Sunday, 31 January 2021

Asking the deaf the real questions?

Of course, they don't, the questions are pre-determined at the start and about 'access' or rather their view of it. It is pretty amazing as a deaf person and observer of the deaf over many years, we note that NOTHING has changed from the deaf view at all in 30 years except we mistakenly approved of their chosen isolation approaches as a right of some kind.

Yes we need more access etc, but the issue of inclusion demands compromise and a change of communication emphasis at day one.  The assumption if hearing provides interpreters as and when, make people more aware of sign and the 'Deaf Way' then inclusion will follow, is a false premise and statement, of course, it won't.

Deaf travellers sought out other deaf not hearing. It does seem the politics of blame is a cover-up for promoting the Deaf way little else.  She didn't ask the questions WE are asking other deaf and mostly, because they cannot respond effectively so tend to ignore and block and yes, 'Blame' you for asking the questions, it's less a community out there more a battle waged over selective silence, and uniting for the 'Deaf' good.

Inclusion, as seen by one student of it, was far from clear the technical and legal bits of inclusion simples, but again 'My peers don't understand me..' (The hearing ones), don't get it etc, but again missed the point the student was operating from behind 'cultural/Language cover' and not at the business end of hearing deaf interaction was the usual norm.  It just seems they want to maintain demands for paid support ad Infinium, the propagation of it, and even hearing to adapt to them unconditionally with no compromise by them at all.

Of course, inclusion has nil chance of working that way and as we know for those deaf more than happy to socialise with own peers who see no advantage in getting stressed making more effort with hearing.  Sadly this mindset endorses an education that promotes more of the same.  Rights/equality laws are 'read' quite differently depending on what area you are sent to, and we all know the 'Deaf' have crated 100s of alternatives to the interpretation of those.

Few in the video appreciated the issue was sign language, and the lack of impetus for any hearing to adopt it, and why bother? when the deaf are not asking for it in real terms, but demanding 3rd parties to assist who kill socialising dead.  Their demands for teaching hearing to sign is purely a commercial issue, those entrenched in the 'Deaf' ways are not going to change.

Their access messages in retrospect are a blind and is entirely relative to maintaining their own status quo.  Access may well up their poor education approaches, but won't enhance inclusion.  Social is all, nothing else matters.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Is Sign language realistic for the Hard Of Hearing?

Mostly, no it isn't. The fact such classwork has levels and built-in 'deaf awareness' is a fudge really because everyone's idea of awareness is different or non-applicable.  ATR is of the view mostly they are money-making schemes etc where vested interests of various ilk, set themselves up as 'advisors' or teachers of sign language or culture etc but mostly with bias and have undertaken no training or course to do teach that, they are 'Deaf' also so they are 'trained' by 'experience', but it is their experience, not anyone else's.  The fact sign promotion and use/support mean a JOB or a WAGE changed the point of it years ago.  Had lip-reading enjoyed the same success that would be vogue.   What support you need is based on what is the most profitable for those who provide it.  There is no money in lip-reading.

Deaf and HoH people need a proper course of loss awareness, we tend to get sucked in with courses/levels/etc and the overall hype of sign communication approaches, but we can get bogged down in own perceptions and own experience and assume others are the same which isn't true of course, everyone is different, in loss degree, ability, lifestyle, age acquired, communication approaches used, etc.  When that is understood then the directions of awareness and support tend to shrink and become singular and that divides people.  

Currently, awareness which is a bit of an 'in-joke' with most of us, because it is singular and polarised so awareness is entirely relative to who is promoting it.  We tend to feel sorry for hearing people wanting to be aware, who then don't get it when faced with those who they weren't told about, or were misled on what others need, or, who they are, they get defined/labelled by how they communicate not how much loss they have, or how needs differ.  Loss and its real effect then become a secondary issue.  They don't understand the D/d or HoH thing or the 100s of others in-between because the course and classwork were singular or specialised.

The first thing all need is clinical assessment, then a course on restoring confidence based on understanding hearing loss reality.  Basically, sign language it is not as simple as acquiring the skill, it was designed for people that had no hearing background, and if you did there are issues adapting.  Sign demands an alternative lifestyle approach, and this is where HoH fall down, there is always the reluctance to go in that direction, or they can struggle to find an area to use it in, few are told the use of sign exclusively means your reliance on others in a class because they know many would not proceed with learning it.  HoH have a real 'thing' about having to rely on others, this is never really addressed.

We need to really understand what sign communication is and IF we are prepared to adapt to maximise its use.  It's a 'novelty' in some classes, but a way of life to others.  Most classes consist of hearing people wanting to work 'in the field' or relatives, you won't find any deaf there much as with lip-reading you won't find any there either.  We think the whole BSL/LR thing fails to empower actual deaf or HoH and simply not designed for that, which begs the question where is the actual communication help? and preferably one without the insane politics and cash-driven basis of it all?  

Awareness relies on who promotes it, or polarised charities whose primary function is to maintain our reliance on their 'support', all based on culture or politics, not need.  Disability has been dumped in favour of blaming others for your situation, and we are all social animals not patients with a sensory loss, so who needs support?  We need everyone to adapt to us because we cannot adapt to them etc. Maintaining specialisation has simply empowered minority areas, not empowered the major one, who had their issues relegated to minor status as a result, creating a sort of hierarchy and elite amidst those with deafness.  The reality is deaf haven't moved at all and no longer feel they should anyway.

Sensory loss is a huge disability, it's not only a sensory/communication issue but one of mental health too, and we should be treating those who are disabled by it with the higher level of seriousness it needs.  At present we are simply empowering others at the cost of sacrificing our own empowerment.  That isn't the way to address things.  Technology has given an opt-out in part from addressing these issues, so everything is becoming realtive.  Who knows what the future actually is in assisting those with hearing loss?

Friday, 29 January 2021

Relay this.....

Is your relay call really necessary? A short review of online deaf Hard of Hearing responses...

#1 I thought relay systems were obsolete? as we can text, email etc most people now, indeed they prefer that method.  I have easy access to my GP this way and the NHS, also to 999, I am not comfortable with video access because sign relay is nil use to me.  

#2 I gather there isn't a great take-up of it by the deaf either?  

#3 A LOT of deaf sign users don't phone or text anyone outside their peer area leaving it to hearing relatives, or interpreters most are on first names with.  One statistic suggested less than 34% actually use dedicated access lines or make their own calls to them.  

#4 Sign Relay claims a lot do use them but when I asked for a breakdown of the stats they refused me them.  E.G. One deaf person using the relay system 6 times, is NOT 6 deaf people using the system, It suggested 'creative' statistics, but all these deaf charities make up their own statistics.   

#5 It is a deafie job-creation scheme for themselves innit, like cultural advocates, deaf awareness, deaf arts, and BSL trainers... money for old rope they know hearing haven't a clue.

#6 There was a campaign to stop family assisting deaf people wasn't there?  because it was killing access campaigns and demand other deaf were campaigning for, seriously hampering neutral support, and confusing inclusion demands.  One deaf area at odds with the other.

#7  Yeah I saw that the BDA and RNID challenged the campaign as an 'attack on choice'.    The campaign also lobbied NHS insurance companies on the grounds if a family assist, created health issues for their deaf relative, then the NHS could be sued for non-provision of neutral support.  Hearing relatives were known to withhold health details.  Justified on the grounds their deaf relatives wouldn't understand them. 

#8 Yeah cushty if the deafie is making a will, or needs banking help lol.

#9 Haha, attack on the BDA/RNID/SIGN HEALTH money-making scheme more like it.  Suggesting poor access as a drive for more demand for their help, more help means more reliance means more help etc... a charity perpetuation scheme.

#10 It was pointed out every time a hearing relative was used, deaf were not getting neutral advice or help, and relatives were making decisions for them, which was the campaign's primary point, but it seems a lot of deaf are more than happy to let relatives take the decisions for them, even using underage hearing children, which is, in fact, illegal in the NHS and social services could get involved.

#11  Can you actually imagine a deaf person attending an STI clinic with their family, an unwanted pregnancy, or a vasectomy e.g?   There has to be a limit on how much anyone deaf or hearing would want their family there making those decisions or calls, or knowing about them, doesn't the Hippocratic Oath matter any more?

#12 Nope, although the deaf patient should be asked to sign a form exonerating the NHS if a hearing relative fouls up.

#13  This should apply to Interpreters, but. a legal case said there is no blame can be attached to an interpreter who gives wrong or poor advice, or has misunderstood themselves what a medico was saying, or misunderstood the level of understanding of their deaf client, by default it becomes 'hearsay' so not admissible as evidence.  When a deaf person uses 'support' they accept that, even in dealing with social service systems.  The deaf has to accept that by using an interpreter they are happy with what is relayed to them.  Ditto the interpreters, they cannot be held responsible for the fact deaf haven't understood clearly, because there is no way to determine how much detail they can follow.

#14 Interpreters mostly do not have any specialisation in health matters at all, e.g. a level 4 qualification is NOT a qualification in health matters, which requires specialist training over and above 'he said she said'.  Level 4 BSL interpreters were used in a mental health deaf clinic in England and were cited as unqualified to be doing that job as they had no experience in mental health, which eventually resulted in deaf patients being abused.  The assumption was a qualified BSL interpreter or assistant is qualified in every area.

#15 This isn't for a lip-speaker, where specialisation has to be undertaken before they can work in specific areas e.g. courts, it is concerning sign support demand little or no specialisation.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Counselling Hearing Loss.

The Canadian approach seems to go along with the stat view hearing loss is an issue primarily for older people, they even call it a 'seniors' set up to hammer home the point.

They do seem to not be aware that hearing loss can start at BIRTH, and even young adults from 16yrs of age onward start suffering hearing loss, a lot caused by ignoring volume levels on music equipment etc and playing it back far too loud.  Clinically at age 21 approximately, they will lose access to higher frequencies by default.  It seems to mirror in part the UK's RNID set up which looks at hearing loss as a clinical issue more than a social thing.

They too promote amplification aids and auditory equipment and such.   They do seem pretty vague on 'inclusion' and maintaining hearing loss to hearing peer inclusion.  Obviously, technology has been vital in maintaining contact, albeit ZOOM and other platforms don't have a viable speech to text inclusion and there are costs involved for those who want it.  It is suggested large groups will present issues for those with hearing loss.  The plus with ZOOM is people cannot or should not talk over each other, in that respect makes it easier to follow, but we have lobbied for years that open meetings are badly run and don't insist people speak one at a time and allow backchat to occur that makes it difficult to follow even with help.

Counselling trauma is vital we would like to see this a norm in the UK but it has no system at present that works and there are still cross-communicational issues via sign language usage and lip-reading tuition, education etc that again are non-viable in the UK due to polarised approaches and views on what actually constitutes inclusion.

For those with minor to severe loss, the primary view is maintaining some sort of bridge between them and hearing people.  To that end hearing aids, CI's, captioning, subtitling, amplified telephones, are the way they proceed.  They also view lip-reading as some 'holy grail' and image, that will make them 'hearing' once again, despite a 90% failure rate of most pupils to attain any realistic skill at it, because of age, disposition, or lack of basic abilities to master, what is a very difficult skill to attain.  

A db here or there makes your participation in a class hit and miss, as they are designed to maximise what hearing of use you still have.  As classes are open to all where they exist, then the entire class set up can fail if one or two attending, just do not have enough useful hearing to proceed and need obvious one on one help.

This raises a point as to what exactly is the point of them? it isn't obviously assisting those with little useful hearing or those who believe they have more useful hearing that is actually evident to others.  In actuality, this means those most in need of counselling and communication help are unlikely to benefit from or able to participate, in such class communal approaches.  We are told few tutors expect any real skill to emerge, and the class point is to erect some sort of mini-social set up as an alternative, 'like with like', which will fail obviously once you leave the class.

Trauma can only be alleviated WITH effective hearing options to many, which of course is not the point of the counselling which is to assist you in coping with the fact your limited hearing makes that unviable, facing facts. Even so, no guarantees hearing won't deteriorate with time anyway.  This suggests a lip-reading class merely delays the inevitable in that once hearing deteriorates to non-useful status, the pupil can be back to square one, as lip-reading relies on what you may no longer have i.e. useful hearing.  Turning your hearing aid off, means the class is pointless.

There doesn't seem to be much organised about hearing loss and how to address or alleviate communication issues.  Most of the awareness is over-simplistic and frankly unviable and they all seem to adopt the same mantra which isn't working and has been offset to a large degree by technology, not peer to peer inclusion which, is the whole point, or should be, in addressing hearing loss, not acquiring the latest gizmo.

People need people, and people need to bridge communications between each other face to face, not video to video which suggests isolation no longer exists.  Counselling needs to be brutal in part in laying out realistic goals and addressing misconception and denial, it is not clear clinical assessments are the start point.  They appear to be treating people that turn up ad hoc.   Sign language isn't a magic bullet, or the user of that mode would not need help in following everyone else and demanding nation-wide support to do that,  and lip-reading demands skills perhaps you don't have and lip-speakers are not an actuality in the UK as such so if you master it you cannot call on those.

What most need to be told, is reliance is NOT an inevitability of hearing loss IF appropriate tuition and support at day one is there to use, and not given 'Hobson's choice' of this mode or that mode.  The reality is that a form of total communication is the best approach and not an and/or one.  That enables whilst the other options tend to maintain the status quo.  I wonder if counsellors tell patients which they need to acquire? or do they still sit on the fence and 'recognise' cultural views on communication, prioritise over actual need and abilities, adopting the horses for courses approaches?

They don't need to consider cultural want, their patients won't be from those areas.  They will need to clarify what the reality is by patients who ask should they go to that area?  If hearing is still your bag, then the answer is no, stay clear of cultural area support.  As counselling is taking a clinical view of loss, then they should not be sitting on any fence but saying 'this may suit you, but that won't'.  No point taking advice if you are not going to follow it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Deaf Trauma

Deaf Trauma 2021 from Keyring Media on Vimeo.

Canada needs to do what the UK is doing and close down 'specialist' deaf schools that operate in isolation from mainstream, and thus are unregulated and unmonitored. Research taught us in the UK less than 15% of ALL deaf children require a school with specialisation and with adequate support can manage mainstream ( I emphasise adequate because someone inexperienced taking a few notes and an ABC of sign won't cut it).

The UK also showed that inclusion of deaf children won't happen if they are educated apart from the mainstream, not even as adults since the 'die is cast', after that time.  Large areas of the UK no longer have any deaf schools, one area (Wales), has none at all and statistics do not appear to show deaf children there have suffered as any result as academic attainment has risen, where previously, deaf schools stagnated, and as Canada saw, children, suffering ignorance and abuse.

Many myths abound of deaf adults extolling the virtue of deaf schools, primarily because they formed a self-reliance social set up in those places to combat the abuses and isolation, but they don't support the educational side of deaf schools, which left them as adults unable to compete with hearing for work, health or enabled any realistic inclusion via empowerment.

In Ireland, the church abused deaf children and in Scotland too, one deaf school very recently there was investigated.  The issue is abuse is passed off as 'misunderstandings' by the deaf via their 'learning difficulties' it is how abusers kept up their abuses so long, nobody believed the deaf child.

Unfortunately, as deaf schools continue to function, activism exploits that fact and holds up deaf schools as a model to return deaf children to, because it is the basis of their culture and social lives, ignoring the fact abuse is what drove deaf to do that at the start.   Schools were deliberately set apart from others.  Deaf children saw exclusion as a norm.  Deaf groups and leaders show few skills or reliability to ensure child safety and already promote separatism as a justification for the deaf to stand apart, aided and abetted by a poor system of deaf child support in the mainstream.

Most of the drive is activism knowing deaf community starts in deaf schools and want that maintained even reinforced, putting abuse and ignorance as a price worth paying. What will overtake deaf activists will be choice, even they can not stop that happening.  School days are the happiest days of deaf lives?  so many were in complete denial, so many lies from older adult deaf who still justify it.

It's good these issues are raised, but unless they address why they happened.... compensation won't stop it.

Village Idiot Diaries (The first bit).

Call me Ishmael (no better not, that's been done hasn't it ?).... I'm 3rd generation as a profoundly deaf person, having a mother and grandmother suffer this disability, and other family members also have some hearing problems. I discovered quite by accident that makes me a bona-fide 'cultural' deaf person, genetically  (Which is one above being a mere sign user, thus making me an elite).  but there is no money in it so I just use my status to annoy those who allude to it instead.  Basically its the only fun I still get other than tripping up people on crutches or letting wheelchair tyres down.. 

I've had years as a Hearing, Hard of hearing, a severely deaf person, and now as profoundly deaf one, and a dozen other identities in between since I was 11, so have managed to form some views on it, which I would like to pass on to you for a very small fee and can supply you with a cuddly toy with a hearing aid on it, or a deaf ABC if you are that way inclined, as well as regular updates as to how I will spend the cash you send. I ask only you read these sad tales of woe, discrimination, hearing persecution, deaf genocide, and more identity issues than most schizophrenics can ever hope for...  because you have to inject some issues or they think you are taking the proverbial.  It's a personal experience, and I trust no-one else has to go the same road, so please pay attention, as I will be passing the hat around later...

I write as I recall, and leave you the reader to assess as they find. It is a waste of time the sign user taking an interest they banned inclusion, speech, or reading years ago, so I can write or say what I like really they won't know unless they break ranks and trip themselves up by letting on that was all bull manure.  It's a voyage of real discovery and derring-do (And a few derring-don'ts it has to be said),  into the thoughts and mind of an individual with hearing loss, who lives, laughs (Mostly hysterics), and loves life (Just not the deaf one), whilst still avoiding rubber wallpaper, going to deaf clubs, and telling everyone it's half-past two.  

We all of us with hearing loss, have to go through the agonies of poor awareness, lack of focused support, and enduring discrimination from society, and from other deaf people, at our schools, at the workplace, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous uniformed and patronising Support Systems in it for the cash, as a bonus.  Whinging is what we care about most.  

If you add that as those losing hearing, or lost it down the side of the chair somewhere,  we spend the first dozen years in complete denial as well pretending we can still hear and nodding our heads off like Indian coolie's, that about describes it for most. Hell, even my cat took the p.i.s.s. out of me...

Anyone who thinks it's rough today support-wise, obviously don't get out much, or are members of this mythical community with their own version of dodgy handshakes and face distortion.  I expect they are probably on holiday at this time in the Seychelles spending their hard-earned disability handouts, or perusing which  4 X 4 new roadster they will drive this year.   We can claim 5 times any wage just to turn up for work.   We've made millionaires of some BSL interpreters.

I opted for deaf arts initially, because nobody has a clue what that is and you can do what you want, all you need are hands and learn how complain with them without hitting anyone.  I got a grant of £9,000 last year to set up a charity to explore issues deaf people have with hearing, money for old rope really. Basically, I tell people I can't hear them, and you get a decent laptop.

It occurred to me that many cultural deaf people e.g. feel the need to write about themselves and issues, about how life in an institution (Sorry deaf school), located in the middle of some obscure field, with only sheep for company, being abused, or learning how to work for themselves because no-one else would hire them, while being unable to make themselves understood with sign language, was the best time of their lives etc.   They tend to curse their parents for being hearing and made paranoia an Olympic event.  

It's life, just not as most know it possibly.  I'm a prime example of one db too far (Or not far enough).  I thought there is a few quid to be made, and some reference to Mr Pulitzer on the cards, and if moaning at all and sundry gets me a living and recognition, (Or hard cash) hey, don't knock it.

Initially, I did try an American spell checker to write this opus, but it ran out of vowels or something. I tried a European one they didn't have anything but consonants but did do wonders for my football skills. I even tried a welsh language approach but the pages got soaked and were unreadable.  I couldn't find 'll' 'ch' or 'ff' keys on my keyboard.

I thought it might make a change to you dear reader, to read about the trials and tribulations of a deaf person who doesn't put it all into a cultural context, and rambles on about what happened to people like me 200 years ago in Italy and long before the UK had ever heard of pasta. I often 'take the knee' for deaf inclusion, (It's getting up after, I have issues with).  

If this book/paper/blog, incoherent ramble, and passable alternative to war and peace, minus the cannons, is an aid to awareness in any way at all, gets up people's noses, or even triggers debate about it, and instigates a drunken punch up, I'm happy, just send me money, I have all the sympathy and issues I need thanks. 

If it raises awareness and creates inclusion, then we can all enjoy the same issues hearing have, sod's law innit...  The point being you should not link my story with anything concerned with a capitalised D, or small d (As this invites some form of childish ridicule for some reason), it's what you do with it, that counts as we all know.  

NOTE: The tome' does not by its nature endorse anything to do with oral versus deaf, Deaf versus sign language, Social versus Cultural definitions, D versus d, or deafness versus disability. These people keep adding to it, so by the time you read this, they have declared war on Neptune as well I expect.   Please understand they have a desperate need to keep re-inventing the wheel. My view is they are all whingers, so why not me?  Equality in Action.

I think us poor sods and sod-esses with hearing loss, have been neglected too long by all. I'm now an old fart, so beyond worrying about criticism, so up yours, vote 'Deaf prime Minster now', 'Deafness for deaf people only',  and give us loadsa welfare money, you know it makes sense to fund us to go live in the Bahamas somewhere and stop annoying you for a job, support, or inclusion.


Monday, 25 January 2021


A response to ATR who suggested to a youtube poster that a refusal to adopt English was making things harder for deaf people. (Apart for the fact the poster uses English to make the point!).

#1 It's the hearing world that needs to be more inclusive, but it depends on government policies, government goodwill and the hearing society willingness too. The poliglotic approach could be an option, Prince Philip's mother (Her Majesty's mother-in-law) was deaf and learned many languages, but in a flying world a wingless bird being said that it must fly to survive is impractical, society through government must do it's part for it to thrive. It could be harder, I know, but acceptance by actions would go beyond and succeed. Teaching written English to deaf people as deaf not as if they were hearing people may help a lot. The hearing world, English speaking and writing included, needs to reinvent education so to really include the deaf world.

ATR: Everyone should sign to the deaf?  That wouldn't help me who is deaf and doesn't sign or 6m others who don't would it.  Deaf sign users who keep insisting education is a form of discrimination, need to look at the world as it is and not from an enclosed space that confines people to ignorance. They aren't the only deaf people in the world, and most now do understand acquiring their country's language is essential, it's not a discrimination process!   Illiteracy impoverishes the deaf signer as much as the hearing peer.

I think dragging up Prince Phillip's mother is stretching credibility a bit too far, he is near a 100 years old now, and, he ridiculed deaf people at an event he attended!  FYI His mother was a lip-reader who lip-read English and German but didn't sign, she was also a  schizophrenic.  The only 'royal' who had a stab at sign was princess Diana, another schizophrenic and a depressive who never got beyond spelling her own name with it.

Teaching English isn't a choice option, it's a necessity for deaf people to advance, I don't see where speech comes into it, for those with no ability to speak nobody is forcing them to learn.   There is no written sign language and everything is visual, so no signed reference work deaf people can use.  ATR published last year a deaf scientist having to invent his own sign, but without a reference work to understand those, again extreme difficulty for other deaf to do the same as he did.  He was taught orally...

Above is the American attempt to 'write' sign language.

The sign language does not exist for the deaf to advance in education or science to highly advanced levels, without an understanding of English the textbooks are meaningless and there are no signed ones.  Not only are you suggesting some sort of immersive and total signed approach for deaf people that has nothing but a disputed dictionary and no technical reference, but no teachers or system to make it viable.  If you started now we are talking many years assuming the visual textbooks are being developed.

Opposition to the only means they have of learning to read this.  Mainstream won't adapt to you, OK you will get an interpreter to maintain your reliance on hearing but.... because systems know sign is an incomplete language they can use for teaching, and they would need to know mainstream will accommodate that.  I think deaf need to use their heads more and their hearts less, or remain left out.  Unless they really want to spend their lives as some sort of Don Quixote tilting at windmills...

Friday, 22 January 2021

Deaf Anthology question raised in London..

It's a rare occasion when Westminster in London acknowledges the deaf or American deaf at all, it is only since we got rid of Europe we have taken an interest in the Americas, and bleached Kentucky Chicken wings to be honest. We get all the drugs we need from the middle east and Russian mafioso now Marseille and Holland are non-persona grata.

ATR apologises for some caption speed issues, this is down to UK-USA issues and the UK being about 40 years behind everyone else, and I forgot to put the clocks back to BST.  You will need to play the video back at half speed which is the way the UK do it.  We would have included sign interpretation but unfortunately, there is a UK political negative on BSL (and ATR hasn't a clue what ASL is).  ATR, of course, is deeply obliged to the USA as the home of the refugee and safe home for migrant deaf fleeing from persecution and BSL forced indoctrination, for the opportunity to speak, God Bless the USA (Well bits of it anyway).

ATR extends its support for Mr Bidet, and trust it all doesn't go down the pan later.  ATR assures American readers he has no intention of accepting the Queen's pardon, I never liked England anyway. As regards to dissing the USA president, I claim the 5th (And any other amendment that stops me being impeached), and 74m also disagree so fair play....  

I did send a pardon request to Donald but it got there too late and he was off playing golf somewhere.  Maybe I'll try again when he comes back.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

State of the Union


[A view from behind the UK barricade]

After watching what was a ridiculous inauguration of a senile (But nice) old bloke in Washington who brought the church and circus into town, a trans singer dressed like coco the clown, which was followed by an outbreak of silly grins, while the populace were banned from attending (because that is taking democracy too far), and instead were represented by a shed load of flags instead, he endorsed 20,000 armed to the teeth troops wandering around hoping to shoot a few protestors,  I think America has lost its Union frankly, and I'm half inclined to throw in my Lot with Vlad the Putin or that Chinese XPing or something. 

Sleepy Joe Biden (They are taking bets he won't last 18 months without stimulants already), then commenced allowing an illegal migrant-free for all (Texans will love that I'm sure, 6m illegals just aren't enough apparently), then he encouraged more Islamics to come (Because Trump stopped them coming citing that the USA has more crazies than it needs already). Obviously, Joe disagrees, democracy demands ALL crazies are welcome (And he can supply them with AK 47's and semtex at very reasonable prices).

His number two (No pun intended), was chosen via some lucky dip of names sent in by Jeremy Corbyn of the UK who is never short of stupid ideas and needed a job in between campaigning for Gay Whales, and London for the Ethnics only. They did have reserves of his including Lassie, and champion the wonder horse on account they carked it some years ago, and used for wood glue, but news travels slowly in Corbyn's UK.

The populace were banned from attending because they wanted to turn the Senate into something useful like a home for the down and out dossers, this was deemed an assault on democracy, you need a job and a few million dollars to sleep in the senate. People were represented by flags instead, (Arnold Finkle of Kansas is represented by the 8th flag 28th row, to the right near that lake, Hi Arnie!).

Boris in London has done a 180 degree and now insists Mr Trump was a bit, you know, OTT about things. Biden is bad news for Boris because he supports the IRA, and the EU, he was told the Irish were already in the EU and had suffered enough. Biden now wants to save the environment and to start putting troops on Russia's borders again, Detroit will lose jobs but... perhaps he will send a few jobless to NATO. Easy money, just turn up, vote nyet, and collect the wages, easy peasy. They will have to queue behind the unemployed European Union members from the UK 'though.

Nigel Farage will be sent back to the UK because Mr Trump has taken up golf again and Nige plans to launch a 'Let's boycott America', campaign, and 'put Joe in a rest home with the other vegetables.' Sources suggest this is yet another winner. Missus Trump did hire a circus tend to wear for the day which was quite colourful and looking forward to raiding the shops again. The consensus is Don timed his arrival in Miami to perfection so 2-0 to Don, leaving Biden looking a bit lost.

Joe has decided to start recognising Europe again (a mistake in our view but..), and is hoping his chickens dipped in domestos bleach will prove a real winner in Berlin or Paris, or even Krakow if he can find it because they have less taste than the British. 'A much better use for bleach then injecting it to stop covid,' he said, 'which didn't work as we hoped, I think it a winner personally..'. 'Any country that can wear silly leather shorts and stuff Saurkraut down their throat 24/7 isn't going to be fussy,' he said 'Or a country that shoots and eats swallows and eats snails.. bleached chicken in cow s.h.i.t. are surefire winners..'

Joe has decided to re-join the WHO set up so he can blame them for all the inactivity and USA balls ups over covid. Biden, also signed 15 reversal papers, (back to the future V or something and conclusive proof he CAN write), also adopted new changes to gender rights, religious, and sexual orientation rights and access, and other concerns, Trump said were just plain ridiculous, (So your guess is as good as mine as to who, or rather what gets legalised next). The good news is newt worship is now a legal right again.

About the only positive of the new ethnic rep at number two, is you are guaranteed a decent curry when you visit. In reality, she is so far left she meets herself half the time walking about and is losing the use of her right limb. 'Anyone can do and be anything in America..I'm an example!' She says, but 'isn't that the whole problem?'


Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Do we need to de-prioritise BSL to Deaf children?

"We need deaf schools based on sign language as the prime teaching medium..."  

More arguments about switching to an immersive approach to a  sign based education for deaf children and claims this is a basic need being denied.  Should not inclusion be a priority?  This cannot be done by legislation alone.

This is nature versus nurture, nothing is written (Or signed until we do that). 

The thing about education is too much politics and not enough determination to offer deaf children a means of surviving and managing mainstream, cocooned as they are in specialist surroundings and a 'community' their sole alternative socially, means more of the same and nothing will change. 

Rather a pessimistic viewpoint!  The deaf community is all the deaf signer has, and it's their choice, not for you to say no...

'All they have and their choice..'?  Can you not see the irony behind your own statement?  They don't HAVE choices and that's the issue.

Inclusion in the mainstream means they need options to sign language it is a simple as that, I know this annoys certain areas, and they can yell discrimination till the cows come home but they need true bilingualism and alteratives to sign because it isn't what mainstream uses. You cannot demand they learn yours.  At best you can go half-way and hope others do the same.  Once you accept mainstream is not going to comply with demands then solutions become more realistic.

Pessimistically, showing deaf children that their future is one of reliance on others for life, a right even, and hearing are 'against' them, isn't much of an impetus to adapt at all. 

It's a base to launch deaf activism from, to blame everyone else, a base for a multitude of disassociated and disenfranchised people and focus groups to rant endlessly about, a breeding ground for extremes.

Deaf activism struggles in its own vacuum, it has turned deaf culture into a blame culture. There are no BSL schools, no BSL Deaf teachers, not enough interpreters, and no BSL curriculum to make it work. Political deaf views on opposition to our basic language acquirement, do them no favours either. It would take years to set a BSL system up and no guarantee parents would buy into or support it.   Who would train the BSL educational teachers up? and what bottom line on inclusion is there?  Or would it be 'cultural indoctrination on the 'Deaf Way' and children watching as endless campaigns come for others to sign too?  Where awareness is selective?

Mainstreaming must succeed we owe the deaf child that. Every child matters indeed, but they need choice and the Deaf community offers no choice at all, we have to convince people Isolation isn't inevitable, or what hope is there? Let us not bury realism beneath a layer of special need already hijacked by deaf activism whose bottom line is ignorance.

They need numbers to make waves, and there are less deaf now than there were, better approaches to hearing loss, CI's are better, Hearing aids are, and genetic advance will also address what wasn't addressable before.

Sign language is seductive, the idea that sign was a way in to other areas is never the reality, because once they sign at each other 24/7 what impetus is there to communicate any other way?  We need to prioritise bilingualism day one and actively ensure hearing and deaf peers work together, not, taught apart.

Of course, oral tuition started off very badly, but today we can make it work a lot easier and should be doing.  We need to bury deaf activists who call it cruelty, and intent on keeping deaf where they are, isolated so they can pontificate at them.

I find this conversation interesting as a look back to ye olde deaf ways, as they don't exist anymore, nobody wants it, and young deaf are getting out there and away from the restrictive lifestyles older deaf had no choice but to go with, let's be positive and make inclusion a reality, not another barrier created to keep the deaf out of it.  Deaf schools and clubs were a necessity in days gone past, they aren't now.

We need to prioritise ABILITY, not laud DISABILITY, simples.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

White Favouritism?

The problem isn't white people or white privilege, but poor democracy and those who actually believe you can legislate equality and acceptance, and then label other people racists because it failed, it has never worked.  Attempts to replace 'white privilege' with ethnic preferential status and treatment for others is a recipe for angst as well.  To suggest White people don't have issues of discrimination or persecutions and are never poor etc is rubbish, of course, they do.

90% of real discrimination comes from two primary areas, Focus groups and biased campaigns based on blaming others, which make matters worse (Like BLM and Deaf culture e.g.), hijacked day one by vested interests and surprise surprise NOTHING has changed.  Unlike the USA, British police don't make a pastime of shooting black people, but still being blamed for it.

If like most you are fed up apologising for being who you are then this video is yet another hand-wringing, let us blame white people for everything vid.  Every ethnic/disabled/religious/political area has its own norms and such, some of these norms are probably not ones we want to go with, to assume they can insist we do is unrealistic.

I have a simple approach if people are fine with me, I am fine with them, but I reserve the right to say no to something I don't agree with and friends choose each other not have to ask a panel first.  To suggest  Black or ethnic areas don't discriminate is a lie plain and simple of course they do.  Black slavers existed and are documented. They know it, we are stopped from saying we know it too, because if we highlight it, then that is discrimination. Stop the world we all want off it.

Too many laws too many claiming discrimination, and too much democracy that ignores common sense.  When BLM took to the streets vandalism ensured, covid rules were ignored, and then we saw white people in media going out searching for black people as presenters and such, the BBC threw £100m at them to promote black history, which ended with Lenny Henry a black comedian who last had a hit in 1980, getting a TV program about Black classical music,  One London TV soap opera the game is to spot an actual white person or someone that hasn't a very real problem.  The point being 'white people' DON'T watch such programs because obviously, they won't relate to it.

As a point of awareness and inclusion can someone please explain how it all works? All the TV  presenters suddenly started having ethnic names and faces too. This suggests not inclusion but bowing to focus group and campaign pressures, and trying to look diverse which they apparently weren't the last 60 years and nobody complained then.  Sad, they believe it a success, but obviously unaware we can switch them off our TV sets, or change channels, and simply socialise with other white people regardless, and the black/ethnic rights can do the same, so social exclusion is a right already.  Now everyone has a goalpost to fire at.

Do we as 'white' people demand they cannot have that cake and stop us eating it too?   Do we object to ethnic only areas and systems etc which reinforce their chosen 'way of life'? as contributing to their own exclusion by choice? All black people together, all white people together, all deaf together, all disabled together?   This is how it is proceeding, people need to stop and smell the coffee and realise where it is all heading.

A multi-cultural set up where everyone does own thing and inclusion never happens.  As ever be careful what you wish for.

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.”