Wednesday, 24 February 2021

BSL DIY Online why ?

Is learning culture a necessity?  sign we can understand to a point [combined with a realistic and definite design to be English literate as well], but culture is not essential, as communication comes first.  Deaf people know knowledge of the 1880s and 50 shades of Audism is not going to get them a job or access to the mainstream. 

BSL isn't awareness of hearing loss which is a huge issue via sign language and cultural promotions in that they are mutually exclusive of other deaf people, the hard of hearing, and hearing, so not inclusive of all an official and accepted challenge to inclusion and access by cultural default.  This also is NOT what we are about you don't get equality by distancing yourself from others or developing rules that exclude other people and how they communicate.  The culture was never intended to do that i.e. unless it has developed into some sect or other.

Which nobody supports.  Should hearing loss awareness have an equal priority to sign language?  The odd few signers may well feel it is some birthright and throw social modelling at you or something but most don't.   Culture is not about the majority either, I don't think the ABC lessons online do anything frankly, everyone and their pet dog are online doing their version, when they run out of letters that's it.

I think culture misrepresents access and deaf people personally, and because it is a specialised area that functions via reliance and preaches dependence on others as some accepted (and acceptable), 'norm', which isn't a great Deaf image or true let's face it, I would be interested to know if anything really comes from these 'classes' via inclusion, and who teaches the deaf?  Many of whom don't have any BSL accreditation level themselves, are they assuming 'I am deaf so that is qualification enough?'  I trust not.   They won't become deaf teachers on that basis.  Educational references say this will limit the deaf advance for a lifetime. 

If you are a poor signer then your culture will reflect that.  We see a lot of pressures for hearing to get accreditation and learn sign, whilst the deaf are static and stop post-education by all accounts, an issue that doesn't happen with hearing people, if they remain static and don't keep updating their communication and other skills, they know what the result will be, they learn and re-learn new skills or else they don't work etc. 

If I see yet another deaf 'mentor' it will be too soon for me, they wouldn't manage in the mainstream, so they cannot lead by example and their support is 'culture' not need-based. Anyone who can sign can do that they don't need to be a peer first.  I know the adage blind leading the blind, but deaf too?  Far better hearing did it.  Is acquiring a basic  BSL ABC just a pathway for learners to get work as deaf support?  If so, that is not what deaf want but for hearing to include them as individuals, not carers.    
Obviously, sign use cannot be maximised while deaf remain apart from the main event, and using culture as an 'excuse' to avoid that, is a pretty good way of ensuring deaf never manage it.  Others must adapt but not the deaf? Sorry, inclusion does not work that way.   You are in or you are out, a halfway house is not a lot of use to anyone.

From what we read online too many potential sign learners are seeing it as a novelty and not, as a vital hearing-deaf and bilingual communication aid and tool since they never meet those who take it up, and BSL alone will only be understood BY a minority of deaf, the hype suggesting 'all deaf sign' is an own goal, because it is simply untrue.  Learners find this out to their cost and then will assume why did I bother to learn it? Deaf aren't all the same.  And they cannot tell one deaf person from another or what modes work for them, because hearing loss was never part of the cultural deal, nor what other means deaf use to follow either. 

The aim presumably is to empower deaf to sell themselves and get work that way, again hearing beat them to it.