Monday, 15 May 2017

No more Deaf and HI thank you.

Image result for cutting the cord
ATR's plea to UK's major hearing loss charity, to cut links and cooperation with cultural deaf and BSL using areas, and reject the 'Deaf and HoH' remit as both nonviable and misleading..

"Can AOHL launch OWN hearing loss awareness 'week' and concentrate on those with it ?  This years' 'Deaf Awareness Week' (like last year and the years before), prioritises sign language and culture at the expense of those with loss who do not use BSL or belong to that area.  ATR was shocked to see the UKCoD/RAD et al promoting awareness of hearing loss via deaf sports and deaf culture and deaf BSL, often, with nil captions included at all.  

Such areas are synonymous NOT with HoH or non-signing people, they are culturally-based.  As soon as the D is there, AOHL has lost the awareness ground.  It lost that awareness ground years ago when BSL deaf walked away from the AOHL. The issue of inaccessible and biased content is also being ignored. Not least funding is being expressly given on an inclusive basis, which is then duly ignored or circumvented.

Let culture get on with it, and without your help, they don't need it anyway.  If loss awareness of the majority with hearing loss is to be real, then we need to SEE actual people with it during an awareness week and we are seeing an image and awareness and a communication format that has nothing at all to do with them. The sad part of it all, is these areas are using the 'Deaf & HI' remit to 'suggest' other areas ARE included, by occasionally adding some captions as 'justification' even when the content clearly has nothing at all to do with hearing loss as an actual sensory issue, but some sort of cultural thing created by discriminatory hearing people instead.

This week the AOHL posted online 12 tips that suggested lip-reading was a lot more effective than it actually is.  Let us suggest they are not accurate.  AOHL also shares co-membership with charities that are not loss based at all.  The myth of lip-reading needs to be explained properly, warts and all. We need realism in the awareness portrayed, some honesty and truths being included, and it should not be left to lone posters and individuals to explain the stat images we are seeing online are almost totally  irrelevant to them or their daily experience, and dedicated charities misleading by omission of factual base.  It's a complete free-for-all.  

For the sign user it is all image, for the charities all about funds, when is going to be all about people ?  It's time to cut the chord of the deaf and HI remit, and concede we are neither a united area, mutually supportive area, or even the same culture or communication-format using area.  

It is not discriminatory to identify the right area you are campaigning for and supporting.  Inclusion has failed, so has awareness.  YES there are grey areas, NO it doesn't justify all these blanket statements and fictitious statistics being aired. 

AOHL can start by cutting all BSL service provision and letting the BDA get on with it, so AOHL can truly serve its core membership and assist the 10m HoH currently with no services at all.  Yes we know the BDA is incapable, poorly supported and lacks professionalism, but its time they put up and raised their own funds not rely on AOHL to do it for them.   They want a stand-alone communication and cultural support area ? now is the time. The talk stops now learn the walk.

We know initially the AOHL stands to lose money because BSL is a money spinner, mainly because AOHL has NOT concentrated on the needs of the most, and because they were unable to identify their own area, or interact with them on a meaningful basis.  In the long term, if money is AOHL's only consideration then 10m customers are better than a few hundred BSL activists. 

Can AOHL not see plugging BSL is taking the support AWAY from their own core membership, and promoting someone else's need instead ?  Let us have a week that explains problems 10m people have, and accept the realities.  It's time to move on..."

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