove any 'and/or' type of choice, to be replaced by a new/free system that includes total communication. 10m sufferers want out and I don't see any determined drive to make it happen.  Back to basics, NOT, back to same old.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Half of deaf children get no support.

To be scrupulously fair hearing children are suffering too, covid isn't just affecting those who can hear. 

One in two deaf children in England are not getting necessary specialist teaching support since returning to school in September, The Independent can reveal, amid warnings that pupils with hearing loss are at risk of falling behind.

Before the pandemic, about two-thirds (67 per cent) of deaf children usually had visits from a teacher of the deaf (ToD), but only half of these pupils (51 per cent) are currently receiving the support they need during the pandemic’s second wave, according to a national poll of parents by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

Since going into year 2, six-year-old Liam has been asking his mother, Brodie Kingston, when his teacher will be coming in to see him. She’s had to explain that she won’t be able to come to his school – an academy in Stoke-on-Trent where he’s the only deaf child – because of the pandemic; the school told her they were informed that social distancing rules meant she would not be able to visit.

The visits have been stopped across the country for a range of reasons, according to the NDCS, who clarified that they did not have data on how many schools versus local authorities were making the decision. The charity said that several local authorities have said the decision lies with individual schools, while some schools will only allow the teacher to come if it is the only school they’re visiting that day. Additionally, some specialist teachers have not been able to make appointments because they have been self-isolating.



Deaf education is such an issue, the trade-off in specialist support versus empowerment/inclusion for a child to access and manage mainstream has no balance and no targeted education to ensure it either. Sign language is an eternal barrier regardless if best suited to the child or not, simply because the rest of the world is hearing and doesn't work that way. 

Inclusion is tokenistic and once you insert an interpreter that is yet another barrier to overcome. That is without the various factions who are anti-sign or pro-culture vying for priority. Specialisation in itself is isolating there is no way around that, you develop in a closed-off and supported world unrelated to the mainstream etc and when you leave that set up as a late teen or adult there are few places to go then when such help vanishes as it usually does. I am not for specialisation except for those who would never manage mainstream anyway. educationalists suggest less than 9% of deaf children need that specialisation, but the rest need that support in the mainstream to develop and aren't getting it. If you keep kids apart then they adopt the position. 

Sign language wrapped up in a neat cultural package has advocates who want further isolating approaches where basic English grammar is NOT to be used, speech use is deterred and sign prominent at all times, and only parental choice actually prevents that happening at present. I suppose those issues will be eternal until some sort of mass 'cure' for deafness presents itself. 

Curiously what drives all these issues is the fact BSL is a saleable commodity, had it not been for that deaf education may have developed a lot further and inclusive in enabling the deaf child, and hearing loss identified properly and addressed accordingly, now everyone wants to 'cash in' on BSL and the gig of culture. This drives opposition to real inclusion in the long run by suggestings reliance is good/a right etc and independence not so good because it is 'hell out there for deaf people' as hearing have it in for them.  Of course, real inclusion means fewer jobs for the BSL boys and gals too and fewer charities existing to waste money on their behalf..