Thursday, 21 September 2017

Access to Work: What for ?

Image result for support ?
From HoH social media feedback. 

What is the reasoning behind paying up to £42K a year to keep the 'Deaf'  in a job ?  There must be a better use for this money than to support the fact if the state don't support you, the employers certainly won't ?   Is it just to fund the very dependent sign using areas to access their own Arts and cultural areas ?  (Read via the ATR blog site)...

I'm wondering what the hell we are all doing campaigning for an equality law... that is only partially working for a minority of those with hearing loss.  In respect of the majority of A2W funding, the BSL user takes up near all of it. ATR blog said of a case a few years ago where one deaf man had £96,000 in support grants for just one year, and many felt it unjustified because he failed to attain the qualifications after due to poor literacy skills and really should not have got it on that basis, and he should have been supported to be more literate instead.... 

All sorts of issues were raised about the value of dedicated deaf education, and even sole use of sign language, that appear to laud poor literacy.. The complaint was rejected as discriminatory and validated by a right to sign.   I just wonder if ANY HoH of note or deafened actually claimed this allowance at all ? I don't know any that have... and, if so, what type of support is it ? 

Most deaf don't use sign, a lot rely on text or lip-reading, own voice, and denied A2W support funding. HoH are told to just turn the Hearing aid volume up, or ask for a loop ! The criteria seems very ambiguous, with little onus ON employers to do their bit, and the majority of A2W claimants are working in BSL areas and charities....  which suggests the grant of support is NOT empowering them to move outward, simply consolidating what they have. 

Access should have a bottom line of aiding real integration and inclusion...  we aren't seeing the deaf do that.... In real terms only the sign user has ever gained from A2W. Maybe time for THAT discrimination to end ?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Owls hold the key to better hearing..

Barn owls do not appear to suffer hearing loss as they get older
German researchers have discovered that barn owls, which rely heavily on their sensitivity to faint sounds in order to hunt, do not suffer any significant hearing loss even when they are elderly.

Georg Klump, professor of animal physiology and behaviour at the University of Oldenburg, said it was likely that the ancestors of humans and other mammals had once had a bird-like capacity for repairing their cochleas. This means it may be possible to switch the relevant genes back on with drugs or other treatments.

Deaf Man shot dead by police...

A criminal investigation has been launched after a man, who was holding a stick, was shot dead by police in the southeast side of Oklahoma city last nightA criminal investigation has been launched after a man, who was holding a stick, was shot dead by police in the southeast side of Oklahoma city last night. 

A witness told the Daily Mail that people were yelling at police that the man was deaf before an officer shot him. 'We have lived in the neighbourhood for 13 years so we knew him to see and we knew that he was deaf.

'As the cops tried to approach him my husband, my daughter and I were all screaming at the police that he was deaf,' a female witness said. Police Captain Bo Mathews said officers were responding to a report of a hit-and-run at around 8:15 pm last night when they found a vehicle that matched the description of the one in the crash.

He said that two officers confronted a man holding a stick who was near the vehicle.  One officer fired a Taser and the other shot the suspect with a firearm. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses said that the deceased man was Hispanic. One of his neighbours told the Daily Mail that he was deaf and had special needs.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Shape the hearing future...

New Deaf Club in Welwyn G City...

Ludwick Family Club
A new club for deaf and hard of hearing people is coming to Welwyn Garden City to help prevent isolation.

The group called, Welwyn Hatfield Deaf Club, is officially opening on Friday, September 29, at the Ludwick Family Club, in Hall Grove. The grand opening, which begins at 7pm and ends at 9pm, will be attended by the director of Welwyn Hatfield mayor, councillor Lynne Sparks.

The focus of the club will be on well-being and preventing isolation. Those who attend the opening night will be asked to complete a questionnaire to help decide the policy on membership and attendance charges, among other things.

Why deaf prisoners can't phone home...

Calling home from prison is cumbersome and expensive. For deaf people behind bars, it’s even tougher, sometimes impossible.

The technology provided to deaf people in most US prisons is a teletypewriter, a machine developed in the 1960s that requires users to type their messages. 

The system is rife with problems. Most deaf households have switched to some kind of videophone, which allows users to speak in sign language. But prisons across the country still use the outmoded system, known as TTY or TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf), leaving many deaf inmates cut off from loved ones.

“Right now, most deaf detainees and prisoners have absolutely no telecommunications access,” said Talila Lewis, volunteer director of the nonprofit Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf communities (HEARD), which has been working to improve conditions for deaf people in prison since 2011. “This completely violates federal disability laws left and right, all day every day.”

Access to Work: Is it viable, or the right way ahead ?

Image result for access to work logoMuch is written about the anger of deaf people having their financial support to work being capped, making a job very difficult to get or maintain.  examples of caps are listed below...

The annual cap (limit)  is:

1st October 2015 to 31st March 2016 £40,800
1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 £41,400
1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 £42,100

I'm absolutely staggered the lower limit is as HIGH as £42K a year, it is more than some get as a regular wage.  Prior to caps there were some deaf getting twice that allowance, one deaf adult whose support went into the £100K a year range.... and still failed to attain the qualification needed...   Expectation and realism wasn't even considered. The criteria seems to suggest you have to be IN work first and it has to be a viable proposition with a future. Employers are not liable for the main costs.

One wonders if paying a deaf person £42K a year to support them to empty dustbins e.g. is the best way to attain equality. We would rather see the deaf get a valid education and taught alternative communication options that create their need for expensive help,  and so that it helps to pre-empt dependency on others, makes them more employable.  Access support seems to not identify which jobs deaf should be supported to maintain.   

It does seem those most wanting the A2W grants are amid the higher functioning deaf too.  The bottom line seems not the finance but, what is being gained by deaf people as a result of near a £1,000 per week subsidy in some cases. This does not seem a pro-active way of enhancing deaf access to employment, or to avoid questions of, could not that money be used more effectively elsewhere ?

Is this funding, advancing deaf access in real terms ?  Is there a better way of enabling deaf people than paying huge sums of money to do a job that may even not be full time ?  May cost more than if being paid to do it ?  it's financing our own patronage.  The basic issue is not so much the 'caps' on allowances as the fact their support are demanding ever higher fees. 
Reading concerns by deaf people, a lot appears to emanate from the area of the 'Arts' (Theatre, film etc). Of course most are from cities not rural or semi rural areas, where such jobs don't exist anyway, and where many deaf have no work options at all...  It would certainly affect those urban areas because of the high costs of living in those areas.

Do we get explanations of A2W issues away from such areas ? we don't.    Are deaf  getting a £1,000 a week support too ? NOT, where we live, where 67% have never had a full time job of any kind.   Wouldn't upwards of £42K a year be better utilised creating real work ?  None of that money goes TO the deaf.

There is no real breakdown of 

(A) What type of work is being supported ? Sustainable ? or not ?

(B)  Will it enable/empower that deaf person to seek a job anywhere else without it ?  

(C) What jobs are there that using support would NOT be a viable proposition ?

(D)  At what point is a job deemed to be going nowhere in real terms ?  

Health and safety rulings would prevent many deaf taking up some jobs, with  support or without it.  At some point we maybe have to ask what upper limits do deaf want,  up to £80,000 a year ? more ? no limits ?  If we are paying people to keep deaf in a job that is far higher than any wage they could hope to ask for, that puts NO onus on employers to accept their obligations, or incentives the deaf person to do more, something has to give doesn't it ?  

Basically we are paying for deaf to have access, because employers don't respect the equality laws...  Can't help feeling we are aiding and abetting them.  I feel sure I could make a passable independent living if they gave me £1,000 a week, but, the A2W criteria sates you cannot use money for that.. so it is paying for deaf to do jobs with no future ?  To gain experience for jobs they won't be hired for anyway ?

Monday, 18 September 2017

Keeping it clear.

There is no uni-sign ?

UK in the dock...

Image may contain: text

6,000 disabled dead before their time because the UK government withdrew their support and allowances and send it to a very dubious and corrupt 3rd world, who promptly spent it this way:

Pakistan: A country that promotes terrorism and denies females an education or equality.

India:  A country that used UK funding to improve its missile arsenal aimed at Pakistan.

Turkey:  Who attacked those fighting ISIS and sent a million migrants to EU despite blackmailing the EU and us to keep them there.

Nigeria:  A country run by a junta who spent the money on Swiss accounts, weapons, and private jets, and operates one of the biggest internet hacking areas in the world that targets democracy, while denying its own people equality.

France: So that it maintains its own borders.

So far deaf and disabled in the UK have lost £13B a year this way, just so the UK can 'look good' as a caring country. We urge Americans to demand no trade deals until the UK respects human rights.  The UK has been found guilty and is ignoring the UN, what hypocrites.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Deaf Child: Amazing sign language...

13 things my hearing friends should know about...

Is Braille relevant today ?

Image result for brailleThe question is asked, could a further query apply to sign language being replaced by text ?   Sign has lost out already in Media and via iphone. 

When Renita Rogers was growing up, her mother pinned her outfits together to help make sure her daughter wore clothes that matched. Today, Rogers, who has been blind since birth, just uses an application on her smartphone. Demonstrating its capability last week at The Blind Center of North Carolina, she simply aimed it at her shirt and an audible voice said, “dark gray.”

Such technological conveniences might lead some to question whether something as basic as Braille is still relevant in modern society. But those who work with people who are blind and visually impaired say the tactile writing system developed in the 1800s is far from obsolete.

“We need to continue to given children with significant vision loss a way to access the written word,” said Robin Bliven, lead teacher for deaf and hard of hearing and visually impaired for Pitt County Schools.“While auditory information is more readily available across the board, continuing to promote literacy skills is going to be a foundation of education no matter what.” Liz Liles, executive director of The Blind Center in Washington, N.C., said even clients who lost their sight later in life are sometimes interested in learning Braille. Doris Wilson, 73 is one of them.

Why? “So if I want to read something, I can read it for myself,” Wilson said. Liles said despite the availability of audio books and forms of technology that read documents for people who are blind and visually impaired, Braille instruction remains desirable. “We find that there are a number of people who are still wanting to have the opportunity (for instruction),” she said. “It's still a skill, and it's still a resource that can most definitely be used.”

For some, using Braille is a matter of personal choice. For others, it represents a level of independence.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Today is the day...

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Deaf Waves !

D/d 'in-fighting' is it destroying equality ?

My thoughts and feelings toward people dictating the use of the word "disability" and the supposed negative connotations associated with the word, as well as infighting in Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities regarding who gets to be considered "deaf" and problems with ignoring the hearing spectrum.


This is the corner-stone of most of my presence online, having to 'defend' the fact I am deaf, not sign reliant and haven't a deaf culture, despite being deaf longer than many of the people saying I am not... really !  Who are these people trying to tell me who I am ?

What started out as justifying an identity based on a disability, and via way of using a manual language to communicate to enforce the cultural concept, has been hugely successful in creating awareness, but only for a small sector of deaf people, it only looks huge because so many Deaf are all in one place, step outside the doors.... so real awareness, acceptances etc get applied in a  very limited fashion to a very small area.  The above vblog is one of 5 I have seen this week fed up with cultural promoters dissing 'd'eaf people, a term they but not us use, and one we have to challenge as wrong, every time the we come into contact with the system.  It's as if it is  new swear term for us or claiming there is a D versus d war going on..

The kickback of successful ID/Cultural promotion is it has overridden awareness and support for everyone else.  I don't think non-cultural deaf or HoH are anti-culture, just anti the negative promotion and misguided-ness of most of it and of course completely in denial about their own profound loss, given they take the LARGEST share of hearing loss support and the MOST expensively supported sector of hearing loss in our respective worlds, and yet to use any of it to become included.... in case culture alone won't carry them.

There is no  doubt that existing in a very small world, isolated and totally reliant on peers, tends to give you a very narrow perceptive of the hearing world and indeed others with hearing loss if you don't really mix with them anyway, HoH/deaf equal hearing.  By far the biggest problem  is the assault on universal access by the cultural deaf, if they went inclusive instead of exclusive more common ground and Less aggravation and frustration would take place. Lack of captions, systems being told all deaf sign etc... assaults on  loss alleviation's, name calling, political campaigns that ignore the most with an issue, that suggest they speak for that majority too, is misleading and annoying when it isn't corrected.

Attempts to correct, get listed as 'attacks on cultural deaf', what it is is a response to misleading awareness campaigns and false declarations.  E.G. Deaf arts via disability funding ?  who are they kidding ? (Themselves obviously).. all this undermines support for others,

It could be argued the 'majority' should fight their own battles, factually they don't have a grouping or unity or the access support to do it, they are far less served in real terms than the 'Deaf' are.  In the UK 'Deaf' support is a national set up, there is NO 'deaf' set up at all.   Division by db and communication mode is being encouraged by hearing and Deaf alike.

There IS a 'smugness' about having a culture and language with some deaf, it is highly misplaced when you look at their sheer dependency on others, that it needs to function.  A clear description of a sector DISABLED.  There is nothing wrong in pride, except what inevitably follows after... I would deem access and equality a total FAILURE, if the total sum of my equality and access, means it only functions within a Deaf world and nowhere else.  The 'I's' are missing INCLUSION, and INTEGRATION.  While those culturally aspiring oppose those in the name of their culture, they will never achieve what they want to, and annoy the shit out of us too.

Our problem is to prevent the activists labelling us all the same as them, as this detracts from ensuring we have what we need... Most of their awareness is aimed in-house, so pointless anyway preaching to the converted. If they want a real fight get out there.    I share the v-bloggers frustration, but do not expect any of the cultural deaf care one bit. Their activists are looking paranoid and self-obsessed, using isolation as a cause celeb. Inevitably this will continue to isolate all Deaf from the rest of the community. So no change there then.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Sign Language, to be recognized in Sri Lanka

Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, S.B. Dissanayake submitted a draft bill and the Cabinet approved to recognize sign language as an official language in Sri Lanka. S.B. Dissanayake - Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage

Minister Dissanayake had pointed out that official recognition of sign language will allow a deaf person access to education and have government services delivered to them without discrimination. Official statistics estimate the population of deaf persons to be 389,677. Furthermore, the National Policy on Disabilities has accepted that sign language more often than not is the only language of communication for deaf persons.

"In the meantime”, Minister Dissanayake said, “we have initiated a programme to train 50 persons in Sign Language at the School of Social Services. They would be given training in modern Sign Language. We will enroll another batch of 50 students soon. At the end of the training they could become the next batch of trainers.”

"There are around 400,000 persons in the country who use some form of sign language for communication. At the moment there are less than 10 persons who are proficient in Sign Language known all over the world. 

Medics use Facetime as deaf support...

Darren Tobin with nursing staff
Medics in south Wales hope to roll out a new service to ensure deaf patients and staff always have access to a sign language interpreter.

It follows a trial using the live Facetime video features on iPad tablets at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and the Princess of Wales in Bridgend.

Hip replacement patient Darren Tobin praised the new system as "fantastic". The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) said it was now "fine-tuning" the new service. Health bosses stressed the system will not replace live face-to-face sessions with British Sign Language interpreters for patients, but was an additional service for use in emergency situations or when an interpreter is not immediately available on the ward.

"I did have a few concerns about having the interpretation through an iPad rather than having an interpreter present," said 51-year-old Mr Tobin, from Port Talbot. "But I was very happy with the way it went. It was very straightforward and the care I received was excellent. "The interpreter was fantastic. When the nurse and doctor were explaining about the hip replacement it was all very clear and easy to understand."

The project was carried out under the supervision of the Wales Council for Deaf People, which provides interpreters for the health board. "It will allow the health board to ensure deaf service users receive appropriate and timely communication support at point of need," said the council's operations manager, Louise McGrath. "This additional provision makes the service an effective and cost efficient means of ensuring the health board reinforces its commitment to the deaf community."

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Call for more #PTASL Videos !

D Versus d

Is this hearing loss envy or what ?  Why is there a need to be 'versus' anyone with a hearing or profound loss ? Basically it is deaf activism who needs to keep justifying itself...which suggests a huge lack of belief in themselves, you know what happened when they cried wolf TOO much...

Celebrate difference, accept it, not attack it, we know where that leads....  There is no hierarchy to deafness..  it is completely democratic in whom it affects, even those who don't believe in democracy. 'deaf' aren't attacking you, but you do seem to be attacking them.

How disabled people enabled creative Invention...

Image result for blind Italian Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano,
Inventive solutions to an impairment lead to advances in science and technology Unbeknown to most employers, people with disabilities sparked the creation of many of the technologies we use today.

Through my work as a disability rights lawyer, and my personal experiences as a deafblind woman, I have spent a significant amount of time studying the disability experience. The biggest barriers in the workplace are architectural, digital and social. But employers who remove barriers from their workspaces receive benefits in the form of increased growth and innovation.

Employees with disabilities drive innovation. Disability creates a constraint, and embracing constraints spurs inventive solutions. Our history has numerous examples of people with disabilities leading advances in science, technology and other fields.

In 19th-century Italy, sighted Pellegrino Turri and blind Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano struggled to find a way to send each other their secret love letters (Braille had not yet been developed). Other blind people dictated their letters for sighted people to transcribe, but the countess could not do that.

After much deliberation, the lovers came up with a tactile solution: one of the first working typewriters. By treating blindness as a design challenge, they developed a revolutionary method for producing print by touch. Today, millions of people produce print through the touch of a key, and some of the fastest typists are touch typists.

People with disabilities are uniquely positioned to develop solutions that advance technology. The career of Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, highlights this point.

Mr Cerf is hearing-impaired, and his disability influenced his work developing the internet. Back in the 1980s, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals searched for a good alternative to communicating over the telephone. Mr Cerf spearheaded the creation of the first commercial email service, allowing him to communicate with family members and colleagues without straining to hear.

Many of the tools developed by people with disabilities also benefit non-disabled colleagues.

Sign Tutor up for an award...

Pip Johns, bottom left, with some of her previous class who all passed their BSL level 1 Sign Language course at Witchford Village College.

A sign language teacher at Witchford Village College has been nominated for a national award by her students.

Share article from  on facebook Tweet article from  Share article from  on Google Pluspost article from  on reddit email article from Pip Johns, who has had a 100 per cent pass rate since teaching at the school, is a community education tutor there.

Miss Johns is nominated in the experienced teacher category of the Signature Annual Awards. The awards, now in their ninth year, “celebrate individuals who are making positive changes and putting others first to improve communication and experiences for deaf and deaf-blind people,” said a spokesman.

“The event celebrates the unsung heroes - the people whose support can help us all achieve bigger and better things, and those who are a constant source of support and inspiration.”

Lack of captioned films...

Accessibility Page
Only 1 film in the this year's festival lineup offers closed captioning services. 

Film critic Michael McNeely, who is deaf and partially blind, gave up going to the film festival this year because of the barriers he faces.

From teleprompter to Associate Producer, Ali Chiasson worked many desks at CBC News Network before stepping in front of the cameras at CBC Toronto. Ali covers a wide range of breaking and feature stories and has a special knack for people profiles. Off the clock, Ali is happiest walking through Bloordale with headphones on, picking through local produce markets, sipping bubble tea and snapping pics of street art.

TIFF organizers say they strive to make the festival lineup more accessible year-after-year but they say it's the producers and the studios — not the festival itself — who decide whether they'll provide deaf and/or blind viewers with closed captioning and descriptive audio.

That's not good enough for some critics, who say the festival doesn't do enough to cater to people with disabilities and it should push the people who make the movies to provide more accessibility.  

CBC Toronto sat down with film critic Michael McNeely, who happens to be hearing impaired and visually impaired due to a rare genetic disorder. After making several of his complaints about the festival's accessibility last year, he says he has given up on TIFF 2017.  

"I have decided not to attend this year because I don't really feel welcome," McNeely said.  "There is only one film that is accessible at this time," he said, referring to Brad's Status, which is the only movie in the festival lineup to be available in closed captioning and descriptive sound.

There were three accessible films last year. 

Toronto International Film Festival should have more closed captions, film fan says McNeely says he used to make the best out of TIFF by purchasing tickets for foreign films, simply because they would at least have subtitles. However, he says, subtitles lack the description of scenes and sounds a visually and/or hearing impaired moviegoer, let alone a movie reviewer like McNeely, requires to take in a film.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

People of the eye..

ASL Terps: Swamped with access demands...

Interestingly it reveals that reports of a 'fake' ASL terp were inaccurate, it was in fact a CODA helping out deaf family members when there wasn't a terp available.

Raises an interesting point here in the UK, given 76% of ALL deaf rely on CODA's or other family members for translation and support and opposed challenges to that.

With Hurricane Harvey devastating southeast Texas and Hurricane Irma sweeping over Florida- first responders have packed up their bags to travel across the country and help out. One community in particular has experienced difficulty through it all- the Deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired community.

Nationwide, Sign Language Interpreters are in need.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics demonstrates there will be a 29% growth in the amount of interpreters needed in the nation- that's more than double the national average for most jobs at just 7%.

During disasters- the need could be even higher. 'Most of your certified, highly qualified interpreters also work for the video relay service companies,' said Lori Dowds, a sign language interpreter with Access 2 Sign Language in Colorado Springs. With flooding in call centers in both Texas and Florida- interpreters in Colorado are taking on extra work.

Paul Simmons and Bev Buchanan are a married couple in Colorado Springs, they are both deaf.  Buchanan teaches classes at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

'Do I need a sign language all the time when I'm working. No I don't, just when I'm in class,' said Buchanan.  Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) are utilized in times of need, especially in the event of a disaster, there is a specific process these interpreters go through to become certified.  "Many people think sign language interpreters exist for the deaf to communicate, but that's not the case- they exist to facilitate communication for all of us," said Paul Simmons with the Rocky Mountain ADA Center

A difference many people don't understand, some times people who understand sign language will volunteer to 'interpret'- which can often do more harm than good.  A video of a press conference in Manatee county Florida caught the attention of many people online, the sign language interpreter was not a CDI.

As it turns out, the man only had a deaf relative and was not an interpreter at all.

Deaf Group sues Lifespan.

Image result for Providence, R.I.-based Lifespan HealthThe Rhode Island Association of the Deaf is suing Providence, R.I.-based Lifespan Health for allegedly not providing qualified sign language interpreters to communicate with deaf patients or their relatives, according to Providence Journal.

The lawsuit alleges that the health system violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it did not consistently provide a sign language interpreter for Kathryn Arcana when she brought her son to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence in 2014.

The alleged lack of interpretation left Ms. Arcana out of the loop regarding her son's treatments for sickle cell anemia, which included blood transfusions and removal of his spleen. The suit claims the hospital would occasionally provide an interpreter, but clinicians would more often attempt to communicate with Ms. Arcana through gestures.

The suit was also filed on behalf of Peggy Mehri, whose son was treated at Hasbro and whose husband, who is also deaf, was treated at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Ms. Mehri was allegedly left without an interpreter at both hospitals. When Rhode Island Hospital provided an interpreter via video call, the screen reportedly froze.

The suit also names Lifespan Physicians Group, the system hospitals, and Lifespan General Counsel Kenneth E. Arnold and President and CEO Timothy Babineau as defendants. The suit seeks to establish that both Ms. Arcana and Ms. Mehri were discriminated against, ensure that Lifespan pays for qualified interpreters at all its hospitals and require all staff undergo training about the rights of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Monday, 11 September 2017

No More Heroes ?

Image result for inspirational porn
Inspirational Porn.  It feeds paternalism, pigeon-holes disabled and deaf people, and creates an underclass spoon-fed by charity and mostly dependent, who suggest it is 'empowerment' so something else..   

That empowerment is still coming from individuals not the system.  Sadly we contribute to the poor and oppressed me, by extolling the fact someone deaf or disabled has made a name for his or herself by simply doing what many able bodied person can do anyway. Hell, we even make 'celebrities' of them for doing it.  We feed it ourselves.

What affects our ability to do things is poor access and no real empowerment, the fact some can 'succeed' without that, doesn't ask the question why we have to do it. Role models ? Even this does not identify the need for them or how effective that actually is. Substitute hearing patronisation, for better-abled deaf equivalents ? How do they measure role modelling effectiveness ?  because THEY have succeeded against the odds ? to what degree and how ? and where are they now ?   Read here, no more heroes..

Instead of lauding what is normal anyway for most, how about attacking the reason the image is there ?

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Deaf/HoH: What is it like ?

We are always grateful when accessible posts are made raising the issues we face, but really such posts should NOT be made to us, we know what it is like, and should be posted to mainstream/hearing areas or no awareness gets raised. YouTube has no influence to redirect such awareness to where it counts, so it relies on hearing people looking for such posts.  

Indeed the 'tab/search' system directs people AWAY from mainstream, because the perception is it is related post to a specific localised area of hearing loss.  Maybe we should tag deaf or HoH posts with pop star names and politicians, and such.  Look at what is trending and the tag your posts with those so it gets to the wider audience, do not tag all awareness posts with deaf, Deaf, hearing loss, hearing aids, CI's, CC, ASL, BSL or HoH etc, it puts the awareness in a corner of specialisation.  People searching for news don't type 'awareness' in via a search, but the tags mentioned above.

Deaf Jam (Trailer)

Caleb Gets more sponsorship...

A talented deaf go-kart racer from Torfaen is set to make his debut in a UK-wide contest after receiving another season of sponsorship from a housing firm.

This year, Caleb McDuff will compete for the first time in the MSA IAME British Cadet Championship - a class of the Super One Series for racers aged between eight and 13.Deaf Go-Cart kid gets more sponsors...

The nine-year-old racing hopeful, of Pontypool, is considered the world’s youngest deaf racing driver on a professional career pathand lost 90 per cent of his hearing at the age of two as a result of chronic ear infections.

Despite depending on cochlear implants to hear, the racing hopeful has shown no signs of slowing down and has been sponsored for a second year by housing developer Taylor Wimpey. The developer is currently building homes in Parc Celyn and Maes Brychiad at Edlogan Wharf in Cwmbran and described the youngster as "inspirational". Caleb's father, Ian McDuff, said: "When we were first told the news, we were absolutely devastated.

“Before this, we had sometimes struggled to get Caleb’s attention, but because he was our first child, we didn’t know any better, and as he was so young, neither did he. “He was bullied at school for his cochlear implants because the other children knew that he was different to them, so for a time he refused to wear them.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Why Sign and Talk ?

The reason many don't talk even when they are able, is because they know/assume mainstream immediately equates speech with hearing and it creates difficulties in communicating after.

However 'Playing dumb' (Or assuming sign language users are), is not exactly a view supported by deaf sign using people. No matter how difficult it is to convince people speech does not equal hearing we have to keep hammering that message home, or, mainstream will always assume people who are deaf are not able to speak too, (Or understand basic English either), and this undermined the 'deaf' who do NOT sign and, want to see accurate awareness portrayed not some 'image' that isn't even proven.

I'm always suss about 'born again' deafies who adopt the position of deaf activism as some 'cause celeb' without researching into the fact of deafness and loss, even denying their own experiences, and how, such people react or get affected by it. It isn't some'Utopian' ideal where all deaf people happily sign together and then ride off into the sunset, it is pain mostly, and endless issues keeping yourself in the scheme of things.  Mostly and at best it is some form of 'Velvet prison' they live in.

It also undermines any attempt by moderates to gain equality for us, when a small sector are some law to themselves and do not want inclusions, because they have no faith in themselves it can survive in mainstream, and feel everyone is against them..... By supporting no speech with sign use, you make it harder for everyone else, including those who watch deaf YouTube output and see sign with nothing else included, who also rely on captioning, this actually EXCLUDES 80% of deaf people.  All deaf do not sign, all deaf are not mute.  Without useful speech how would you manage the mainstream ? none of them sign, and the UK e.g. has NO system whereby deaf are supported about their daily lives either, why would any deaf person not use whatever helps them to communicate, be it speech or pencil and paper, to prove a point that goes over most people's heads ? 

'I've got a language and a culture..' fine, but what else ?  It isn't equality, inclusion, acceptance, understanding or access is it ?


[Video Description: Rikki outside wearing a black and white hat that says “Studio71” and a grey tank top. She is using ASL in this video.]

[marker writing]

[Pokemon game sound]

Hello! Good morning! What’s up? I'm sick today. My throat hurts. 

My name is Rikki Poynter [sign name]. I'm a mainstreamed deaf person who has been learning ASL for the last two years. Last year, I made a video called… Actually, I forgot the title but it was about my interpreters cancelling on me. I needed interpreters for an event and they cancelled on me at the last minute. That video was in ASL. I was voice off in that video. I read a comment on that video that said something like, "Since you can talk, why not talk?"

My answer is that, yes, I can talk and I have good speech, but if I'm using ASL, ASL doesn't use voice. So why would I want to voice? SimCom is a bad thing to do. I don't like using SimCom. So… I don’t do it. 

My first language is English. I like English. I like yelling, yelling swear words out loud. It’s fun, but I like ASL too. If I'm practicing ASL, I'm not going to SimCom. The only time I SimCom is if I'm with hearing and deaf people in the same room. Or if I’m livestreaming. But in videos, no. I've sometimes voiced a few words in videos, but... whatever. But I won't do it in a full ASL video. 

So a message to you hearing folks out there: You guys have a lot of access in this world. You don’t need me to voice for you. I always have captions on these videos. 

Okay, there is one circumstance. Blind viewers benefit from captions or a VoiceOver, but I can't do that. It's difficult for me to do my own voiceover. So I have transcripts available if a video is in ASL. I like ASL and when I practice ASL, I'm not voicing. If you're not a fan of that, I'm sorry. 

Is there anything else that I need to say? I don't think so.

I'm still fluent in English, so, yes, I will still voice in some videos. But I'm also going to do some videos in ASL. If you don't like that, you'll have to get over it. Just understand that there will always be captions on my videos, okay? 

If you want to follow me on my social media, links to that will be down below. If you want to support my work, links to Patreon and Ko-fi will be down below. I [try to] upload every Monday and Thursday. And I'll see you later. Bye!

The Deaf Identity..

IDS Key Message: Deaf Identity from Irish Deaf Society on Vimeo.

Never mentions profound loss, which makes you a deaf person, not language.   It doesn't define deaf communities either.  There are numerous deaf people who use sign daily, but aren't viewing themselves as a linguistic minority, I use sign daily have done for 23 years, but NOT a member of any linguistic minority, so where does that leave me ? I cannot be 'Deaf' AND 'deaf' AND 'hearing' AND 'HoH' can I ?  Just a new kid on the block, or a Hybrid ?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Hurricane Irma...

Social Media: Just another exclusive area ?

SIGN LANGUAGE. Faculty members and students of DLS-CSB's School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies take part in the Social Good Summit 2015. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
In the Philippines they are extolling the usage of social media to express greater advocacy, but, are we ? Such a lot of deaf or HoH advocacy  social media includes, is via dedicated deaf or HoH areas, and the real issue is that advocacy does NOT then spread outward, because mainstream avoid such areas, no-one goes looking for a cause to support.. We need to go out to mainstream social medias, close the 'dedicated' areas and make your point where it will count, while at the same time making it accessible to them, we lead by making ourselves accessible.

The Article: When their own family doesn’t know sign language, confusion follows. For deaf children, understanding what their families talk about during lunch or dinner is an everyday challenge. They have difficulty watching the news on TV, or learning how to cook and drive.

Without knowing how to communicate well, deaf children have difficulty developing the values, attitude, and behaviors that are key to their personality. As a result, they become lonely. Many in the deaf community turn to fellow classmates and schoolmates in schools where sign language is practiced. They also find comrades online – on social media, where one can be understood through the written word or signed conversations recorded on video.

The deaf community in the Philippines is also going online to push for advocacies that will help make life much easier for the sector. 

Relying on social media. The deaf community relies on social media platforms that allow visual communication, such as Facebook and Facebook Messenger, where they can post videos and pictures.

Instagram is also popular because of the visual nature of the photo-sharing app.

One app that has been particularly popular with the deaf community is Glide, a video chat app launched by an Israeli startup. What makes the chat app a hit for deaf people is the ability to leave a video message for recipients. It’s also easier for deaf people to send video of a signed conversation rather than typing the message. The asynchronous nature of the app’s video messaging feature also prevents both parties from signing simultaneously and interrupting the conversation.

Pushing for FSL

In the Philippines, the deaf community is also using Facebook to push for advocacies and to keep themselves informed about news and current events.

Welfare assessments ?

Image result for what is the problem ?Why they fail the Deaf and HoH, and how the Deaf & HoH fail to fess up to it ?  Here are some areas I noted those with hearing loss have..

A deaf or seriously hearing impaired person may not have effective speech, and have difficulties being understood.

Can have learning/literacy/mental health issues.

Can be a sign language user who has difficulties in accessing information effectively any other way.

Is reliant on an interpreter, and requires support he or she needs to be familiar with.  That support will not extend, to the street.

May need daily help to manage medication. Have an ongoing illness that needs daily attention.

Needs support to interact in meetings with system professionals such as Drs, Social Services, Dentists, opticians, DWP officers, and care providers, etc

Need support to undertake shopping.

Can suffer confusion in crowded areas and streets.

Be unable to interact with the general public alone.

Issues accessing public transport, (e.g. busses/trains etc), to read or understand timetables, to ask for fare or tickets, directions, etc.

Using telephones (The deaf person may have eyesight issues), so cannot order taxis/meals etc or even goods to be delivered to the home.

Difficulties attending cinemas/restaurants, or access other public venues, either because of distances to accessible areas, or inaccessible venues where help would be required to follow.

Poor literacy and grammar issues that will make reading difficult, e.g. letters from the systems/relatives, which will need context and explanations. This extends to newspapers/magazines and even subtitled TV.

Issues utilising internet  technology, or having access to it for older people, who are the majority with hearing loss.

Help to manage finances/bank accounts.

To access health/999/Local Authorities effectively.

Hard of hearing suffer many similar issues, where background noises which are unavoidable, render hearing aid use problematic, this cuts across all social and major health areas too. Most are not sign users and do not have access to effective support at all. Loop systems and visual alerts are not installed in 95% of most necessary areas. 

Lip-reading is only 30% effective, even if you are trained in it, it doesn't mean 30 equals 100%, and that is reliant on effective and clear unobstructed speech being used.   There are no national campaigns to push clear speaking to the deaf or HoH.  Again the individual's ability dictates effectiveness and has to be determined. I am sure there are a lot more issues with HoH to include. I've been out of that 'loop' a while !

It all suggests that assessment of need, be it via welfare qualifications or basic medical ones, are not inclusive of actual or contributory issues, or is assessing background effectively..  Should this be undertaken in a  clinical environment with a psychiatrist ?  Given trauma complicates access effectiveness too ?

It may well be HoH let pride/denial prevent them accepting their problems,  and the Deaf refusing to accept they have one at all, despite utilising the Lion's share of all support.  

All in all it suggest hearing loss is far lesser the problem, more, that there is the  refusal to accept you have it.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Help to get around with PERI...

According to the World Health Organisation, around 5 per cent of the world population (360 million) have disabling hearing loss. This can mean they miss out important audio cue, giving them a lack of spatial awareness - for instance, not being able to hear the honk of vehicles when crossing a busy road.

PERI is an attachment that can be strapped to spectacles that will help the deaf visualise sound by using flashing light cues, via flashing RGB LEDs that will blink in patterns according to the sound. It was developed by a group of engineering students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and is still undergoing refinement to better customise the light patterns.

One of the judges for the award the PERI team received, Dr Her-Mann Tsai, said the students' invention had a high potential for use in real-life.

The James Dyson Award is open to university students and recent graduates, with national winners chosen from each participating country who will then participate in a final selection where the winner will be chosen by James Dyson. The PERI team as national winners won £2000 for their effort.