Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Australia to lead the world on deafened support...

Customer Service
Providing deafened and HoH support the USA and UK can only dream about.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka made the announcement. Mr Perrottet said, “Customers remain at the heart of everything that Service NSW does, and we are continuing to improve the customer experience for all people in NSW.” 

The technology solutions introduced are: 

Hearing loops - Directed towards customers with hearing aids, the hearing loop is a cost-effective and inconspicuous way to cut out unwated background noise, allowing the customer to focus on the conversation and transaction. It consists of a microphone to pick up the speech, an amplifier which processes the signal, which is then sent through the, the loop cable, a wire placed around the perimeter of a specific area i.e. a meeting room, a church, a service counter etc to act as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aid. 

Remote live captioning - Hearing impaired customers, who can speak but cannot hear, can speak over the phone or internet to a Service Centre staff member. A transcriber will type the replies from the staff members for the customers to read, facilitating the conversations. 

Remote Auslan interpreting - The Australian Sign Language or Auslan is the officially recognised sign language for the Australian Deaf Community. An interpreting service for Auslan will be offered. There a provisions for remote interpreting. An Auslan interpreter can be connected to an online video chat, via a laptop. The interpreter can sign to the customer and speak verbally to the Service Centre staff. 

These technologies build on accessibility features already in place across the Service NSW network, in store and online, to assist those with special access requirements.

Remote Auslan interpreting and live captioning will be rolled out in December, starting with 6 sites, Parramatta, Blacktown, Liverpool, Newcastle, Wollongong and Tweed Heads. Hearing loops will be made available at Parramatta and Blacktown in December. There are plans to expand the use of the technology to up to 80 locations by around mid-2017.

Deaf Sports Personality of the year awards...

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


A deaf woman from Rotherham has found work, some 20 years after her last job, thanks to a course at Doncaster Deaf Trust. 

Leone Green, aged 40, from Swinton, stopped working when she had children, now aged 16 and 13, and struggled to find a job when she wanted to return to work. The JobCentre referred her to Specialist Employability Support (SES) at Doncaster Deaf Trust. During her time there, Leone, who became deaf at the age of two, applied for many jobs in and around the local area. 

Despite several knockbacks she remained determined to find a job. The team from Doncaster Deaf Trust kept in touch following her course and alerted her to a vacancy at Little Learners Day Nursery, which is on-site at the Deaf Trust. Leone said: “I had a very positive interview with communication support from my Doncaster Deaf Trust work coach and was offered the job! 

“I am now a member of the domestic team and work every day at the nursery between 5pm and 8pm and I am really enjoying it. I can’t believe that I have finally got a job and it is one that I love.” Leone is now a valued member of the domestic team and the trust coaches meet regularly with the presentation supervisor to ensure Leone and the team are supported. 

Jenny Atkinson, from Doncaster Deaf Trust’s SES team, said: “We are thrilled for Leone that her hard work and determination paid off and that she was able to secure a job. “We are on hand to offer intervention or communication aid whenever required. Leone continues to meet with the Doncaster Deaf Trust work coaches, to assist her in all areas, for a chat over a coffee. “Leone is happy and very proud that she is now a working member of society and her employer is extremely pleased with how she has developed and progressed and looks forward to a long and successful relationship.”

The Deaf Holocaust.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Stand on your liver

Image result for too pissedHospitals get worse.  Visiting your loved ones is going to cost you an arm and a leg too (As if taking our hard-earned cash to park isn't enough), for parking your car on a visit.  

The  NHS is skint, so needs to raise more cash, but after complaints of overcharging, they have decided to set up an insurance/endowment scheme, so you can park all you like, in return for the deeds of your house, after all, you aint gunna, (sorry got that from Eastenders or somewhere), need it after are you ? 

You'll be spending all your time in the car park, protecting your space, if you get something nasty, you're there on the spot, cushty. Chem la femme cariad, as they say.  The hospital can run a B&B, and a soup kitchen, use up all that stuff the patients won't touch, and resembles the Quatermass experiment, (the NHS dinner),  it's a money maker for the NHS, charge 50 pence for a pee, £5.50 (7 or 8 euros or summat), if you have the runs etc, the world's your halibut. 

The regular Friday/Saturday night grind, where our staunch, front-line, (and heavily sedated I suspect), medical staff, spend hours, risking life, sanity, and limb to clean up the vomit, blood and the other bits and pieces left over after your usual happy go lucky, binge drinking fun nights out, is to be subsidised, in a very novel way, rather than drunks wandering around the town centre from pub to club, gutter to gutter, and to the Burke and Frisket bistro and back again, then gaily decorating our streets with their multi-coloured, pizza, dodgy curries, chips, kebabs, and urine, they build a bar/restaurant in A&E, (call it FORCEPS or something), and let them drink out of e.g. bed pans, not in use, bartenders can wear green pinnies and masks, KOOL ! 

Surgical alcohol will also separate the men from the boys, girls from their underwear, paint from the walls, (and possibly some from their eyesight, stomach-lining, and liver but....).
This is a brilliant idea I would urge all NHS hospitals to adopt. Initially it will save thousands of man/woman/person/auditor/disabled individual/ethinc sector/ religious preferenced, hours, petrol, and staffing costs for our Ambulances, and free up paramedics, they just wait for them to keel over, then wheel 'em straight from bar to A&E, the no-hopers straight down the chute to pathology.  

They could use up the surplus colostomy bags, for those who don't like to leave the bar, and waste valuable drinking time, for  a small fee.  There's profit to be made on booze sales too, it's a guaranteed money-spinner, cuts violence at a stroke, and virtually zeroes, town centre issues of drunkenness, fighting, and drug taking, you could get prescription drugs there, and they'd be safely dispensed, forget E's, polo mints are rad ! 

Vimto infusions (Taken orally), are also IN.  Forget alco-pops, REAL pop is a man's drink, I dare you to drink 3 glasses of non-diet (Let's live dangerously), Lime Tango... and still be able to recite War and Peace backward in Hebrew !  It may even pave the way for the over 18s to safely go out of a weekend, I've never known what happens when it gets dark around here, since 1974. 

We'd get our skittles, shove 'halfpenny,  half lagers, and darts nights back, whoopeee ! domino evenings could take off with a real vengeance, pubs would start putting sawdust down again, throw out those wall TV's that send play endless moronic music, and handicap epileptics, put back that piano I say ! (put chairs back too, the ones they took out because you were relaxing, instead of drinking yourself stupid again).  It cuts down the need for heavy police presences too, you just station 2 or 3 at the Hospital, sorted.  

I can't think why no-one thought of it before.   Blood donorship is drastically down, and there'd be more than  enough 'On tap' as it were, right there in A&E, an unlimited supply, and all free, all you need is a big sponge, and a tea strainer to filter the booze content out, then the NHS charities won't have to send begging letters out, or breathe heavily down our phone lines, pleading for a pint or three like latter day vampires, or press-ganging you after 15 pints.

Kidney donors would rocket, while drunk, the NHS doctors, can get 'em to sign them away before they get too sozzled for any practical use, whip one out,  they won't miss them.  

All those vital services are then freed up for genuinely ill people (well they say there are some), it's a radical idea treating sick people, but the NHS can be UK Leaders in paving the way here, don't you think ?

A Politician fights back

Image result for idiot !A concise response from a rather annoyed MP after reading yet another criticism of his failures.

Dear 'Angry from Northampton'

I would  with your express permission, like to take the opportunity afforded, to respond to your recent letter regarding the state of current politics (And my small part in it),  in the United Kingdom (As defined by the respective areas and affiliations, Mongoloid individuals in that area, see themselves, and thus respecting those rights therein), and myself as your local member of parliament in particular.

You did not state if you voted for me or not, I am assuming not as you appear to be struggling with the letter X.   I would draw your attention to paragraph 3 in your lengthy letter, (Lines 3 to 5), in that, as I understand it, it is anatomically impossible, for any individual, let alone a respected member of her majesty's parliament, with a majority of 1256, to attain that extremely painful position, or insert sideways the object in question.  

There were claims, (please read, "Double-jointedness, sadism, and other obscure native customs of the upper Umbopu deltas", by Arthur Closworth (Published by Binge and Whinkham 1977), that did claim something similar, but  I gather the orifice in question was much larger, and peculiar to that native species, and rather the exception to the general rule, than their norm, and as I am aware, I am not a member of that tribe, indeed,  I hail from Buckinghamshire.

Could I also point out aspects of dubious and lack of erudite spelling apparent, in paragraph 4 ?  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "Idiot" has no 'J' in it, nor a 'P', it doesn't begin with a 'B' either. You may be interested to know, my fellow MP for Uxgrimble (East), Mr John Falseworthy, has recently published his own family historical book, in which, (far from your somewhat obscenical statement, and declarations), is fully aware of his parentage, and that it can be accurately validated to 1675, also his spouse has no facial disfigurement, or anatomy resembling obese porcines, as he is aware....

I am unsure your reference in paragraph 6, to commonwealth and other foreign visitors to our shores,  altogether complies with racial equality laws, disability, ethnic, or even animal rights legislation. I'm almost sure it contains 36 Human rights violations, and constitutes a clear case for libel, as well as 17 clear examples of religious intolerance.   

Public transport may well not be adequate in your area, but I'm unsure if current road legislation allows for dogs to be used in the manner you have ascribed, on a public highway, or, if naked females should be forced to assume that unsightly position...  But I am pretty certain you won't get a road license for it.

Included in my response, I have taken the liberty to send you a large dictionary for your further use,  in the fervent hope it may help alleviate repetitive strain injury to your lips and fingers as they constantly move along the page as you read.  It is of course in large print.  I wonder if you could clarify the exact area you are from ? and the primary language you use ? 

Paragraphs 7 to 9, I have been completely unable to fathom, and I e-mailed it to a professor of ancient hieroglyphs in Cairo, who is also stumped, but quite excited, as he feels there is possibly a new language here, hitherto unknown to historians, unfortunately without a 'Rosetta stone' to help along the way, we are as yet unable to respond to the content of those paragraphs.  There appears aspects of Latin and gibberish in it, maybe some Swahili ?

I look forward (I think), to your further response, but with some trepidation to be honest.....

Yours Sincerely

Arthur Merston MP.

Cultural Promo vid...

She starts with 'Deaf & HoH' then commences to extol the value and virtues of a signing and cultural community.  Basically this is a dishonest video in that it doesn't explain that HoH are NOT part of the cultural community, and by and large do NOT support the cultural view of deafness.

The HoH do not HAVE a community of any kind.   This video is basically to encourage parents of DEAF children to integrate their children within a deaf world to retain their identities, and not to go for alleviations like CI's or adopt oral means of educating their children.  In short, the Deaf world is all their children will ever want or need.

One wonders if children have any say at all given the pressures on parents from the world at large,and pressures from cultural activists who have condemned parents on a number of fronts. The only clear awareness are the captions.

It would assist real awareness if the 'Deaf' activists dropped the 'HoH' tag altogether and played fair on awareness.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The forgotten.....

Related image
Despite 11m suffering hearing loss in the United Kingdom, little or no real support is being offered to any of them, except a few in areas like cities who have a small charity of some kind to offer ad hoc support without any real continuity.

HoH and deafened appear to function without support,  but that is ignoring the real issues of them off-setting communication issues via the use of technologies.  technology is a great thing, but in hearing loss terms just appears to justify staying isolated and face to face has suffered by default as you get a text instead.  It depleted the role of deaf clubs.

It is debatable you can address a serious disablement that way. because of over - emphasis on lip-reading, and then HoH and others finding it extremely difficult to master, it is a huge hit or miss approach, not least because access to a class, the formats provided, the reluctance to adopt inclusive communication approaches, or to assess pupils, by age, or by communication needs is a major issue no-one is really addressing. 

There are some sort of perverse areas, where pop stars admit better dead than deaf, loud and proud etc,  to play down the seriousness of hearing loss, even when they have to admit they cannot hear properly either.  Even signing is seen as  'fun', disregarding WHY deaf do that.

ATR suggested day one a complete clinical assessment to take place when a person has an identified hearing loss, not when it is too late to address it. Counseling ATR suggested, is essential given the trauma of severe loss. Loss separates you from other people. It's a 'bereavement' as you end up cut off from people you have known for years, even losing family members/relationships, and your job as well.... 

The sole answer seems to be put a hearing aid in and forget about it, or, maybe put in for a CI which is a lottery of provision, area on area, with cost as a major factor as well as a priority for the younger element.  

That, or learn BSL and go join their communities instead, despite no-one is asking, do the Cultural deaf community want to do this ? Do they want to be a 'dumping ground' for a system that fails to support HoH as well as them ?   To support an area that doesn't really want to sign to them ? and probably views deafness as a  serious disablement as well, and to lobby for its eradication, quite contrary to the cultural view.

There is no account taken of what people need, want, or actually feel. Having said that there are no trained counsellors are there ?   There is no extant system in the world that we know of dedicated specifically to counsel the HoH or deafened as to the way ahead. Who would train them ? and How would the training formats be organised? as a stand alone support system ? or one that includes, or even excludes the 'Deaf' too ?

Some NHS areas have 'hearing support' clinics, but no definitive professionals and appear to work on the medical support side not the lifestyle or choices side at all.  E.G. do I join a deaf club or not etc... Recent blogs suggest HoH do not want to join deaf clubs, communications and lifestyle areas are difficult to transcend, they are already having communication unaddressed issues, or simply they don't see themselves as a part of that set up after years of hearing.

Trauma demands experienced pro support, not a day class on guesswork. ATR again suggested 15 years ago a 'pool' of support areas should be erected region by region, to ensure no matter what level of loss you had there was an area you can freely approach and ascertain the best way to proceed with your life.

Charities said "That is what WE do !"  But factually charity has not the support of grass roots, are polarised in supportive areas, or they are desperate to gain funding themselves, simply to carry on existing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Give me a chance to Hear !

The Devon Heritage Project

First Female Olympic Champion was Deaf

Charlotte Cooper Sterry was a female tennis player from England who won five singles titles at the Wimbledon Championships and in 1900 became Olympic champion.

Charlotte Cooper was born on 22 September 1870 at Waldham Lodge, England. She married Alfred Sterry, a solicitor, who became president of the Lawn Tennis Association. They had two children.

Cooper Sterry, who had been Deaf since the age of 26, died on 10 October 1966 at the age of 96, in Helensburgh, Scotland.

She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

Have your say on Deaf Culture...

Lydia Parsons started learning BSL four years ago and fell in love with Deaf culture. Now she wants to know what the deaf/HoH community think!

Elaine: Deaf-Blind experiences...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A New Sound

ABI: A decision to proceed...

Check it out...

This is a device made for the hard of hearing or deaf persons that still want to be able to communicate with others over the phone. It was made in the '80s and surprisingly the company is still around. I am glad to see that it still works, but I won't be using it for its original purpose but to just have fun typing on it. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Brothers in Arms (Deaf-wise).

A youtube offering that has annoyed disability activists.  The HP film stars two brothers. One is a musician, and the other is deaf. The deaf brother can't fully participate in his brother's pastime, so he looks solemnly in the mirror, sulks in the bathtub and angrily plays air guitar in his bedroom. 

However, the guitarist brother has an HP Spectre x360 laptop, which allows him to transform their basement into a sensory overload experience. Primary-colored light bulbs shine brightly with each stroke of his guitar, giving the deaf brother the chance to "hear" the music, and he cracks a smile for the first time in the nearly three-minute commercial.

Why join a 'Deaf' community ?

Image result for community ?A poster getting advice, but is it good or bad advice ?

#1 Hey y'all 

How are you doing tonight? I have single sided deafness. Profoundly deaf on my left side and only a little bit of hearing on my right and I wear a baha! I never was bought up in a deaf community or learnt BSL. Which was great but I would like to be apart of the deaf community and learn BSL and make friends who are deaf. ;-).

#2 (response)

I wish you luck with that, been deaf 40 years and never managed it.  You will need to understand what 'norms' you are familiar with as an 'ex-hearing' person won't travel too well in an area that has always been deaf, you have to accept their lifestyles and norms to 'fit in'.  

You will need advice from people who have either been there, done that and been accepted, and those who have been there done that and failed, to understand the reasons for and against, joining a  deaf community does not suit everyone.  Current members have grown up with it, been educated in it etc, you, haven't. I personally do not know any ex-hearing person who has managed to assimilated fully into the Deaf community, that is not to say some cannot manage a semblance of it and gain from that 'community' although it looks a little mercenary.

One needs to understand why people feel, that as they are having huge difficulties in the hearing area,  they can just drop all they know and join a Deaf area instead, like going to a cinema instead of buying a DVD. WHY do you want to join a deaf community ?  If you have social issues, you will still have to address those in a deaf area, even more so, as social is the be-all, end-all there.

There are more deaf people outside of it, than inside it, which suggests it is still perfectly feasible to manage without relying on an area you really have not been familiar with before.  For some, it is a clear opt-out, an admittance, they can no longer manage to maintain any sense of social or community with hearing areas. As you say first you need to learn a different way of communicating as well, that isn't as easy as is suggested.

I don't think people with poor hearing are ever educated, made aware, or even assessed clinically to ascertain what really is best for them, they should be, but the system has no program of training such people.  Sadly some opt to 'join' a Deaf community, then really struggle to fit in there too. It needs evaluation in part, not free choice, to avoid a lifetime of regret and even more isolation.  The 'Deaf' (not deaf), community is shrinking too, one can be forgiven in thinking and reading online it is many many times bigger than it really is.  That is just the power of good promotion.

Years ago 100s of deaf clubs existed, now they exist only in major populated areas.  Ditto deaf schools, there  are less than 21 now. With regards to learning sign language you pay  your money etc, because two distinct areas now exist on learning it, one is direct sign language tuition, the other an 'inclusive' area (not necessarily aligned to the Deaf one), that includes cultural background and Histories as well  as sign language, I could suggest the former is your best option, as the cultural inclusions of sign can prove contentional with some,  best to stick with the communication part.  You don't need to be familiar with Beethoven being deaf or issues of Milan to learn sign language.

Some deaf can resent their community being used as a 'last resort' for hearing loss people who tried everything else first ! Culture is important to them and you need to be wary of imposing your own, can you adapt or compromise enough ? The Deaf also don't approve of incomers who want to adapt their deaf world to accommodate your issues.  I spent 25 years in a deaf club, they still ask me to make their phone calls and appear unable to accept I am as deaf as they are e.g.  My voice became the dividing line on acceptance, just as it does with hearing areas.

Those are some of the downsides, but there are clubs that operate in a  dual manner, you need to find one of those, since a dedicated BSL club would be difficult for you to manage straight off, locate a club where HoH and deaf both go, then you have the best of both worlds with less of the initial issues, and you can really decide if a Deaf community is for you or not. There is no HoH community.  

First contact is crucial, if you find issues straight away it can put you off continuing.  Then you are neither part of a Deaf or a hearing community.  Sadly many of these things are plain ignored, no-one explains the pros and cons of what is expected when you are deaf, e.g. Now what !!   For most of us, it depends on our abilities, determination, and choice has nothing to do with it.  it's not easy, because you may be approaching this decision after exhausting everything else and that IS a wrong reason.

Many wait until communicational bad habits are fully established, or their hearing has deteriorated very badly, or even they are a lot older,  before 'deciding' oh well I will give the Deaf thing a go instead !  That may be too late.  You could end up stuck in a corner and no better off than before. 

People will note my comments suggest it is negative and the 'Deaf' community (NOT the HoH/deaf community as this does not exist), welcomes all comers and is accepting, but this isn't about them, it is about YOU.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

CI's not needed in 5 years ?

Senior man wearing hearing aid, close upLet us hope this 'cure' advances quicker than the one mooted in 1993 that would cure deafness in 5 years then.  Why hasn't genetics addressed deafness yet ?

Scientists believe they are on the brink of a cure for congenital deafness. Researchers have produced stem cells to correct the hereditary defect.

They have found a way of growing human cochlear cells which can be used to replace faulty ones in people deaf from birth due to a genetic error.  They hope a treatment could be available to patients within five to 10 years.

Professor Kazusaku Kamiya, a specialist in ear diseases who is leading the research, which was published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, said: “I am very excited by what we have done.  Scientists hope the treatment could be available in the next five to 10 years.  "We hope this work will lead to a cure for a form of hereditary deafness. “We have found a way to make cochlear stem cells.

"The next step is to find a way to safely inject them into the patient’s ear. It is possible a therapy could be available within five to 10 years.”  The work, which is being carried out in a laboratory at Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan, aims to correct a mutation in a gene called Gap Junction Beta 2.

This accounts for deafness or hearing loss for one in a thousand children.

In some parts of the world mutations of this gene are responsible for as many as half the instances of congenital hearing loss. Professor Kamiya and his team have engineered and grown stem cells to replace human cochlear cells without this mutation.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Amanda's New vlog...

Deaf YouTubers.....

Arlington Sheriff fined $250K for deaf abuse.

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2015 file photo, Abreham Zemedagegehu, is seen at his lawyer's office in Washington. The Arlington County, Va. Sheriff┬┐s office is im...The Arlington County Sheriff's Office is implementing new procedures to accommodate deaf inmates after reaching a $250,000 civil settlement with a former inmate who said he was unable to communicate effectively during a weeks-long, incarceration.

Abreham Zemedagegehu, a homeless man and Ethiopian immigrant, sued the sheriff's office last year. He spent six weeks at the county jail on charges he stole another man's iPad; that man later recanted his accusation.

Zemedagegehu can't read or write English and said for the first few days of his incarceration he didn't even know why he'd been arrested. He said his requests for an American Sign Language interpreter frequently went unanswered.

The Arlington County, Va. Sheriff's office is implementing new procedures to accommodate deaf inmates after reaching a $250,000 civil settlement with a former inmate who said he was unable to communicate effectively during a weeks long incarceration. Zemedagegehu, a homeless man, and Ethiopian immigrant, sued the sheriff's office last year. He spent six weeks at the county jail on charges he stole another man¿s iPad; that man later recanted his accusation. 

He said jail officials offered him a Teletype machine to communicate with the outside world, but that was ineffective because the technology is obsolete and hardly used in the deaf community anymore. It also requires a command of English. He said he needed access to a videophone or video relay service that is more commonly used.

The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria announced the settlement Friday.

Friday, 18 November 2016


Unbelievable technology skills and typing.

Haben Girma, who has been blind and deaf since birth, is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a White House Champion of Change, a Forbes 30 Under 30 (Law and Policy) and a TED speaker. Oh, and she also surfs, salsa dances, and travels the world.

Audio for this podcast can also be found at

The Captioner....

Television audiences are familiar with the colourful subtitles which help thousands of viewers follow their favourite dramas, comedies and news programmes. However, not many are aware that this vital service has made its way to the stage. Deaf and hard of hearing audiences are able to enjoy the experience through live captions which stop plays being seen but not heard.

In captioned performance's the dialogue scrolls across a screen placed close to the stage, not only providing dialogue but also sound effects, song lyrics and musical moods. At the Octagon Theatre in Bolton the task of delivering subtitles for each production lies in the hands of captioner Claire McIntyre.

As part of Captioning Awareness Week, she is keen to make more people aware that enjoyment of the theatre does not have to end when hearing deteriorates. She said: "Captioning helps us reach out to much wider sections of the community and can a help a number of different spectators. "For those who are hard of hearing, or who can't hear it, means you don't have to stop coming to the theatre.

"There are sign language performances but only a very small percentage of people use sign language. Not all the audience are deaf from birth, but it happened in later life so they have not had time to learn signing. For them captions and text are really helpful.

"It also has a wider reach in the Octagon because the theatre's 'in the round' setting means the actors' backs are sometimes turn on the audience, so those who get help through lip reading miss out." To be able to provide captions for just one production Miss McIntyre writes up the lines from the rehearsal script into the theatre's captioning software, StageText.

She will also watch the production two to three times in order to get to grips with how the cast read lines, including the length of pauses. But it is not just scripted lines, as labels have to be made for the music by its mood and genre, such as 'haunting music', or sound effects, such as 'telephone rings'.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Blended: Depends what cake you are baking ?

A recent post read online talked abut literacy/ASL and 'blended' families (Only in America).

The issues talked about, lacked some realistic input. Much detail gets lost in the promotion of deaf people, access, and communications as we know.  Deaf who acquire sign usually do NOT use it to advance English literacy shortcomings, indeed cultural lobbies insist they shouldn't have to because they have a language and grammar of their own etc.

How deaf can then manage in a hearing world based on that higher literacy requirement as a necessity, isn't made clear. Few deaf children have attended school from day one, immersed in signed language, where is the 'proof' it is 'better'  when comparisons aren't viable ? especially as grammar varies. Whilst there are some areas in the USA where intensive grammar of BOTH types is encouraged, one has only to look to the lifestyle of the deaf signer to see where the 'preference' really is.  

Personally I find it appalling deaf attend any form of university or higher education establishment virtually unable to follow the curriculum properly, and with the necessity of such Higher educational establishments having to spend the first 2 years raising deaf literacy levels before they can start a chosen course. A number drop out because they struggle with the grammar and supportive issues too, not really understanding once you leave Higher education, there will be even less support for them after.  It's setting up the deaf for a fall.  Often the prior education for deaf people has been unregulated, and because 'each according to need' or parental preferences have been the norm.

Pitting community against family hasn't been a great success either. To satisfy the sign and educational lobbies, maybe pure ASL or BSL should NOT be the basic sign or format used, but, Signed English or sign-supported English, to ensure they have a good grounding in the language they will have to co-exist with, that, or bi-linguality is a complete misnomer in real terms.   

Basically, if you use ASL or BSL as a FIRST language from day one, then few deaf would opt to be bilingual at all, paying 'lip-service' to the idea, with no real impetus, the facts suggest these deaf do not go on after formative education to improve their English literacy either, as they are concerned they are already 'literate' in their own language so that is OK, even if it does not enable them to be effective in the worlds outside their deaf community.  It's like saying I am fluent in French so I then move to the USA or UK and they must learn that to communicate to me.... it doesn't of course happen.

No real testing of sign language proficiency among deaf people has been undertaken, there are doubts many deaf ARE good signers to a proficient level to go on to benefit via a University placing.   Popular media suggests they are becoming more difficult to understand and just co-existing with hearing people, not cooperating with them.

That can only work if the deaf community can provide for its own, It still ignores independent choices deaf want to make to succeed outside that area, and there, they really do need to be literate in the hearing host country language to make the most of things.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Introducing:- Ava

Blogging to Vlogging: CAB.

Breaking the Silence: Live on TV.

This groundbreaking show will feature six profoundly deaf people having their cochlear implants turned on live at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.This groundbreaking show will feature six profoundly deaf people having their cochlear implants turned on live at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.

For 37-year-old Fiona, who was born profoundly deaf, this could mean hearing her young children’s voices for the first time, while Marion, 69, is desperate to hear her husband Ron tell her that he loves her again.

The results of cochlear implants can vary, but sharing the special moment these six brave people begin to hear again, surrounded by their families and friends, feels like an honour. Expect a night of high emotions. A signed version airs on 4seven simultaneously.

Who Benefited ?

A captioned tour of the Sexology exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London
We know 25,000 people benefited, I would be interested to know where ?  As most 'cultural' areas tend to be situated in major cities only.

Can Stagetext identify  what percentage of that access took place in Cardiff, London, or Glasgow ? the sites ? Preliminary suggestions that 63% was located in just one city, London.

Events and performances are taking place at cultural venues across the UK this week to boost recognition of the needs of deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences.  

Captioning Awareness Week, which runs 14-19 November, also aims to raise awareness of captioned and live-subtitled cultural events among people with hearing loss.

To mark the event, Stagetext, the leading captioning charity, has launched a special offer for £100 off the total booking cost for the first five cultural venues to book either subtitles for an online film, a captioned or live subtitled event. The booking can relate to any theatre show or arts and cultural event taking place in 2017. 

In a recent survey, Stagetext found that around 25,000 people benefited from a captioned or live subtitled event last year. But it is estimated that 11 million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Deaf to the needs of the deaf.

Deaf Factor...

Police: We won't offer you communication help.

Deaf suspect arrest
An association representing deaf Ontarians expressed outrage this week after a video appears to show a police officer in Burlington refusing to write out an explanation to a deaf theft suspect why he was under arrest.

The video, posted on Facebook on Nov. 8 by a male high school student in Burlington, shows an officer standing in front of a middle-aged man in parking lot of a business.

In it, the Halton Regional Police officer repeatedly asks the suspect to turn around and put his hands behind his back, and the suspect gestures first that he cannot speak, also that he cannot hear. Then he forcefully gestures a ‘writing on paper’ motion.

“I am not going to write it for you, I am not going to write it for you,” the officer repeats, continuing to urge the man to turn around and put his hands behind his back. “I will explain it after,” the officer says. A second officer driving a marked SUV pulls up to the scene and gets out.

“He’s not listening,” the first officer says to the next.
The officers put the suspect face down on the ground, handcuff him, and search his pant pockets and his jacket and then put him in the back of a police cruiser.

How much help does your LA give ?

Still unclear how much DEAF AND HI support is provided...

County councils in our area spent more than £44,000 on interpreters and translators in the last year. However Staffordshire County Council cut their spending from £49,184 in 2013-14 to £24,752 in 2015-16. Over the border in Derbyshire, costs rose by just under £10,000. From £10,386 in 2013-14 to £19,412 in 2015-16. 

Translation or interpreter services cover not only foreign languages but help for the blind or those who use sign language.  Ian Parry, deputy leader at Staffordshire County Council said: "We have a duty to make our information and services available to all our residents and always try to achieve this.

"This can mean translating the information we give into different languages, producing brail or large print for people who are visually impaired or finding interpreters for people who do not speak English or who are deaf or hard of hearing. "We also produce materials in an accessible formats for people with learning difficulties and or disabilities."

In Derbyshire, council bosses told the Mail that if they felt the money was not being spent efficiently, they would act upon it. A spokesman said: "Derbyshire is a large county with over 750,000 residents. We have a duty to make sure all our residents can access our services and information – including those who don't speak English or rely on Braille or British Sign Language.

"By law, we have to make sure disabled residents can access our services and information. This means the money we spend on translation services includes publishing documents in braille on request, British Sign Language services and producing a number of our leaflets and consultation documents in easy-read versions for people with learning disabilities and audio books for people with sight impairments.

"There are also a variety of languages spoken across the county that we take into consideration to ensure our information is available to everyone who needs it so they can understand how to access our services.

How much help does you LA give ?

Still unclear how much DEAF AND HI suppotrm is provided...

County councils in our area spent more than £44,000 on interpreters and translators in the last year. However Staffordshire County Council cut their spending from £49,184 in 2013-14 to £24,752 in 2015-16. Over the border in Derbyshire, costs rose by just under £10,000. From £10,386 in 2013-14 to £19,412 in 2015-16. 

Translation or interpreter services cover not only foreign languages but help for the blind or those who use sign language.  Ian Parry, deputy leader at Staffordshire County Council said: "We have a duty to make our information and services available to all our residents and always try to achieve this.

"This can mean translating the information we give into different languages, producing brail or large print for people who are visually impaired or finding interpreters for people who do not speak English or who are deaf or hard of hearing. "We also produce materials in an accessible formats for people with learning difficulties and or disabilities."

In Derbyshire, council bosses told the Mail that if they felt the money was not being spent efficiently, they would act upon it. A spokesman said: "Derbyshire is a large county with over 750,000 residents. We have a duty to make sure all our residents can access our services and information – including those who don't speak English or rely on Braille or British Sign Language.

"By law, we have to make sure disabled residents can access our services and information. This means the money we spend on translation services includes publishing documents in braille on request, British Sign Language services and producing a number of our leaflets and consultation documents in easy-read versions for people with learning disabilities and audio books for people with sight impairments.

"There are also a variety of languages spoken across the county that we take into consideration to ensure our information is available to everyone who needs it so they can understand how to access our services.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Direct Video call showcase.

The FCC’s Direct Video Calling Showcase illustrated how the availability of the direct video calling option can help businesses and government agencies be more accessible to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled or deaf-blind, by providing ways for these populations to directly contact entities in sign language using video transmissions. 

Held on November 4, 2016 at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC. For more information, see

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Deaf schools in the UK...

Clinton's concession speech today

Why I Hate being Deaf...

No-one should be excluded...

Deirdre Clune has said nobody should be excluded from technology as she welcomed an EU directive to make the internet more inclusive.

The Ireland South MEP said she was happy with the support by the European Parliament for an order which would make websites and apps of libraries, hospitals and universities more accessible for those with visually impairments, the deaf and the hard of hearing.

Equality of access

She said: “The internet has become an essential tool in the delivery of information and services and a lack of accessibility can lead to the exclusion of some members of society. No one should be excluded from the digital society because of their disability. Everyone must benefit from equal opportunity to benefit from the services provided by websites and mobile applications; this should be to the forefront of our EU wide digital strategy.

“This new directive will ensure that websites and mobile apps are more accessible and it will require regular monitoring and reporting of this by Member States. Organisations including hospitals, libraries and universities will have to make sure that platforms are improved and simplified, as well as providing new content in the form of text, audio or video, and accessible online application and payment services.


A Brit view.  Like the recent UK Brexit upset, the USA establishments like the UK ones, vastly underestimated the gross dissatisfaction the silent majority has with the inertia and complacency as well as the career-led politicians and city slickers sat on their ass and ignored the concerns of the electorate.

They said Brexit would never happen, they were wrong, they said Trump a misogynistic racist wouldn't win, wrong again.  Clinton appeared to surround herself with women, minorities and pop stars and funded via a staggering $1.2B and still lost.  Trump used $.5B and still won.

It would appear the platform for too many minorities and ignoring the majority went against her.  Most could not see where their interests were being represented. For that concern in the UK we read the majority were all fascist, xenophobic racists and hate-filled discriminators against minorities.  Cue Trump-Clinton decisions exactly the same rhetoric being used by the losers.

Clinton's supporters wheeling out a woman who claimed Trump assaulted her 15 years ago was scraping the barrel as she failed to provide any proof whatever it happened, Clinton using a private server for her e-mails,another mistake. Can the USA come together ?  Brexit divided the UK and there is no coming together here yet, only more concern as the UK government attempts to defy the will of the people. 

The next few years look interesting, but, will established systems learn from their mistakes ?

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The deaf in-betweeners...

We call 'em deafened... I don't think I can put up with any more labels, I have only one jar.

Keller not the first ?

Laura Bridgman
Helen Keller is arguably history’s most recognizable woman with a disability—a figure whose education allowed her to overcome being blind, deaf, and mute. But before Helen Keller, there was Laura Bridgman, the first blind and deaf woman who learned to communicate through language. 

Bridgman may be less known, but her life was just as compelling. And, as Ernest Freeberg writes, one of the most fascinating and frustrating aspects of that life was her unconventional education at the hands of a nineteenth-century reformer.

Samuel Gridley Howe discovered Bridgman in a newspaper article when she was just seven years old. He managed to convince her parents that Laura, who had lost her sight and hearing as a two-year-old, should be given over to his care at the Perkins School for the Blind. As Freeberg notes, Howe undertook a course of “intellectual resurrection,” giving the child household objects with raised-letter labels, then having her arrange loose letters in an attempt to match them with the objects.

Bridgman’s education may have been patchy and misguided, but it also represented opportunity in a time that was cruel to disabled people.  Having accomplished that seemingly impossible task of learning words before letters, Bridgman eventually became proficient in language. But her education was uneven—despite being able to, say, point out a distant country on a globe, she was kept from learning about much of the world around her. Howe focused on abstract knowledge more than real-world experiences and used the glittering success of Bridgman’s education as a kind of proof of the validity of his educational theories. 

Howe, who was against rote learning and espoused liberal religious views, seems to have thought that Bridgman was a kind of specimen of pure humanity, unsullied by the vagaries of the world. Indeed, writes Freeberg, Howe wrote of her as “perfectly holy” and “as pure as Eve.”

The Needy Deaf...

Surrey County Council's newly appointed combined service for deaf and blind people is seeking views on how best to run its service over the next five years.

When awarded the single £1.5 million contract to manage all visual and hearing impaired services for Surrey from February, charity Sight for Surrey's chief executive, Bob Hughes, aimed to alleviate fears put forward by the deaf community that it would be a "disaster", as they needed highly-specialised staff and services.

In November 2015, profoundly deaf mother Kerena Marchant told Surrey County Council's cabinet members: "The deaf community are a cultural, linguistic minority with quite specific and specialised needs."  Nine months into delivering the contract, the charity is preparing to launch a five-year strategy from 2017 and is asking for service users to contribute.

"This strategy will reflect our range of sensory specialist services and outline how we will change the charity," a statement on the charity's website reads.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Our Space Special: BSL Charter

Braille Glove Prototype...

Prototype of the device "Braille Glove" for deaf-blindness . The principle is the use of Braille sign language. This device will enable the blind-deaf person not only to communicate, but to use the phone as well. 

He will be able to use the phone applications, write on social networks and send text messages. According to this principle the device is used not only by deaf-blind people, but also the blind. They noted that it is much more convenient than to use the voice screen reader program. 

Full access interface and created a whole infrastructure of text input, receiving texts and service signals transmitted to the phone.

MacBook keyboard flaw: blind issues.

Macs built-in screenreader VoiceOver, which allows visually impaired people to use the computers, is generally seen favorably by those in the visually impaired community. But part of the design of Apple's new laptop could cause visually impaired users some real difficulty.

That would be the new OLED Touch Bar that will sit at the top of the MacBook's keyboard, where the function buttons used to be. The Touch Bar was already raising concerns for users who worried what would happen if the Escape key was not always accessible, but for visually impaired users it presents other problems. 

To toggle the VoiceOver software users must press the Command and F5 keys. With the addition of the Touch Bar, that F5 key will be integrated into one smooth long bar, without an easy way for visually impaired users to find it.

Life, it doesn't come with subtitles...

And the message is, BSL does ?

To give its deaf customers a better experience in store, Sainsbury’s has created a short film for its colleagues on how to communicate with deaf customers, particularly those who use British Sign Language (BSL).

Retailer creates award-winning film to teach all colleagues basic sign language
Film now being made public to enable more people to learn
Sainsbury’s has invested over 50,000 hours in the past year on disability awareness training
The innovative film was created as part of Sainsbury’s non-visible disabilities awareness week, after colleagues expressed a lack of confidence at communicating with customers who are deaf sign language users.

Sainsbury’s held workshops with its colleagues who are deaf sign language users to develop the film. The workshops helped provide insights on colleagues’ own experiences of shopping and which signs would be most useful to teach the retailer’s 161,000 colleagues who would watch the video.

In a first for UK food retailers, Sainsbury’s is making the internal film public to help more people feel comfortable communicating with the one in six people in the UK who have some form of hearing impairment or deafness.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Purple- Pop !

LipNet: How easy is lip-reading ?

Lipreading is the task of decoding text from the movement of a speaker's mouth. Traditional approaches separated the problem into two stages: designing or learning visual features, and prediction. More recent deep lipreading approaches are end-to-end trainable (Wand et al., 2016; Chung & Zisserman, 2016a). 

All existing works, however, perform only word classification, not sentence-level sequence prediction. Studies have shown that human lipreading performance increases for longer words (Easton & Basala, 1982), indicating the importance of features capturing temporal context in an ambiguous communication channel. 

Motivated by this observation, we present LipNet, a model that maps a variable-length sequence of video frames to text, making use of spatiotemporal convolutions, an LSTM recurrent network, and the connectionist temporal classification loss, trained entirely end-to-end. 

To the best of our knowledge, LipNet is the first lipreading model to operate at sentence-level, using a single end-to-end speaker-independent deep model to simultaneously learn spatiotemporal visual features and a sequence model. On the GRID corpus, LipNet achieves 93.4% accuracy, outperforming experienced human lipreaders and the previous 79.6% state-of-the-art accuracy.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

My Deaf Parents...

Pro-Tactile ASL..

Tactile sign language is a special method of communication, usually for people who were born deaf (and were already used to sign language) and then lost their eyesight. The system involves a type of movement of the hands that is based on traditional sign language and integrates a tactile component. 

In this way, the person who is receiving the communication touches the person who is signing and, in this way, can understand what the other is trying to communicate. Because those giving and receiving messages cannot see each other, some kind of feedback is essential: for example touching the hand or forearm of the signer lightly or if sitting, pushing a hand up and down on one’s knee, as if to nod manually. 

Of course, for each version of traditional sign language there is a corresponding tactile version. For example, LIST, the Italian version (lingua dei segni italiana tattile), TASL (Tactile American Sign Language), and the French verions, LSFT (Langue des Signes Fran├žaise Tactile), and so on.

Footy star offers deaflympic team a lifeline...

The GB team with their bronze medals from the World CupFormer Manchester United defender Gary Neville has donated £20,000 to help the Great Britain's men's and women's deaf football teams secure their place at next year's Deaflympics.

The teams needed to raise the money by the end of the month as deposits for next July's competition in Turkey, which is the biggest multi-sport event for deaf athletes.

However, they still need to raise a further £105,000 to cover the cost of travelling to the event and training camps.  "You don't know how much this means to me and the team," tweeted GB women's captain Claire Stancliffe, who has been helping to lead the fundraising effort.

Neville's donation had come in response to a tweet from Stancliffe.  Deaf sport does not receive funding from UK Sport and in order to participate in this year's Deaf World Cup, where the women's team won bronze and the men were seventh, donations from the likes of Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, England women's players Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze and the foundation run by Liverpool's James Milner helped the GB squads reach their fundraising target.

Under international criteria, to be eligible to compete in deaf football competitions, players must have an average hearing loss of 55 db or more in their best ear. In addition, all players must remove all hearing aids before competing, which can affect balance.

"For the last nine years since I made my international debut, I've had to fundraise every year just to represent my country, let alone pay for all the training I have to do. It does get tiring and sometimes you do feel like just giving up," Stancliffe told BBC Sport.