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.”