Monday, 20 November 2017

So U want to be an Interpreter ?

Does this mean the 60% of deaf support that comes from unqualified friends and relatives is illegal and dangerous ?

I am not broken...

It would seem ONLY the 'Deaf' are against certain terms, but quite happy to develop any number of their own !  They invented labels.  A clever move for culture, but one that just promotes disagreement with other deaf and HoH.  There has never been a unified advance from either sector.

New iPad system for deaf leaves them 'frustrated and upset'

Image result for Sign LiveTechnology still an issue with the Deaf.  

A Plymouth family say a new online signing system for deaf patients at Derriford Hospital has left them feeling frustrated and upset.

The service, provided through an app called Sign Live, has been installed on hospital iPads and is used to connect patients with hearing difficulties to a signer via Wi-Fi. The trust that runs the hospital says face to face signers are also available.

One Plymouth family, who visit the hospital regularly, say they have encountered many problems with the new system, and it has meant that they have had to cancel appointments, rush through notes or reschedule.  Stewart Parfitt, 75, contacted the Herald on behalf of his son, Jeffery, 46, who is deaf and currently undergoing treatment for Lymphoma.

In the past week the family have visited the hospital twice. During the visits they were given an iPad to use instead of a signer, which they say makes things very stressful and makes Jeffery want to cancel his appointments altogether. Stewart said: “They want to use iPad’s. In an emergency it’s a good idea, but the last thing he will want to do is talk to a machine. We need people to know what happens in the hospital.

"He’s so stressed out we’re having to cancel the appointment.”

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Is lottery and charitable/disability funding advancing access ?

Image result for charity is bad
In the wake of CIN the annual beggarthon that just ended on the BBC. (A beggarthon initially the deaf withdrew participation with, because it exploited deaf children for the pity angle).  

Now deaf charities que up with their hands out, but not everyone sees charity as positive in Deaf terms.

Ergo:  "I think the days of throwing money at minority output for no other reason than it is a minority serves no purpose of integration or access at all, just reinforces the status quo.  It is why SEE HEAR and BSLTV still survives with no viewing numbers of note, but justified because it does provide jobs for the deaf boys and gals. 

A patronage that is supported.  There are deaf bloggers who rely on charity support, which mean they are airing bias and providing free advertising.  That most support for Deaf relies on charity ignores the actuality the reason, that is their rights are being ignored, a far more serious issue.  Charity also enforces the 'poor me, I'm disabled' image too, since a positive image of deaf people deters fund-givers. If you are positive and outgoing, obviously you are not needing 'help'.  Of course the spate of media programs focusing on how heroic we all are simply because we cannot hear, see or walk is dubious to the extreme.  Deaf became a commodity to be sold.

E.G. must charitable/Lottery funding goes towards educational and help with work etc, two areas the state is obliged to fund itself but offloaded to others.

Funding part-supports its own cultural self-image, but as most deaf output goes under the disability label there are issues with the that as a concept, so an uneasy alliance.  Despite 30 odd years of funding BSL, it has barely moved outside its own area, basically because they don't want to move out of it.  We aren't fooled because there seems lots of it online, where it counts on the street it isn't there. Mostly funding is used to prop up culture, which would fail without it.  Up until very recently deaf clubs only survived because the local authorities paid their rents, when that stopped, most folded.

Deaf culture's bases was the deaf school and now only about 20 exist, and 50% under the threat of closure as inclusive education gets rolled out.  Wales hasn't 1. Despite claims to the contrary BSL recognition has still been blocked in education as a stand alone immersive means, because parents say it prevents choice and holds back the child.  They want much more inclusion and more options.  What they don't want is their child's education used as a 'tiered' system where some deaf children get an advantage over another or feel ostracised, by communication used, or alleviations obtained.

You have to e.g. feel for the genuine deaf actor who wants to move outward, no scope at all really.  It's co-disability arts, or BSL stuff.  Mainstream seems as remote as ever.  We believe media prefers to fund them in isolation, even the BBC that helps raise money for them, because it saves questions on access and inclusion that is causing them cost and bother.   They had to close down their online feedback because of outrage regarding bias.  Disability areas retained theirs, but the deaf got thrown out.  It is claimed HoH/deaf brought down BSLTV feedback, and they responded by bringing down the RNID (the dominate HoH charity in the UK), forums in retaliation.  Deaf V deaf very confrontational at that time.

'All Deaf together', means, 'It keeps them apart and out of our way' basically. The BBC fed up of being arbiter day in and day out.  They moved them to social media and both areas closed each other out.  Maybe media understand as most of us do, Deaf don't want out of where they are anyway.  With a third of deaf all in one City (London), the cultural concept gets driven from there, or in Scotland.  The real proof is going to mainstream and selling BSL and culture, to see where it goes.  Any audience is driven by demand, but the present systems are just job creation for the few, most of that funded by hand outs and with content that is honed to specific areas, mostly, their friends !

Sadly culture doesn't give you a job, a proper education, or helps you manage mainstream after that specialisation, mainly because deaf charities don't provide those jobs, and  because deaf won't join as members.   Inclusion is always relative, not a direction as such.  Have we gone full circle in relying on charity and handouts, that are based on the fact Deaf are not being included or taught properly ? Whilst the recipient believes it is some sort of cultural recognition instead, who cares where the money comes from ?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Same sex marriage in Auslan.

Statement in regards to the media coverage of the Auslan interpreting of the same sex marriage postal survey announcement. 

It was a significant moment for Australia when David Kalisch, the Australian Statistician, announced the results of the same sex marriage postal survey at 10am on Wednesday 15th November 2017. The Australian Bureau of Statistics and ABC ensured this moment was accessible for the Deaf community as the live broadcast included an Auslan interpreter who interpreted Kalisch’s announcement.

This was an emphatic step to include the Deaf community in a momentous occasion, so they could too celebrate with friends, colleagues and communities. Unfortunately, afterwards media attention was drawn to inaccurate commentary in regards to the Auslan interpretation of the announcement. 

A number of national and international media outlets including The Age, and The Evening Standard posted inaccurate reports about the interpreting based on the Twitter commentary of a person who had previously studied Auslan at the introductory level. This person was not Deaf, nor a native user of Auslan, nor did they have a qualification in Auslan interpreting or sign language linguistics. By their own admission their Auslan was “rusty”. Yet this person’s commentary was used as the basis for a number of published reports. 

Deaf Victoria are disappointed that these media outlets did not attempt to verify this commentary by requesting the opinion of a native user of Auslan or an expert, such as a sign language linguist. Deaf people are all too often marginalised from even their own language and community, with precedence being frequently given to the opinions and views of people who can hear on topics and issues inherent to the Deaf community. This denies Deaf people the right to autonomy and integrity. This denies them the ability to speak for themselves about their language and community, and the workings of an Auslan interpreter. Subsequently, this perpetuates damaging myths and stereotypes about Auslan, the Deaf community and the interpreting process and standards.

Deaf Victoria hopes these media outlets will amend their reports, with an apology to the Deaf community and the Auslan interpreter concerned, for publishing inaccurate statements. Furthermore, Deaf Victoria hopes all media outlets will in future take steps to ensure that they consult members of the Deaf community with the appropriate qualifications and lived experiences, before publishing such reports about Auslan and Auslan interpreting. 

Mija Gwyn

Deaf Victoria provides advocacy for the Deaf and hard of hearing people in Victoria with funding received from the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Deaf Victoria acts in response to the needs of the community and are concerned with basic rights and accessibility. Deaf Victoria promotes and defends social justice and wellbeing for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Deaflympics: "The talent level isn’t high."

Related imageA good reason for inclusion and time for deaf to come in out of the cold ?

Of all the swimming pools in all of Louisiana, the one on LSU's campus is where an Olympic champion and world record holder is still working on his craft.

"I don't want to let my parents down, my coaches or my team," said sophomore swimmer Matt Klotz, In a pool full of elite swimmers, Klotz is trying to find his place. The rings on his back suggest that sooner rather than later, he will. But there's an even bigger story at play here. Matt's success in the pool has come with a caveat.

"You go to the deaf Olympics, you go to those meets and it’s a smaller competition field," said LSU Head Coach Dave Geyer. "The talent level isn’t as high." It's the reality of the sport for Klotz, who's greatest successes have come against deaf competition. The medals he's won, five golds, a couple of silvers and a bronze, came at the deaf Olympic games in both Turkey and Bulgaria. The world records he set and still holds came again athletes that see and hear life like he does.

"I really don't hear anything. I guess you can hear the water going in and out of my ears but if people are cheering i don't hear them."

Speech helps deaf make new friends.

Abbie Donati (right) with proud mum Claire
A deaf Hardgate teenager has praised a national charity for helping her find the confidence speak again.

Abbie Donati stopped speaking while studying at Clydeview Academy in Inverclyde as she was self-concious about how she sounded as a deaf person.  But the 17-year-old has now found her voice and celebrated by addressing a 150-person audience at Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s flagship ladies lunch event in Glasgow.

Abbie explained to the audience through British Sign Language (BSL) that during a college preparation course, run by the charity’s Moving On service, she built the confidence to use her voice again and make new friends.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

BBC: Should oralism be promoted ?

Yes ! (Both women could speak, chose not to, biased ? not half !).  Neither needed a terp.

How 'Pure' deaf are you ?

Much is rightly made of the extreme deaf areas who use oralism and even medical interventions to attack other deaf on a very personal and hostile level.

What we do not see, are these extremists rooted out, named and  identified for what they are, and that is not a cultural or a Deaf person, but some sick saddoe with no life, who enjoys bullying others.

Not enough action comes from the Deaf representational areas to ostracise and remove these people who bring the deaf community into disrepute, there is free speech, and there is just plain abuse, and we all know the difference.  These extremes hide beyond the cultural facade, they use YOU as a front..  

These 'zealots' of the deaf area on some  mission too ensure only deaf people who share their views are truly deaf, are just segregationists and disenfranchised losers, who having little of no life them selves, who attempt to destroy other people's, all in the name of culture.

The UK suffers these fools too gladly too, they attack deaf people who use their voice, or have a cochlear implant, advocate oral approaches, those who integrate, some attack parents outright calling them child abusers.  Do we want these people running the community ? hell no !

What sort of 'world' they think we all want sounds like hell to me.  We have all seen what happens when these extremists get together, some congregate at deaf clubs, others at Gallaudet, who we know attempted to close out those who did not use ASL as a first option, or were Hard of Hearing, or spoke/lip-read.  It would seem diversifying the deaf community is the only real option we have to prevent extremists being listened to, we even saw terminology used as a blunt tool to attack others, and deafhood seized upon by the USA and abused for own ends  too.

Know the real enemy of deaf people, they live within our community and exploit our isolation and poor access to hide their own hatred.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Anti-oralists attack deaf singer in USA.

Mandy Harvey on stage with her ukeleleDeaf singer Mandy Harvey made headlines around the world after being put straight through to the finals of America's Got Talent. But when she first took to the stage, she received death threats from within the deaf community for promoting a "hearing" activity.

It was two months ago that Harvey sang live on prime-time NBC television across the United States. Barefoot and nervous, she had overcome a series of traumas to get there.

"I used to get some pretty strongly-worded letters and death threats," she reveals. "I got a lot of backlash from certain people in that community because I was promoting oralism." Oralism is the name given to the practise of educating deaf people to use speech and lip-reading rather than sign language.

It was first encouraged at a conference in 1880, but despite the near-ban for almost 140 years, sign languages developed across the world, including British Sign Language, and became part of Deaf culture - always written with a capital D.

What does it mean ?

Image result for subtitling proper english

Should a new form of subtitling be used to clarify nuances in English ? (A suggestion from social media).

#1    A new version of the English language should be created just for subtitles, so that we who use it know the subtle differences in speech. A good example is oh- there’s at least four different ways of pronunciation and each one makes a sentence different- oh - surprised. Öh -wonder etc etc  Sign access ? It’s a complex issue and if getting subtitles and audio description is hard ,how can signer be put on telly programs in the same way as subs and ad.

#2  It won't realistically happen until an '888' option is available for the interpreter. Even then I suspect there are huge issues of staffing output. The sheer cost may be prohibitive about easy signed access. Subtitling technology behind it to make it cheaper, deaf did not want to pursue animated signing. I suspect we would all like to see it done a lot quicker and less errors, but I am happy with what we have at present, definitely do not want to dumb down text at all. 

We are the last defenders of the English language ! You cannot do the same for sign language, there are issues of regional difference, conflict of visuals on-screen, alternative grammar forms,  etc. I don't think the demand is actually there personally, I think they are at 5% or something (?) and shunting 'Deaf' output to the midnight hours and 'dedicated' BSLTV areas. 

I do recall a few years ago the sign language program 'SEE HEAR' asked its viewers if they wanted an all-sign program, and the feedback was a resounding no, and HoH participated insisting their access and inclusion was being removed. I think the result was online feedback to the BBC was removed because of very strong words being used. I suspect more deaf are more literate these days. It would appear online is the prime area where subtitling is not the norm for those deaf, but we have seen campaigns to prevent that spreading to system and public awareness output. 

Quite a battle going on there between the cultural people and the few remaining HoH activists, which I suspect is down to the fact HoH do not campaign for what they want and the deaf do which has meant signed access is what systems perceive we all need.. I don't really see a need for a subtitle change, except, in programs where text is obliterating the visual content to the extent you are losing information (Sport etc). Such programs are un-viewable to HoH if text AND sign is used. SKY e.g. removed signed news because hearing couldn't follow with it included. Scrolling text, subtitling AND sign language was complete overload.  The other issue was that signing deaf started to a 'cult' of celebrity with some interpreters, which detracted from what was actually being translated. 

Deaf viewers started to watch the terps, NOT the program being interpreted.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Deaf Education (Tasmania 1990s)...

Being ableist...

Image result for ableistIt also promotes extreme political correctness and offers up presentment and an excuse to avoid the people they use the terms to.  Does attacking ableism simply isolate us more ?  There is no integration via separatism, context needs to be used more effectively, and not a blanket declaration as a term, there are many terms if used in general conversation are not negative at all, only the perception is by some.  Nuances of languages also lead to complete misunderstandings, if you want to be offended you will be.

E.G. many areas of the black population use the 'N' word to describe each other, they will sue a white person who does it.  A number of disabled people use the term 'cripple or crip' in a jocular manner, or even central a term via a media campaign, so it is context not a black or white term.  We need to understand also, WE are using negative terms towards those who are more able also, pots, kettles etc, common-sense tells us all what is right and wrong. Many deaf use ableist terms (!) to describe each other too.  Your friends can use ableist language and terms because your mutual relationship understands that context, but other will not understand why they can use those terms, and others cannot. 

Mostly in humorous situations, as humour is the best way to raise awareness of any kind, used properly, ableist language, makes the real point. The USA approaches e.g. are based on court actions mostly, and suing people, a system that does not really operate in the UK at all, but the USA system is conducive to confrontations, not acceptances, so doesn't assist inclusion much.  You win your corner even get compensated, but you don't win the real acceptance.  The real killer is the over-usage of 'isms', defeated day one !

Extract from essay online:

There is a growing concern about the use of ‘ableist’ language. Ableism is discrimination on the basis of disability, when disability is not in fact relevant. There has long been a move to eradicate sexism from our language. Most of us do not think it’s appropriate to use ‘effeminate’ as an insult; many of us object to the use of language that makes maleness the standard (‘mankind’). Similarly, many people object to the use metaphorical language which associates negative qualities with disability (while I am ambivalent about the use of trigger warnings, I take the opportunity to mention that I will mention some egregiously ableist slurs below the fold).

For instance, it is ableist to describe someone (disabled or not) as a ‘retard.’ The term is offensive in itself, and it is independently offensive to use it to describe someone whose performance you disapprove of. It associates (perceived) failings with disability, which is paradigmatic ableism.

While only trolls would use a word like ‘retard’, concern with ableist language extends much more widely. There was a time when lots of educated people, with no intent to offend, used words we now regard as sexist, like ‘mankind’ or the male pronoun as a universal. Some of those who used this sexist language were actually supportive of gender equality, and failed to see any connection between their words and reinforcing gender hierarchy. Today, this attitude is much less common. Those concerned with ableist language claim the cases are closely analogous: many of us unthinkingly use words that are ableist without recognizing that fact. They want to alert us to our ableism and have us change our linguistic usage.

For instance, they claim that phrases like “turn a deaf ear to” associate deafness with ignorance; that to call someone or something “lame” metaphorically is to associate walking difficulties with an unrelated (perceived) defect that reduces value; that to describe someone who acts unthinkingly as “dumb” is to inappropriately associate communication difficulties with mere foolishness.

It seems to me, though, that there are important differences between the many words which have been described as ableist. Language is pervasively metaphorical (the word ‘literal’ comes from the Latin literalis and is itself metaphorical). But many of these metaphors are dead (as we say in metaphorical language): they are no longer understood by their users as referring to disability or disabled people. ‘Retard’ is very much alive. I suspect that lame and dumb are dead: not only do users not associate them with disability, in many cases they are unaware of the words’ origins. ‘Deaf’ is by no means dead, but it may be dead in the context of the phrase ‘to turn a deaf ear to.’ That is, users may not associate the phrase with disability or disabled people, and using it may not tend to reinforce ableist patterns of thought or behavior, or ableist institutions.

I am conscious, however, that there was a time when defenders of locutions like ‘mankind’ claimed that their usage was not sexist. In effect, they were claiming that the ‘man’ in ‘mankind’ was dead (this is more plausible in words like ‘chairman’, which we often use in a way that seems gender neutral). Compare to this the decline in ‘mankind’. It strikes me as progress that ‘mankind’ has declined; perhaps in a decade a comparable decline in ‘lame’ or ‘halting’ will strike me the same way.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Hearing and Deaf/HoH development.

A more 'British' Genocide...

Image result for DWP HQBest to keep that stiff upper lip going.  A staggering 81,140 people died as a result of UK welfare/benefit cuts and sanctions according to official government documents.

Some 50,580 on ESA had died and the rest is made up of various other benefits people were claiming before they died. The shocking statistic was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amount of people who had died, as the government have hidden away official statistics for 2016/17, it is expected the amount of people who have died due to the Universal Credit roll out will take this figure way over the 100,000 mark.

The calculating effect benefit reforms are having on people is chilling to the bone, even to the hard-nosed Tory out their and manipulated by their own party, can not be blaming Labour for this one! and the fact they have kept this information to themselves is another true indication of what this dreadful government are doing to the most vulnerable in society.

No excuses can ever be given for the death of just one person, not hundreds of thousands, and yet the stoney faced Tories continue to kill of the poor and in some cases even those that are working!

Theresa May and her out of touch with reality party, has much work to do, to convince those at the bottom of the ladder,and even those climbing it, that her party really cares about the most vulnerable in society.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Cancelled interview because applicant was deaf...

Martin McLean from the National Childrens Deaf Society
Martin McLean, 38, has two postgraduate degrees – a PGCE awarded by the University of Wales and a master’s in arts policy and management from Birkbeck. He’s an education and training policy adviser at the National Deaf Children’s Society, and has been deaf since birth.

As a deaf student, I'm used to being excluded. Universities must do better.  “I took my master’s part time alongside working full time, so I needed a university that offered courses in the evening,” he says. “That was my priority, rather than a university with a good track record for supporting disabled students. All universities should be accessible to deaf students and the disabled student allowance system for funding support makes this possible.”

McLean used a palantypist (someone who types out everything that is said in class at high speed) and a sign language interpreter for small group discussions or field trips. “Generally, things were OK at Birkbeck, but one lecturer told my palantypist to move as the noise was affecting her. She also told them, from time to time, not to type something controversial she had said. I was annoyed that she felt entitled to choose what I was allowed to understand. It singled me out as different from the hearing students, who had no filter on what was said.”

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Deaf driver sticker....

ENABLE: Towards a truly accessible website.

Image result for enable scotland
A charity is aiming to break down digital barriers with the launch of its new website. ENABLE Scotland has created a site which is accessible to people who have a range of support needs, including visual and hearing impairment, autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.

According to a recent report by Ofcom, people who have a disability are less likely to use the internet than people without a disability. Those who have a learning disability are most likely to say their disability impacts their use of communications services such as the internet.

The charity carried out a detailed audit of its online content while consulting its members on the challenges they faced when accessing online information.

Theresa Shearer, chief executive of ENABLE Scotland, said: “We worked extremely hard to listen to the feedback from our members to develop a website that is accessible to many more people and families who may need our support, or who may want to join our campaigns or get involved with ENABLE Scotland in other ways.”

Using BrowseAloud software, the new website adds speech and reading support tools to online content, including a read aloud feature which is available in multiple languages.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Deaf woman refused a leisure cruise.

Gill Hadfield
A woman from South Wales has told ITV News that her and a friend were refused on a cruise because they are both deaf and unaccompanied by a hearing person.

Gill Hadfield says she was very taken aback, when she found out about 'Cruise & Maritime Voyages' decision. This made me feel really small - yes I'm deaf, but I'm still a person and I'm capable of doing things, I'm not stupid."

They had booked to travel from Newport to Dublin on a two night cruise earlier this year. They were due to sail on the 'Magellan', described by the cruise line as 'the pride of the fleet' and 'the friendliest ship afloat'. Gill Hadfield booked to go on the 'Magellan' 

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) say they're 'whole-heartedly committed to making all our cruise ships accessible to all passengers to the full extent possible', but that the ship's safety assessors 'strictly forbid CMV from welcoming passengers such as Ms Hadfield when they are not accompanied by a passenger who is not impaired, due to safety legislation specific to sea transport.'

Warning after deaf man taken to fake hospital

Image result for Stoke PoliceProbably the weirdest news item we have read in some time.

Police have issued a warning after a deaf man was taken to a fake hospital appointment by a 'phony' sign language interpreter.

At 6pm on Tuesday, October 3, a man purporting to be a British Sign Language interpreter arrived unannounced at the man's home in Porthill and insisted on taking him to a false hospital appointment.  The deaf man complied but when the arrived at hospital the 'interpreter' walked off. The man was not harmed during the incident.

And after a further incident, on November 4, Staffordshire Police are warning deaf people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour. The second incident occurred at 11am on Saturday when two men called a Hanley house and asked the resident if any deaf people lived in the area.

They left when the householder said that she did not know of any. One of the men is described as white, aged 40 to 50 years old, of a large build and wearing a Crombie coat. The second man is described as 5ft 10in, of medium build and wearing a suit.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Like I care !

Image result for I don't care !
Recent surveys to get feedback on the UK's assault on its disabled people, only recently discovered the welfare cuts and 1,000s of deaths as a result, need us to show a little more concern and empathy than we have been showing.  E.G. From the AOHL forum the UK's largest hearing loss charity.

#1  The NDCS has done a video asking for feedback with captions.  Why hasn't the AOHL got involved at all in this very serious issue of the state attacking the HoH and deaf areas ?

#2  Just shows the level of apathy really.  I stopped doing surveys and petitions ages ago. In hearing loss terms we will never have enough to get any decent feedback or consultation.  E.G. an alleged 10m HoH and yet another Alleged 90,000 'Deaf' yet look at the level of response that exists with them all.  

AOHL has 30K+ members so the fact 2,130 got off their rear ends is pointless to the extreme.  Even the fact the issue means very real financial and supportive hardships still fails to move people.  The state decision to 'divide and rule' and everyone based on individual needs approaches, means there is never any joint action taken, and statistically less than 2% of any areas takes such an interest they support lobbying anyway.  

We also stopped joining groups and charities some years ago, so representation is just piecemeal or done individually.  You just cannot get people off the iphone long enough  to do anything, they send a supportive e-mail to the occasional petition, that's their bit done.  Deaf/HoH and disabled are up against the wall with the state targeting them relentlessly, it's frightening in respect this isn't their prime considerations.  

Not even when peers die or lose their homes and support, are we a 'don't care' nation now ?

Turf Wars...

With the CODA brothers...

Why did you choose a CI for me ?

Abigail, 13, born deaf, asks her parents, Carla and Bruce, how they made the decision to get her cochlear implants so she could hear. Carla and Bruce return to that emotional journey and the decision they made for their family. 

Real questions. Hard decisions. Honest answers

Visual Transcripts from the BBC

Gaps in emergency systems danger to the deaf.

During an emergency, it is important that people know what is happening, when it will happen, and what steps they are expected to take. Traditional information channels leave dangerous gaps in communication— at the first signs of crisis, d/Deaf and hard of hearing people are forgotten. 

While America continues to reel in the wake of several large scale emergencies, there is room in the national discussion to address the inadequate crisis services that are available to the d/Deaf community. In times of disaster or crisis, most people turn to a trusted news sources for updates. But, for individuals who are d/Deaf/Hard of hearing, emergency information is delivered infrequently, late, and is often missing critical information — if this news reaches them at all. 


Closed captioned television is already hit or miss, commonly plagued with spelling and contextual errors; but during emergency broadcasts, small inaccuracies can put lives at risk. Furthermore, less people now have televisions in their homes as the internet takes over. This means that more people getting their news online, where captioning for emergency announcements is usually not even provided. 

We have seen time and again situations where ASL interpreters work a press conference in effort to communicate crucial updates to the Deaf community, only to be left off screen during the broadcast. We have also seen unfortunate situations where the “interpreters” offered to Deaf residents are exceptionally unqualified, which jeopardizes the health and safety of an entire group of people. Additionally, some hearing interpreters utilize a style of ASL that might be inaccessible to people with a different educational background. To reach the highest number of people, it is advised to seek the assistance of a local Certified Deaf Interpreter who is better equipped to connect with Deaf people in their native language. 

The National Association of the Deaf has established a Position Statement on Accessible Emergency Management for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People which details the best practices for federal, state, and local government organizations. But still, the d/Deaf community gets left out of the loop on every level. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

History of the Netherlands deaf school.

Inquiry into PIP assessments.

Can the DID card do it for you ?

National Disabled Identification Card (DID)

The disabled identification card launched in 2015 and is run by disabled people or parents and relatives of disabled people. We are more than just an identification card, we are committed to helping individuals or groups to achieve ordinary things and some extraordinary things in their lives. Not every disability is visible.

About the National DID Card

The National Disabled Identification (DID) Card was introduced in response to disabled people posting comments in a number of social media sites that they were getting tired of constantly having to carry their paperwork proving they were entitled to some form of disability benefit in order to obtain a concessionary rate.

In particular parents of children with disabilities and special needs, whose children's disability is not immediately obvious, such as autistic, global developmental delay and other disabilities find it hard to explain their disability, especially if the children are present who may be unaware that they have a disability.

Disabled individuals often do not want to request or highlight the fact they have a disability when they would be entitled to concessionary rates. There can be stigma attached to requesting disabled rates.

What can the DID card do for you?

The aim of the National DID Card is to remove the need for individuals to carry their paper documentation with them at all times. The card will have a photograph of the cardholder and will only be issued to disabled people who are in receipt of some form of disability allowance or medical evidence to support your application.

The card can be used as proof that they are in receipt of an eligible benefit and therefore entitled to gain entry at concessionary rate. Many establishments, theatres, museums, attractions, leisure facilities etc. offer concessionary prices for disabled people and in some cases offer free entry to another person assisting the disabled person.

Will this satisfy the DWP ?

Monday, 6 November 2017

'My Ear' App...

Accessible Information Standards.

(Which could have benefited by captions).  Accessible Information as Standard.

Come to the launch of a new report that aims to help improve access to health and care services for deaf people, disabled people and those with sensory and learning disabilities or difficulties.

The report is called ‘Accessible Information as Standard’ (England), and brings together two separate Healthwatch projects looking at the experiences of people who need accessible information when they use health or care services.

CDA have been working with Healthwatch to get the views of deaf people to try and improve health and social care. Deaf people have been to meetings in Peterborough, Cambridge and Huntington to give their views.

At the meeting: 

• We’ll tell you about our report and our recommendations
• Disabled, blind and partially sighted and deaf people will tell you about their experiences of getting information in a way they can understand.
• Local health and care staff will tell you what they are doing to improve access to information.
• There will be a question and answer session open to everyone.

Qualified BSL interpreters will be present. Please let us know if you have any additional access needs. Entry is free.

Tuesday 21 November, 6-8pm, Deafblind UK Conference Centre, Cygnet Rd, Peterborough PE7 8FD
You can also find out about the report as part of our Public Board meeting in Cambridge, held 7-9pm on Wednesday 15 November at the Meadows Community Centre, 1 St Catharine's Road, Cambridge, CB4 3XJ.

You’ll be able to pick up copies of the report at both events in accessible formats including:
• Easy Read
• Large Print
• Braille
• Audio

BSL with English subtitled formats of the document will be available online.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

83yr old overturns 'too old' CI decision.

An 83-year-old woman who had gone deaf has been given the gift of hearing after successfully lobbying doctors for life-changing surgery.  When Audrie Jackson came into the Messenger office to tell us of her “traumatic year”, none of us were too sure what to expect.

But what began as a tale of frustration at being told she was “too old” for the operation that could allow her to hear again became a story of incredible fighting spirit  Audrie Jackson can hear again - six years after going deaf - thanks to an implant she received at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Mrs Jackson, of Beaumont Drive, Northfleet, was positively beaming as she told us of how her life had been turned around.

“I started going deaf in 1991 and eventually it went completely, but no one seemed to want to know,” she said.  “Actually I didn’t speak for six or seven years because I was so deaf I couldn’t even hear my own voice.

“I used to be in the choir at St Botolph’s Church but I had to give it up as well.  “But my mother lived until 96 and I thought, why should I go another 15 years or so in a world of silence?”  In order to have a chance of regaining her hearing, Mrs Jackson required a cochlear implant, but one doctor said her “age was against her”.

Nevertheless, she was insistent that she should give it a shot and her persistence paid off, as she eventually found people willing to listen at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.  She had an implant fitted on September 22 at Guy’s and on October 12 it was switched on at St Thomas’, bringing back her hearing in the process.  “You should have seen my face when they turned it on,” she recalled.

“I cannot thank all of those staff enough, they are all wonderful. The doctors, the surgeons, the nurses, even the man who brought me tea.  “They have given me my life back and I can’t stop talking to people.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Questions to a Deaf Mum

Deaf paedophile gets reduced sentence...

Following on the heels of the Australian deaf killer who got next to no punishment because of being deaf.  Deaf AND Dangerous, but going free after...

An Egyptian immigrant, convicted paedophile, and serial rapist will have his jail term in the UK reduced because he is deaf and cannot hear the television in his cell or chat to other inmates.

Imprisonment was said to be “isolating” for Egyptian national Gamal Demian, 51, who is also mute, and claims he cannot watch entertainment or communicate with other people.

He was sentenced to 20 years after raping and sexually assaulting three girls as young as eight. But appeal judges slashed the term to 18 years after hearing that he was struggling with life behind bars.  Egyptian national Gamal Demian, 51, moved to the UK from Cairo in 2004. (Credit: Facebook) According to The Sun, his barrister Judith Benson said: “His isolation because of his deafness within the prison is increased in comparison to an ordinary prisoner.

“He is unable to watch TV or partake in any other media of that sort. His life essentially consists of a period of time in workshops where he is able to have minimal communication. “Save for that, he has no means of communication or passing time.”

According to the Express, Ms. Benson added: “Each day in prison is going to be so much more burdensome and difficult” and argued the rapist had a more boring time in jail because of his disability.

The migrant and Egyptian national moved to West London from Cairo in 2004 and worked in a High Street shop. He was jailed last October at Kingston Crown Court in southwest London. On top of his jail term, he will serve a further three years on an extended licence as he is considered “dangerous”. At the Court of Appeal, Judge Adele Williams said disability should not automatically result in a shorter term. But she added: “We are persuaded some reduction is appropriate.”

An Egyptian immigrant, convicted paedophile, and serial rapist will have his jail term in the UK reduced because he is deaf and cannot hear the television in his cell or chat to other inmates.
Imprisonment was said to be “isolating” for Egyptian national Gamal Demian, 51, who is also mute, and claims he cannot watch entertainment or communicate with other people.

He was sentenced to 20 years after raping and sexually assaulting three girls as young as eight. But appeal judges slashed the term to 18 years after hearing that he was struggling with life behind bars.

According to The Sun, his barrister Judith Benson said: “His isolation because of his deafness within the prison is increased in comparison to an ordinary prisoner. “He is unable to watch TV or partake in any other media of that sort. His life essentially consists of a period of time in workshops where he is able to have minimal communication. “Save for that, he has no means of communication or passing time.”

According to the Express, Ms. Benson added: “Each day in prison is going to be so much more burdensome and difficult” and argued the rapist had a more boring time in jail because of his disability. The migrant and Egyptian national moved to West London from Cairo in 2004 and worked in a High Street shop. He was jailed last October at Kingston Crown Court in southwest London.

On top of his jail term, he will serve a further three years on an extended licence as he is considered “dangerous”. At the Court of Appeal, Judge Adele Williams said disability should not automatically result in a shorter term. But she added: “We are persuaded some reduction is appropriate.”

Dogs for the Deaf: Not any longer ?

A re-vamp and more movement of the goalposts to blur the lines between dedicated deaf and blind assistance animals, is it re-defining the disability too ?

Changes are coming to a local non-profit as it continues to expand its reach. Dogs for the Deaf is now Dogs for Better Lives. The organisation made the announcement Tuesday evening.

When the non-profit started in 1977 they were solely working with hearing assistance dogs. Over the decades they’ve expanded their services to include autism assistance dogs and program assistance dogs.

Growing up a CODA...

Why we need CODA's and families to step back from providing free support for deaf relatives, until they do THEY risk their health and well being.  It should not be the onus on CODA's or any other family ember to act as an interpreter when, most have NO qualifications to sufficient levels to do that work,and, they won't get paid for it either !  Being cruel to be kind, we need to make deaf relatives utilise service and neutral provisions and stop undermining it, by pressuring their hearing families.  

It is NOT the 'job' of hearing relatives to act as our unpaid terps.  We should be horrified putting our kids in this no-win situation, not happy they are there 'on tap'' whenever needed.  Deaf need to take more responsibility for themselves. Why are we putting our kids in these situations ?

Peter Bonser was just 11 years old when his three-month-old brother died. Because his parents couldn't digest the verbal language of the hospital doctors, he had to explain the details of the situation to them.

"I interpreted all the funeral arrangements for my mom and dad," he says, referring to AUSLAN, the language of deaf Australians. "My grandmother would say to me, 'Can you explain this to them? Because you do it better than I can.' She came to sign language late, but I'd had it since day one."

As a CODA, an acronym for the "Children of Deaf Adults," Bonser straddles the complex cultural plain between the deaf world and the hearing. The official term is given to children who can hear normally themselves but have one or two deaf parents. 

The complexity of this dynamic extends beyond communication: There have been High Court cases citing discrimination against the deaf community, and the assumption that deaf people aren't capable of being good parents is unfortunately common. 

The role of CODA also comes with weighty responsibilities. Many CODAs act as interpreters for their parents from a young age, and this can mean taking on responsibilities generally reserved for adults. Bonser, who is the founder of CODA Australia, says organizing the memorial of his late brother was a significant experience. But it was also nothing unusual in the realm of the deaf, he says, where such translations are common. In fact, something similar happened to him less than a year later.

"My mom was pregnant, but she hemorrhaged," he says. "She had to be taken to a hospital in an ambulance, and the baby had to be aborted. I was 12, and again here I am, calling an ambulance, going in the ambulance with her to the hospital, interpreting all the stuff to her about the baby being aborted, and watching blood transfusions."

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Teach Sign in Schools ?

Image result for education ?
To hearing.  Sign is not taught properly in deaf schools either. While we make no claim to be any sort of BSL expert, from what we have seen in deaf clubs the last 26 years some have very poor skills in sign, most appear to lack any sign knowledge regarding detail, it is generalities, 'concepts',  and assumptions, some good some not so.  

I don't support BSL in schools, it should be Signed English, or Sign supported English so they are better equipped to survive when they leave the deaf set ups and support, and have to work with hearing people on their terms too.  Older deaf over 30 already struggle with the 'new' BSL.  Being ill-equipped literally,  the deaf rapidly on leaving school, begin to struggle and became lost to the mainstream, as they revert to all deaf areas again, where struggles are less, and don't pursue their sign education to improve either, then it all goes to reliance on terps or each other.  

Lots of areas have a culture and different language, but the deaf appear pretty singular of the view they need not adapt at all, and that others have to, maybe the reason so many struggle, because you cannot force others to comply, it has to be a willing action.  Topically many migrants come here with little English at all, they adapt to survive, deaf can learn their lessons. HoH had to, deafened people who lost all hearing after or during formative education have to, there was no sign, no support, no 'hoh' schools, no community, and no social workers or terps to help them out.  The old deaf schools were based on the belief deaf had mental impairments, so education was based on that.

More realism has to be used in describing the 'cure-all' of sign use, but too much is being disguised and lost, under cultural demands and rights, and practicality is being ignored.   Trained staff aren't there to equip the demands the Deaf are making, and without those, it is not going to happen.    If you accept current 'Deaf' stats then, their current needs required a 100 times more support for sign they they have currently, and take up of Interpreter courses are falling, not growing, as regards to teaching hearing in a mainstream setting, it is very much pie-in-the-sky as the institutional staff do not exist, and the qualification to TEACH needs more than a degree in BSL..  Most born-deaf would fail the English exam qualifications needed to manage HEARING students..

Most deaf seem in a relentless 'blame culture' where hearing are public enemy number one, this is all down to the fact sign isn't effective enough a bridge and needs a third party, or the other person needs to be a signer too, statistically impossible..  HoH and deafened appear to have found a sign alternative.  At least they aren't complaining about access.  Or maybe they understand the realities.

Adam's Story....

Monday, 30 October 2017

First Cinemark, now Broadway ?

Broadway theater owners should man the barricades after a recent legal decision made them more vulnerable to disability discrimination lawsuits.

On October 6, the same day that Hamilton settled its disabilities lawsuit with a deaf theatergoer, a federal appellate court found that a movie theater chain had to provide tactile interpretation services for its deaf-blind customers under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The services allow audience members who cannot hear or see to understand what is happening in both the film and the theater by feeling the hands of sign language interpreters.

The deaf-blind plaintiff, Paul McGann, wanted to attend a screening of the film Gone Girl, and asked Cinemark, a worldwide movie exhibitor, to provide tactile interpretation services for him. But, after realizing that hiring two tactile interpreters would cost at least $260, the theater chain denied his request, and McGann sued it for disability discrimination in federal court.

The law requires places open to the public, such as movie theaters, to “take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.” Yet, when providing the accommodation would fundamentally alter the service already being offered, or pose an undue burden on the business, it is not required.

Cinemark first argued that tactile interpreters do not fall under “auxiliary aids and services,” because they are not “auxiliary” or supplemental to the service that it normally provides.

How will they Hear ?

Virgin Media: Erases CI from photos..

Deaf dancer hits out after Virgin Active edited out her hearing implant

A deaf ballerina has hit out at Virgin Active after they photoshopped her hearing implant out of the advert she starred in. 

Simone Welgemoed, 27, has worn the Cochlear implant since she was just 22-months-old. She considers it part of her and was proud to represent other people with hearing loss – so she was shocked to see the final edit of the ad for the health club had removed it. ‘I was shockingly surprised and it felt like somebody just dropped a bucket of water on me,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t believe what I saw when my sister tagged me in the Virgin advertisement on Instagram, I couldn’t believe what I saw.’ 

The company, founded by Sir Richard Branson, immediately pulled the edited version and replaced it with an earlier take which shows the implant. Simone had accused them of wanting to hide her disability, despite knowing about it when they booked her for the advert.