Friday, 21 April 2017

ODSP and Funding/Grants

The unaffordable Cost of Diversity ?

So who should be footing the bill ? and HOW is the message of real diversity being sold in regards to inclusion, when many roles are stereotypical ones, and the inclusion of diversity in mainstream is viewed as a campaign and lecture platform on awareness ? 

The key is MINORITY, not just DIVERSITY, and the fact funding is supplied not on diverse basis, but on a minority and 'ring-fenced' dedicated basis.  The whole set up is to pigeon-hole artistic endeavour, and the Deaf insist on it !  They have pasted themselves into own corner, then blaming others for it.  If you make a show or film strictly to raise awareness, or for own area of minority or language, then by default, it can never appeal to the wider audience, can it ? Appealing to own areas is difficult because the audience can only be found it cities... even then subsidised...

No amount of funding is going to make it a mainstream appeal.  Deaf culture has ruined wider awareness of deaf and HoH people because it is elitist and sign-driven, now mainstream areas expect only deaf that sign as a representation of that area... and deaf artists are angry about it, nobody employs them for anything else. The DWP and Lottery who fund artistic disability and deaf access can now capitalise on the fact it isn't inclusive, or representative and operate more cuts.  

As deaf and HoH people why cannot we ask the question, what is in all this 'diversity' in the arts, for us ? Why is nobody asking the real question 'Given there are 9m of us in the UK, why is funding ONLY going to a few hundred deaf luvvies who make the content we don't want to watch ?'  Is it not factual, deaf and disabled just want the mainstream to finance own exclusion under the guise of diversity ?  The appeal is too singular of their output.  Suits deaf culture down to the ground.

The artistic director of Metta Theatre has claimed organisations have a moral duty to invest in diversity regardless of extra costs.

Poppy Burton-Morgan says the industry needs a “step change”, and although budgets are stretched, producers always have a choice.  Burton-Morgan, who works as a freelance opera and theatre director alongside her role at the London and Exeter-based Metta, raised the issue in a blog for UK Theatre, which discussed the ethical considerations of budgeting for producers.

She told The Stage: “It costs more to work with deaf and disabled actors. There is a scheme called Access to Work where you can apply for funding from the government, but it gets harder and harder and there is never a guarantee. If you are a producer then that is a really big consideration.  “At the casting level it takes the time to find those people. For instance, with ethnicity, if you have to work harder to reach different people, that is the cost.

“Sometimes audiences for certain works can be perceived to be narrower, and there is a feeling that there will be less box office takings. Also, if you have to provide captioning, that all costs extra.”  Burton-Morgan argued, however, that organisations needed to build these costs into their budgets from the beginning and make diversity a driving force behind their work.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Growing Up with a CI...

Not a deaf Actress, I just happen to be deaf...

So long as she DOES NOT use sign language, then who will know anyway?  As an image of a hearing person speaking, is this not going to be criticised by her peers anyway ?  Deaf Actors/Actresses are damned by default, and cannot win, because she is fighting her own community stereotype and apparent norm.

8 week old baby signs to Grandma

EUD: British deaf charities may not access EU after Brexit.

Image result for EUD BrusselsBrexit doesn't just mean immigration can be addressed, and law enforcement rules returned to the UK, but, it could invalidate co-operation between European deaf people, and UK deaf people.  This must send alarm signals to a number of UK charities including the BDA, who recently have attended EUD meetings and supported campaigns, even AOHL with pretentions to establish themselves as some European advice and environmental aid supplier to Europe too.  Read the response to concerns raised by ATR as to the possible diminished status of British deaf and HoH charities post Brexit....


Thank you for your email that has been forwarded to me.

We would like to confirm that our British member association, the British Deaf Association, will remain a full member of EUD for the time of the exit negotiations between the UK and the EU.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with more information regarding the status of the BDA as a full member after the UK leaves the EU, as according to article 8, section 1 of our statutes ( "National organisations of Deaf people (‘National Associations of the Deaf’, NADs) active in the Member States of the European Union, with a clear majority of deaf voting members among its membership and with a governing Board with a majority of deaf persons and whose objectives conform to the principles and objectives set forth in Article 5 of the present Statutes are eligible to apply for full membership.” This would not apply to the UK anymore, once it has left the EU.

However, we are currently looking into options for our continued cooperation with and support for the British deaf community and will publish information on this issue online, once the discussions within EUD are finished.

I hope that this information has been useful for you.

Best regards,

Policy Officer


The Deaf Space....

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Staying Connected...

BSL Video - Staying Connected from DeafCOG on Vimeo.

But not if you need captioning...

NYPD tablets will link deaf people to interpreters

Image result for NYPD tabletsThe NYPD is testing a pilot program on Staten Island that is intended to enhance communication with people who are deaf.

The program was instituted in the wake of lawsuits by deaf people, including a former Staten Island woman, Diana Williams. Police in the 121st Precinct based in Graniteville and also in precincts in Manhattan and Queens will use tablets to connect via video with sign-language interpreters if live interpreters are unavailable, according to the Daily News.

Williams, who previously lived in Grasmere, has settled a lawsuit for $750,000 against the city in which she alleged cops falsely arrested her, demeaned her and refused her requests for a sign-language interpreter, according to court papers. Williams sued the city in Manhattan federal court over her Sept. 11, 2011, arrest at a residential building she and her husband owned on Hillbrook Drive, her civil complaint said.

Williams alleged a tenant, whom she had evicted for non-payment of rent, falsely had her arrested in retaliation, said her civil complaint.

Mental health inequalities for deaf and disabled people

(Note the curious 're-arranging' of terminology later in the article?'  It headlines deaf disabled, then goes to disabled and deaf...  In reality, Mental health affects 25% of the entire population, disabled, deaf or otherwise... and with the deaf community, it can rise to 40%..  You don't have to be Prince Harry to be depressed...

Mental health inequalities for disabled and deaf people are a significant problem, according to a report published last week by the London Assembly Health Committee.

Studies have shown that disabled and deaf people are more likely to experience common mental health problems, especially anxiety and depression. Around one in three people with chronic physical impairment experience a mental health problem, compared to one in four in the wider population.

Deaf people are twice as likely to suffer from depression as hearing people, and around 40 per cent of people who lose their sight develop depression.  But there is little data available at a regional level to determine how prevalent mental ill health is among disabled and Deaf people in London.

The links between physical and sensory impairment and mental health are complex. But depression and anxiety are not the inevitable consequences of being, or becoming, a disabled person. Disability rights campaigners have raised concerns that many, including some health professionals, believe that depression and physical/sensory impairment go together unavoidably, especially when the impairment is acquired later in life. This has led to a lack of focus on the mental health needs of disabled and Deaf people and on the prevention of avoidable mental health problems.

Eight out of 10 people with a physical impairment were not born with it. The vast majority become impaired through injury, accident, or illnesses such as stroke. The prevalence of disability, therefore, rises with age. This means that mental health services need to know how to support people who become disabled later in life, as well as those who are born with impairments.

There is likely to be an increase in the number of people living with impairment in the future.  Rises in the rate of long-term conditions that can lead to disability, such as diabetes, coupled with rises in life expectancy, mean that people will be living for longer with a disability. For example, diabetes-related sight loss is the leading cause of vision impairment in working-age adults in the UK. And the number of people with diabetes has risen by 60 per cent in the UK in the last decade.10

The incidence of mental ill health in disabled and Deaf Londoners is likely to increase unless more is done to support good mental health in this population group.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Google: Isolating the D

Image result for google search
It was reported yesterday, that Google is considering a response to 'deaf' complaints of misuses of the term 'Deaf', and other tag abuses, that hearing impaired claim are disrupting search options by non-cultural deaf and HoH, and contributing to misleading awareness of people with hearing loss.

A spokesperson for Google responded:

"It is difficult to use our search equation to isolate a letter inside a word, or that word within a sentence or paragraph, but we will look at ways for both ASL-using deaf and non-ASL deaf and others with a hearing impairment, to be able to use our services easier, to search more accurately for content relative to own specific area.  

As regards to the 'tag' issues, it is again difficult to isolate the cultural signing area so e.g. YouTube, and other areas that  rely on visual information, can hone in on content specific to their area.  Google auto-captioning is improving all the time, however, we cannot insist all use that option.  It is not possible at this time to adjust search options so if Deaf, Culture, Sign language, tags are used we can link such tag descriptions to suggest they are strictly cultural in nature, it would also affect other language and cultural areas using Google. 

As we understand it, the cultural deaf area are utilising colloquial term usage to re-brand a term intended for another descriptive, and this appears to be an issue for other hearing loss areas, in that the re-brand such as it is, has affected their support and awareness. Google has no involvement in that.

We can advise, that the relative communities involved agree on a separate and descriptive term or word so that the tag system becomes more effective, however, we have noted areas unconnected with cultural deaf, also use similar tag descriptions.  Ideally, both areas would agree on common tag and links, so that we do not have to adjust the search equations, which would not solve the problems non-cultural deaf and Hearing impaired are facing.  

The issue lies with the term deaf itself, which is also a medical term.. and isolating it within text is not possible, so the term could still be picked up elsewhere. It is not within Google's remit to suggest what people call themselves... so these areas can help themselves search for what they want... by creating the terminology that shows their own diversity..."


Friday, 14 April 2017

Can you read my lips ?

Deaf Music: In the classroom and beyond.

‘Eye Trackers’ To Study Language Development In Kids With Cochlear Implants

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 11.05.39 AMCochlear implants have been a godsend for parents of children born profoundly deaf.  While the devices can restore some level of hearing, many of these children can still fall behind in language skills.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, ‘eye trackers’ help researchers understand how children learn language.  Logan Hodge’s parents were elated when a cochlear implant allowed their son to hear for the first time at 10-months-old.  There were still challenges ahead to help Logan communicate on the same level as children with normal hearing.

“We had never experienced communicating with a deaf person at all before our son was born, so it was interesting for us to learn how to communicate, and how to teach Logan how to communicate with us,” Logan’s mother Sarah said.  Researcher Derek Houston said it’s a common struggle for parents of deaf children.

To better understand how children with cochlear implants absorb information and learn new words, he designed a study at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which observes parent and child interactions from six different camera angles.  Parents present toys with different names to their children, and every detail of the child’s reaction is recorded.  “To give even more detail about that. They’re also wearing eye-tracking devices,” Dr. Houston said.

The devices help researchers understand what catches a child’s attention during conversation and how parents might be able to use that information to better communicate.  “The timing of when a parent says a label and what the child is doing, when the label is said, predicts whether or not the child will learn a word,” Dr. Houston said.

Logan’s parents use what they’re learning from the study to constantly reinforce language by doing things like narrating everyday activities.  Their hard work is paying off.  “Honestly, there are many times throughout the day that I forget that he’s deaf at all, which is just incredible,” Sarah said. Researchers hope that this method of parent-child observation can be extended to learn more about the best ways to teach language skills to any child.

With some modifications, it could help with speech development for specific groups such as children with ADHD or autism.  CBS2’s Dr. Gomez said that the sooner a deaf child receives a cochlear implant, the more likely he or she will be able to develop normal speech.

Fernandes continues to inspire the deaf...

Jane Fernandes, president of Guilford College.
Jane Fernandes speaks both English and American Sign Language fluently, and often at the same time – her fingers flashing along with her spoken words in seemingly effortless unison.

But straddling the worlds of those who can and can’t hear has sometimes been a struggle. As a child, she was taught to read lips and imitate the sounds of a language she’s never heard, and didn’t learn sign language until her 20s – a fact that became fuel for protests against her appointment as president of a college for the deaf.

Long an outsider in both worlds, however, Fernandes has found a home as president of Guilford College, whose close-knit community has embraced having the nation’s first deaf female president as its leader since 2014.  Ed Winslow, chair of Guilford’s board of trustees, says Fernandes is popular among students and has been able to navigate difficult economic times, with government support for higher education contracting and other market forces putting pressure on smaller colleges.

She has also led an effort to revamp the college’s focus to better fit the current landscape and draw in quality administrators. Winslow also credits excitement over her hire with a bump in enrollment last year.  “People are frankly inspired by her,” says Winslow, a Greensboro lawyer who has been on the board more than a decade.

CI implantations to be fast-tracked in Wales...

Hearing aid
There'll be faster access to surgery to reduce hearing loss in adults, the Health Secretary has announced today.

Vaughan Gething says the waiting time targets for adult cochlear implant surgery - a medical device that can replace the function of the inner ear - will be reduced from 52 weeks to 26 weeks for standard cases and 36 weeks for complex cases. The Welsh Health Specialist Services Committee will work with health boards to introduce the new referral to treatment targets in a phased approach over the next three years.

We want to ensure that people who need cochlear implants are able to have surgery as soon as possible, so their hearing can be improved or restored. For many people deafness can have a significant impact on their quality of life, affecting employment, recreation and relationships.

Restoring people's hearing with cochlear implants as soon as possible will help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to lead more normal lives again.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Of deaf, (and elephants.)..

Reading charity comment slots where those losing hearing are still asking why they have to pay to learn BSL ? even parents of deaf children forced to pay to learn to communicate with own children effectively, but the question doesn't actually address the situation of communication support for those with hearing loss...

ATR doesn't think BSL or lip-reading are viable modes on their own.  Each system uses many other means to follow the spoken word, no one size fits anyone. especially valid for those who acquire serious hearing loss, as politics kicks in straight away and there are many issues like trauma, and cultural identity side-effects too, as people desperate with hearing loss struggle to understand the point of A and B modes in a social or access context, because they conflict with a need.

Being charged a fee to learn A or B modes, and without any advice as to how to go forward with either, is a complete lottery in many respects.  learning just one mode isolates those who do not use it or prefer to use something else, as it stands no need assessment actually take place to ascertain which is viable for you in ability terms, 'preferences' do not go far if the ability is not there, or the will isn't.

Obviously, parents whose children are deaf and being solely educated with sign use, must have free tuition in the primary means being used to educate them, but with well over 60% now using CI's and able to utlise those, the system that maintains sign effectiveness and their social cohesion, is under stress and assault from those alleviations and clinical technologies..    

In education, teaching sign does not go alongside teaching  awareness, and fitting into the mainstream of things, the concentration on language acquisition, ignores the primary context of language and social interaction. Children deaf can leave school not understanding the need for that interaction, or the need to integrate at all.  Their futures in that respect mapped out from day one... their interactions a life-long reliance on interpreter or family support, this '3rd' person forever present, this 'elephant in the room' distracts interaction away from the deaf person. Mainstream will always use the path of least effort, as do the deaf themselves and they accept it as a norm... that norm is not based on inclusion.

The 'Deaf' community is fighting against a rising tide of progress, hence their approaches becoming more and more inflexible to protect the status quo, which they are struggling to now define, hence the social angle played down in favour of the signing priority, because deaf schools are doomed to closure, and that was their cultural base....

Deaf schools are rapidly being viewed a dated concept, with inclusion and cost saving putting more and more deaf into the mainstream.  As regards to all areas learning BSL, it's a dream and not practicable, or will meet all needs either.  It's a drive via minority support need, not a majority one.  For those who rely on BSL alone professional support is available via the system we are well served in wales e.g. As regards to about our daily lives again expecting random people you meet once, or rarely, to be able to sign at you, is unrealistic.

There is talk about training nurses Drs, etc in BSL, shop assistants etc, hearing children, but staff turnover defeats most adults acquiring it, and who, pays to teach them ?  Currently they are expected to self teach or pay themselves, on the off-chance they 'might' come across a BSL using person.

There is lots of talk and drive as to pushing for the mainstream to sign to everyone with hearing loss, but the majority do not sign.  I'd like to see deaf people learning how to communicate a lot more.  Hearing-deaf interaction should be mandatory education in the curriculum for deaf children, not taught hearing are against them because they are deaf, and unless they stick together, they are going to have a very hard life.  

From day one they see own interactions as token or part of the school 'once a day', set ups, they very quickly learn, THEIR inclusion is just with people 'the same as they are..'.  The current stance is 'I sign, so you must learn it to communicate to me..'  It rarely works as simply as that, given the 'Deaf' community is averse to integrating and socialising with hearing people, it is debatable IF hearing signed, that would change the dynamics of their perceived 'Deaf' community ethos.. they would still demand own space... 

BSL isn't a magic bullet to communicate to all deaf people. Neither is lip-reading.  It's been said before, but a 'Communication' set up with a norm needs to be initiated to address social, clinical, and communicational issues with those who have hearing loss.  The social area approaches are basically a barrier for those who acquire serious loss early, or later, they become a refuge, not a stepping stone to equality, so doesn't really work at all.  A parallel world does not equate with an inclusive one.

Is deaf culture nature or nurture? we think the latter.  Nothing is written nor signed unless WE,  say so....

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Mental Health unawareness

A blatant misinformational public awareness video from London, deaf aren't disabled, we all use BSL, and hearing loss isn't the problem, hearing people are. Meanwhile 9 million others in the UK disagree with them, but who cares ? she ignored them... but she still included disability in her plug for culture and sign...  Time this deliberate abuse of loss awareness was addressed as the discriminatory and opportunist approach it is... deplorable they used mental health issues as a cultural plug too...  Any bets the Islington lefty mafia are behind it ?

Monday, 10 April 2017

CHS Strikes: Deaf left without services...

Woman gives birth to 5 deaf children...

Expecting to hear "maa' from her child, she gave birth to five children but none of them is able to fulfil her wish....

Lack of on-demand subtitles leaving deaf and blind viewers behind

The lack of subtitles and audio description in on-demand programmes is leaving disabled viewers “further and further behind” according to Ofcom.

A report by the communications watchdog found that 68% of on-demand platforms didn’t provide any access services at all between April 2015 and March 2016.  And while 32% did provide some subtitling, only 6% offered audio description or signing.  Ofcom said the majority of providers who do provide subtitling do so only on their own website or mobile app.  Only 7% of providers made subtitles available on their services when viewed on a TV platform such as Sky, Virgin Media or YouView.

The report says there has been “little progress in spreading the availability of subtitles from websites to more conventional TV viewing platforms” or in making audio description available.  It also warns that “consumers with hearing and/or visual impairments are being left further and further behind, without access to content” and says the technical obstacles to providing access services are “not insurmountable”.

Ofcom will get new powers requiring on-demand broadcasters to make their programmes more accessible when the Digital Economy Bill is passed.

Deaf Job Interviews...

Hey guys, don't forget to turn on CAPTIONS when you watch this video! :) This is more of a rant video also explaining about my experiences what it is like to be deaf and go through an interview. I cover some bases in the video. Hope you guys find some of this beneficial to you. 

Deaf businessman gets MBE...

Image result for Shezad Nawab, 33, received the honour from HRH the Prince of Wales at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace
A DEAF businessman from Dorridge has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to business and diversity.

Shezad Nawab, 33, received the honour from HRH the Prince of Wales at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. 

Since graduating from Birmingham City University in 2009 with a degree in Business and Marketing, Shezad has gone on to win entrepreneur and innovation awards, supporting start-ups and small businesses to grow through consulting.

He is also co-founder of Sfhere, specialists in expanding UK-based SME businesses into foreign markets.  In 2014, Shezad was listed as one the most influential disabled people in business by Disability News Service.  Born in Acocks Green, Shezad also makes frequent public speaking appearances on topics including business sustainability and risk management.

“It was amazing to visit Buckingham Palace and receive my MBE from Prince Charles,” he said.

Theatre refuses to turn on film captions...

Riker, 36, says they went to Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall in Providence, Rhode Island
Some deaf and hearing-impaired moviegoers say a Rhode Island theater refused to switch on the captioning so they could follow along with Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'. The Providence Journal reports 18 hearing-impaired people tried to see the movie at the Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall on Saturday.

Organizer Tim Riker, 36, says the group arrived unannounced and requested theater employees activate the captioning, to see a movie Saturday. Riker says manager Dave Kuncio refused, suggesting it wouldn't be fair to other patrons who had not paid to see a subtitled movie.

The group left without seeing the movie.  'We just want to go out and have fun,' Riker said.   He says the group wants state lawmakers to approve pending legislation requiring theaters with at least eight screens to accommodate hearing- and sight-impaired customers.

The legislation would require these theaters to make open-captioning visible during movies equipped with this function twice weekly.  In other instances, if hearing-impaired patrons are the majority in the screening room and the theater doesn't have enough 'assistive' eyeglasses available, it'll be required to turn on open-captioning. 

Kuncio did offer the eight available assistive eyeglasses Saturday, but the group refused because there weren't enough for everybody.   The Warwick theater is owned by Massachusetts-based National Amusements, which hasn't commented.  

ATR Comment:  In this case, it would appear the deaf were unreasonable, by not informing the theatre they were coming.  The manager did offer most of them access but hadn't enough equipment.  That isn't discrimination.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

SignLive: Community Directory...

Accessibility in Ireland...

You will see what kind of accessibility on a TV in Ireland. It is different than what you have seen in the United States and Canada!

Note: Wales does it in Welsh AND has done Polish :)

PIP Success !!

Image result for Success !A post from a successful PIP applicant.

"Hi, I thought it might interest readers to know, that I successfully applied for PIP for my BSL using partner, so it can be done.

The sad thing, was that 67% of her peers in her deaf club did not get it.  A lot simply handed over the forms to relatives and lost the claim immediately because they did not understand how to fill it in, it was compounded by the total lack of any professionally supported advice, either from the CAB and other disability advice tareas, or, the dedicated sign language areas, who had no-one qualified to advise on benefits.  What existed was fragmented support and a total postcode lottery.

The best advice the deaf groups gave (There were no advice areas from the HoH),  was to contact someone else, not them, in this case, the RNIB, a charity for the blind, and deaf-blind, not deaf BSL people.  They supported us brilliantly, followed up every query and made all the phone calls too.  If groups like the BDA/AOHL/Hearing Concern/Link/NADP/UKCoD ARE able to use telephones they showed no ability or desire to do it, why do they insist deaf can use telephones when they are highly selective if/when they do ?

By far the biggest issue was no face-to-face support with the DWP to understand things, indeed contacts although widely published on their sites, never got an answer when used.   The RNIB brought them to our home and we had the support to understand the form, and to ensure the assessment was done properly.

Questions should really be asked by deaf people about the point of many of their support groups, given near all of them failed to actually support at the business end where it counted.   Even at this late stage and despite many many concerns from the deaf and HoH, there still remains no active movement to support these deaf or HoH people, lots of campaigns about the DWP and well-founded, but still no pros taking them to task from their allotted 'representation'.  Complaining won't do, as the DWP are immune to that. 

The irony of reading the CAB/BDA et al advertising PIP BSL advice on youtube was tantamount to hypocrisy if truth be told, a complete PR excerise, they had no actual communication support in their offices, could not afford it, and had no trained staff on the ground as back up...  Their obsession with sign and culture has left deaf people without money to keep a roof over their heads, support to maintain their health, or empowerment towards being treated equally, and they need to focus on real issues and problems deaf and HoH people have.

Please allow me to extend my thanks for the support from the RNIB, and let the deaf area feel thoroughly ashamed at its disgraceful neglect of people with hearing loss, please, get back to basics.  Culture is a luxury that is impoverishing where it really counts, and it doesn't pay bills either."

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Are BSL lobbies Anti-Inclusion ?

E.G. SignHealth a charity purported to support deaf people in health issues NEVER defines who these deaf people actually are except they use BSL, none of the BSL groups do now, it is assumed Deaf use BSL, end of.  

As such, others who are deaf or severely so, are not included for use of vital services, this means a division of support, to people with mental health and other issues, simply because they didn't sign.  Do they not suffer enough via mainstream neglect ?  This charity and many other BSL ones insist it is 'simply' providing access for the deaf signer who are neglected by others, so they add to it by neglecting deaf who do not sign well enough for them ?  explain the logic...

The problem is the *charity commission (The UK state recognised Charity overseers and monitoring body),  are accepting the all deaf sign/all signers are cultural gig and ignored the hearing loss aspect.  When ATR queried that with them, the BSL lobby had added 'culture', meaning you could not lobby them for access, without being seen as attacking them, despite there being no statistic to prove who IS cultural and who isn't.  188,000 are declared deaf in the UK, 15,000 insisted in a census they were cultural.

Culture requires no defining, you just need two people doing same things, maybe not even the same way. 15,000 may not be 2 people, but their statistic belies their unilateral claim. Such is the Politically Correct and Liberal approaches of the millineum, everyone is a minority now.  It was game, set, and match, to the extremes.  Such people align the deaf person with cultural minorities, like the Sikh or Urdu speaker...  They lost the fight in wales trying to align BSL with the welsh language as they were not allowed to use BSL there because it was found to be based on English, they then were accused of 'disability discrimination'. They lost that too, so it was a victory of one minority over another,  but it also shows us the duplicity of deaf cultural lobbies using hearing loss AS a disability to try to win the point, when they did not aspire to that. Fraudulent ? or fair game and valid opportunism?

The *CC failed to understand that hearing loss and deafness crosses ALL minorities, indeed all majority, all disabilities, it is wholly democratic and not confined to the BSL user at all, or even all 'Deaf' insisting they belong to an indefinable community of deaf people, simply based on deafness.  The *CC still insists they cannot challenge singular BSL charity aims even when it fails to include others, they are serving a 'minority' not included anywhere else, but this was not true, and undermines the concept of true equality of access, fairness and inclusions, it gave BSL people an opt-out.  It is simply acknowledging loudest voice wins, even when it is abusing equality laws ambiguously for minority gain..

UNLESS support services/charities openly stated 'Deaf AND HoH', they are not circumventing any access laws... this law needs amending so true inclusion is seen to be operating, and not being allowed to drive forward divisions, and separate people by mode used, or decibel lost.  This was the main focus OF instigating equality laws, but seems to have empowered divisionist minorities instead, whom no-one is able to effectively challenge and it is affecting support and funding options for others they don't include anyway causing hardship..

Today there is no attempt whatever to include anyone else.  ATR suggests such dedicated BSL/Culture groups STILL do not provide access for BSL deaf who need captions too, and uses uninformed bias on loss awareness, so Deaf who needed that to avail themselves of services, still could not because their communication format was not the same, despite their hearing loss identical, or they needed more than  one access mode. You signed or were left out. You were then expected to use services designed for others, a setup BSL groups were formed to oppose. Others suffer neglect BY BSL groups, and BY their systems, and charities became legitimised, despite practising division via exclusive sign use, AND by non-signing access approaches.  If isolating the HoH was OK, then fine, isolating the BSL user was fine too.

We are told there is no point in complaining, BSL people have a right to access in their own language, so if people want e.g. captions, or other access, to organise own lobbies.. but this feeds into the non-inclusion gig by isolating access provision by comms used, or decibels lost, a violation of the basis of access and equality campaigning.  Either we are all together for access, or we aren't.

It is not lost on other hearing loss areas, BSL groups still lobby at access to THEIR services, on the same grounds of hearing loss, there is complete inequality of campaigning and huge opportunist bias. Indeed fraudulent lobbies in many respects, dedicated to isolating us all more, for some isolated and preferred 'Deaf' communal choice, they insist they want alternatives and choice, in the mainstream. You have to in it, to win that.  There is no inclusion in isolation, or in a narrowly-defined cultural setup.

It is too easy walking into own prisons and locking yourselves in it by choice, because it is easier than tackling inequality 'out there'.... and like most prisons you get 3 meals a day for free too.... but you cannot expect equality or inclusion using that approach, you are doomed to permanently fighting your corner, and playing the martyr card, at some point you will cry wolf too often... and nobody cares.

New imaging of the inner ear...

The Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering has supported researchers from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Harvard Medical School to develop new ways of imaging parts of the inner-ear. By helping medical professionals see these, until now, hidden parts of the ear, it is hoped that clinicians will be able to provide better diagnoses for patients that are hard-of-hearing.

Now in its second funding round, the Program focuses on supporting collaborative research projects at Harvard Medical School and EPFL bridge the gap between basic and translational neuroscience, support basic and clinical research, by creating stronger ties amongst scientists, engineers and clinicians, and by training the next generation of scientific leaders.

By working with two universities, one with special strength in engineering and technology and the other experienced at alleviating human suffering caused by disease, the Program helps advance cutting edge solutions to challenging medical problems.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Mental Health and Hearing loss...

New ASL database....

groupings of signs linked together with lines

Although American Sign Language, used by 250,000 people in the United States, is widely recognized as a rich, complex language, ASL learners and researchers have never enjoyed the kind of large, comprehensive database available in other languages—until now.

A new database of 1,000-plus ASL signs and their lexical and phonological properties, developed by students and faculty at Tufts University and the Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience at San Diego State University, won first place late last month in the people’s choice interactive category of the National Science Foundation’s 2017 Vizzies: Visualization Challenge, which recognizes visual conceptualizations that help general audiences understand complex ideas in science and engineering.

Called ASL-LEX, the project is the largest and most thorough database of ASL signs and meanings to date and is already being used by schools including the Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts, and Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston, Massachusetts, according to Ariel Goldberg, an associate professor of psychology who heads the Psycholinguistics and Linguistics Lab at Tufts.

“The database will have a broad appeal for psychologists, linguists and others who are working on the science of language and doing their own experiments,” said Goldberg, whose former doctoral student, Naomi Caselli, G15, began creating the database for her dissertation in cognitive science.

Caselli was studying ASL “rhymes” or “neighbors”—signs that resemble one another in “sign form,” such as shape or type of movement. For instance, the sign for apple and the sign for onion are “rhymes” because they are formed in the same way except apple is produced on the cheek and onion is produced at eye level.

Working with Goldberg and Tufts students fluent in ASL, Caselli developed a coding system that indicates various aspects of “sign form,” including where a sign is made on the body, whether it uses one or both hands, and how the fingers move. She also included information about how frequently each sign is used in everyday conversation, how much a sign resembles the object or action it represents, and what grammatical class the sign belongs to.

Deaf drivers Licence Bill...

House lawmakers voted Thursday to approve a new system to help law enforcement identify people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

House Bill 84 would, at an individual's request, add a designation to his or her driver's license that he or she is deaf or hearing-impaired. That designation would also be added to the registration information of any vehicle in that owner's name.  The identifier system would be completely voluntary. Deaf or hearing-impaired people would not be required to participate.

"This is to address concerns that many of us know about of people who've been injured, even killed, because someone did not realize they were hearing-impaired or actually deaf," explained sponsor Rep. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake, "so that the officer that stops that vehicle will have some advance information, perhaps, about the individual's impairment."

Ball was referring to the August 2016 incident in which Charlotte resident Daniel Harris was fatally shot by a state trooper in his own driveway after a short chase during which he failed to pull over as directed. He was approaching the officer despite the officer's warnings. An investigation found the officer committed no wrongdoing and followed standard procedures.

The measure also includes additional training to help law enforcement personnel recognize deafness or hearing impairment when no indicator is available. The measure passed unanimously and now goes to the Senate.

Deaf-Blind man pulled off jet flight...

EasyJet service was on the tarmac at Edinburgh airport when deaf-blind passenger Frankie Thomson was hauled off it
A DEAF-blind man was hauled off an easyJet flight after the pilot cited safety concerns. Frankie Thomson was waiting for take-off onboard the service at Edinburgh airport when he was led away after feeling a tap on the shoulder. EasyJet service was on the tarmac at Edinburgh airport when deaf-blind passenger Frankie Thomson was hauled off it.

He was later told the pilot refused to take him because he was unaccompanied. The 52-year-old, who has jetted around Europe on his own for 35 years, said: “I’ve never had any problems before.  “I could feel people watching me wondering what I’d done. I felt people were talking about me.  “I wasn’t embarrassed or anything – just confused and thinking what was going on.”  Ed Calvert, a fellow passenger on the Gatwick flight, said: “I was on this flight – felt so sorry for him!”

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Silence for the pop-up Cafe...

Café Ohne Worte is a silent café where customers order food and drinks using sign language symbols in the menu. The café employs, trains, and serves people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Run by students, the initiative is one of the winners of the 2017 Ford College Community Challenge.

Deaf Umbrella

NHS meeting with deaf patients

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Brush up your Grammar (For deaf people)..

A information video about a new course starting September 2017 at the Cit Lit

New online resource to teach sign language..

An innovative online learning resource will help teach Kiwis New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

Learn NZSL, developed by Victoria University’s Deaf Studies Research Unit, will be launched on April 6 2017, the 11th anniversary of NZSL becoming an official language of New Zealand.  Sara Pivac Alexander, Learn NZSL project manager, says the e-learning resource is the first of its kind to provide a large-scale, free, interactive and sequential learning experience for NZSL.

“Since NZSL became an official language in 2006, demand for sign language learning has increased. However, there is a small pool of NZSL teachers nationwide and the number of classes are limited, which means NZSL learning opportunities have not been easily accessible. Learn NZSL aims to change that, allowing New Zealanders to learn from anywhere 24/7,” she says.

“Approximately 95 percent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents. It can be difficult for hearing parents to access local NZSL classes, so this resource will help them increase their understanding and ability to communicate with their child and the Deaf community.”  The course will cover everyday vocabulary, phrases and conversations and is split into nine topics, supported by interactive tasks and 660 videos.

The cost of deaf support...

The daily bill for experts to translate 226 languages and provide appropriate signings for the deaf is £51,000.

There are 160,000 requests for translations – including rare languages such as Zulu – at hearings every year. In 2015, £23,000 was spent turning 591 report pages into Slovenian. Polish is the most requested language for proceedings before JPs, with 5,127 translators needed since August last year.

Romanian and Russian were also commonly needed with occasional requests for Jamaican patois and Mongolian.