Thursday, 21 March 2019

Story SIgn...

For Or Against Deaf community membership?

Image result for for or againstHard of Hearing respond to ATR...

#1 I’m one hard of hearing guy joined the Deaf Community and became a member of deaf clubs. Hearing loss is the same regardless. The issue is to understand Deaf culture. That’s the only difference. Now I’m involved in advocating for a deaf organization as well as a member of a local HLAA Chapter.

#2 I would be hesitant because I don’t think I would fully be accepted.

#3 I felt that but most deaf are really nice. The only rule is to accept their Deaf culture.

#4 I want to clarify I did to say I did not think they where nice people I just don't think I would be accepted. I wouldn't even know how to begin going to a deaf club. I also want to respond to your comment about " Not everyone will accept the deaf culture". I personally accept everyone and anyone that's a good person. Personally, since I have found out I'm hearing impaired I notice how others treat the hearing impaired & it makes me very sad they are impatient with them. I also see how the hearing impaired might tend to withdraw because of this. This is all just my humble opinion.

#5  I do not know sign language, so I do not think such clubs would accept me. But: I would if there were courses for SL, for instance. Or if those clubs were more hard of hearing, when one could discuss things together in different ways.

#6 Deaf people taught me sign language. If you are interested, there will those who love to teach only in social settings. That’s the best place to learn. Not just in the classes.

#7 I would LOVE to be in the deaf community and plan to be when I learn to sign.

#8 I’m a board member for a deaf nonprofit and I also help run Greater Columbus HLAA Chapter. I try to be involved as much as I can.

#9 Not if the only thing in common is hearing loss. I'm in this FB group. That'll do. Never had anything to do with the so-called Deaf 'culture'.

#10 My problem is I do not use sign language. It's already hard enough to adapt to the hearing world. I don't want to use more time to try to adapt to the deaf world. What we need is a group for the in-betweeners. The hard of hearing/deaf who live in hearing world culture. I've already done enough of trying to adapt. Just want to be accepted for me as I am.

#11 Same here! I’m living in the hearing world all my life. Hardly have any deaf/hard of hearing friends. All my friends are hearing and I’m happy to be part of their world

#12 Not everyone will accept the Deaf culture. That’s fine.  We all have one thing in common. The inability to hear. I can hear well with hearing aids. Without them, I’m deaf.

#13  It bugs me when I see people using is written ASL rather than English. Don't Deaf schools teach written English? If students need to submit any assignment, whether college essays or job applications, it is a skill they must have.

#14 It is always difficult to address why there are diverse areas within the hearing loss and deafness ones. Diversity means we are entitled to own choices and give reasons for those. The reality as the blog pointed out, is already a remit exists that recognises that diversity. However, the way that remit is used is not strictly adhering to that diversity concept and tends to attempt encompassing all. Of course those hard of hearing who do choose to learn sign language and enter deaf clubs will know what the price of that is, there is no such thing as something for free. If hearing loss already isolates to a huge degree then the prospect of some social interaction and community looks a welcome positive. 

#15 You are isolated already what's to lose? What needs to be taken into account is the life long members of those clubs had no options or very few others, they won't welcome those joining deaf clubs because nobody else will accept or include them, they aren't a 'consolation prize' for the failed acceptance by others!

#16 The reality is most clubs only exist in the city or concentrated areas of the population so outside of that choice is relative. Putting own cards on the table accepting hard of hearing lifestyles mean this doesn't include cultural deaf and signing areas. Should we not just accept the reality anyway and enhance own choices? It doesn't have to be part of or not of anything and it doesn't mean unacceptance, horses for courses. 

#17 The UK has no HI/Hard of Hearing system of support of any note, the USA version portrays Hard of Hearing with an ASL 'front' as being 'inclusive' HoH don't see it that way.  That was ATR's annoyance with the 'Deaf & HoH' remit, which the blogger claims was being widely abused, even the USA areas fail to clarify, suggesting a unity that isn't really proven at all.  Yes we all have hearing loss, but, there it tends to end.  There is no HoH 'community'.

#18 The die is cast already apart from the few who believe sign language is their own particular salvation.  The HoH prefer own ways of dealing with it.  Mostly, this will not mean going to deaf clubs or adopting sign language.  OK, these deaf have a culture, so? how is that relevant to us?   It's pointless suggesting this is 'anti-culture' or something.  The ATR blog tends to be contentious, I don't always agree with it, but if that's the only way to address issues I suppose you have to risk it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Welcoming Hard of Hearing to Deaf clubs?


 John Cradden (right) signing with Amanda Mohan   at the Deaf Village Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
A common statistic quoted by organisations working for deaf and hard of hearing people is that about one in 10 of us has a hearing loss to some degree. 

That’s a lot of people. Of course, the condition of having a hearing loss can range from very mild loss to profound deafness, with far, far more people experiencing losses at the milder end of the scale. Indeed, according to Chime, (formerly Deafhear), about 300,000 adults here have a “significant” loss (meaning moderate or greater), and only half of them have ever gone for a hearing test, never mind be prescribed hearing aids. 

By contrast, it is estimated that there are about 5,000 who use Irish sign language (ISL) as their first or preferred language, and who would tend to be predominantly – but not exclusively – profoundly deaf. It’s always struck me that, of those deaf or hard of hearing people who choose to be part of any community of people who all share a similar disability, they would gravitate to either the strong, closely-knit deaf community or one of a number of hard of hearing support groups or organisations. 


ATR Comment:  "But you DO have to learn sign language.  Statistics worldwide suggest that despite deaf signers being outnumbered 100s, or 1000s to 1 by others with a hearing loss, there has been little or no attempt to integrate with them in their clubs.  The annoyance still remains of Deaf people using the 1 in 10 stat when it does not include them to gather support for their own area where HoH are not.  The article looks more like a veiled plea to save a diminishing Deaf community by opening the doors to people, who on the face of it, would prefer not to use sign language or support deaf cultural aims or directions either.  Both areas are currently polarised by the clinical v disability approaches and as a preference, and these are the primary divisions that prevent real integration, also, HoH would prefer to reintegrate with hearing.  

ATR has covered numerous debates as to "Where are the HoH now?"  as their previous campaigns to get access via their modes appears to have ceased or barely registering.  Many suggest the reason is technology has replaced access campaigns almost entirely.  Other less advertised 'contentional' views are an aversion to sign itself, and being re-identified as Deaf.   Mutual acceptance hiding a multitude of real sins by omission.

Most have already accepted polarised support, charitable and social systems too.  While there is no direct 'conflict' between the minority and majority areas, there are still skirmishes and some heated disagreements on how to approach issues of hearing loss and profound deafness, CI's and the closure of deaf schools just two of them, the 'cure' being another.  HoH etc would be asking what is in it for us? and would deaf adapt as they expect HoH to?  There is no indication deaf signers would adapt to HoH social aspects and even suggestions it isn't possible hence why they are inviting others in instead of them moving outward.

Sadly an acceptance the twain does not meet combined with a pretty pathetic 'cest la vie' attitude that accepts integration isn't currently possible or preferred, still reigns supreme.  The only level we see some partial 'integration' is via deaf clubs with predominantly aged and infirm people.  These are a struggle to maintain because they aren't managing to survive, LA's closing them down for cost purposes.  The Deaf community has lost over 376 in the last 20 years mainly due to local authorities withdrawing funding for them too, and deaf unable to pay their way to keep them open.

The deaf culture such as it was, remained very reliant on the system paying their rents and building clubs for them, and that is no longer viable.  The nature of deaf clubs led to many a downfall, because of the nomadic nature of memberships of deaf clubs, deaf would go from one to another to maintain their socialising, but the last 10 years Local authorities demanded they would only fund for deaf living within their areas and insisted other areas have to provide for their own deaf.  This exposed the reality where only a minority of deaf signers existed and were supported by deaf from other areas, meant in some case an 80% reduction in deaf people a local Authority was obliged to support.  100s of clubs closed overnight because locally there wasn't enough to maintain a club for.

HoH clubs were/are notorious for being unable to attract members at all.  Many struggled to get 10 through the door once a month.  HoH don't want clubs just for them.  Some LA's started demanding Deaf clubs  HAD to accept HoH and hearing as members, or funds would be withdrawn citing such clubs were discriminating.  It was only stopped because the culture card was used.   The HoH view fed into the reluctance to go to deaf clubs too.  It is said the HoH still do not see the value of sign language to them because the deaf area remains isolated despite its use.  The Deaf community has never managed to attract HoH, is it far too late to start now?

ATR would question if it is the hard of hearing obligation to save the deaf community."

Testing your hearing loss in the 1950s...


In this photo, psychologist Mr P C Kendall is seen banging a drum beside the ear of a young girl in a rudimentary hearing test at the Department of Education of the Deaf
A series of fascinating photographs has revealed a behind-the-scenes look at the former Department of Education of the Deaf. The department, which was in Manchester until 1955, is shown in black and white photos taken around three years before it shut. 


The pictures show children interacting with medical professionals and parents at what is believed to have been the first facility of its kind in the UK. In one strange image, a psychologist, Mr P C Kendall, bangs a drum beside the ear of a young girl in what appears to have been a rudimentary hearing test. 

Other photos show a boy playing with farm animals as he is having his hearing assessed, and a 14-month-old child being taught to lipread by her mother. Another shot shows a little girl fiercely concentrating on her wooden toy as a woman tinkers with the testing equipment in the background. The Department of Education of the Deaf was a department of the University of Manchester and the first of its kind in the UK, according to a report published in the British Journal of Educational Studies in 1956. 

It was founded by Sir James E Jones, a cotton merchant from Lancashire whose son, Ellis, was born deaf. Ellis was so well educated by a private tutor that, at a time when most deaf children were taught at poor quality special residential schools, he was able to attend the University of Oxford when he grew older. Sir James became so knowledgeable – for the time – and impassioned about the education of deaf children that he was able to set up the pioneering school. 

The department is believed to have been the first official centre of its kind in the UK. Sheila Hadfield has her hearing equipment adjusted by an audiologist at the Department of Education of the Deaf in Manchester in 1952.  Noreen Buckley, just 14 months old is taught to lipread by her mother. Lip reading involves watching a speaker's mouth and face movements to work out what they are saying without hearing them and is commonly used by people with varying levels of hearing impairments .....

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Sign it!

Image result for petitionATR today launches a petition to end charity telethons in the UK like Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.  ATR objects on 4 grounds.

(1)  Participants/celebrities are promoting personal and own political views as an agenda with no agreed assent from charity, the disabled, or its recipient members.

(2)  That such events on Television promote pity, 'heroic' images, and negative attitudes towards disabled and vulnerable people.

(3)  That such output is against the interests of vulnerable people with regards to their human rights by suggesting charity should replace that with dependency formats instead.

(4)  That participating charities are undermining disability rights.

You and the Police (Australia).

Needs of deaf children unmet and in Crisis.



Almost half of specialist teachers for deaf children feel pupils are performing worse than five years ago, a charity has said. The Deaf Children's Society claimed the system is in absolute crisis and teachers are being overwhelmed by the demands of their role. 

It warned that staff were battling stress and having to deal with spiralling workloads and excessive hours. The warning comes after a survey of 625 specialist teachers, carried out by the charity and the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf, revealed that almost half experienced stress in their role on a weekly basis, with one quarter affected every day. The charity has previously called for more specialists to be trained. 

It also wants Northern Ireland to be included in a UK bursary scheme to fund a new generation of teachers. New specialist teachers for deaf children, it warned, need to be trained now. The number of young people with hearing loss in the north is increasing while the figure for specialists is in decline. According to the latest poll, more than four in five are now working longer hours due to increasing workloads, with almost two-thirds forced to work an extra day every week just to keep up. Around six in 10 teachers surveyed said there was less support available for deaf children than in 2014. 

Almost half felt pupils were now performing worse. Susan Daniels, chief executive of the charity, said the results of the survey "show a system in absolute crisis". "Specialist teachers do an incredible job in exceptionally difficult circumstances and play a vital role in the lives of deaf children," she said. "However, they are being crushed by the demands of a role which has become simply unsustainable. Every child deserves the same chance in life, but unless specialist support services are adequately staffed and funded, teachers will remain overworked and under pressure while deaf children's futures hang in the balance." 

UK Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said government's ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities, including those who are deaf, was the same for any other child "It is up to local authorities to work with the schools in their area to identify the nature of specialist support services they commission, according to the needs of schools in their area," he said.