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.