Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Sound of Metal


So why are sign users complaining one of their actors didn't get the part? simples, they weren't qualified, it was about the deafened NOT the 'Deaf'.  It's a breakthrough film in that actual deafened were included, more please, let's have real diversity.  I am unsure the sop to sign was necessary...  VIDEO blurb HERE.

Some reviews:

In the 2020 drama Mogul Mowgli, co-writer and star Riz Ahmed played a British-Pakistani rapper struck down by a debilitating illness on the eve of his international breakthrough. In Sound of Metal, which premiered in Toronto in 2019, Ahmed plays an American drummer whose life is turned upside down by the onset of deafness.

The Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) congratulates the cast and crew of the Amazon Studios film Sound of Metal on their recent SIX Academy Award nominations. These include Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Sound. ALDA thanks you for brinSound of Metalging more attention to hearing loss. 

The movie resonated with many of our ALDA members. Although each person’s hearing loss journey is different, there are some common issues that we all struggle with. The director and actors did a great job in conveying those issues to the audience. There were a few inaccuracies in the movie but when the director, Darius Marder, was contacted, he was very sincere and open to comments and feedback from our organization. We hope that any future films involving a late-deafened adult include authenticity. This can be done by including a true late-deafened adult, consulting with ALDA, or by having a late-deafened adult on the set or as a consultant. 


Monday, 12 April 2021

Another chestnut.

Nothing like another old chestnut to herald same old is there?  The deaf don't understand access or inclusion Rob, or they would not be supporting charities trying, and failing to supplement the NHS and undermine deaf rights e.g.  You would have thought SignHealth folding, the RNID dumping deaf care homes, the BDA  desperate to get trustees, ANY trustees, who can keep their mouth shut about the shenanigans they get up to, or ELS folding along with 3 other major BSL charities through sheer incompetence losing deaf people essential care and jobs, that they would get the message but they still don't, a world of their own and unable to instigate inclusion, unless all hearing sign first, while using sign and culture to diss the spoken or written word etc. 

Of course, a lot of sign using vested interest, find it suits them to be permanently preaching discriminations, and infamy, rather than actually doing something about it, 'jobs for Deaf boys and gals',  springs to mind, and the plethora of DIY cultural 'centres' and online and amateur BSL lessons are a farce that has lowered BSL level to basement bargain level.   The BSL acts discriminate against other deaf and hard of hearing. In Scotland a tokenistic con act and talk shop (And that comes from those who proposed it).   

We have more than enough rights laws, (6 last count), yet deaf are only concerned with consolidating their own isolation via BSL, under the smoke-screen of cultural rights, and trying to interpret the law in their own favour, go figure.  BSL awareness is not hearing loss awareness, but it doesn't stop the BSL campaigners claiming we all sign etc despite the 'Deaf & HI' remit no longer viable due to BSL abuses.  They have only one campaign going, and it's the blame game. 10m HoH can tell you differently, they don't HAVE a national support set up, by comparison, the BSL user is spoilt for choice (especially in Wales where we both come from), and Wales has still to endorse a BSL act here and is being currently challenged as anti-inclusive.  Put to the people it won't get enacted.

The reality is BSL support is chaos, unregulated, part-time, and deaf undermine even that by using any tom dick or harry they 'prefer' instead and all backed by guess who? their OWN charities, very obviously because they will pick up the support tag (or maybe they won't as SignHealth found out).  How you inside this set up see it, and everyone else does is quite different, not everyone wants to be a martyr.  This video is a carbon copy of one you did 4 YEARS ago and sadly, says nothing new.

Half-past two...


Access Frustration

Deaf community BSL access frustration from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

It would seem so many BSL deaf are still making issues of their own access, I have never needed to queue up at a GP counter and struggle to make an appointment, I do it all via email.  Even arranging BSL support for my partner, the only issue I have is a diagnosis by remote (Video relay etc), I don't support that, and, BSL 'support' via untrained people (Like family, friends etc), that is NOT on!  I don't do it for my partner, our children are not allowed to do it,  you should not be doing it either.  It is your responsibility. 

Recently, more UK leading charities have started to support ATR's view too, in that ONLY qualified interpreters should support deaf people, albeit ATR suspects they are only supporting us now because their funding has dried up, with charities like the BDA/RNID fence-sitting by supporting this very obscure deaf 'right' that actually disempowers deaf people, just as they prevented health access campaigns succeeding forcing the NHS to do it job properly because they were making money and relied on it.  

It is charity's job to keep the deaf reliant on them. Don't they know video and text relay has a limited life span? and utterly dependant on handouts from charity, and technological advance? with SignHealth folding because funding died?  If deaf are entitled to access the NHS then why aren't they campaigning FOR that? not two a penny fly by night charities that just offer a part-time, free for all and freelance solution. A system they have no control over either.

Deaf sites: Online tribalism?

Which 'Tribe' do cultural deaf belong to?  Operating as they do quite strict criteria for membership and biased/shared views, very few manage to stay the course who differ with them and bans/evictions from sites are a norm, some bans last a digital lifetime too.

"Promoting negative sentiments about good things is just as malicious and dangerous as promoting harmful things It has become normal to talk about political “tribes” these days, instead of mere parties or policies. The implication is a deeper feeling of affiliation, one that approaches family and is very hard to break. Your entire identity is wrapped up in the tribe and once you are a member, leaving can come with dire consequences.

The rise of online tribes requires new strategies for countering the spread of misinformation. Simply putting accurate information online isn’t enough; it must target the communities most in need of it and do so in a way that will succeed, not push them further away. But how do we convince people to believe in facts when their personal beliefs and doubts get in the way? That is just what I discuss with well known American pollster Frank Luntz in our latest conversation in my lockdown series. 

Shared opinions and positions alone can be the basis of tribes today.  Notice the trend: the shrinking, increasingly specific criteria for tribal affiliation. The loyalty and fanaticism once reserved for a family connection or a supreme being can now be found in the supporters of a politician or a few policy positions.

The passion in these tribal groups can border on religious, which is dangerous in its own right. When you think your beliefs are not only right, but that those who disagree with them are apostates, it leads easily to escalation and even violence.

Thanks to social media, tribal alliances can now be formed almost instantly, globally, with no shared background beyond the ability to access the internet. This broad availability also makes these tribes vulnerable to manipulation and amplification from bad actors, from con-men trying to make a buck to agents of influence seeking to spread disinformation to cause chaos or weaken an adversary.

Social media platforms fuel online tribalism

Another aspect of online tribalism is how it is fueled by the platforms themselves, automatically, algorithmically. Many studies have demonstrated how social media sites act as “radicalization engines,” pushing people toward more extreme content. The system is designed to create engagement, to give people content they like, to keep them on the site as long as possible to sell more ads. It sounds innocent enough, but we see the results."


Text Relay V Captioned Phone.


Sunday, 11 April 2021

How NOT to teach deaf awareness

Deaf Awareness Workshop from Jennie on Vimeo.

Farcical, amateur, and basically a pointless excersize.  Too many DIY deaf 'teachers' spoiling it for everyone else, and they don't say this awareness ONLY applies to just one area of deaf people, has nothing to do with hearing loss, and really, not identifying those either.  Unless 'Deaf' get a grip on these DIY lessons being done everywhere, and not monitored for accuracy, their signing and culture is going to be overtaken by hearing taught like this.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

That was Phil that was...

Prince Philip, who has died at the age of 99, will be remembered not only as the longest-serving consort but perhaps also as the most gaffe-prone one. His much-publicised errors, which endeared him to some but were also capable of causing great offence, included derogatory remarks about people and places, and rude quips he made when angry. Top 20 gaffs.

Phil as the promoter of the world wildlife fund, with one of the tigers he shot.

One of his most notorious jokes came around 30 years ago, when he is alleged to have told the German media: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.” The comment returned to prominence last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are some gaffes the Duke of Edinburgh made during his nine decades on the planet.

1. "Ghastly." Prince Philip's opinion of Beijing, during a 1986 tour of China.

2. "Ghastly." Prince Philip's opinion of Stoke-on-Trent, as offered to the city's Labour MP Joan Walley at Buckingham Palace in 1997.

3. "Deaf? If you're near there, no wonder you are deaf." Said to a group of deaf children standing near a Caribbean steel drum band in 2000.

4. "If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes." To 21-year-old British student Simon Kerby during a visit to China in 1986.

5. "You managed not to get eaten then?" To a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.

6.  "I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family." In 1967, asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.

7.  "It's not a very big one, but at least it's dead and it took an awful lot of killing!" Speaking about a crocodile he shot in Gambia in 1957

8.  "Get me a beer. I don't care what kind it is, just get me a beer!" On being offered the finest Italian wines by PM Giuliano Amato at a dinner in Rome in 2000

9.  "You're just a silly little Whitehall twit: you don't trust me and I don't trust you." Said to Sir Rennie Maudslay, Keeper of the Privy Purse, in the 1970s.

10.  "You can't have been here that long – you haven't got a pot belly." To a British tourist during a tour of Budapest in Hungary. 1993.

11.  "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?" Asked of a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.

12.   "*** fool question!" To BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt at a banquet at the Elysée Palace after she asked Queen Elizabeth if she was enjoying her stay in Paris in 2006.

13.   "It looks as though it was put in by an Indian." The Prince's verdict of a fuse box during a tour of a Scottish factory in August 1999. He later clarified his comment: "I meant to say cowboys. "I just got my cowboys and Indians mixed up."

14. "People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle." To survivors of the Lockerbie Pan-Am disaster in 1993.

15. "We don't come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves." During a trip to Canada in 1976.

16. "A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone's working too much. Now that everybody's got more leisure time they are complaining they are unemployed. People don't seem to make up their minds what they want." A man of the people shares insight into the recession that gripped Britain in 1981.

17. "British women can't cook." Winning the hearts of the Scottish Women's Institute in 1961.

18. "It was part of the fortunes of war. We didn't have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking 'Are you all right - are you sure you don't have a ghastly problem?' You just got on with it!" On the issue of stress counselling for servicemen in a TV documentary marking the 50th Anniversary of V-J Day in 1995.

19. "What do you gargle with – pebbles?" To Tom Jones, after the Royal Variety Performance, 1969. He added the following day: "It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs."

20. "It's a vast waste of space." Philip entertained guests in 2000 at the reception of a new £18m British Embassy in Berlin, which the Queen had just opened.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Frustration, Anger what can I do?

Ye olde daily obstacles of those with hearing loss, of course, walking away is the last thing you should do, that cements their ignorance as OK.  However it does pay to be fore-armed when you venture outside your usual isolation, so take a phone with an app on etc, ensure people know what you want, write it down if you have to, don't give up, or you will never raise any awareness. Basically assume NOBODY knows what you need and few know how to adjust to you either because all with hearing loss are different, so you have to ensure what works for you.  On requesting a service ensure the first thing you do is inform them you cannot hear properly.   Using the voice sadly is a bummer people assume speech = hearing.

Thursday, 8 April 2021


Bit of a false start the census here I had a visit from a foetus (!) telling me off they hadn't seen my census response and next visit he is bringing the heavies with him.  I told him they usually send you a letter with a password on it so you can do it online, and sadly due to our postie recently being savaged by the local cat, we hadn't had the letter with accompanying threats yet, and, erm... what if I don't HAVE online access?  He said everyone is online and can read OK, (Unless you know different).  I said I am Deaf so oppose English text being used oppressively at me this way, I demand a form in Swahili, that seemed to throw him a bit, until he asked for my carer then I thumped him.

I got two letters a few days later.  There was yet another inclusion regarding what language I use, and  I was given a shortlist of 10 or more gender options, is the census officer confused?  I just wrote 'pass' can't be bothered to engage with that, Binary or digital I am not bothered so long as the app translates OK and the wi-fi still works,  it doesn't pay to encourage them, they probably have another 10 confused by now...    Was I Black? White? Ethnic? just landed on a rowing boat from France?   I just ticked 'all of the above' let them sort it.

I submitted that my usual language was obscene mostly and primarily aimed at census people. Alternatively, I am a rabid anti-social so don't speak to anyone else.   There are only so many fools I can tolerate.  I did send in a query to the national census regarding a question about sign language,  I said the question wasn't clear, it didn't ask if you were deaf or hearing, knew 1 sign or was fluent, or know stork from butter etc, they said 'It doesn't matter we only included it to shut up the cultural deaf.. they all want including these days.' 

If it was anything like last time, the BSL user came unstuck when less than 15,000 said they used it, the BDA then went online declaring the census discriminated against them, and there were now 110,000 of them, I asked them, was there another pandemic? as well as covid?  But they all had masks on and were signing something or other so I never found out.    The RNID, (not to be outdone despite another re-vamp to let the Deaf know they are out of contention again), said the gloves are off and they are pursuing a deaf cure with a real vengeance, it was reverting to oral rule, supported enforced English and Literacy, then wading in and upping their hearing loss stats to 11m trumping the BDA, so clearly an outbreak of people not hearing much was doing the rounds nobody knows about and no vaccination at all for that.  

I blame the census personally, they said they know they will never get real stats to determine need because there is no legal way to validate anything you say without admitting it is a state scam and trawling exercise, but it gives special branch more options and the DWP, and provides more work for unemployed fascists in these difficult times.  They can pick up terrorists and paedos who admit they are in the census making it easier than seeking them out.  I just got a post from them telling me I can access 1960 census stats now, I said waste of time I was well out of it in the 60s anyone who can remember the 60s wasn't there.....

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Is deafness a disability?

I think 'Deaf' perceptions are!  Social media HoH-wise definitely NOT agreeing with cultural followers or their view!

Deaf? Obsessed?

#1  What’s wrong with being disabled? Our society sees disability as lesser or a negative thing and this needs to change. I’m deaf and I am disabled, not by my ears, but by society. If all children learnt makaton/sign language from a young age, life would be so much easier for us all and it would be less of a disability. Very soon, more and more will lose their hearing due to technology, music and earphones and when more are affected, more will be done.

#2 Still turning out that old chestnut? the blame game?  DOH!

#3  I cannot think of any way in which Deafness could NOT be a disability!!

#4 Of course, deafness is a disability, especially for 10m of us who have hearing loss or gone deaf, the true definition of disability is LOSS, those who never had it to lose, are in no position to offer comment on it as they have no ability to compare.  We can because we have seen and lived both versions.

#5  The trauma is real and can last a lifetime. It is very unhelpful for 'deaf-rights/cultural merchants' to insist it isn't an issue, given their image is one of reliance on carers, family, friends, and interpreters, and relentless demands for help, access, and support, whilst claiming the HIGHEST amount of A2W welfare payments in the entire UK disability world.  40% have mental health issues.  They just make themselves look more confused, or worse, obsessive and sectarian.

#6  Calling their isolation and disability a culture to defray the reality, isn't fooling anyone but themselves the image, says it all...  all rather sad really.

#7  They don't represent anyone but themselves, but their campaigns have had a major impact on undermining support for others NOT them, so it's time we challenged it and that daft D and d thing which just means discrimination and done nothing, for them, or anyone else but cause rows. 

#8  They are looking a bit paranoid at present, they can move the goalposts as often as they want but with only one side playing their game, with their own rules, it isn't much of a match!  If the aim is inclusion nobody can see that.  Unless access leads to inclusion it is all a smokescreen and BS.

#9 Don't encourage them for goodness sake lol.

#10  That photo sums it up, they live in a world of their own, but still suggesting they want out of it, fakes.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Why subtitles don't cut it..

Subtitles are an essential aid just as clear speaking is, the problem is two-fold, (1) learning issues within the deaf community, and (2) misguided opposition to acquiring literacy in the host country language, via 'rights'.  If ignorance is a right, a real step backwards.

I am not aware of Polish sign language, but do know the British version lacks considerable detail live, and provide 'highlights' more than anything else.  Which isn't really serving the deaf to follow the depth of information neither is lack of support to read etc.  Covid e.g. in the Uk has a barrage of depth and detail being distributed 24/7 for over a year, hearing struggle to follow the technical/data-driven,  and political detail, via BSL the deaf get little or nothing from it except an 'image' deaf sign but national broadcasting via an interpreter is pretty simplistic and basic because there is no time to explain any depth and terps have to appeal to the ablest deaf.

Sign CANNOT replace what they need to understand via depth.  Current political updates e.g. on covid tell deaf next to nothing, except the most simple of explanations.  To get detail they need to read hence the essential of captions etc.  Most deaf bypass sign when titles come up, so this tends to suggest the titles is better access than the sign is for them.  The sign becomes an 'assist' just like lip-reading does.   It's a social tool, it's not an academic one despite claims, and lacks 90% of essential signs to progress as such.  

We'd like to see clear lip-SPEAKING as well as sign, but titling helps no lip-reader to follow in that respect, we are a text society, yet during covid this last 14 months, deaf demanded lip-reading access and insisted on clear masks to do it despite poor abilities in the signing world to use it, they knew sign wasn't an issue.  We could suggest this video is merely a 'plug' for sign use and not an awareness vid for inclusion since it omits a number of essential 'assists' deaf and HoH need to follow effectively.  For those deaf who oppose host languages in preference for their limited own and grammar, then this is simply making a rod for their own back and thankfully, young deaf are not buying into this negativity and relying on titles as well which has effectively replaced sign and lip-reading really on visuals.

This is the real concern of the cultural deaf and why they lobby against text usages and local languages because it will replace what they use.  The bottom line is access, and so deaf have to take what they need to get that not put up barriers to it.  We aren't going to end up with 3 or 4 modes on a screen or some sort of biased pick n mix system.  In the UK we call many of these sign campaigns the 'Canute Syndrome' in that they feel they can actually replace their idea of access to replace all others deaf need to use also.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Relay Systems: a good or Bad idea?

Hard of Hearing media also with issues of access to health systems in the UK, following the issues with demise of the BSL health relay systems due to lack of funding, there are now concerns video relay funding for HoH will follow the same route.  Covid has decimated fundraising for the deaf and HoH and shoe-string charity support is now viewed as part of the issue too...

#1  We wouldn't need all this if charities had not undermined our access to the NHS, which skilfully avoided giving us it for 70 YEARS. E.G. With the demise of SignHealth the BSL relay system folded this week because the charity relied on handouts that never came during covid. Now is really the time we drop charity altogether and force the NHS to include us, 70yrs is an utter disgrace, but, in accepting shoe-string alternatives we were architects of our own exclusion. I appreciate there are supporters of relay systems but I prefer A Dr to see me in person. These things tend to be veiled 'surveys' to encourage charity again who make a big deal over them not getting funds for a service that should be there anyway.

#2  Unfortunately, telecare is going to continue for time being and shielders would be and will be in danger in face to face meetings. When possible to have face to face meetings, clear face masks need to be worn. You are right that this is a systemic issue but the UK is not alone in this. Other countries and their deaf and Hoh communities are also dealing with those issues. We do not believe in the charity model,  the social and rights model that is the way forward here, equal access to all different areas in society. Indeed, the piecemeal situation with SignHealth shows that VRS needs to be centrally funded.

#3  Central funding is an issue, as is centralising any access.  The UK has 4 devolved health areas now and each NHS is run individually by them which makes lobbying harder (Or easier?) to do. In accessing my GP originally there was no signed or other help unless you provided your own, but I found a clause in the NHS law that stated you can make a demand for your access and if they don't comply in 6 months and 1 day then they automatically get taken to court and forced to provide it. Telling you to leave the practice is illegal too if they do it to avoid supporting you. 

#4  I sent an official request to my GP and quoted that law, I got support for the next appointment! and never looked back, however, UK hospitals are still denying access and clinics despite that law and despite 5 UK-wide anti-discrimination laws too. It seems most of the issue is deaf and HoH are simply unaware of their rights or fail to ask for them. As regards to HoH needs, the problem is simply no system of support the NHS can access for the HoH or deafened UNLESS we sign. No lip-speakers, no text operators etc... It is in our hands to create that demand, clearly we aren't doing it. We are playing these remote and charitable games instead which itself will undermine real demand.  

#5  The only time we see a medico is on the other side of a screen, it isn't access but a cost-saving gig as we know, cutting out the middle man aka the actual person to see face to face who can help you and who helps those who aren't even online? elderly? or those who cannot use relay because it lacks access formats they use?  

#6  What next? we get treated by remote? I've heard of 'physician heal thyself', but surely they don't expect us to as well!

#7  Covid has a lot to answer for but we need to monitor access isn't being made more difficult just so the NHS can avoid treating deaf and HoH patients, or avoid providing the real access that is our right and need, not just now, but post-covid we need to ensure such systems are a temporary measure, and not a permanent cheapo one via stealth, where rather than a Dr see a deaf or HoH patient personally, they keep them at length via a phone, Dr's need to SEE patients, hearing can, but we have to do it by remote?  not on!

Now HoH can see what they say....

Canvassing the deaf youth vote.


Lowering the voting age in Wales was a Labour party idea who are struggling to maintain control in Wales after 22 years having a free run, but who now are facing real opposition from other parties after an abysmal performance the last 10 years, because focus groups infiltrated the party, only intense hatred of conservatism has kept them there, but the smart money suggests a coalition of chaos, will deaf youth even vote? 18-21's haven't so far!  

NOTE: Mike Hedges should be interesting, in being a member of the cross-party group on sensory loss, he will no doubt explain why, grassroots are not allowed a voice in the Senedd and only charity can put your case.  Why vote for people like that?  Should we be suss, that the RNID pushed this advert, and given they withdrew because the Senedd wouldn't pay the deaf access bill to the committee, which hasn't HAD a meaningful meeting in the last 4 years? How many have are even aware such a committee exists?

For the first time, 16 and 17 year olds in Wales will be able to vote in the Senedd election! This means the views of young people are needed now more than ever.  The elections are happening soon so there will be lots of campaigning, debating and voting. Find out more about the Senedd, elections and what MSs are below!

What is the Senedd?

The Senedd is the Welsh Parliament.

Elections are held across Wales every 5 years.

The next election is this year on Thursday 6 May 2021.

The party that wins the most seats at the election forms the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government has led the coronavirus response in Wales over the past year. It makes lots of decisions that affect our daily lives. This includes areas like education and health services.

This is the first time 16 and 17 year olds can vote so politicians, called Members of the Senedd (MSs), will need to listen to the voices of young people more than ever before.

What do these elections mean?

Labour is currently the largest party in the Senedd.

This means they run the Welsh Government with the help of the Lib Dems’ Kirsty Williams.

The Conservatives are the second-largest party in the Senedd and are the ‘official' opposition.

Plaid Cymru are close behind as the third-largest party.

All of this could change after the elections. Elections give voters the chance to highlight issues that matter to them.

What are MSs?

MS is short for Members of the Senedd.

There are 60 MSs in the Senedd and they each represent a constituency or region in Wales.

40 MSs represent 40 different constituencies and a further 20 represent 5 regions in Wales.

Each MS represent their constituency in the Senedd by raising local concerns and issues.

Have your say!

We are running a Welsh Elections & You online event for deaf 16-25 year olds in Wales. It takes place on Thursday 15  April at 7pm – 8pm. At the event, you can ask politicians about important issues. Whether it’s about deafness, coronavirus, lockdown, schools, access to further education, mental health and support – these are topics politicians are concerned about, and probably have different opinions on! You can sign up to this exciting event by visiting our event page.

The MSs joining us at the Welsh Elections & You event are:

Mike Hedges – Labour. Member of the cross-party group on Deaf Issues.

Laura Anne Jones – Conservative. Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government, Equalities, Children and Young People. (add photo)

Dai Lloyd – Plaid Cymru. Chair of the Cross Party Group on Deaf Issues.

Jackie Charlton – Liberal Democrat. Jackie is profoundly deaf and uses cochlear implants and has a Hearing Dog for Deaf People called Lucie.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

BDA. Lacks Inclusion and diversity.

So what's new? it is run like a secret society of some kind anyway with legal threats over members who publish what they get up to, they won't print their rules for anyone to see either.  It must be the ultimate irony they are now lacking in BSL and ethnic access, the only reason they exist, but they have excluded hard of hearing and non-signers for 50 years.  You are well out of it love...

Don't support SignHealth!

It's what they are saying too.  BSL users now must demand the NHS fulfil its legal obligation to enable deaf and HoH to access its health provision.  After all, the NHS was created in 1948, that the deaf and HoH are still relying on badly funded and biased charities for access after 70 years, is the reason SignHealth has now found itself in this position and deaf stand to lose what access they have. Deaf campaigns failed to demand proper access, in some misguided attempt to preserve culture, and control over deaf people, but there are other BSL charities still trying to do the same and will soon fold as well, last year 5 did again because they wasted money on culture, not need.

Charity was NEVER designed to replace rights, but that is what it is doing, switching state reliance, to charitable reliance, but it always relied on handouts, now deaf and HoH must start health access demands in earnest NOT a demand to re-fund charities again who clearly have been exposed as unable to fulfil its promises, these support charities aren't run BY deaf people, but freelance BSL terps.  The 'Deaf' must condemn the British Deaf Association who used deaf rights as a 'weapon' to maintain the deaf in dependency and reliance on others and on them.  

It is with urgency, they address the role of the BSL interpreters, a random hotch-potch of part-time and unregulated support that leaves the sign user at the mercy of market forces, throwing 'rights' into some farcical situation.  Exactly the position SignHealth found itself in.

With the hopeful demise of charitable support for 'rights by handouts' now failing, we can't help feeling Covid did the deaf a favour, in exposing it all, now they must address their own elephant in the room, please don't sign a petition to go backwards again.  SignHealth posted to ATR approving of their own demise, their CEO tweeting support to ATR , now is the time for the NHS to put up and for charity to stop giving them an opt-out.  SignHealth also approved another ATR blog clarifying why, sign health should NOT be doing the NHS job.  Meanwhile, various random deaf campaigners are crying foul, and failing to accept their role in the demise of their own support.

The Blurb: (But still suggesting they can be an answer, all is confusion! but the reason is pretty basic, they face job losses, that is their priority, not NHS access for the deaf BSL user!).

In March 2020, as lockdown came into effect and services across the country switched to phone consultations, Deaf people needed a solution fast to address this new barrier to healthcare in the UK. The Deaf health charity SignHealth launched a free on-demand 24/7 remote interpreting service called BSL Health Access, in partnership with the company, InterpreterNow, to enable Deaf people to access to medical services over the phone, free of charge.  

(And thus taking the onus AWAY from the NHS to set up its own services).

No funding

When BSL Health Access launched, SignHealth optimistic that NHS England or another government body would pay for the service in order to make phone consultations accessible to Deaf people. In the meantime, SignHealth invested £800,000 from their own reserves to kickstart the service and ensure Deaf people were not left waiting. Late in 2020, the NHS agreed to cover the running costs from December to the end of March 2021 to ensure the service continued into the winter while the NHS reviewed British Sign Language (BSL) provision more broadly. SignHealth have been told that that review is not yet complete.  

After investing £800,000 from their reserves, SignHealth are unable to cover the costs of the service. The NHS has not committed any further funding for April 1st onwards, effectively closing the service of BSL Health Access.  

James Watson-O’Neill, SignHealth Chief Executive, said:  

“I am incredibly proud of what BSL Health Access has achieved and I will always be grateful to SignHealth’s deaf-led Board of Trustees for approving such a significant investment to fund this innovation. I hope that we can work together with NHS England and individual NHS providers to find a long-term sustainable solution. Access to health services is a right, not a privilege. Deaf people, whose health is already poorer than hearing people’s, deserve excellent access to health care in British Sign Language.” 

“As it stands, BSL Health Access will be switched off at midnight on 31st March 2021. BSL Health Access is now in the hands of the NHS and we call for NHS England to continue to fund this vital service, fast.”  


Wednesday, 31 March 2021

BDA and RNID lied about BSL?

The Charity Claims

The Government official survey.

The British Government survey declares charitable statistics on BSL usage and support demands are unproven, even sheer guesswork or hype. Although the survey is 4 years old has there really been a huge explosion of people being born deaf since?  Not so, health stats don't support that either!  The BDA quadrupled its figures!

The Deaf/deaf community

Deaf Community from Shelly Thach on Vimeo.

A conundrum given the 'deaf' don't have one!  Sadly yet another video on the community that is at odds with their own belief and definitions, encompassing yet again EVERYONE who aspires or claims deafness to be part of this  'community' whose membership varies depending on who goes online with it and if they sign or not.

It is really important those who think ears are just for hanging spectacles on, don't suggest everyone with hearing loss thinks the same as they do, in reality in the UK 10m disagree! 'deaf' don't have a culture, it is those aspiring to Deaf that does that.  Sadly these grammatical errors are proving a real handicap to highlighting hearing loss and its awareness, as the relentless online plug for culture attempt to label everyone.

I am not blind, but you don't see born blind claiming everyone with a sight loss is the same as them...

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Health experience

Perhaps a real reason for only professionals that are neutral should be supporting the deaf signer.  This experience only suggests the carer was poor, but it may well have been a patient's relative doing the same thing.  The underlying issues are that the deaf persist in using untrained and biased support from families and friends, and then 'surprised' by the deaf patient others sign too.  I hope the NHS suggested the carer was replaced for abuse.

Only when the NHS does its job properly and bans untrained support for deaf patients will anything change, this means refusing to allow the deaf to 'choose' own support that cannot provide a qualification, but it is really imperative medical staff are able to diagnose and treat a deaf patient and ensure choices and outcomes are decided BY the deaf patient and not vested or paid interests who lack the neutrality or skills to empower a deaf patient.

We can start by demanding NHS Insurance companies ensure that NO untrained or biased support no matter how well-meaning is allowed.  E.G. a deaf patient with sensitive issues to address like sexual/disability/learning issues etc can be overruled by a family member supporting them, or simply not told about choices, even appointments, and choice dispensed by how a relative feels it is best from their view regarding what treatment is applied.  Such family members may not even be carers at all, but still making decisions FOR deaf patients, not just children or siblings but adults who left home and married to others.  Giving biased areas control over deaf people's lives.

There are hundreds of cases where a deaf signer has never used a trained BSL interpreter but has relied on a parent or sibling.  Statistics show 90% are not using them, so who IS supporting them?  it isn't trained people, is it?  They are aided and abetted BY the NHS who want to avoid their responsibilities and cut costs that are incurred via supporting deaf people.  Who hasn't been to GP who asked are family-supporting you? is there someone with you who can translate?  or where is your 'carer'?  when the first question they should be asking, is would you like an interpreter?  I cannot see you without one that is approved. It is about the NHS unwilling to do its job of supporting a deaf patient to save money.

This has meant a plethora of random deaf charities emerging trying to take up the slack, i.e. making a living out of providing support themselves instead of the NHS/999 et al doing what they are legally obliged to do and will, i.e. for other areas that need translation services, (like BAME ones).  Charity is as much part of the problem as part of the solution and some, are preferring to supply services via handouts, instead of lobbying the NHS to do what it is supposed to be doing, like e.g. providing its own BSL and deaf/HoH provision by right.  This all falls down as it did recently with SignHealth (UK), who ran out of funds, which essentially means some deaf got no support.   They then reverted to blaming the NHS not the fact they were making a living from the support instead they could not gurantee.

It would at least remove the randomness of part-time BSL interpreters who add to the problem and refuse to provide a reliable service provision as a result. BSL needs a reliable and readily available support system and charity isn't that, it takes away the onus for the NHS to do its duty of care.  No wonder angry responses went to the BDA who encouraged family over and above professionalism and neutral support.  Using deaf rights to disempower the deaf and make them ever reliant ON charity. Some sort of obscene charitable job preservation. But worse, disabling deaf choices over their own health and futures.

FX-322 (You'll belive the deaf can hear).

A cure first mooted in the UK in 1994, we are still waiting.

Monday, 29 March 2021

A question of access...

[I bet they were up all night ensuring no capital D was seen lol]. What does accessibility mean to you? We’re most familiar with the term in relation to accessing products, services and environments. It’s important to people with disabilities. But what is involved in making something accessible?

Over the last 50 years, there have been significant changes to make communities more accessible. Policy changes, technological advancements and growing awareness have contributed to a more inclusive society. But many barriers still exist.

Why accessibility is important to the deaf community

According to Public Health England, there are “around 11 million people across the UK with hearing loss”. Accessibility plays a fundamental role in their day-to-day lives. It allows deaf and hard of hearing people to participate in society and social life, something most of non-deaf people take for granted.

Inadequate accessibility bars deaf people from exercising rights and taking up opportunities that should be available to all. It can lead to fewer educational and job opportunities. It can also result in social withdrawal, a sense of isolation and mental health issues. Barriers to basic access are barriers to inclusion and equality.

Accessible communication

Challenges faced by deaf and hard of hearing people are mostly related to communication barriers. We live in a majority-hearing world and deaf people are often faced with a lack of understanding or awareness of their communication needs.

It is a common misconception that deafness means you can’t hear at all. In fact, there are many levels of hearing loss. Every deaf person is unique and interacts with those around them a bit differently. Some use sign language, others use speech and lipreading, and some use a mixture, or other methods.

Communication barriers can result in a lack of confidence, depression, a sense of isolation and unemployment. Deaf and hard of hearing people have to make adjustments and efforts every day. The burden to make communication accessible shouldn’t have to be their responsibility alone. It’s vital that non-deaf people join in and play a part too.

Not sure how? Start by asking what type of communication they would like to use. Becoming more deaf aware can help remove some of the barriers. Deaf Unity runs Deaf Awareness, Introduction to BSL and accredited BSL courses. Get in touch to start learning more about what you can do to make communication easier.

There are assistive listening technologies and devices available which can be a big help. They include those listed below but the range is expanding all the time:

Induction loops or amplifier systems

Speech-to-text apps

Video Relay Service (VRS) – some services such SignLive offer 24/7 availability

Some simple situational adjustments can also make a difference:

Addition of visual display (text, images, icons)

Written materials

Accessible materials (BSL)

Reducing background noise

Availability of BSL interpreters


A G Bell was he misunderstood?


Another chapter with the USA deaf obsession with anti-oral tuition of the deaf.  So choice shouldn't be allowed? To be fair the bloke died 100 years ago, time to move on?  Live in the past you stay there.  Deaf people can speak and can lip-read and we advocate that, what's the beef?  

He clearly misunderstood about deaf genetics, 9 out of 10 are born to hearing people, there are few genetic deaf at all, less than 2%.  Areas like Martha's Vineyard prompted his view.  While viewed as some 'inclusive utopia' by modern-day deaf pundits, the reality is their isolation created it, once that changed so did the 'inclusiveness' and fewer deaf being born.  Surely they can't be holding Bell responsible for that?  It was progress.

A new book about Alexander Graham Bell that explores the relationship between Alexander Graham Bell and the deaf—including his wife and mother.

Katie Booth tells the story in “The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s Quest to End Deafness.” She grew up in a mixed hearing/Deaf family; her grandparents and great-aunt were deaf. Booth now teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Her book explores Bell's promotion of deaf education that prioritized the spoken word and lip-reading. His oralist approach included a paper he wrote in 1884 titled “Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race.” In it, he warned that if deaf people began socializing and inevitably intermarrying, they would create “a defective race of human beings [that] would be a great calamity to the world.” 

Booth explores how Bell's hatred of sign language left scars on the deaf in the U.S. for decades. She writes: “In the deaf world . . . he’s remembered with rage. He’s the man who launched a war in which the deaf would have to fight for their lives.”  While Bell's disturbing story is not new to those who are a part of Deaf Culture, Booth's book is expected to reach a number of people in the hearing world who were not aware of this part of American history. 


Friday, 26 March 2021

What deaf need on their CV....


You can laugh (Or not) at what random searches produce in regards to the deaf, it can be anything from building a greenhouse to (As we see above), baking a cake.  I am unsure what modus Google uses for its search options, but the one above was to find out what the UK Confederation of Business Industries has in the way of accommodating a deaf employee.

I'd recommend........

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Employing the deaf...

Any deaf turning up unable to lip-read effectively, or read questions, don't have the support they need with them, have little chance of finding it easy to get any job, as explained, this isn't discrimination and employers have a right and a need to know who they are employing and what qualifications they have, along with details as to how the employee can work or indeed communicate effectively.

SignHealth: We need more BSL-NHS money.

James Watson-O'Neill liked your reply

It is the NHS job, not charity, who aren't able to replace the NHS access, get real.

Their CEO seems to disagree, he tweeted yesterday and stated BSL access to the NHS isn't a charity job at all and it is unviable to assume ANY charity let alone his,  can or should supplement what is, a deaf right to the NHS in sign language or any other medium the disabled, deaf and HoH use. 

This current campaign about poor funding just highlights the reality, in that deaf or HoH charities cannot and should not be supplementing access to our National Health services at all for the deaf, or any other disability sector.  Charity is supposed to help fill the gaps, not create them.

The current issue is more an effort to protect charity jobs, not to enhance BSL access, which SignHealth cannot do by being a poorly-funded 'sub-contractor' of some kind that specialises in just one format deaf use, they actually undermine BSL access by splitting demand, but they aren't alone, 32 other 'major' charities are faffing about trying to do the same and failing too.

To date, (and driven in part by the Covid epidemic), numerous deaf charities have decided they are an effective replacement for the National Health Services in the UK, having been exposed as pie-in-the-sky dreamers they launch campaigns to make them obsolete?  right !!!!  

Naturally, the state is more than willing to agree as the charity relies on free support and paid professionals who certainly don't work for free.  It is some sort of unofficial 'privatisation' of deaf and disability support, to a health service supposedly legally accessible to all.

The role of charity offering care and support to the deaf has to change, it is cash-driven and reliant on BSL mostly, (There is no money in hearing loss),  BSL is the only area campaigning currently for NHS access it already has but is reluctant to demand it should be an inclusive set up.  

They suggest the NHS declaration of patient rights does not empower all patients it just suggests medical areas 'make every effort' to accommodate them, that is misleading, it applies to private medical areas, not the NHS.  Here, BSL (or any other language), is an NHS  right, not only to information on service provision but, access to all its services.

The UK has no less than NINE access, equality and inclusion laws that also empower BSL access to the NHS and any other format that can assist patient care and diagnosis.  The question asked, is why charities are picking up the tab for them on the cheap, and not simply demanding their right and protecting charities instead?  Every iota of help a deaf charity provides means the NHS won't itself, it is Catch 22.  Every time you use charity help means one less intent for the state system to do its job.

Charity should withdraw from deaf care and support, this would force the NHS to provide what it is legally supposed to provide anyway, by showing instant demand.  It does need, however, any state provision to ensure ONLY professional and neutral BSL support and provision can be used, and friends and family cannot do it themselves, only 'sit in' as personal support.  Own support does two things, it undermines demand, and, undermines Deaf personal choices and decision-making.

Complaints 'Where is the terp' were zeroed because charities were doing it at the behest of deaf people themselves, there was a widespread campaign to demand deaf should not 'read all about it' and they were all fluent lip-readers and masks were making life difficult for them, again no basis in statistical truth.  Using family support (An area supported by the BDA a sign-based charity),  takes the onus away from the state to provide albeit they did anyway after a fashion because charity said they would do it.  

It was SignHealth and others who said they could provide a state service update provision, but it was/is all reliant on funds they expected, but didn't get.

The 'Business' of BSL support is at odds with the basic right of access deaf have anyway.  One mooted concern is deaf wary that inclusion and access laws take away their 'preference', be they social, medical or any other, so inclusion still seems an issue with BSL areas.  Developing own and stand-alone systems means they can continue to run their area on some parallel course to the mainstream, even if, this means some deaf will be restricted in moving outward from those areas.  There are BSL Bills etc which want to isolate how deaf are taught from hearing peers, not just because of deafness but to indoctrinate the deaf child to a culture-driven setup, because their communication options would be restricted to sign only.

That 'right' is used as a very effective barrier TO inclusion by default.  Charities obtained in excess of £50m last year just for BSL usage.  That did not include care, education, or any welfare costs. 95 registered BSL charities failed to provide the expertise to show sufficient funding to be viable, wasting millions in grants that saw no benefits to the deaf or anyone else. Over-duplication is an established norm, and no checks are made by the state charity commission.

Only two campaigns exist, 'we want more money', and 'we are left out'.  This won't change until charity stops promoting help it cannot deliver and lacks reliability or choice.  Having been allocated many millions in funding to charities we ask where has it all actually gone? What was a tangible benefit?  

Surveys suggest it costs in excess of £500 per month just to support someone with a disability, the average life expectancy is age 66.  Do your own maths.  Access to work Deaf welfare allowances can cost the taxpayer near £1,000 per month, double what many other disabled areas can claim.  The Deaf have TWO subsidised TV channels in BSL, and overall 1500 charities supporting them, and a national BSL support set up of well over 350 interpreters, despite claims 110,000 using sign, it seems there is little demand for supporting it and most support is part-time...

The claims they are hard done by or deprived isn't ringing true at all.  We don't object to support cost, but do question the issues of haphazard, expensive, random, biased, and questionable means they are using to address deafness, using culture as a buffer to criticism of sheer greed, waste, and vested interest. In effect they have NEVER had it so good...

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Covid, the NEW deaf 'Norm'?

For those of us desperately hoping as we get vaccinated to buggery, and don our clear masks in the forlorn hope that will work for us, they will revert to ye olde deaf clubs and systems of 2019, they may well be in for a rude shock and awakening.  Covid says no.

For deaf to socialise they need their clubs open, but many lack the means to ensure covid rules are followed, socially distance, manage their food and cleaning etc, while deaf will discard their masks as we know.  Those who use subsidised facilities will have to prove they can manage their memberships properly and ensure safety.  The 'Gypsy' and nomadic nature of deaf who travel from one area to another to visit other deaf in different clubs may well be restricted from so doing.   Those that don't pay insurances to protect their club members may well get a rude awakening and be refused a room or building to use. Nominated deaf people will have to be noted to ensure guidelines are followed properly.  Those that cannot supply that management may again be refused a room.

Those that rely on subsidised or socially supported (Local authority/Social Service/Church e.g.),  clubs may find they need to show 'passports' of members too or be refused, systems won't take overall responsibility.   Limits on members using a club may take place also if social distancing is still a norm, clubs have to be physically assessed to ascertain if they can do that.  Kitchens managed etc.  

A lot of deaf clubs are run rather crudely to be honest and via a loose hierarchy of sorts, this won't manage covid, and a lot is voluntary, older deaf are already using same areas other disabled and vulnerable elderly are also and the rules there are quite strict already.  Albeit some clubs with elderly in it often don't have them attending with actual support, they are delivered to the clubs and picked up after, and it is left for members to assist each other.  That may have to change to the detriment of some being able to attend at all.

I suspect a number of their clubs will not reopen in the future at all. The smaller clubs won't.  Young deaf will be hoping the pubs can provide, the elderly may lose many of their options.  Zoom is not what they want or use, and isn't a replacement for actual people.  We noted during this pandemic how many actually were not online at all.

That apart, this seems an ideal time for those who exist on the sidelines to come in out of the cold, a lot of deaf and HoH support and inclusion has emerged during covid by default, best capitalise on that? not revert to the old systems? or revert to hoping the same old system deaf of standing under the lamplight, used before can still work?  Dunno about that they turned street lighting off here ages ago!

What plans are deaf making to reopen their clubs?

Hard of Hearing: Sort yourselves out!

Social media with the same tired old arguments of annoyances with hearing mainstream failing to adopt any patience with us all.  Ergo, 'Are you deaf, daft of what?' at least we get to choose! Today, When "Never Mind" Is an Insult, i.e. when people stop explaining to you what they are saying in frustration... because you still don't get it.

We have hearing aids that still won't work in many situations effectively, CI's, and speech to text technology e.g. that while improving, is still a bit of a lottery, lip-reading which 85% of us are totally useless at using, or assuming we are more adept than we actually are. Deaf are most suss at that especially the sign-using areas. but hard of hearing make demands that still don't help also, and sign language that requires either support to work or the entire mainstream to learn first. 

One day we will address hearing loss and deafness properly and get ourselves sorted out so stress isn't a daily norm and cross to bear.  Or is that too logical?   What we like to use isn't necessarily what is actually working for us. We need to dump and/or approaches to communication and get real.  Perhaps bury the myth sign or lip-reading works on their own or that it works in mainstream either, history shows not.  Millions with hearing loss are living proof we have no idea what we want, only we want it!

Monday, 22 March 2021

The Money Pit

In March 2020, as lockdown came into effect and services across the country switched to phone consultations, Deaf people needed a solution fast to address this new barrier to healthcare in the UK.

The Deaf health charity SignHealth launched a free on-demand 24/7 remote interpreting service called BSL Health Access, in partnership with the company, InterpreterNow, to enable Deaf people access to medical services over the phone, free of charge.  

No funding

When BSL Health Access launched, SignHealth optimistic that NHS England or another government body would pay for the service in order to make phone consultations accessible to Deaf people. In the meantime, SignHealth invested £800,000 from their own reserves to kickstart the service and ensure Deaf people were not left waiting. Late in 2020, the NHS agreed to cover the running costs from December to the end of March 2021 to ensure the service continued into the winter while the NHS reviewed British Sign Language (BSL) provision more broadly. SignHealth have been told that that review is not yet complete.  

After investing £800,000 from their reserves, SignHealth are unable to cover the costs of the service. The NHS has not committed any further funding for April 1st onwards, effectively closing the service of BSL Health Access.  

James Watson-O’Neill, SignHealth Chief Executive, said:  

“I am incredibly proud of what BSL Health Access has achieved and I will always be grateful to SignHealth’s deaf-led Board of Trustees for approving such a significant investment to fund this innovation. I hope that we can work together with NHS England and individual NHS providers to find a long-term sustainable solution. Access to health services is a right, not a privilege. Deaf people, whose health is already poorer than hearing people’s, deserve excellent access to health care in British Sign Language.” 

Response to BSL Health Access closing

Andrew Dewey, CEO, InterpreterNow, said:  

“SignHealth and InterpreterNow are incredibly proud of the service we provided to enable access to healthcare during the pandemic. Over 25,000 conversations were interpreted over the last year through BSL Health Access, and Deaf people have told us the service was ‘life-saving’.  We are incredibly disappointed and gravely concerned that the Deaf community could be left without any BSL access in health care settings during the pandemic and beyond.”  

BSL Health Access enabled important conversations at hospice centres with the Deaf relatives of people at the end of their lives. Vital conversations happened at hospitals (18% of the conversations) where Deaf patients were unable to have interpreters or family members present due to social distancing restrictions. 61% of conversations were to and from GPs. Urgent conversations were also held with emergency services at homes with sick babies and elderly family members.   

Rebecca Mansell, SignHealth Director of Communications & Fundraising said: 

“As it stands, BSL Health Access will be switched off at midnight on 31st March 2021. BSL Health Access is now in the hands of the NHS and we call for NHS England to continue to fund this vital service, fast.”  

A petition has been set up asking the NHS to fund BSL Health Access.


ATR Comment: Reverting to state support of media updating is long overdue, none of these deaf charities or HoH ones have the wherewithal to replace a legal right of access anyway.  The ongoing issue of appalling bad management by deaf UK charities and the 'off loading' of deaf and HoH support to charity will only continue to result in huge gaps and shortfalls of welfare and help for those with hearing loss.  

Using the begging bowl to provide what is a legal right, it was a stupid system to accept by deaf and HoH anyway, the state saw them coming.  This was the state conning greedy charity to 'serve their own' on a shoestring, all we saw was relentless campaigns for more and more money, and for more and more support, because there will never be enough for a national charitable setup, the RNID e.g. knew and pulled out. Charitable support is/was a joke, despite deaf and HoH being served 'By their own people',  nobody ensured they were qualified to run deaf support, or able to operate a national system.  Sitting in an office doing a video is hardly a vital service provision and how many use it?  With handouts, it was never on and the state gets to blame charity for it all.  Deaf have 'Mugs' printed on their forehead. 

Charity is also immune to concern being expressed when they screw up or discriminate as well.  Again supported by the state to do that, because the state doesn't want the flak from the WOKE worshippers.  Some deaf charities are run like some sort of secret society, except they are a step up from funny handshakes... The deaf charities particularly were and are awful, operating and existing in a vacuum and blind to reason in most part, too many amateurs whose only qualification is they know some sign language, they obtained and wasted £millions to no real advance for their own areas, lost 100s of deaf their jobs, built a conveyor belt to ensure trustees were evident,  and grassroots lost support and jobs when they folded because they can't manage to fund and ran culture gigs instead of basic support for deaf people, obliquely saying that onus was the state's not theirs.  So why are THEY asking for funds to do it?  Get a grip.

They continue to exist because the state doesn't want to carry the can for their neglect.  On the face of it, SignHealth provides a vital service of a kind but reliant on handouts it can not deliver and doesn't for non-signers anyway which is the other side of a very bad coin.  Using a charity means the NHS doesn't have to provide themselves,  which apparently is another plus for these charities to attack the NHS for not doing what the charity is taking money for THEM to do!   The NHS would obviously need a lot more money than a charitable handout to provide a proper service, so it's clear handouts aren't working.  It's like a deaf version of 'The Money Pit' where endless cash is needed to build a house that swallows money faster than any black hole and then falls down anyway.   Any other business would have folded years ago. 

ATR flies in the face of deaf and HoH DIY and says drop charity and demand the access, inclusion and rights laws start delivering.  Given the uncertainty of funding to provide services, state doing their moral and ethical duty is long overdue, we can at least then get a reliable system of hearing loss support to work and lobby at, not, trading off communication preferences and culture gigs that swallow up funds and provide NO support of real note and pits one communication format against others.  The Charity Commission doesn't even validate if charities are inclusive or run properly. 

£m's are being wasted on ventures that do not provide real help just indulge in random projects.   Regardless IF SignHealth provides a vital service, it is a STATE responsibility.   Campaigns go from one area and ignore inclusion for others, charities polarise (Or not depending on where the cash is most likely to be had). 10m HoH have no national support set up at all, the odd few 1,000 signers have no issue getting what they want be it support about their daily lives or fostering their cultural aims, it's just their poor relationship with the inclusion that is the issue, state support would equalise we can lobby the state far easier than we can challenge charities messing it all up.  

It's not factually true the NHS does not provide BSL support, it is the ONLY support they offer deaf people, the issue is Covid currently, and free-lance and unmoderated BSL interpreter help, and their issues with regular employment and pay, there are also issues from deaf who prefer face to face not video help.  Is SignHealth saying the deaf cannot or doesn't have a choice? Can only use theirs?  We've used BSL support with the NHS for years.  It is the refusal to support HoH that is a problem.  As regards to a pandemic, we are all in the doo doo.  Adapt.

The state could ensure e.g. a national support set up that worked on an inclusive basis and develop support for areas of hearing loss totally ignored at present.  Mainstreaming deaf children is a good start, now we need to mainstream support.  The NHS actually does provide signed output and captions, so why are we paying SignHealth as well?  'Jobs for boys/gals'?

Saturday, 20 March 2021

D/d and now G/g?

When is all this stuff going to stop? The daft messages are going out everywhere.   Culture and sign being a money-spinner and 'Job for the Boys' and more for their very obvious reliance on help to do it.  It's a self-perpetuating reliance on being a charity case, except they suggest it is 'empowerment' instead, but the image is not what others see and their emancipation not what they are demanding.  Rank and file deaf know street reality.

D/d/G/g (!) all designed to maximise deaf isolation and create have, and have not's by decibel, by social exclusion, and by language format, what we fought against for 50 years, now they make it a virtue.  If bilingualism was an essential part of it, it would be valid, but it isn't.

Sign language is the divisor, not the empowerment, these deaf maintain their own lines and barriers, politicians enable them.  The nation's host language pitted against a minority one, with only one result, the minority remains isolated. Mainstream patronising them by its acceptance but doing own thing anyway.  They want an 'interpreter'? OK give them one, but we aren't going to change, they aren't.

Of course they 'prefer' their own, what choice do they have?  No good has come to deaf people prioritising themselves as 'different' or worse, 'diverse',  nobody buys it.  We can all see their relentless campaigns for help, access and support, but it is far lesser than their desire to be included.  They are in their position because they are unable to adapt or refusing to.  

Instead of support for empowering deaf with better or more options, they demand their own exclusion by 'choice' and 'right', challenge the host country language and grammar, then demand everyone adapts to them.  It could only happen in a democracy, under siege by minority cause celebs.

One issue is defining who is deaf and who isn't, the capital D has removed actual hearing loss as the main criterion.  There is scant proof deaf ARE profound deaf as defined in a clinical sense, and by default, these areas defy clinical definition as if deafness or hearing loss was some right, and the reason they are isolated by it is down to everyone else discriminating against them by not signing as well.  

It isn't cultural-based either except for a minuscule few (5%).  Hereditary deafness is the true 'definition' of culture.   95% adopt it every generation themselves because nothing changes and the state design to do something about it isn't happening.  Deafness is now about how YOU see your hearing loss, but many with useful hearing will also insist they are deaf and indeed profoundly so, because the cultural 'bandwagon' means by self-declaration you can be 'Deaf' too and its easier to seek help with that.

The UK's DWP who assess and provide financial support to deaf people, don't pay deaf for their own support, primarily because that help does NOT advance social inclusion.  Assessment is how hearing loss affects your ability to work in the mainstream, but they expect deaf to make adequate effort to help themselves also.  However the presence of a 3rd party is hard to get around. A lack of signed access is not an essential part of that assessment because not all deaf use sign language and culture has little part in a work or disability assessment.

Wider inclusion is a political issue and decision.  Unfortunately, rather than use state support being used as an impetus to enable the deaf to adopt alternatives, that is discrimination too, so there is no end or point to a  lot of it.  They could e.g. make welfare support reliant on deaf taking up further education courses, or learning how to make more use of the skills to communicate they have, to make employment and inclusion more viable, instead of buying the cultural gig.  Many areas have a culture they manage to include themselves, migrants do all the time.  They come here, learn our language become bilingual.

Deaf signers always raise one reason why they cannot or won't do the same, even when able.  However some welfare payments e.g. the Access To Work one is not working as it was designed to, the areas are just demanding signed support to work in solitary sign areas like the deaf Arts etc.  Only the HoH are really using that welfare payment to obtain work in the actual mainstream.  The enablement payments are the highest in the UK via the deaf and no visible 'sign' it is working as it was meant to.  Employers can't or won't foot that bill when there are 100s of hearing who could do the same job with less aggravation.

It's not viable employers pay full-time wages for someone to sit alongside a deaf person in any job, or the welfare state to foot that bill.   It is a liability they don't want. As we know, it all starts and pretty much ends in school, unless we tackle the inevitable result of sign dependence and reliance, with nothing else being utilised, nothing is going to change.  They become cultural 'fodder' by default.  Another generation convinced hearing are against them.