Friday, 19 February 2021

Is it time to disband deaf charities?

Some think so.  A recent post in a local newspaper raised an issue of the National (UK), lottery which so far has raised over £30B and averages £30 to £40m per week, a percentage (About £8/9m per week), goes to 'Good Causes'.  It was questioned what a 'Good Cause' actually was?  Areas like e.g. supporting illegal Migrants, religious areas, or Donkeys in Egypt,  were felt areas, contributors would perhaps NOT  want their money spent on. 

There are lotteries for every cause these days, so you can choose which one you want to contribute too, but it seems this huge amount of funding via the National lottery means you DON'T get that choice and we are talking huge amounts of money.

This was ridiculed by recipients of the Lottery because the money comes in effect, from betting (Which is what a Lottery is), this was countered, that may well be the case, but you are quick enough to apply for it, and if we are talking charitable contributions, then the lottery ticket buyers are major contributors just the same, so should not these 'gamblers/lottery ticket buyers', have a say, on where their 'contribution' is spent?

This is a moot point as many charities with hearing loss, of the 'Deaf' or Hearing loss areas, are amidst major beneficiaries of lottery funding as well.  E.G. Sign Health, the BDA, the RNID, the NDCS and dozens of other high profile charities in those areas get it.  There is a view such 'support' areas should NOT be getting lottery grants, that in effect are subsidies for the dire lack of state care, and its unwillingness to meet its own equality laws on human rights?

We already pay taxes for these things.  If the taxes are insufficient then address that.  The issue of state control and interference over allocation of funding is also suspect in that it is 'syphoning off' funds for care so they can spend it in areas that don't provide any, like sending money to countries where terrorists are accessing that money.  Or India to subsidise its rocket research.... There are too many examples of abuse.  Even lottery grants to overseas aid where nothing tangible ever comes from it.

The state is in effect, leaving charities to 'pick up the tab' by begging to maintain a care and support base that is a state obligation.  They argue BSL support is being paid for BY the state and authorities already.  Deaf are not charged for needing an Interpreter in the UK.

The question is still being asked why e.g. deaf children need charity? have they no right to an education or support already? Charity exists because the state continues to fail in its obligation to care for or educate, its most vulnerable, charity then perpetuates and supports it to stay alive itself.  Is this an unhealthy approach to inclusion, independence,  and empowerment?  Does it make beggars of deaf children and adults etc?  Maintains the images of reliance and 'help'.  It certainly puts the deaf insistence on non-disabled status into clarity.

Have we not just switched from state reliance, to charitible reliance?   At the start, this was mooted as us doing it for ourselves and having the say and direction, but it never happened, we were sold a pup, mugged in fact.   Hard of Hearing have voiced concern money is being allocated to supporters of deaf culture for areas that had nothing to do with support, but cultural promotions via arts etc when they would prefer it spent on alleviating deafness and more research to stop it from happening.  There was no such area identified of benefit for the majority with mere hearing loss.  BSL was saleable, culture the clout to demand with, hearing loss wasn't and there are concerns about bias and funding use that never got to others or for their support.  

There was and is an imbalance of funding allocation.  further concerns raised that a number of profile deaf charities over the last few years had gone bust and were run by rank, well-meaning amateur,s who couldn't manage funding properly or offer the services they claimed funding for, and went bust. The alternative problem of the Charity Commission allowing far too many charities to be created via hearing loss who offered nothing much of use and wasted huge amounts via duplication of services etc.   Demands they vet applicants went literally on 'deaf ears'.  The waste goes on.   

ATR's first blog was highlighting a welsh charity that demanded and got £17,000 to 'examine the needs of local deaf people', it failed to get anyone deaf locally to run it, the Charity Commission hadn't even checked for viability.  It was offered and the funding to 2 students who were hearing who didn't even reside in the area, over 18 months nothing happened except a computer was bought and a few posts on it cut and pasted from online about cut-price rail fares for disabled, then it all vanished along with the computers.  Ironically next to no local deaf knew anything about it, or had been contacted about what their need was.  Unless the Charity Commission starts vetting applicants for suitability,  this money is going to pour down the drain.  A 'good idea at the time' is NOT a basis for support.

Would it be far better the state influence was removed from the lottery and a panel consisting of ticket buyers, determine where they want their 'contributions' spent?  It would be democratic at least. Maybe a list to peruse of charities they would prefer benefited themselves?  One view put forward is this would promote racism and discrimination, as various areas blocked BAME areas or even disabled ones maybe preferring to save dogs instead or something, and all because of the unknown influence of a 'free' choice.    Is it not for the state to say where we spend our money to ensure fairness? who decides what is fair, not the donors?  Possible areas to benefit could be displayed at the point of purchase, and the majority decision thus determining where it goes, was one suggestion and based locally not nationally. It was argued why contribute to areas well outside their own who were needing it?

We would at least then see how we view the whole charity thing.  It all means £B's every year so not peanuts, so needs monitoring in relation as to how it supports the undermining of state obligation and thus, our rights, which inadvertently Charity is also contributing to.  Would we support charity funding of Deaf culture or not?  Maybe 10m HoH wouldn't, or hearing not interested. Access and inclusion is purported to be a human right, so why are we underpinning that with handouts governed by others?  I know where I would want my money to go so why isn't it my choice?  I don't get one because its a lottery?  If we stop buying.......

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Are young deaf ready?

The READY research project is following the lives of deaf young people aged 16 – 19 over 5 years. We are still looking for recruits, particularly deaf young people from lower-income backgrounds. We have currently recruited 246 from England, Scotland and Wales, although only 158 have continued past the information and consent forms to complete the online questionnaire.

The green dots are people fully in the study, and the red dots are young people who have not completed the consent process. If you have encouraged pupils to join the READY study, it would be really helpful if you could check to see if they have made it past this consent stage, as across the UK there are 88 young people in this red dot category. A little encouragement could help us reach a much wider and probably more representative group.

Here are the early findings from the first year of the study. In terms of wellbeing, the 73 deaf young people who answered this question have worse mental health than hearing age equivalents, though it was only significantly worse for women. The young people in this study assessed their overall health as much lower than hearing age equivalents. 

This first cohort felt confident about their employment opportunities, though these responses were collected before the first lockdown in March 2020. In terms of friendships, the group have both deaf and hearing friends but interact more with hearing friends. Larger friendship networks were related to higher socioeconomic status, as other studies have shown. Interestingly, young people with an additional impairment also have larger social networks.




Quit scaring deafies with Alzheimer's.

Deaf people are being bombarded online with claims they are all going to suffer Alzheimer's because of it, they ignore the fact 1 in 14 (Mainly over 65's), and hearing can get it as well.  Alzheimer's is a clinical issue [below] not down to hearing loss at all. 

Alzheimer's disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. One of the proteins involved is called amyloid, deposits of which form plaques around brain cells. The other protein is called tau, deposits of which form tangles within brain cells.

Take the Test:

I'm not sure all these claims we are all going to suffer Alzheimer's because of hearing loss are valid, it only appears a greater risk, because we/deaf are a 'captive' but small area to survey, with a higher number of adults with learning difficulties, who relied on others to access the world outside their own,  (40% of deaf children have learning issues also), then 'facts' get blurred, but if we extrapolate to hearing people there is little or no difference in the statistics, because there is no area of compatibility.  1 in 16 if hearing, 1 in 14 if deaf,  1 in 3 regarding cancer.

None of the current claims we are more vulnerable, because of hearing loss have provided an accurate survey or statistic.  Like any other area surveying the Deaf and hearing loss areas, they cannot get enough participation to make a statement, ergo you ask a 1,000 people a percentage suggest a higher number, but unless you ask at least 40% of the whole it is a survey for survey sake.  If we take e.g. election polling surveys they can go completely wrong.  It's barely a step up from guesswork.

The UK government owned up to 130 surveys a year, that was dwarfed by over 3000+ undertaken by charities and other areas, and more on social media, but none met the criteria for presumed accuracy.  The national Survey has no system to ensure questions are answered honestly, or if asked properly, it's all a 'guide' of some sort.

Deaf people are annoyed at these claims because the survey was using the 'hearing experiences and questioning', to determine how aware the deaf were and frankly unable to ask the right questions in the right context or even the right format to understand them. 

It is true deaf and others with hearing loss may not be aware of some things hearing take for granted, (I saw on the TV teenagers who did not know milk came from cows, another quiz show on the TV where a hearing adult had no idea when the last world war started or could name a single battle that took place), we doubt either would be considered as suffering Alzheimer's because they are hearing?   Questioning has to take into account what trends are...  asking an 8 year old questions on things that happened 300 years ago are pretty pointless.

The clue here is deafness, you won't recall what you never heard or read etc. E.G I have no idea who the current pop stars are or what their music is about, I can't hear it.  I CAN read their lyrics, but it only suggests most have quite limited English writing ability and are repetitive mostly almost child-like.  I can just about recall the difference between Elvis and Caruso but other deaf can't, they 'listen' to vibrations not voices.....

The 'Deaf' lifestyle is also one lived apart from mainstream, so social and cultural input is also different and access is different too, but not always available. I doubt anyone off the top of their head here can name (Without racing to google!), all the cabinet members or what they do etc... or reciting the 93 times table backwards etc.. Spelling will also be an issue with many.  That has to do with awareness, interest and education etc.  I don't see hearing loss mentioned at all. Assessment of those with hearing loss fails to actually take it into account so unreliable.  It's just a relentless assault on hearing loss and the people with it, so far hearing less has meant we are umpteen times more susceptible to every issue known to mankind.

Even 100 times more if we step into the road without looking first!  Get a grip people.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Been Deaf, done That.

Having recently read Ezio Savva's recent advert for his discourse on dysfunctional audism, ATR feels bound to respond with some realism on what was in fact a fudged concept at day one.  The paper is 4 years old as it is and based on a 10yr old issue first written up by the Americans, (A source of 100s of rather pointless terms, memes, outrageous blame games,  and campaigns that divide near everyone with hearing loss), as they vie for 'top dog' in the hearing loss areas, it has to be said, rather too successfully for real comfort as it is uncoordinated and random as well as non-inclusive, in that access and inclusion has been set back years as they attempt to redefine it.  

Demands for 'academic proof' of debate is a  misdirect, debating his thesis and offering up a view on it demands grass-root realism, not long-winded terms most deaf won't understand anyway, the idea is to convince HEARING they are academic too, but quoting each other is not really valid referencing, and suffers bias obviously, academic output has to provide far more in the way of facts to be reliable, such facts are statistics mostly, and the sole source appears to emanate from their own area and not elsewhere.

ATR was then asked why I didn't do a thesis/paper on it?  But I felt, who needs all that written out? the first thing deaf will say is it needs to be signed or something, failing that boring, or, another dig at deaf culture to be ignored. ATR uses text because that is his prime medium.  It probably suffers from in-depth explanation, but I feel BSL lacks such in-depth so at least they can get that from what I know,  experience suggests explanation tends to be a huge turn-off for the deaf, who can lack the concentration or patience to stay with it, not all obviously, but individuals like Ezio who make a point of academic input to promote deaf culture etc, so we assume he WILL read it.

Deaf UK:  

Ezio, I go via direct experience, and a near lifetime of being profoundly deaf, which is worth I feel, a dozen dusty long-winded tome's gathering dust on a shelf personally.  Having read the dysconcious audism thing, seems initially, a preamble based on the old Deaf-UK site, (which I was a  member of at the time). It wasn't actually disrupted by American input, but by a deaf individual who had some mental health issues, I know this because he spammed my blog day one, disrupted a local deaf club social site I set up, to bring it down,  was personally abusive, and brought down the old RNID feedback forum by pretending to be 4 different people, one of them posing as a female and another posing as an underage child.  

He was later identified via his 'Au' tag on his posts, an USA deaf blog aggregate banned him on those grounds for misrepresenting who he was and spamming other people.  They also issued warnings to other Deaf-UK posters who attempted to disrupt there too.  ATR was itself kicked out of Deaf UK for raising concern about what was happening after the UK-Deaf moderators started altering posted input, removing responses, posting comments identified as you but written by them etc to totally make it look like a poster was doing it themselves, so, an 'excuse' to ban.  Demanding they 'approve' of a post first means they can access it, change the content etc, as well, or simply not include it if it makes their input look wrong.  

UK social media deaf sites, a number still do it.  They had a deaf uk member savvy on hacking which he used to the full extent.    You can play them at their own game by removing your own comments to make them look silly but why bother?  This deaf individual set up own forum topics and then posted and abused his own input, using various alias', forcing the charity to close it down to all.  

The site couldn't be moderated effectively and genuine contributors to the open forum were getting laid into, the charity had no choice.  Sadly, this individual actually got a lot of support from BSL using deaf at the time, they felt he was 'defending' deaf culture and sign language, but the whole thing was toxic and hateful.

Deaf-UK established a first UK 'Deaf' blog aggregate in the UK, a model the USA took up, but as usual, the issues of its members, relentless attacks on others, and bullying meant the UK aggregate soon fell apart and to date, has never been re-established.  I'd love to see a UK deaf blog aggregate it is time I came in out of the enforced cold by these people, who manage bans that last years and use them to stifle free speech.  The UK desperately needs more deaf input that is neutral, more inclusive, and well moderated.

By comparison, the USA made theirs work because the moderation was far better.  Azio mentioned Harlan Lane, he contributed to that USA aggregate.  Had Harlan been British he wouldn't have been able a lot of very able and clever deaf also contributed to it, but only by being reasonable and supporting wider access and inclusion, there was no drive to maintain deaf isolation in any form.  Deaf UK promoted hate.  Some remnants of it are on social media today but viewed as rather extreme and irrelevant (And plain daft!), by the deaf community.  They don't contribute on the hearing stage at all because they would not be tolerated.

One or two Deaf UK members went to the BBC SEE HEAR site and got that feedback option to that BSL program closed down as well for 'allowing too much HoH involvement', in a 'Deaf' TV program, whilst baiting HoH to argument, to encourage closing them out. Other members abused its deaf representation, by undermining the British Deaf Association to promote a 'mutiny' against the charity, that had started to promote inclusion more, claiming a 'cultural sell-out', they even used the BDA's own resources to do it.  

The BDA retreated and today are irrelevant too and in all sort of bother losing trustees time after time,  and threatening members with legal action if they inform others what they do.  A culture of secrecy rules at that charity, but they get nil respect from me. It would be silly to write deaf activism off, they are very adept and clever people who still need to be monitored and confined to areas where we can prevent them from influencing others.  The ATR blog has covered it all for years.

The BBC ended up removing ALL deaf and disability input and dumped the deaf and its feedback to social media, this in effect prevented any disability or deaf involvement to the BBC direct.  The BBC later electing only those who did not complain to the BBC about anything.  The end result was the prime BSL channel relegated to the graveyard shifts, and a BSL 'channel' sent to online, thus ensuring BSL was out of prime time view when deaf need to be at the heart of the UK's prime TV medium.  A new set of 'Deaf media Luvvies' emerged, but few if any represent us or deaf people in reality and in it for their own egos.  Making up cultural output as they go.  It is signing hearing things mostly.

Far too many technical and academic terms that are in themselves dated, are being used to suggest a cultural academic base, that is negligible so far because they are hearing, not deaf based.   Sticking a BSL/Cultural label on something that is intrinsically hearing based is seen through pretty quickly.  Deaf-UK was a  hugely biased deaf e-mail site moderated by extremists, sadly, the new wave of 'Deaf' social media deaf sites are even worse but being even more widely accepted.  Near all are 'closed shops' and for the few, not the many. It WAS a leader at the time of deaf views and campaigning.  Sadly the negatives far outweighed the positives as they got a bit 'power crazy' and lost the plot entirely.


Things like audism and Deafhood never took root in the UK they are American 're-imports and viewed divisive.  Deafhood was ridiculed in the UK initally, SEE HEAR had to ask what Deafhood and Audism actually was, nobody had any idea.  It was actually America who took up Deafhood and made it 'pay' as a concept.  

The Brits cannot sell their own output.  To do that the USA deaf adapted it to suit own perceptions linking Harlan Lane, Helen Keller, Gallaudet et al to it...  the UK had no equivalent, and the USA went on to establish 'Deafhood classes' on translating Paddy Ladd's efforts into a format/language deaf (ASL deaf), could follow, to date, it has not succeeded. They still need a 'Rosetta Stone' (Context), to make sense of something that was for hearing not them.  The USA is re-writing it to do that.  What there is, bears little or no resemblance to Mr Ladd's original tome itself which was changed beyond recognition.  Still, Paddy made mileage on the lecture circuit so not a complete loss for him.

Again, we need to understand Deafhood was written for HEARING academics, not deaf people, the format was/is inaccessible to deaf signers.  Some attempts were made via Bristol to do it, but the deaf courses there were later abandoned as was their deaf history attempts after funding dried up.  Deaf historians lost their way and struggled to ID actual deaf IN history.

Deafhood is viewed in the UK as a bit of 'emperor's' new clothes' (Context), in basis.  I just feel deaf latched on as best they could to the idea, to add kudos to the deaf culture which had no text academic basis, only a poor BSL dictionary that was challenged BY deaf people etc.  The terminology used baffled academics even more than it did the deaf.   Deaf were inventing their own, but using established translation, shot themselves in the foot. ATR at one point offered plain English translations at the time to posts deaf simply did not understand.

Sign Language and culture:

To be frank the deaf no longer 'own' sign language because when it became a 'commercial' proposition hearing developed its own approaches and structured course work, and raised the bar to get more skills and recognised qualifications into sign use, and to comply with educational qualifications and rules, indeed, the deaf demanded it.  

I can still recall when the antiquated deaf support network ran by social services were closed down, when they found only 35% of all deaf social work support, had any sign language qualifications of any kind. No doubt part source of your claim and attacks on other deaf for adapting to the 'hearing line'. Hearing people aren't our enemies and I am not in the business of attacking them.  We need to work together for inclusion to happen. I am totally against Deaf Versus deaf output, deaf versus disability, or deaf versus hearing.  It is anti-access, anti-inclusion, it is hate messaging, bias, bullying, and divisive.  No one 'owns' deafness or determines its effects or support either.

The British Deaf Association actually decided to offer a BSL alternative because they were angry at the way sign was being taught and started 'True BSL' lessons by deaf people.  It never gained any traction.  The last thing signing deaf needed were two different sign approaches.

Culture and Legal Enablement:

Cultural bases have moved away from deaf clubs and schools to online, this was happening years before covid, what clubs exist are usually in populated cities where more deaf live, they tend to determine what 'Deaf' want or don't, and where campaigns start, but, devolution has undermined that.   To counter devolution and the 'watering down' of less effective approaches to inclusion,  BSL acts were lobbied for area by area, as ATR blogged over the last 9 months, the UK is currently split, as England and Wales have yet to go with such an act and only Scotland and N. Ireland have.  It is very early days.    

'Community' is relative and debatable.   As you are London-based you will know already multiculturalism is a joke, and a myth at best, and BAME (Context), areas deaf or hearing do own thing regardless, and that divide is obvious in the deaf community as well, they have own clubs apart from others.

So far, both BSL Acts in the UK are just 'talking shops' there has been no identifiable access advance as such, particularly in vital areas the deaf activist wants the act to be effective in, notably, Education.  It HAS raised the Deaf profile but not deaf or hearing loss awareness, the BSL Act would have had a point if systems said they cannot just promote in a singular fashion, its own access, but have to include all with hearing loss equally.   

I am surprised if they allowed a BSL alternative to what would be against the 4 other equality acts.  This is another fudge deaf and Deaf areas and charities, as support groups have already polarised, another reason the majority in the UK in Wales and England have expressed reservations on a BSL Act there.  One major drawback is the reluctance for Hard of Hearing majority (10m), to take any interest it seems only they have understood the BSL Act excludes them, which raises concern regional government has bought into that.

This of course makes it far easier for BSL deaf to be NON-inclusive and go it alone. The Act is not doing what it was intended for, i.e. to change deaf education from its current integrational approaches (And I accept, poor support), to some sort of cultural/immersive signed approach for the deaf child.  Unfortunately, this suggests a 'tiered approach and have, or have nots for deaf students, bordering on an elitist approach to deaf education.   The BSL Act cannot override parental choice currently. One area in the UK has no deaf schools to attend, Wales.

PHU's are vogue (Partial Hearing Units), which many feel is neither one thing nor the other, or some sort of mini deaf school and outpost in mainstream, with 'token' education for the deaf who are 'wheeled out' now and then with hearing peers in the same school, but who they are mostly apart from, 'inclusion for show'.  The reality is that there are fewer deaf and they are spread more widely so systems can't justify a stand-alone school, and they are mindful of the abysmal academic record and abuses, that caused many to close for good.  A number reported recently ravaged by accusations of sex abuses etc... the writing is on the wall (Context),  for such areas.  At least mainstreaming means that is less likely to be allowed to happen, albeit faith schools' (Context), are still an issue.

It is debatable if any back 'to the future' (Context), approach but with culture at its base, is going to happen.  Some sort of inclusion appears to be going on, and the price is the deaf cultural base, this is not only inevitable but the aim, of inclusive projects.  We know, inclusion is still an 'academic' issue and relative to some deaf anyway.  If they can establish a more solid base for a stand-alone system using BSL/culture, it means integration will not happen by default, which goes against that approach.  We all want deaf included and alongside everyone else, not spectators to the main event.  As of now, it exists in parallel, not inclusive terms.  So  'preferred isolation' is essential to cultural success while it struggles to communicate.

Addressing communication options is a battlefield obviously as sign language is still not seen as the means to inclusion, academic advance,  or independence and a job-seeking advantage, the image of interpreters viewed highly negative.  

We don't all need to 'prove' some academic point, we can just use our own eyes and experience.  For every statistic there is a counter statistic, for every claim another claim, we adopt a mean, not assume what works or labels us is right for others that isn't the case if it ever was.

We no longer are going to stand for deaf having to choose 'one side or the other' to determine livelihood and work options, determined by db, loss degree, or communication, mode, or even which school you went to, these are archaic and discriminatory maxims from the 19thc,  the year is 2021 not,1888.  Choice is paramount, as is accepting we have to all adapt, nothing stands still, young deaf will discard the old ways, this is always the case.

Bilingualism is essential, not monolingualism.  The current claims of deaf bilingualism do not apply to hearing deaf interactions, or, their access to English in part. Which for reasons best-known to extremes and no-one else, who feel having access to that language as a means to empowering themselves is another discrimination of some kind and an 'attack' on their way of life, where BSL isn't doing the job for them on its own, we do write and read English and Ezio, you did your paper with it, so it is confusion as to why opposition emerges from your work.  Papers are intended primarily for information and awareness, I feel yours is all rather one-sided and suffers lack of wider awareness.

We know that bias, leads to discrimination and bias against other deaf, and if we draw lines in the sand (Context),  and demand they sign this or speak that or else... it doesn't work, it brought down Deaf-UK because they had no answer to it.  Deaf must learn the lessons. The current pursuit of culture and academics/language improvement is suffering via technological advances and medical advances etc, 40% of deaf children with a CI e.g.  It's progress, deaf are being offered more choices, as a result, must we say they can't? or they 'betray' the 'Deaf'?  We saw Deaf attacking parents, calling them child abusers, hardly the best way to make our point is it?  In fact, suggested to parents in particular, their deaf child is best out of it.

Cultural Proof:

The BSL dictionary is all deaf have as an academic 'root' really it contains little technical or advanced educational or scientific signs.  There are few if any we know are visual 'books', or descriptions that identify its 'grammar' effectively so it is stand alone. The very few deaf scientists and professionals having to invent their own so actual lessons can start.  It limits how much deaf can be taught to enable them to 'compete' with hearing and English using peers.   

The language of English is based on over a 1,000 years development, BSL less than 60.  It is evolving but so is access to English for the deaf.  Of course, sign was used in the past but not really as an academic thing more a manual means to make themselves understood as best as possible.  That source is about 200 years but unstructured and of course no dictionary then.  Deaf owe hearing people the kudos for the development of what is BSL today.  

Attempts are always being made to move the goalposts so BSL and its grammar stand alone as a teaching aid, but that has not gained real support because the mainstream simply does not work that way, and parents voice opposition, the claim subsequently,  is that deaf would be primed to fail, it is why deaf schools suffered mass closures, deaf were stuck in a rut unable to go anywhere parents wanted out, the state did.  Deaf adults exist today in their own cultural bubble.   It is not inclusion. 

There is a 'chicken and Egg' approach, to maximise sign use you need dedicated schools, teachers, professionals etc, none are currently being trained, because there is no agreement on a sign based education especially at school onset. Such sign access and deaf inclusion also demand huge personal and state investment to learn sign too, that isn't happening.   Deaf are predominantly demanding support, not inclusion.

It is ironic so many UK charities and deaf campaigners are demanding funding and awareness aimed at them being accepted and included, but no visible sign apparent the deaf want integration, and prefer their own 'kind'.

The 'Deaf' option requires isolation and a degree of dependency as a norm, albeit a comfortable one written up and hyped as a right, the image says it all,  that image defeats a 1,000 academic papers.... I just do not feel that is the right way to do things.

Am I an Audist? discuss.

ATR extends blog space for any response Enzio cares to make without edit.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

What is the 'Street Value' of sign language?

Wall Street Sign.

#1 I've had profound hearing loss since birth and used lipreading plus my tiny bit of hearing as my main means of communication until I was well into adulthood. I then learned BSL. My preferred communication support is a lip speaker with sign support - so much less tiring than lipreading but English remains my first language so I don't get on well with a BSL interpreter. So for me personally there was every benefit to learning BSL. It might not be much use on the street but it is definitely for every situation where I might need communication support. Plus I met a whole lot of new friends learning it - and yes a lot of them had an acquired hearing loss to a profound level and they use BSL now in their lives all the time.

#2  Lip-speakers are rarer than hen's teeth I gather, there was no contact point in the NHS or systems locally for any support except BSL, also when an FOI request was sent to ask where that support was, I got a reply saying 'deaf support' includes lip-speaking/text/ and BSL as an 'inclusive area', I said I wanted a breakdown, who was asking for what? and they said they don't ask for that information because the DPA (data protection act), stops it. In essence, BSL equals lip-reading we just do not know, all I DO know is that when a request for lip-speaker or text support went in, they said they had no contact information for me, could I sign?!

#1 That's pretty poor on their behalf and worth a formal complaint under the Accessible Information Standard.??? It's not an acceptable alternative I know but I have found that if I've ended up in a similar situation a BSL interpreter can often use SSE with full lip patterns and that does the same job.

#2   I looked into that, of 49 BSL interpreters in Wales only TWO were qualified as lip-speakers also, so availability is a real issue. 2 months or more wait for one and that was before covid. If we used remote options then we would not LR either or BSL, but use speech to text. The issue is as BSL interpreters say themselves, the deaf are pretty poor lip-readers really, it is a 'part skill' some have but most rely on the sign. Like text the more of one mode you use the fewer skills you manage of the other. The clear mask thing is not wholeheartedly supported in the signing deaf area because of poor LR skills. They go more for facial patterns than lip ones so prefer the entire face clear. An example is subtitled sign language, BSL loses out every time, it is why purists make videos omitting them to preserve sign itself. There were objections to text assists learning BSL. People read a lot quicker than they take in sign so the brain subconsciously takes the easiest path. Would you follow this quicker if I signed it? and that is without us knowing at what English level others have etc... I think mine is pretty basic but when you want in-depth detail...

Monday, 15 February 2021

BSL the costs....

Some aggravations and frustrations at deaf people poking fun at hearing in deliberate attempts to inflame, or at least reinforce their case of deaf discrimination.  Then they add where to get online amateur BSL lessons that are not recognised by any agency. Social media readers NOT amused!

#1 It's a ridiculous attempt to sound elite and superior by a sector almost totally reliant ON hearing people to follow everyone else.  I'm all for people promoting their own area if that is what they want, but they are NOT doing awareness and just being silly.  How taking the Michael out of people who are enabling them helps, they never explain and they never provide 'proof' either.  

#2  Once you explain to people you cannot hear them most are helpful, it is those who who are deaf and sign claiming discrimination whilst never making viable attempts to include themselves who are making waves, all they seem to want is some glorious isolation where all their peers sign like them, obviously, that is neither inclusion or indeed, inclusive either, the world is 'out there' not 'In' their own sphere of living.  There are over 6,500 languages in the world!

#3 They lack the confidence to put BSL to the 'test' in the mainstream so play the blame game all the time, it is encouraging more young deaf are not going with that any more.  All is mostly negative hype about sign and culture by people making a living from it, so promotion no matter how it is done works for them.  

#4  More reliance, means more support, means more jobs for others, more charities, you get the idea!  

#5  Whilst sign IS an aid for deaf people to access other means hearing use, this isn't what it is being used for.  Deaf educational attainment is still pretty dire.  

#6  Teaching a child sign only is priming them to fail, this isn't how enablement works.  It is ensuring deaf culture does. TC (Total Communication), is the only way ahead.  Sign is promoted as a 'novelty' this is not how a child takes this up, and uses it determines their place in life.  

#7 They need only to look at adult deaf trapped in their own social bubbles with no way out, to see it doesn't.  The best deaf school in the UK is an oral-based one, this isn't promoting anti-sign, but stating the reality.  

#8 When in Rome etc.... To complain it is about choice is not relative in child education.  That's a deaf political statement by people who never had the choice anyway.  

#9 The sour grapes approach to awareness.

ATR Background: 

The real cost of acquiring BSL by hearing people:

(1) Qualifications.

(2) Tests.

(3) How much do BSL interpreters earn?

You would usually work irregular hours, which may include evenings and weekends. Fees and salaries for BSL interpreters vary widely depending on experience, employer and location. As a guide, full-time interpreters can earn between £20,000 and £35,000 a year. Freelance interpreters can earn between £20 and £30 an hour, or even 4 times that in London, regional costs vary considerably as does the demand, and availability of BSL interpreters.  

Travel costs are also added to that support, some interpreters can demand  2hrs minimum fees to make to worth their while. The 'freelance' nature of BSL support is also a huge issue as systems attempt to normalise BSL support and set standard rates/fees, part-time BSL Interpreters feel they are being undermined by lower-wage demands from systems.  Albeit many deaf feel establishing an adequate and reliable support system is more preferable to the random approaches that go on at present and cause support issues.  Often reported as 'systems refusing BSL help' incorrectly.

Other fees/registrations. 

Forget the ABC online! this is what you will need to work with deaf signers.

Demand for BSL?

Next to no statistics are recorded

We haven't included BSL overall training and test costs because they won't print them in case people are put off. 

Demand Areas:

(1)  Primary demand for BSL support is access to the NHS/999 and state/LA systems.  

(2)  No demand exists for hearing-deaf integration/access at all which raises the question of why so many charities are asking for funds to do that?  When Deaf obviously prefer their own area.

Deaf BSL users claim the highest rates of access to work welfare allowances of any disabled sector in the UK.  Where, are they losing out?