Thursday, 25 March 2021
James Watson-O'Neill liked your reply
It is the NHS job, not charity, who aren't able to replace the NHS access, get real.
Their CEO seems to disagree, he tweeted yesterday and stated BSL access to the NHS isn't a charity job at all and it is unviable to assume ANY charity let alone his, can or should supplement what is, a deaf right to the NHS in sign language or any other medium the disabled, deaf and HoH use.
This current campaign about poor funding just highlights the reality, in that deaf or HoH charities cannot and should not be supplementing access to our National Health services at all for the deaf, or any other disability sector. Charity is supposed to help fill the gaps, not create them.
The current issue is more an effort to protect charity jobs, not to enhance BSL access, which SignHealth cannot do by being a poorly-funded 'sub-contractor' of some kind that specialises in just one format deaf use, they actually undermine BSL access by splitting demand, but they aren't alone, 32 other 'major' charities are faffing about trying to do the same and failing too.
To date, (and driven in part by the Covid epidemic), numerous deaf charities have decided they are an effective replacement for the National Health Services in the UK, having been exposed as pie-in-the-sky dreamers they launch campaigns to make them obsolete? right !!!!
Naturally, the state is more than willing to agree as the charity relies on free support and paid professionals who certainly don't work for free. It is some sort of unofficial 'privatisation' of deaf and disability support, to a health service supposedly legally accessible to all.
The role of charity offering care and support to the deaf has to change, it is cash-driven and reliant on BSL mostly, (There is no money in hearing loss), BSL is the only area campaigning currently for NHS access it already has but is reluctant to demand it should be an inclusive set up.
They suggest the NHS declaration of patient rights does not empower all patients it just suggests medical areas 'make every effort' to accommodate them, that is misleading, it applies to private medical areas, not the NHS. Here, BSL (or any other language), is an NHS right, not only to information on service provision but, access to all its services.
The UK has no less than NINE access, equality and inclusion laws that also empower BSL access to the NHS and any other format that can assist patient care and diagnosis. The question asked, is why charities are picking up the tab for them on the cheap, and not simply demanding their right and protecting charities instead? Every iota of help a deaf charity provides means the NHS won't itself, it is Catch 22. Every time you use charity help means one less intent for the state system to do its job.
Charity should withdraw from deaf care and support, this would force the NHS to provide what it is legally supposed to provide anyway, by showing instant demand. It does need, however, any state provision to ensure ONLY professional and neutral BSL support and provision can be used, and friends and family cannot do it themselves, only 'sit in' as personal support. Own support does two things, it undermines demand, and, undermines Deaf personal choices and decision-making.
Complaints 'Where is the terp' were zeroed because charities were doing it at the behest of deaf people themselves, there was a widespread campaign to demand deaf should not 'read all about it' and they were all fluent lip-readers and masks were making life difficult for them, again no basis in statistical truth. Using family support (An area supported by the BDA a sign-based charity), takes the onus away from the state to provide albeit they did anyway after a fashion because charity said they would do it.
It was SignHealth and others who said they could provide a state service update provision, but it was/is all reliant on funds they expected, but didn't get.
The 'Business' of BSL support is at odds with the basic right of access deaf have anyway. One mooted concern is deaf wary that inclusion and access laws take away their 'preference', be they social, medical or any other, so inclusion still seems an issue with BSL areas. Developing own and stand-alone systems means they can continue to run their area on some parallel course to the mainstream, even if, this means some deaf will be restricted in moving outward from those areas. There are BSL Bills etc which want to isolate how deaf are taught from hearing peers, not just because of deafness but to indoctrinate the deaf child to a culture-driven setup, because their communication options would be restricted to sign only.
That 'right' is used as a very effective barrier TO inclusion by default. Charities obtained in excess of £50m last year just for BSL usage. That did not include care, education, or any welfare costs. 95 registered BSL charities failed to provide the expertise to show sufficient funding to be viable, wasting millions in grants that saw no benefits to the deaf or anyone else. Over-duplication is an established norm, and no checks are made by the state charity commission.
Only two campaigns exist, 'we want more money', and 'we are left out'. This won't change until charity stops promoting help it cannot deliver and lacks reliability or choice. Having been allocated many millions in funding to charities we ask where has it all actually gone? What was a tangible benefit?
Surveys suggest it costs in excess of £500 per month just to support someone with a disability, the average life expectancy is age 66. Do your own maths. Access to work Deaf welfare allowances can cost the taxpayer near £1,000 per month, double what many other disabled areas can claim. The Deaf have TWO subsidised TV channels in BSL, and overall 1500 charities supporting them, and a national BSL support set up of well over 350 interpreters, despite claims 110,000 using sign, it seems there is little demand for supporting it and most support is part-time...
The claims they are hard done by or deprived isn't ringing true at all. We don't object to support cost, but do question the issues of haphazard, expensive, random, biased, and questionable means they are using to address deafness, using culture as a buffer to criticism of sheer greed, waste, and vested interest. In effect they have NEVER had it so good...