Saturday, 30 April 2016

It's... Hard of Hearing Week !!




Janet Weil Interview....



Some raw footage from my interview with Principal and Executive Director of the Children's Hearing and Speech Center. She further explains some of the assumptions people have of those who are deaf and hard of hearing. As well, May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!

Every little helps...

Fireman support Deaf week...

Local fire fighters are reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing residents in the district to ensure they have effective smoke alarms in place.
More than 900,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf and would be unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm at night.

As part of Deaf Awareness Week, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents across the two counties to make sure they fit and test the right smoke alarms for those who suffer from hearing loss in their homes.

A whole range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, with features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to small wearable radio linked pagers. These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting people to a fire in their home even if they remove their hearing aid at night.

Station commander Alan Haley, from the community risk department said: “It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them and that they test them regularly, to make sure they work.

“Many people with hearing loss could be at serious risk if they don’t have the right alarm in place. A specialist alarm system provides valuable time to escape from a house blaze. Without it, lives could be lost."

Friday, 29 April 2016

Deaf son was left to fend for himself in nursery

Jensen Davidson who was left on his own in Fallin NurseryThe Care Inspectorate is investigating a complaint that a pupil was left on his own inside his nursery while other children went out for their Daily Mile walk.  Jensen Davidson was locked in a room at Fallin Nursery only weeks after the service was given a glowing report by inspectors.

Mum Andrena has said the incident on March 21 left the four-year-old, who is deaf, very upset.  “He told us that night,” she said. “Jensen is deaf and has only recently been able to communicate effectively with us.

“On the Monday night he said he had gone to the toilet for a long time and said all the other boys and girls, and teachers, had left him.  “He said he was in the room by himself, and we initially thought it couldn’t be right so asked him again.

“We asked him what had happened, and he said he had been left by himself and then a lady from the baby room had came in and took him out.”  The following day Andrena asked a member of staff if her son had been left alone and she was initially told this wasn’t the case, and that there had been an adult in the room with him.

However a senior member of staff then admitted to Andrena at a meeting that Jensen had been alone, and that the area he was in hadn’t been checked.


ATR gives the counter view....



Debunking the lie the RAD could NOT find any counter view  LINK

Deaf awareness week: 2016

New Deaf parent support group...

FCC to improve deaf communications access...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is working to make it easier for deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled and deaf-blind people to communicate with people over the phone. 

The agency announced a proposed rule Thursday that would require wireless phone networks to recognize real-time text starting in December 2017 for large carriers. People with disabilities now use a special device, known as a teletypewriter, or TTY, to send messages back and forth over wireless and landline phones.

That system only works if the people on both ends have a teletypewriter. To receive or relay messages without one, a person would need to dial 711 to get a third-party relay service on the line.

Real-time text, however, the FCC said would allow people to send and receive messages as they are being relayed without a separate device or translator on the line. Unlike traditional text messaging, the agency said the sender would never have to hit “send.”

Karen Peltz Strauss, deputy chief of the FCC’s consumer and governmental affairs bureau, said real-time text is more natural and akin to a voice phone call as opposed to TTY, which requires the use of an outdated device — similar to a keyboard ­— that only types 60 words per minute. 

In drafting the rule, the FCC plans to also look into the possibility of creating similar real-time text capabilities for IP-based landline phone networks with the goal of reducing the reliance on TTY and third-party relay services.  

“This is just the start of a proceeding and we are seeking answers to a lot of questions,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “But our goal is to make sure that millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on text to communicate have accessible and effective telephone access as communications technologies make the transition from circuit-switched to IP-based technologies.”

Are the French hostile to Disabled ?


Read online recently:  



"I am profoundly deaf but have been able to live a “normal” life. In fact, in most countries I have travelled when people see the aids they take time to speak clearly and not to treat me differently. My disability has made me very patient with people and I am a calm person not used to arguments and rudeness. My family and friends say I am a bit too laid back for my own good. I have developed a thick skin and am not easily upset


But since moving to France I have had lots of problems. My spoken French is good and although I am not able to read lips here, I can mostly keep up. I ignore the sighs, looks at their colleagues or eyes up to the ceiling. However, recently I have had three really very distressing incidents (oddly all with French women) when having to undergo medical treatment. 



All knew that I was deaf and yet took no prisoners. They spoke impatiently, quietly and in one case turned her back on me laughed and mumbled. Then when I asked her to repeat more loudly she spoke even quieter and started throwing pens and paper around her desk. In one incident it was so bad she asked me if I was an idiot. The husband of another patient (she is also deaf) came up to support me and there then ensued a huge argument between them and boy did she back down. His wife told me this is France and this is how they treat us.



My GP says that I must understand that it is not unusual behaviour in France and that the disabled are no where near being accepted or integrated here. People are not used to mixing with those with disabilities and there is a lack of understanding or empathy. There are prejudices and a bit of one-upmanship. He says I am giving off the wrong vibes. His advice is I should not be so “English polite” and should shout a bit more and should make formal complaints whenever I experience in his words, “such prejudices”. Unlike the UK, nobody really speaks out for the disabled - you have to stand up for yourself.



I have commented before, that unless I go into Toulouse where there are disabled communities I never see anyone with a disability. In five years I have locally only met one young deaf person. 



Am I wrong in thinking that perhaps to have a child with a disability is a stigma here and to be a disabled adult is seen as being a less valuable person?"

RAD promotes EU Remain view


One reason why we don't need Deaf organisations producing sign covers of important issues, whilst failing to provide balance.  This is a word-for-word signed copy of the UK State's official stance on the EU referendum, but there are no signed videos putting the views of the counter argument to the EU Referendum.  

For Deaf or HoH people to form a viewpoint they need both sides of the debate presented properly.  The RAD's first video was also poor, and incomplete, and currently deaf people are saying this is a poor showing by the Royal Association Of the Deaf.  Deaf people asked for balance, not a one sided carbon copy of a single view on the issue.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Deaf grassroots movement..


[TRANSCRIPT]

MELISSA

You may have already started seeing news related to the Deaf Grassroots Movement that will occur nation-wide on Wednesday, May 4th. This will be a historical event in the Deaf community. 

The Deaf Grassroots Movement (DGM) is an organization with a vision of the Deaf being able to live without being judged, to protect communication accessibility , to improve the Deaf education system, and to help grow the economic power of the Deaf diversity, with respect to the community and the pursuit of life, liberty, and equality. Some have noticed the sign for grassroots. The original sign of grassroots came from Wesley Arey of Virginia. To put it into words, both roots and grass work together, we go hand in hand. We need each other. So, signing it in this way represents us moving together toward the change of Deaf people's lives. 

DGM is coordinating a nationwide movement where more than 45 states across the US will be participating. The Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind people will be gathering at their state capitals to rally for civil rights for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind people. The rally will raise awareness for the rights of the Deaf for equality in education, access to public services and for equal opportunities in employment. 

DTV News reached out to Dawn Schriver, Public Relations chair of the DGM asking her a few questions about this movement. We asked her how the DGM came to fruition.

This started with the Deaf Protest in Washington DC last September 5 and 6th. More than 1,000 people attended. The 7 core members of this team discussed the option of continuing the protest, wanting to further change and see something happen. We established Deaf Grassroots Movement. 

This time, the movement is happening nationwide, rather than only in Washington DC. The effort is bigger this time, with core groups taking the lead in over 45 different states. Even though this is happening in different states, the movement is collaborative and they have been working closely together to plan this day. 

Yes, we all share the same passion. We want to see change in different ways - through representation, activism, public relation efforts, We all work together closely and keep in touch on a weekly basis through Facebook groups, sharing ideas to ensure that this is a nation-wide rally. It's been amazing. 

Yes! To think that with the power of social media and networking, it is truly amazing to see how the movement is largely collaborative, and will be happening all over the nation on the same day. DGM has the ultimate goal of creating long-term change. 

Our ultimate goal is long term change. DGM has partnered with PAD (Politics and the Deaf) and we have worked closely together to make things happen, to make the change. DGM wants to establish a research center and we have other plans coming after May 4th. Keep your eye out! 

If you're curious about what's going on in your state and want to participate in any way, be sure to go to the website listed here: www.tdgm2015.org and look under your state for information on who to contact for further information.

Good Morning !

Healthwatch: Call out...



This video is a call-out to the local deaf community by Healthwatch West Sussex for stories about people's experiences of good and poor communication with GPs and their surgeries, to be shared using social media during deaf awareness week (May 2016)

Did this scam con YOU ?

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department are asking for the public’s help to locate additional victims who have fallen prey to a confidence scheme targeting the Deaf Community.

“Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini preyed on fellow deaf persons,” said Detective Tracey Angeles, head of LAPD’s West Valley Robbery Table. “Being deaf and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), he took advantage of their trust and goodwill to steal nearly a half million dollars among three persons, and we think there could be more victims.”

Officials reported that the first victim came forward just 10 days ago, explaining how the suspect extorted money on the pretense of business loans. None of the loans were repaid and Dheini later pressured the victim for additional money, which led to duress and fear. That raised the con to robbery.

According to the LAPD blog, two additional victims have come forward with similar tales, but smaller monetary losses. Detectives served a search warrant on Dheini’s Northridge home on April 20, which is located in 9400 block of Corbin Avenue. He was arrested on a single charge of robbery. His bail was set at $50,000.

“Con-men, like Dheini, count on victims feeling shame and embarrassment for falling for a scam,” said Det. Angeles. “But we want to encourage any potential victim to come forward and reassure them that their naiveté was merely a sign of their kindness and good nature.”


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

International Games for the Deaf: 1935



In celebration of Deaf Awareness Week (2nd - 8th May) our film of the month is this wonderful 1935 film which depicts deaf athletes competing in the 4th International Games for the Deaf. 

The Cows say Mooo !


Unfortunately there are no words to describe the feelings and emotions from the experience on Thurs. 7/2/2015. However, I will do my best. Chase’s first hearing aid “fitting” at five years old.

When they first put in the hearing aids and turned them on, Chase sat with his head down and didn’t move or say anything for a few minutes. We tried to talk to him; however I believe he was overwhelmed. I held him on my lap; he was a limp noodle (it was breaking my heart not knowing what was going on in his head.) I guess I had envisioned a different reaction. He looked sad. This was the moment I had been anticipating for months. Why was he sad? I know this feeling, helplessness. 

I asked him if he wanted everyone to leave the room...he shook his head yes. 7 people in one tiny room was a lot of noise with someone who just got hearing aids. The doctors took out the aids for more adjustments and for a “break”. (This is where the youtube clip starts) The next time they were “turned on”; he was a little more responsive. His eyes lit up. 

He was amazed by the “rustling” sound of a candy wrapper. His head would pop up when he would hear someone talking from another part of the room. He kept making sounds with his own voice (he has never fully heard his own voice before). At one point I covered my mouth and with a quiet, soft voice I asked Chase what color he shirt was. 

He responded with “GREEN”. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Okay, I was sobbing like a big baby. Chase has NEVER heard me speak so softly. He was unable to read my lips while I covered my mouth…he could hear my question and answer without hesitation. Chase was asking why I was crying. I explained I was so happy he could hear with his super hero ears. I was crying, my mom, my dad started crying and even the audiologist was crying. The doctor said his name from behind his back and Chase turned. He could hear from behind his back! (Waterworks again) 

The audiologist explained that Chase has significant hearing loss. It still didn't sink in...How bad the loss was. She said it will be like bringing a newborn home for the first time. He would hear new sounds. However, Chase would be able to verbalize and question what he is hearing. I heard her words, but what we would witness was beyond my wildest dreams.

I will skip ahead to the walk outside with his new “ears”. Below are the gifts from God we were able to witness in a short period of time:

 Chase stomped his feet to hear the noise of his shoes hitting the pavement
 He looked around and said he could hear the cars
 When my dad started his truck, Chase’s eyes got big. I explained it was the engine being turned on
 In the car chase was dancing to the tunes on the radio with a huge smile on his face
We went to lunch. Imagine all the new noises in a restaurant. Chase wanted ice cream for lunch. Yes sir, you can have whatever you want today!
 He heard a baby cry and looked around to see what it was. He asked, “What is that mom?” I said, “What do you think it is”. He said, “A baby crying”.
 He laid his head on my arm and said he could hear ‘music in my arm’. I had to look around to try to understand what he was hearing. 

I pointed out the speaker in the ceiling above us playing music. The look on his face was indescribable. Chase woke me up at 6:30am and said, “Mom, can you put my ears in so I can listen to the birds?” Absolutely! I jumped out of bed. I sat outside just observing. I was thanking God over and over. The look of amazement on his face is unforgettable. He was looking around and pointing at the sky.

 He walked up to the fence and pointed at the cows. “Mom! I hear the cows say MOO!”

Australia violated Human rights of the deaf...

The rights of two deaf people in Australia were violated when they were called up for jury service but then told they could not have the support they needed, in the form of sign language interpretation and real-time captioning, to participate in the proceedings, UN experts have found. 

“States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as Australia has, are obliged to make reasonable accommodation to ensure people with disability can enjoy or exercise the same rights as everyone else and can take part fully in all aspects of life,” said Damjan Tatic, from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “This did not happen in these cases.”

G.B. was called up for jury duty in New South Wales (NSW) in November 2012 and informed the body that oversees functioning of the courts, the Office of the Sheriff of New South Wales, that she would need Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreting. M.L. was called up three times in 2012 and told officials that he would need real-time steno-captioning.

The Sheriff’s Office said such support could not be provided, as it would undermine confidentiality by introducing a non-jury person into the jury deliberation room. In M.L.’s case, he was also warned he would be fined for not attending jury service.

In its findings on the two cases, the Committee noted that Australia argued that providing Auslan interpreters or steno-captioning affected the complexity, cost and duration of trials, yet “it [did] not provide any data or analysis to demonstrate that it would constitute a disproportionate or undue burden.”

“Further, while the confidentiality principle of jury deliberations must be observed, the State party does not provide any argument justifying that no adjustment could be made to enable the Auslan interpreter (or the person assisting with steno-captioning) to perform his/her functions without affecting the confidentiality of the deliberations of the jury, such as a special oath before a court,” the Committee wrote. 

In both cases, the Committee found that the rights of the complainants had been violated under various articles of the Convention*, including with regard to equality and non-discrimination; accessibility; and access to justice.

Listen Up...

The Listen Foundation...



In this video you meet some of the graduates of The Listen Foundation, a Colorado base non-profit which provides for and assists children who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families, with access to a proven speech, language, and listening therapy method to help them achieve a life of independence.

Brexit song...


One tune that probably won't make the UK Top 10 list !  The tune is that of Cliff Richards old hit "Congratulations"




Feel free to add more verses...









Congratulations
And celebrations
When we tell all the World
We’re immigration free,
Congratulations
for ‘Repatriation’
It’s the only way to keep
Our nation free

We’ve had enough of all these
Muslims Sikhs and Asians
The 'Euro Trash' and asylum imitations
Enough of all the E.U regulations
It time we took control and
Made our Britain Great

Congratulations
And celebrations
When we tell all the World
We’re immigration free,
Congratulations
for ‘Repatriation’
It’s the only way to keep
Our nation free

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Deaf Versus HI...

Silent Senses....



Ling Kai Hoe is currently a third year student at NAFA under the Illustration Design with Animation Programme.

Known as Madjoker, Kai is 23 years old and is diagnosed with a Hard-of-Hearing syndrome. Struggling through his experience with this condition,  Kai wishes to explore the boundaries of illustration through his personal experience and create an expressive story through the lessons he learns in life.

Other than illustrating,  Kai also has an interest in photography  which allows him to clear his mind and gain inspiration through day-to-day happenings  and observing people around him.

Meeting the Needs of Passengers With Hearing Loss

Airport Arrival board display "Delayed"We don't need sign language or wheelchairs thanks....

We are more anxious than the average flyer—for good reason. We’ve panicked over last minute gate changes that we didn’t hear announced. We’ve missed you calling our name for seat changes or upgrades. Boarding procedures are not standard, so don’t assume we know what to do in any given airport. Actually, don’t assume anything about us because, beyond our common hearing issues, we’re as individual as snowflakes.

Pre-boarding is a nice gesture, which I accept when it’s offered after disclosing my hearing loss. But technically it’s not necessary, as long as you remember to get my attention when my row or group is boarding. On second thought, go ahead and pre-board me. I can help with pushing any wheelchair-users.

We, however, don’t require wheelchairs—unless we also have a mobility challenge. We don’t need to be escorted by the elbow down to the plane, or handed off to the flight attendant with whispered instructions that she’s, you know, DEAF. And we definitely don’t need safety announcements on a Braille card. I don’t make this stuff up. 

When I disembarked from a flight last week, an airline employee was waiting outside the plane door, holding a sign with my name on it—and a wheelchair. I declined her offer, but she followed me into the airport because she had been tasked with escorting me to my next gate. Sigh. But I insisted on walking.

PA announcements are Public Enemy #3, right behind Background Noise and People Who Don’t Face Us when they speak. While the majority of us hear that an announcement is being made, we have no idea what you’re actually saying. But because we’re paranoid, we suspect the announcement may have something to do with us—so we come up and ask, once again, what you just said.  Better signage in the airport (and all terminals) would keep us informed and less stressed.

Some airline online checking procedures allow us to indicate our hearing loss. But if I check this off, I expect the information to show up somewhere in your system when I get to the airport, rather than me relaying it to every employee along the route. When I check in, this should show up on your computer, “Passenger has hearing loss.” Then, all you do is look up, face me, and speak. (Please don’t look nervous, I speak your language.)

More on the language thing. If “DEAF/HARD OF HEARING” shows up on the system, don’t assume I use sign language. Especially if I’ve said—with my voice—hello or good morning. The vast majority of us use a spoken language, rather than a signed language. Just ask, “How best can we help you regarding your hearing loss.”  Then we’ll let you know that we need visual notice for boarding and personal delivery of in flight announcements. “Ms. Hannan, we’re experiencing mechanical difficulties and will be landing in a farmer’s field in Iowa.  Brace yourself and have a nice flight.”

Captioned in-flight entertainment is a long overdue airline gift to people with hearing loss. We need the same level of customer service as wheelchair-users and those with diet restrictions. Some safety announcements are conveyed by captioned video—so why not the movies? If I don’t have appropriate headphones (see following point), I have to watch foreign films with English subtitles, which are enjoyable but—y’know?—I’d like to have the same choices as everyone else.

Earbuds don’t work with our hearing aids or cochlear implants. Sometimes we forget to bring our own ear-covering headphones, so please have a few pairs of the old kind on hand for people with different listening needs.

People with hearing loss can’t sit in the exit rows and that’s just fine with me—too dangerous in an emergency—although that extra leg room sure looks pretty. If you know we have hearing loss, don’t let us sit there. Just because we have a disability or impairment, doesn’t mean that we’re incapable of cheating.

I do not need to wait until everyone else gets off the plane before disembarking. Sound silly? I used to think so too, until I was offered this option on two recent flights.


We’re not asking for perks; we just don’t consider accommodating our hearing loss to be special treatment. But for our safety and comfort, we need to know what’s being said and to be able to enjoy the flight we just paid a lot of money for.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Deaflympics....

Years ago the Deaflympics would not entertain a CI user taking part or a hearing aid user and instead participation was determined via  very dubious db loss criteria.   

HoH currently take part in 3 Olympics, the Deaf one, the Paralympics and the main event.... However a few years ago the USA judges blocked deaf people taking part in Australia's Deaflympics because they didn't sign enough... Deaflympics in the UK is dead on its feet almost, the UK just hasn't the wherewithal....

Not so long ago participants from the UK had to rely on food parcels from other Deaf in the USA.   Recently Deaf in Europe made a complete mess of hosting it there.  I don't support Deaflympics at all, it is a cultural fest not a sporting event... If you want a cultural festival you don't need to label it a sporting event.

The Olympics itself welcomes ALL cultures, it is the Deaf demanding they are an exception to the rule.... what exception is that ? Language ? Physical ability ?    The Olympics welcomes ALL languages in the world, and has a disability Olympics.....

UK opposition to joining the paralympians was bordering on discrimination by default "We aren't disabled, we can do everything but hear..."  (but apparently cannot compete in sport...).  They put this down to the lack of support funding, the reality, is funding is based on Inclusion, not supporting an exclusive event.

If we want access, we won't get it demanding we have a right NOT to participate.  We want starting issues designed around our hearing loss, we have to be there to get it.  True participants in sport take on all comers, Deaflympics doesn't do that, so they don't manage the eligibility times they need to do it... instead of accepting they need to participate against all comers, they claim discrimination instead, does this help the true sportsperson ? 

I suggest it doesn't, you can only be tested against the rest, otherwise it is school sports or something. As regards to training and support funding they were offered it IF they joined the paralympians they said no.  UK participation is almost negligible now... just 46%,  we just don't care to get involved any more. Prefer to suggest we are kept out instead.... Unless Deaf don't read the media these days it is being held in ISIL country, Turkey.

Where next ?  Syria? or maybe Kabul....

The Professional Victim...


What I read recently online...    'The professional Victims.'


"The big D group seems to love to play the victim card. And they constantly remind the world that they are entitled to special treatment. It reminds me of a speech given by Condoleeza Rice (she was referring to another group of people, but the similarities to the big D group are uncanny): "If you are taught bitterness and anger, then you will believe you are a victim. 


You will feel aggrieved and the twin brother of aggrieve-ment is entitlement. So now you think you are owed something and you don’t have to work for it and now you’re on a really bad road to nowhere because there are people who will play to that sense of victim-hood, aggrieve-ment and entitlement, and you still won’t have a job."


Overplaying the Deaf card ?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Can't Pay, Can't hear....

Hearing aid contestFor those who take free hearing aids for granted....Needing hearing aids is one thing. 

Paying for them is another. Every year, people with hearing loss go without the very devices that could help them because of the costs. When a set of hearing aids cost thousands of dollars, the price tag can be overwhelming. And most people don’t have insurance that covers hearing aids.

Basic hearing aids could cost around $2,000 for both ears, while newer, more advanced devices can cost up to about $7,000 a set. Audiologist Gracie Herndon of Physicians Hearing Center at ENTcare in Dothan said today’s prices are really not bad compared to devices offered 20 years ago, especially considering the technology you get with today’s hearing aids.

“Twenty years ago, a hearing device was $500 to $700, and it was analog,” Herndon said. “It was an amplifier – it amplified everything. Only someone with a severe hearing loss could really wear it and enjoy it. For other people, it wasn’t worth hearing all the other noises. Nowadays, they’re digital; you program them with a computer. But you can get a hearing aid for $1,000. In 20 years, the price is not that much more for the technology you get.”

Even basic digital hearing aids can be synced with a cellphone or television.


Teaching computers to lip-read...

Good luck with that ! well over 60% is impossible for us....

When Zinedine Zidane, the then French captain, headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final, the clash quickly became one of the most infamous incidents in football history. What was not clear was what sparked the Frenchman’s ire - Zidane said his mother had been insulted, a charge that Materazzi vigorously denied.

The head-butt saw Zidane sent off and Italy win the game. However, had there been technology there to identify what was said, the result could have been very different, Dr Helen Bear believes. “If a machine lip reader was in existence, the other player [could] have got sent off too so it would have been 10 men against each other in a World Cup Final,” she argues.

Bear is one of a number of researchers from the University of East Anglia focusing on ways to teach computers to read people’s lips, technology which could be used in the future of artificial intelligence.

A three-year study at the university’s school of computer studies could prove a significant advancement in the science behind automated lip-reading, which is still in its early stages. The technology could help people who have recently lost their hearing and on a more basic level, it could improve our interactions with gadgets that are usually controlled by hand.


BSL & Text support, unhelpful to clients ?

Complaint abounds on the antics of the UK Welfare system, one aspect being their Ministers being referred to the court of human rights for wholesale abuses and causing early death in nearly 3.000 disabled and vulnerable people.  

Since the issues are about legal entitlements to support, and to basic human rights,  the aspect of preventing clients having legal representation amounts to legalised discrimination and human rights abuse, with state assent.. 

But, a number of issues of representation have been questioned, in courts, and, with regards to disabled/deaf people claiming allowances and support from the state.  Many of the Deaf and HoH still do not understand the position of their own support, or, how that support can affect real outcomes for them.

Legally, deaf or HoH support does not exist in any real sense.   obviously your right to have it does, but.....The terp 'code' is of pretending they don't exist,  because they are 'neutral', but this puts deaf and HoH at the mercy of systems, and because they have a duty to ensure clients are empowered, yet aren't prepared to back that up.    Some Deaf claim they insist on this stance because they have no real confidence the client is following them, the client lacks enough awareness to properly follow, and especially if they haven't been used by a client before, so the stance of neutrality, is a 'get out of jail' free card for them.  If in doubt blame the client.

In essence and no matter which area your support attends to help you, there is no guarantee they will back you up after if an issue arises, or step in and state 'I'm sorry the client does not appear to be following all you say despite my help...' which would open up the case for a better system of deaf and HoH support and one which takes responsibilities seriously..   

The legal aspect re systems, is that they are obliged to provide your support, but they know you cannot refer back to it after.  The assumption, is that you have the support you asked for, then you follow 100%, the system has complied with the letter of the law, your ignorance/inability to follow isn't their fault..

Interpreters and HoH support need to start acting as a professional body and take responsibility, by backing up their clients, and their own skills.  In regards to text support providing hard copy every time as well as BSL and Lip-speaking support should be filmed, so all can refer  back to clarify, if any misunderstandings are apparent, so far BSL and Text support have refused to back their own professionals..

Too many areas are encouraging family to act as interpreters, despite many family support areas as ignorant of the rules as the deaf are, and the majority of family members NOT adequately trained in sign.  This serves up a double whammy, the system can claim deaf have their chosen support, and then can run rings around those.

Deaf and HoH are under attack from UK welfare systems who openly challenge their hearing loss, their communication, and even accuse them of abusing the rights they have.   E.G. every reason you can put forward, in regards to how loss makes things difficult for you, they now have an answer that suggests you aren't trying to overcome them.  

They have done their 'homework' but read from books they wrote in their favour. E.G. Deaf have recognition, have rights and equality laws, free travel in many cases and concessions, yet 'still complain'.  It's a massive PR state campaign aimed at attacking those with hearing loss, whose disability  cannot be seen mostly, so they pander to the not seen, not extant view.  Joe public don't see hearing loss, THEY think you are trying to milk the system too...

Deaf and HoH need to unite for the common good... you think it's all over ? It's only just started...

NZ Sign Language gets a $1m....

(Who says sign doesn't pay. ?)  

Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today congratulated 24 successful applicants who received just over $1 million worth of grants from the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Fund.

“I am thrilled to see such a wide range of projects that will support, promote and maintain New Zealand Sign Language across the country. “Deaf children and their whānau in particular will be able to benefit from many of the opportunities this year’s projects will create.

“Successful projects include the development of a youth mentorship programme, a series of NZSL Immersion Courses in Otago where there is very limited access to NZSL for families with deaf children and a national conference for families with deaf children.

“Promoting New Zealand Sign Language in the home is a priority area for the government and will ensure the transfer of Deaf culture and sign language to the next generation.

“The NZSL Fund will also support the development of a nationally recognised adult NZSL Assessment Tool which will provide us with a system with which to confirm the level of NZSL proficiency. “The assessment tool is important because it will enable staff who work with NZSL users to have an appropriate, measurable level of proficiency.

“In addition to $750,000 going to community projects, the NZSL Fund also contributed $295,000 to support NZSL Week 2016.  “It is a special time this year as we celebrate the ten year anniversary of NZSL becoming an official language during NZSL Week in mid-May. I look forward to being a part of the celebrations,” Ms Wagner says.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Obama: The special relationship is over....

As many know a referendum, in the UK to decide whether to stay in or leave the European 'union' is due to take place soon.  What it has exposed is the true feeling that Union has for the UK and now the USA's view of the UK comes out as well.

Both hostile and both negative.  France and Germany "If you vote out (We aren't in but let us by pass this at present !), we will remove border controls  (They don't have any !), and flood the UK with unwanted migrants we actively encouraged to overrun europe...... and still demands the UK pays them to patrol French borders at Calais....

The USA via Obama, if you vote leave, we will put you at the back of the que regards to trade and other support. He stated, the UK staying in Europe is in America's and NATO's best interest (Now we get to it....).  The hypocrisy of Obama view was revealed when he back tracked on the USA every surrendering it's sovereignty to a set up like Europe, but expects us too.  Would the USA accept a 'Union' that imposed its laws on them ? used a 27-1 voting set up that sidelined it every vote ?  Obama for once was silent.

A reporter asked what is the USA doing about its own rights set up ?  E.g. where Transgender was banned in some states ? Obama responds,  the federal set up allows them to make own laws, but 'hopes' no-one is denied equality, so it doesn't work then ?  Do you run your own country or not ?  Federalism isn't a cohesive set up.... it's a free-for-all, when is the USA going to pay  what it owes the UK and Europe in back taxes ? Obama against silent.

Obama says, we accept it is the decision of the UK voter in a democracy, but, if you vote out we wash our hands of you, when did the special relationship become a system based on being bullied and threatened ? friends don't do that.  Obama, many USA people are buried in European graveyards fighting for the democracy, true, but a low blow from the USA, lest we all forget millions of Russian/and commonwealth personnel died fighting Germany too.  They aren't telling us how to vote....

Would the USA accept what Europe is telling us we must ?  To accept our own government is secondary to the will of an unelected set up based in Brussels ? that laws are determined by people who don't even live here ?  or if the two prime players Germany and France decide what they should vote on ? Brussels the nerve centre of governance in Europe ? who hires Isil followers as cleaners ?  A federal set up that actively has free trade WITH Russia their next door neighbour, and depends on the energy Russia supplies their industry with?

Not forgetting their boast of 'no borders' and free movement, when what they mean is we have no way of stopping uncontrolled migrancy anyway but the concept sounds good ! and despite paying off Turkey to keep them there...  Turkey, a country that supports IS, and has clamped down on its own TV stations, reporters and medias to suppress dissent, and a country that shells those fighting to contain IS, but gets Kudos from the USA because it shot down a Russian plane, you can only hope adults start getting involved..

Turkey, a country demanding free visa passage for its population to Europe, (or they will just go anyway), a country demanding European membership despite concern it already channels IS troops into Europe for free.  A Europe now at odds with each other because Greece and other southern European countries were abandoned to cope with migrancy on their own, 5,000 a day to Lesbos alone....  Greece has been swamped, and others now putting up borders again in defiance of Brussels. freedom of movement goes out the window...   Migrants faced with troops who are armed...  Common sense suggests Europe is incapable of governing itself.... let alone telling the UK how to do it....

European laws that prevent the UK sending back known criminals, like rapists, child killers, murders, war criminals, racists, and human rights abusers..  Europe, where Serbians and Croations waged racial wars on each other not so long ago...  Obama says with the UK as a full member we can persuade these countries to stop waging war every generation on each other,  2 world wars suggest the UK hasn't been able to influence them that much, or the USA.

So the USA would block any free trade agreement with the UK if we BREXIT ?  So much for the special relationship.  What Americans need to understand is Obama is on his way out and so is the British PM in months, would you buy an opinion off these people ?

Security - wise, Europe is wide open, and the separate members don't even talk to each other, the seat of of governance cannot control own streets..  The UK and most of Europe the CIA says is unsafe for Americans.... It's not bloody safe for us in the UK either...

Obama said coalitions don't work, so why does the USA join them ?  so get your act together and with Russia and erase IS. As to setting up puppet governments Obama, forget it, it is a recipe for another war there.  The middle east functions ONLY via despots, it's their way..... Today's terrorists are tomorrows freedom fighters...

He ignores history, even recent history, where Saddam Hussain and Ghadiffi were toppled only to trigger a religious extremist war, a whole raft of banditry, and a foothold for Al Qaeda and ISIL opposite Gibraltar.   Now he wants Saddat out, who will replace him ?  erm the USA will take a rain check on that ! Fiddling, burns, while, and Nero, spring to mind.  Obama talks about the UK as an Island, but the USA is just the same only much larger via its outlook.

The UK would never be in any position to tell the American voter which way to vote, nor would they stand for it....so why does Obama come here telling us how to, Hypocrite !  His predecessors couldn't identify half the countries there.... It is like Ireland, who voted against the European Union twice but had to keep voting until they agreed, so much for democracy, all the USA is interested in, is that we and Europe are their first line of defence if the balloon goes up.... 

Got it in one........

Erm, what are you going to do about the uncontrollable migrancy via Mexico ?  Over to you Obama, hope your bricklaying skills are up to scratch...





The Great 'Residual Hearing' Con Act...


Residual Hearing: What is that ?  

(Definition):  Residual hearing... Hearing acuity that remains after hearing loss.

This DOESN'T suggest it is always EFFECTIVE...  However others may well assume it does...  Hear a bit ? or hear it all ?

The image opposite is incorrect too, as it is based on volume, not clarity.  We get into the realms then of what IS residual hearing ? and, what is actually effective hearing ? When a loop failed recently at a big charity gig, 90% were unable to follow..... I've met many hearing aid users who suggest in fact they have very little hearing of use at all. Others who do not appear to need them... Along with hearing aid usage, the key area is environment. 

Consciously and otherwise, we tend to avoid areas where we feel uncomfortable or know our hearing aids are suss... Most of us by default tend to withdraw to a certain extent, and it is only when that withdrawal is looked at in all its realities, do we then begin to understand how bad our hearing has become... that, and panicked visits to the local ENT to ask why our aids aren't working properly, the assumption is never to think, our hearing is getting worse...

If you want to know how poor your hearing is, don't just ask an audiologist, ask a friend. We are usually the LAST people to know how bad it is...  Ergo:

(1)  You don't attend parties, they are too noisy and its difficult to hear what is said...

(2)  You avoid most crowded areas, or pubs and clubs...  I feel panicky in those situations...

(3)  You don't go out as much as I used to.... why stress myself ?

(4) Some friends no longer call on me and they used to all the time...  Some I have difficulty understanding now, I didn't before...

(4)  You allow others to speak for you more and more.

(5)  Your workmates no longer include you and get impatient... You are viewed awkward, arrogant or just simply refusing to listen to what others say..

(6)  You avoid shops where you have to engage with the staff all the time, so you prefer supermarkets etc where all you have to do, is read the price and pay it.

(7)  You always use high denomination coins or, notes to pay for things, then don't have to worry if you are not paying enough or haven't understood how much the prices were.  (This is atypical 'Deaf' an approach.)

(8)  You avoid dances and music/theatre revues because you are no longer interested in those things, although you were before...

(9)  You don't attend the cinema any more, because you can download and watch with the volume and captioning at the level you want, so why bother ?

(10)  You book holidays and trips at times when you  know there are less  people about.  You hate crowds now... and convince yourself that really, it is a financial decision, or your preferences have changed, (Indeed they have, but.. WHY ?).

Most if you think about is a withdrawing from other people.   But, the modern way of doing things, masks a lot of these issues, and tends to suggest all people are doing the same as you, well, in 'some' respects they are, but, they have a choice, you don't.....   Pundits suggest hearing are withdrawing from face to face relationships.... that justifies you being apart... There are loads more issues we all know about, but curiously most still do not suggest our hearing loss is triggering all these things...

Lip-Readers demand restaurants kill the ambience...

A lipreading charity has called on restaurants to take a more considerate approach to the 10 million people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults (ATLA) has made the call as part of its Lipreading Awareness Week (12-19 September 2016) and is asking restaurants to choose a day to invite their customers to ‘come and enjoy their taste in food, not their taste in music’.

Molly Berry, ATLA’s vice chair, said: “The silver pound is very important to restauranteurs and Lipreading Awareness Week is a good time to ask yourself if your restaurant is welcoming this business. Getting this right could earn your business a lot of money, with nearly half of people aged 65-plus having some form of hearing loss.

“Many hard of hearing people avoid going to restaurants because it’s just too difficult for them to follow conversations and pick out the sounds they want to hear. But minimum investment can fix this and make a restaurant a much more pleasant environment for everyone to hear each other and hold conversations in, not just the hard of hearing.”


How Sign Language evolves...

Simi Etedgi leans forward as she tells her story for the camera: The year was 1963, and she was just 15 as she left Morocco for Israel, one person among hundreds of thousands leaving for the new state. 

But her forward lean isn’t a casual gesture. Etedgi, now 68, is one of about 10,000 signers of Israeli Sign Language (ISL), a language that emerged only 80 years ago.  Her lean has a precise meaning, signalling that she wants to get in an aside before finishing her tale. Her eyes sparkle as she explains that the signs used in the Morocco of her childhood are very different from those she uses now in Israel.

In fact, younger signers of ISL use a different gesture to signal an aside—and they have different ways to express many other meanings as well. A new study presented at the Evolution of Language meeting here last month shows that the new generation has come up with richer, more grammatically complex utterances that use ever more parts of the body for different purposes.

Most intriguing for linguists: These changes seem to happen in a predictable order from one generation to the next. That same order has been seen in young sign languages around the world, showing in visible fashion how linguistic complexity unfolds. This leads some linguists to think that they may have found a new model for the evolution of language.

“This is a big hypothesis,” says cognitive scientist Ann Senghas of Barnard College in New York City, who has spent her life studying Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). “It makes a lot of predictions and tries to pull a lot of facts together into a single framework.” Although it’s too early to know what the model will reveal, linguists say it already may have implications for understanding how quickly key elements of language, from complex words to grammar, have evolved.


LA Deaf scam nets $500K

A deaf man from Los Angeles is accused of orchestrating a "confidence scheme" to swindle three other deaf people out of nearly half a million dollars, leading to his arrest and a search for more possible victims, police said Thursday.

A victim came forward to police last week claiming Hussein Ibrahaim Dheini had borrowed money for a business venture but never paid it back, and pressured him for even more cash, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

Two additional victims came forward with similar stories about Dheini, though the sum of their losses was smaller than the first victim's, police said. LAPD Det. Tracey Angeles said in the release that Dheini, who is fluent in American Sign Language, "preyed on fellow deaf persons" by taking "advantage of their trust and goodwill" to scam them out of almost half a million dollars.