Saturday, 25 March 2017

Derby Police: Crime at Home ?

Recently we launched a British Sign Language (BSL) film to highlight the difference between emergency and non-emergency SMS numbers for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The film shows different scenarios and gives advice on what is considered an emergency and what is not, and how Deaf people or those hard of hearing can contact the police using SMS texts across our region.

This video is a snippet from that film, and focuses on what action a Deaf or hard of hearing person can take if, for example, their home has been burgled while they were out or if they witness anything strange whilst in the house, and what they should do.

To see the full video - and to watch other useful videos if you're Deaf or hard of hearing - visit our website:

We also have a PLOD Facebook page. The Police Link Officers for the Deaf (PLOD) scheme consists of police officers and police staff who have received training in deaf awareness and are skilled in the use of British Sign Language (BSL) at different levels.

PLOD use their skills in providing a service for any non-emergency situation where communication support is required as a point of contact. Find them on Facebook via:

2017 A G BELL symposium.

ATR V last Hiccup ?

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Handbags at dawn. Only 3% of deaf people sign, get over it.

Friday, 24 March 2017

CAB to develop BSL services...

New Health equality practice checks on healthcare UK

We've had the law since 1995, now they will check to see if it being enforced ?

Inspections carried out into general practices by NHS regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will include new objectives from next month that seek to ensure better equality for all patient groups.

The CQC has published new equality objectives for 2017-19 in a document intended to target inequality in health and social care.  The regulator said that despite progress on equality, people from some equality groups were still less likely to receive good quality health and social care.

It wants to check during inspections that providers make person-centred care work for everyone, from all equality groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people using adult social care or mental health inpatient services.  The CQC has set an objective to look at reducing barriers and improving access to primary care for migrants, asylum seekers, Gypsies and Travellers, to help address their poor health outcomes.

It will also look at how people in specific equality groups are supported on referral, transfer between services - including adult social care services and health services - on discharge from hospital and in primary care.

From October, the CQC will:

Add a specific question to its Provider Information Request forms (PIR) on person centred care and equality.

Have inspectors examine these issues on inspection.

Build on the PIR response and support this with guidance and informal learning.

Identify, promote and share outstanding practice.

Communicating its expectations to providers and to people who use services by gathering their views.

In addition, the CQC will share information and intelligence with Healthwatch England on inequality.

In the first year of the new objectives (2017-18), the initial focus will be on how providers ensure person-centred care for older BME (black and minority ethnic) people using GP practices, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who use adult social care and mental health inpatient services, and for people with dementia in acute hospitals.

For year two (2018-19), the regulator said it would review progress in the first year’s areas before determining its next focus.

The CQC said that through its inspections, it would also look at how providers were meeting the new Accessible Information Standard introduced last year, which applies to disabled people who have information and communication needs, for example, deaf people or people with a learning disability.

Software that is helping people with disabilities

closed captioning weathermanFCC rules require TV stations to provide closed captions that convey speech, sound effects, and audience reactions such as laughter to deaf and hard of hearing viewers. YouTube isn’t subject to those rules, but thanks to Google’s machine-learning technology, it now offers similar assistance.

YouTube has used speech-to-text software to automatically caption speech in videos since 2009 (they are used 15 million times a day). Today it rolled out algorithms that indicate applause, laughter, and music in captions. More sounds could follow, since the underlying software can also identify noises like sighs, barks, and knocks.

The company says user tests indicate that the feature significantly improves the experience of the deaf and hard of hearing (and anyone who needs to keep the volume down). “Machine learning is giving people like me that need accommodation in some situations the same independence as others,” says Liat Kaver, a product manager at YouTube who is deaf.

Indeed, YouTube’s project is one of a variety that are creating new accessibility tools by building on progress in the power and practicability of machine learning. The computing industry has been driven to advance software that can interpret images, text, or sound primarily by the prospect of profits in areas such as ads, search, or cloud computing. But software with some ability to understand the world has many uses.

Last year, Facebook launched a feature that uses the company’s research on image recognition to create text descriptions of images from a person’s friends, for example.

Researchers at IBM are using language-processing software developed under the company’s Watson project to make a tool called Content Clarifier to help people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities such as autism or dementia. It can replace figures of speech such as “raining cats and dogs” with plainer terms, and trim or break up lengthy sentences with multiple clauses and indirect language.

Blind & Deaf care inadequate...

Problems - Patients with sensory impairments face 'significant issues' with their care, a report claims.
Health services for the deaf and blind in Essex have been slammed in a new report on the county’s care services.

The latest public engagement project from Healthwatch Essex – the independent charity that provides a voice for the people of Essex on health and care services – has highlighted the significant issues of more than 180,000 people with sensory impairments face when accessing and using health and care services in the county.

In 2016, the Accessible Information Standard was introduced, making it a legal requirement for all NHS or adult social care organisations to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information they can easily read or understand and to communicate effectively. Despite this, Healthwatch Essex’s new report highlights a range of difficulties people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, sight impaired or severely sight impaired or Deafblind experience on a regular basis.

Key findings of the report are the impact on dignity and quality of life and the loss of autonomy and confidentiality. Many participants highlighted the fact they often needed to get a family member or carer to make appointments for them, which was inconvenient and in some cases compromised their patient confidentiality.  Regular problems included stiff and rigid booking systems, poor recording and sharing of information and people not receiving information and communication in their preferred format.

Dr Tom Nutt, Healthwatch Essex Chief Executive, said: “One profoundly deaf participant told us that when she asked a receptionist: ‘How do deaf people make appointments?’, her reply was to shrug her shoulders and say: ‘We’ve never had a complaint before’.

“A blind participant told us of an experience where a receptionist told him to, ‘go and take a seat over there!’. Not thinking that ‘over there’ could be construed as just a tad ambiguous by a blind person!  “People told us what they most valued was to be treated as an individual so they can take control where possible.”

He added: “They don’t want to repeat their story at each consultation and they want to encounter friendly, helpful staff who provide them with information in a format that is suitable for them. Doesn’t seem like too much to ask.”

Thursday, 23 March 2017

NHIR Scanning Research of emerging Technology....

Image result for NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre
The NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre has published a horizon scanning review of new and emerging technologies that are being developed for the management and reduction of the negative consequences of hearing loss.

More than 11 million, (approximately one in six) people in the UK are affected by hearing loss, the majority (92%) experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss. The likelihood of hearing loss increases with age, with more than 70% of 70 year-olds experiencing some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss is however, not uncommon in children; there are over 45,000 children in the UK who have a profound hearing loss.

We identified 55 technologies that fitted the identification criteria: five educational programmes, six auditory and cognitive training programmes, five assistive listening devices, eleven hearing aids (HAs) and alternative listening devices, eight implants and devices, twelve drugs, one regenerative medicine approach, and seven surgical procedures. Most of the developments were in early or uncertain clinical research and would require additional evaluation before widespread adoption by patients and the NHS.

Experts and patients picked out technologies of interest including: apps for converting speech to text and sign language to speech, hearing aids and alternative listening devices to support listening in different environments, a fully implantable cochlear implant (CI) system, a closed-loop CI system, and three developments to support the tuning and optimisation of HAs. If these were successful they have the potential to change the CI landscape for patients, improve patient experience and use of HAs, and to affect service delivery and provision.

Deaf V Deaf ?

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How just 3% of deaf people want to isolate the other 97% with deafness and loss. Deafism rule! Another extremist rant from the Deaf thought police central and home of loony tunes Inc aka Last Hiccup, (We wish it was their last!), with enough 'isms' to keep you occupied for the next 50 years.  

Far from 'identifying' deaf hate, he promotes it and extreme viewpoints that are anti-hearing, anti-deaf, anti-HoH, anti-CIs', anti-hearing aids, anti-genetic choices, and anti-parental decisions, and still hating a man dead a 100 years... is there ANYTHING LH does support ? Read on as Last Hiccup rants about those awful 'Hearing students'.

Gallaudet University: The biggest mistake is to allow hearing students at Gallaudet in early 1990’s. That is why it is also much diversion in Deaf community.

The bigger mistake was putting all deaf activism in one place and allowing Gallaudet to be a hot bed of radicalism, where we saw 'hearing hate' and oral-using deaf hate in action..

DPN was a series of hard-fought, locally and nationally organized campaigns, shining the lights of the media to challenge hearing privileges and employment that hearing people took away from Deaf people who are highly qualified for the jobs.

Not true, ASL student activists rioted, caused criminal damage, and closed down classes, denying educational access to their peers.  They even objected to their own diversity representation officer to make Gallaudet LESS diverse, and subjected teaching staff to the 'Deaf Inquisition' to ascertain if they were pro extreme ASL culture or not.

Blocking and closing classes which prevented access to Higher education they need to compete for jobs.  Hardly encouraging people to support integration, inclusion or equality, unless living in a vacuum is their idea of equality, and isolating deaf from the rest of the world.

It saddens me to see that Deaf against Deaf. How can we make it feel like 1988? 

Or even like 1880 ?  not going to happen, this is 2017, get real !


As is typical for these extremists, feedback and challenges aren't allowed. Welcome to cultural equality in action.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Don't leave me out !

Access versus fairness.

Image result for stop the PIP assessments !
More and more details emerging of biased and discriminatory assessments for PIP by the state welfare arm the DWP and through their 'agents' Capita and ATOS.  

As more upset is being expressed by disabled and deaf alike of poor and amateurish assessments of need by obviously unqualified people, it emerged that even being given British sign language support can be detrimental to you qualifying for welfare if you are deaf.  Read on:-

"My partner was not assessed for her issue at all in real terms, she was born deaf with no speech, and the assessor was a physiotherapist (!) who did not address my partner directly at all, but through a BSL interpreter, the view was my partner had no issues of note as she had support for the interview, but none of her questioning was directed at the problem of her being deaf or difficulties of communicating. 

In retrospect should I have REFUSED to accept DWP BSL interpreter help ? and forced the assessor to do her job properly and put huge stress on my partner as a result ? these are the sort of things that really undermine any sort of accurate assessment taking place. I have no doubt whatever had we not applied for BSL communication support the assessment would have been impossible, but it would have displayed her obvious need for PIP."

Just one of many concerns being raised at the UK's determined assault on its disabled and deaf population.  The sting in the tail was the DWP insisting if you make their assessors do their job properly, then this is deliberate attempt to frustrate assessment. heads or tails, you lose.

UK's Oxfam: The UK most unequal country in the world ?

Deaf Brutality with the police...

12 Deaf Plaintiffs Sue Banner Health for Lack of ASL

Accessibility KeyboardTwelve deaf individuals filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Arizona on March 13 against Banner Health, which operates hospitals, surgery centers and urgent care centers in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. (Cook et al v. Banner Health, U.S. Dist. Ct., Arizona, Filed 03/13/2017, Case # 2:17-cv-00758-JJT.)

Allegation: Failure to Provide ASL Interpreters and Communication Aids

The complaint alleges that Banner Health "discriminated against plaintiffs by failing to provide on-site ASL interpreters when necessary, by providing malfunctioning Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) systems, by failing to adequately train its personnel in the use of VRI systems, and by requiring the plaintiffs to reply upon other means of communication, including passing of notes and/or lip reading, that are inadequate for the medical treatment required by the Plaintiffs and the services required by their companions."

Claims: ADA, Rehabilitation Act, §1557 of ACA and Common Law "Battery"

The complaint alleges that Banner Health's failure to provide ALS interpreters and other communication assistance violates: (1) The anti-discrimination clause of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (2) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination against disabled persons by entities receiving federal funds such as Medicaid reimbursements; (3) the prohibitions on both disability and limited English proficiency discrimination within Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which also prohibits discrimination under health programs or activities receiving federal funds; (4) the Arizonans with Disabilities Act; (5) the common law prohibition against "battery" as the alleged lack of effective communication resulted in a lack of informed consent for medical treatment.

Relief Sought

The complaint seeks a range of relief and remedies including an Order to require Banner Health to adopt policies and procedures to provide a range of assistive communication tools including a high-quality VRI system, provide staff qualified to operate the VRI system, enhance availability of American Sign Language interpreters, train staff in legal requirements, and award applicable actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees.

Trend: Dramatic Increase in Accessibility and Communication Litigation

Multiple similar lawsuits by deaf or hearing impaired individuals have been filed against hospitals around the country in recent weeks. The increase in litigation may also be linked to the hundreds of lawsuits filed in the past two years related to allegedly "inaccessible" websites in violation of the ADA. For more information, read ”Healthcare Sector is Newest Target for Website Accessibility Lawsuits.”

Deaf support strike: 16 days and counting...

Workers, with support from clients, walk a picket line Tuesday outside the Canadian Hearing Society office on Wellington Street  in London.  The local agency has about a dozen staff on strike. (Norman De Bono/The London Free Press)
Workers, with support from clients, walk a picket line Tuesday outside the Canadian Hearing Society office on Wellington Street  in London.  The local agency has about a dozen staff on strike.  Critical services for more than 6,000 deaf people in the London area are curtailed as a strike drags on.

The union claims the Canadian Hearing Society is dragging its feet on returning to the bargaining table, keeping 227 workers off the job across Ontario. “The employer is refusing to come to the table. There are outstanding issues,” said Barbara Wilker-Frey, national representative for Local 2073 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“We have been ­communicating with them every other day for two weeks, and there has been no ­uptake.”  The London office employs about a dozen people and covers Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Elgin and Perth counties and parts of Bruce and Grey counties.  Classes for new immigrants are among the programs curtailed by the strike, affecting about a dozen deaf refugees and immigrants trying to learn both English and sign language.

“The impact is huge. The deaf and hard-of-hearing community relies on us for interpretation, for employment assistance and for auditory services including hearing aids and repairs,” Wilker-Frey said. But Gary Malkowski, vice-­president at the Canadian Hearing Society and member of the executive bargaining team, said the union walked away from the table.

“CHS had requested bargaining continue to potentially avoid a labour disruption. After communicating their intent to strike, CUPE handed a new offer to Ministry of Labour mediators but their offer was not financially sustainable,” he stated in an email.

The workers, who have been without a collective agreement for four years, walked off the job March 6.  About 40 per cent of striking workers are deaf. Melkowski said the society is working to maintain services.“We have been able to ensure all priority and essential clients’ needs are met through our services or through partner agencies. We have a robust strike plan which focuses on limiting the risk to the people we serve.”

Staying connected, informed and empowered in Europe.

Staying connected, informed and empowered
Just about the first such event FOR HoH exclusively in many years, but not about equality !

An international event hosted jointly by the National Association of Deafened People (NADP) and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People ( EFHOH) . This is a unique opportunity to meet delegates from hard of hearing communities across Europe.

The event provides an opportunity for you to hear directly from the most senior leaders in hearing care and the disability movement, discover innovative work led by industry, and network with colleagues from across the sector.

Speakers: Penny Mordaunt MP ( UK Minister for Disabled People) Dr. Laszlo Lovaszy (Expert at the UN CRPD Committee and EU Parliament Advisor), Lilian Greenwood (MP for Nottingham South), Søren Hougaard (Secretary General of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association), Mark Laureyns (President of the European Association of Hearing Care Professionals), Gareth Ford - Williams (Head of Accessibility, BBC Design and Engineering), Sarah Herlinger ( Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple) and David Bradshaw (Digital TV Group) are already confirmed to speak at the Conference.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Working with a Deaf Patient

Facilitating Communication with the deaf.

New software helps those with hearing impairments communicate more readily with those who may not know sign language. LP Connect provides users with a virtual interpreter who knows sign language and 150 different languages. (Video by Shyntel Del Aguila/Cronkite News)

Banning Deaf participation in telethons.

How many deaf I wonder  will participate or even benefit via 'Red Nose Day' on 24th March ?  

We yearn for the time when deaf had at least a semblance of pride they exhibited some years ago, when they refused to participate in one red nose/brown-arsing celebrity TV telethon on the grounds it exploited deaf children.   

Today we laud the fact charities portray us all as the medical model and the needy, but not why that is the case.  Not a word about why that image exists. We will see women and children portrayed as hungry and starving, what we won't see are their male relatives, because they are either killing each other or on a boat to Greece.  That the fact they live where nothing can sustain them either, means the money won't do anything but delay the inevitable. What support we give will not make any long term difference.  The agony is simply prolonged instead.

Red Nose day/week whatever is an UK national excersize in patronisation, we are well known as soft when it comes to helping others without caring if they need that help or even why they need it. Albeit humans still take second billing to pets.   Addressing the effects never the cause, and you get to wear a silly hat and trendy t-shirt as well.

RND lacks any moral compass, in that it refuses to recognise the cause of most issues of people with a disability and a hearing and profound loss, is a refusal by our own people to accept and include.  Only last year it was 'adopt a poor deafie and make them feel at home', gig going on.    Wjat upu will see are animals and disabled kids trotted out,because most fund raisers know there is no sympathy card they can use for adults in need, because many tend to 'bang on' about rights not handouts and the unfairness of the UK state systems, all issues guaranteed to suggest to charity givers and fund raisers they aren't going to get any money plugging those people.

They need misery, they need angst etc, being positive simply excludes your argument you need recognition. They need images of people being 'brave' simply because they can still tie their shoelaces up.  If you can throw in some kids and a few assistance animals too, it's a licence to print money.

This is not how to enhance or facilitate inclusion and acceptance, this is negative promotion. They are aided and abetted by relentless charity plugs for more money to enhance more dependency, which they suggest is empowerment, but empowerment should empower the person, not the provider, and the millions in handouts from the lottery which was set up for 'good causes' ends up subsidising state neglect, and jobs for the non-disabled instead.  It's all a self-sustaining dependency industry, where we have no input as to how it proceeds, and has  no bottom line of making itself redundant, so expect the same for the next 50 years at this rate..

There is NO valid reason why deaf would need handouts.  I am sure there will be people immediately outraged on this attack on what is really, an excuse for the worst exhibit of smug satisfaction on UKTV screens, GOOD ! It is basically any excuse for the same, tired old faces, to get a free plug on media, many of whom we had consigned to z celeb status, or we thought died years ago.

We can continue in the same vein by urging Uk bloggers to cease plugging areas that thrive on patronising them, and view their emancipation as a side show or plug for their business activities.  Let's fess up, charity and disabled and deaf support is BIG money, far be it from ATR to suggest that this their real interest in us, but, £6,000,000,000 a year up for grabs, is not to be sniffed at,and the reason most large charities employ not us, but corporate strategists and online spin merchants.    

The charities have entire areas dedicated to corporate dependency and job adverts which disable us applying for jobs because we will never have the opportunity to gain experience with them.  There are no corporate deaf CEO's, no higher education and corporate training facilities for us.  We are their face, they make it their living and future.

RND is a cynical exhibition of media hyping itself.  Another chance to patronise, feel good, then a 12 month break until the next time you feel that sitting in a bathtub of baked beans is doing your bit for equality or acceptance. It seems heresy to suggest we don't want any money at all, but the fact is we don't, we need a mind-set change, and your vote.  Is it too much to demand equity ?

Would it not be a Good idea to run a whole day's TV dedicated to highlighting the failure of charities to fight your corner ? the complete farce of the 'Deaf and HI' remits ? REAL awareness ? or, the culling of 6,000 disabled, killed by the iniquitous welfare assessments approaches by a state, who validate your entitlement along the lines of the Medieval witch trials, throw you in a pool, if you drown you are innocent, if you don't you are a witch and die anyway.

Could we not highlight the fact 68% of deaf and disabled will never get work experience or even a job of use in their lives ? or  Deaf and HoH UK children denied access to an education, contributing to 40% of them inheriting poor mental health as a result ? but that's fine we fund deaf schools in Africa. We even send mentors using BSL to them, mostly because none are interested in supporting their own here, or are frozen out by charities instead.  The UK are the ultimate patronisers, we spend £12,000,000,000 a year proving it.  It hasn't changed anything

We completely ignored the 6,000 UK families every day queuing up at food banks for their next meal, even ridicule and attack them, nor the 6,000 young people sleeping on the streets, or even our Vets dismissed now they have done their job and been disabled for life, risking their lives for errant politicians, not the image we want the brainwashed to see as they frolic in dancing and cooking laughs. anyone landing here from outer space would rightly assume we are all mad as the proverbial.  The USA has over a million doing it, and see no problem either.

Should we allow deaf  people and red nose comedians to make a joke of the fact we despise our own vulnerable by suggesting at least we care for those elsewhere ?

Monday, 20 March 2017

50% of Employers: We don't want deaf people...

One in two employers do not intend to hire deaf people. When he went for job interviews, Mr Alfred Yeo, who is deaf, would be asked how he would communicate with colleagues, or if he could read lips.

Many of these companies would not follow up after. But two years ago, the 38-year-old landed a job as an accounts manager, and his employer made it a point to email all his workers beforehand to share details on how to communicate with deaf people.

Mr Yeo’s experience is a rare one, going by a survey of 77 companies conducted by a group of final-year students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  Only one in 10 employers surveyed have positive attitudes towards hiring deaf people, and one in two admit they have no intention to do so.

Some of the reasons given include concerns that deaf persons would not be able to communicate with clients, bosses and colleagues. Some of them said they had not come across any deaf applicants — perhaps by design.  Born with a dead right ear, Mr Alan Soh would struggle over whether to make it known that he was hard of hearing when he applies for jobs.

Although he has had cochlear implant surgery done on his right ear, the 38-year-old remains apprehensive about writing his contact number on job applications, for fear he would not be able to clearly hear what recruiters say over the phone. “I (was) worried — will it blow my chances of being granted a job interview?” he said.

Even as they see attitudes gradually changing, deaf persons and associations that work with this group did not find the survey results surprising, noting that securing a job remains a significant challenge.  Touch Silent Club senior manager Danny Loke said: “The fear of discrimination is still very real among the deaf community as they often struggle to decide if they should indicate their hearing loss in their resumes.”

CCBC to debut production with hearing and deaf cast

Romeo & Juliet at CCBCWhen James Caverly was presented with an opportunity to direct a theatrical performance with a cast of hearing and deaf actors, the first thought he had was "finally." Caverly had seen productions where the cast had that mix, but he noticed the directors could hear.

Caverly, who is deaf, was eager for the opportunity.  A graduate of Gallaudet University's theater program who lives in Laurel, he has directed shows in the past, but he has never directed a production in which deaf and hearing cast members are on the stage at the same time.

That will change when the Community College of Baltimore County's production of "Romeo and Juliet" premieres March 23.  Running through March 27 at the college's Catonsville campus, the production is organized by the college's theater and American Sign Language interpreter preparation programs. The show is part of the theater program's "A Year in Shakespeare" series.

The play, originally written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century, tells the tale of two lovers from families that are enemies of each other. Rachel Grossman, ensemble director at Dog & Pony DC, a Washington, D.C.-based company that creates plays that keep hearing and deaf artists in mind, said productions such as the one at CCBC are not common.

She said it is "brilliant" that the CCBC production is taking place, as it broadens theater groups' horizons as to how to be inclusive to deaf or disabled artists.  "They're amazing artists and it's a tremendous amount of learning and new perspective when you're including storytelling from many different people and new perspectives," she said. "There's a real rich, broad and diverse deaf community in the D.C. metro area and a lot of talented artists."

The 15-member cast has four deaf actors, including two CCBC faculty members of the interpreter preparation program.

Police in Ealing learn British Sign Language

Police in Ealing learn British Sign Language in attempt to increase community engagement
Police officers in Ealing have started learning sign language in order increase communication with the deaf community. Detective Constable Hannah Rudd, hate crime liaison officer for the disability catchment in Ealing, is the organiser of the lessons.  Last year Detective Rudd attended the Deaf Forum at the Ealing Centre for Independent Living.

Ms Rudd said: “I went along to the forum back in September to talk about hate crime.  “One of the things that came out of it was communication skills with victims of crime.”  The language lessons were started as a result of this feedback.

Alan Murray MBE, chief executive of ECIL, provides lessons to the officers.  Mr Murray, who was born deaf, does not use an interpreter in his lessons. He only uses a PowerPoint to show phrases, otherwise the lessons are fully immersive.  “His lessons encourages the officers to jump right in,” said DC Rudd.  The lessons take place every Tuesday in a classroom at Ealing Police Station. Each lesson has between 30 to 35 officers in attendance depending on availability.

So far, the lessons have received positive feedback from the community and officers.  Acting Detective Inspector Luke Williams said: “Following feedback from members of our community we identified we could improve our communication skills with victims of crime.

“Our partnered approach with ECIL is seeing 35 Ealing officers trained in basic BSL communication skills.  “In Ealing, we are committed to reducing hate crime and will take positive action to keep our communities safe.  “This 10-week course will allow members of the deaf and hard or hearing community to report offences and communicate with investigators.”

Uk's leading HoH Charity zeroed by Deaf activism ?

Image result for CRazy world !One response from the UK's AOHL charity forum, currently under fire for failing to represent the HoH and playing up to BSL campaigners for kudos instead...

"Well done mervyn for pointing out the fact that aohl videos only cater for sign language people and not hoh people. i thought all deaf people are classed as one but obviously not with aohl !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is disgraceful and embarrassing to say they support all deaf people but they don't, all they are doing is selecting and supporting people who sign."

I gather that AOHL/RNID insisted they cannot remove 'Deaf' from their charity aim because it falls foul of equal rights and access laws, because state funding is applicable via enforcement of 'inclusion' policies.  But basically, questions would be asked as it was founded in 1911 for the deaf.  It did OK till the late 50s then the Deaf got the cultural gig going on.

The real 'Deaf' (Their terms not mine), would love the AOHL to exclude them, it would provide a coup and a lot of publicity gain for them, but the nettle has to be grasped, they aren't active members, they are anti-AOHL anyway.  The AOHL tried to play a blinder via re-naming its charity to a 'hearing loss' one with a feeble attempt to draw a fictitious line across the 'Loss', to suggest they are 'more inclusive' and in the process dropped the 'Deaf' from its title as a charity.  About the only time they scored against deaf signers, they suggested inclusion, something the Deaf activist could not oppose.

They screwed up via STILL retaining the term and title RNI(D)EAF for 'Royal' kudos and publicity value, thus zeroing the point of a revamp.   They were a laughing stock for a few years... Hardly presenting a professional outlook as a charity. Who would have though a few dozen BSL and cultural campaigners could hold a national charity to ransom like this ?  AOHL has lost all the high ground on awareness to them and their online presence has sidelined HoH too. Their ridiculous pink/purple splurge on re-vamp suggested it was a gay site not a hearing loss one.  Members offered to do the revamp for free but were ignored as the charity spent many thousands on this pointless and semi-political excersize a child could have done on a lunch break.

The issue of the state insisting the AOHL are an inclusive charity, that was a real cop out, as BSL groups operate openly as exclusive to sign using people and publish most of their output without HoH access or even content, they can still claim state help via 'disability' and 'cultural qualification', despite open challenges to the term disability being applied to them.  The AOHL had no answer to it and found a few signing activists had sidelined 9m HoH overnight.   The Deaf cultural activists attacking the medical models the RNID supported, purely for the social model gain, was based on funding not principle, was pretty blatant, given funding finances their cultural aims, taking advantage of HoH and deafened view, that hearing loss disables.

In effect, challenging the rules by which they claim support and welfare funding support openly, first playing culture against disability, and then playing the disability card to get cash for culture, under the condition they are disabled too.  The AOHL do understand what is going on hence occasional token BSL inclusion and an emphasis on HoH and assistive equipment, but as regards to representation they are third rate by default and it seems by choice more often than not, neatly utilising the Charity Commission rules of 'non-political' stances to avoid direct challenges to the BSL users, another area that has not bothered the BSL using deaf who run charities expressly FOR the reason of pressing for rights, a politcal aim....

The real reason is the respective HoH charities cannot project an HoH image mainstream can follow that is anywhere near as effective as someone using their hands to communicate, and can mobilise a crowd to open a fridge at the drop of a hat, whilst the HoH cannot maintain a club to attend with any sort of certainty..  The ear logo too, was always a millstone around HoH necks, loops, ? there are still loads of aid users who don't even ask for them or for them to be put on when they see them.... The AOHL publicises shortages, it doesn't publicize the apathy of the aid user in utilising them when access is there.   

Use or it lose it still applies too.   There is no impetus to continue wasting money on access that is never going to be used.  In essence, an insistence is abusing fairness, it is 'access for access sake', and drains funding away from access via demand. Lip-reading plugs are still constant but worse, since as recently pointed out, a lip-reading computer beat a HoH lip-reader 4 to 1 in recognizing mouth shapes, the system of tuition is rubbish, part time, not taken seriously, and fails most, the failure rate makes lip-reading tuition unviable in my view.   No other system would be deemed viable with such failure rates, and, there is nobody to ensure quality or clinical/psychological or educational assessment.  A lot has already lost out to text approaches.

The AOHL are desperate to project oral approaches to communication and lip-reading to 'counter' the image we all use sign language and to emphasises they are a HoH based charity now in all but approach.  That in itself is divisive, and a ready source of 'discrimination' and 'oppression' claims from Deaf people.   They need to be a lot more savvy in countering the cultural hype, especially as it is undermining the HoH support base and awareness causing hardship and misunderstandings.

AOHL/HoH support for CI's and genetic research also encourages 'Genocide' claims, and other claims HoH charities want to eradicate sign and culture too.  We know both BSL and LR are divisive modes in class set ups, bias, attendance, and content.  They won't adopt an inclusive approach to assisting people with hearing loss, the claims it is a personal choice is a lie too, as ability dictates, not choice.  I may choose to be a brain surgeon, it isn't going to happen.  The fact culture is applied to communication this way effectively ensures the twain will not meet. 

Most with hearing loss just want to regain social access, communication, and inclusion, they don't want history lessons. Putting HoH 'like with like' is rubber-stamping a status quo they are trying to avoid.  It is inward, not outward looking.  It is being aligned to the 'Deaf' approach which was honed on background the HoH never had so isn't working.  HoH want choices the Deaf don't.

The Deaf added insult to advance, by claiming communication support should be always accompanied by the obligatory plugs on the cultural past, despite 9 out of 10 of them with no cultural past at all.  They cannot be 'born again' cultural deaf, because their genetic line is HEARING.  If you want to join a really crazy world, the Deaf one is a great place to start, a place where hypocrisy is a right, or a HoH one where it is obligatory to do NOTHING and chase an impossible hearing dream by so doing.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Information about HF774 (the DHHSD Bill).

AI advances in lip-reading...

Sophie Raworth

Scientists at Oxford say they've invented an artificial intelligence system that can lip-read better than humans.  The system, which has been trained on thousands of hours of BBC News programmes, has been developed in collaboration with Google's DeepMind AI division.

"Watch, Attend and Spell", as the system has been called, can now watch silent speech and get about 50% of the words correct. That may not sound too impressive - but when the researchers supplied the same clips to professional lip-readers, they got only 12% of words right.

Joon Son Chung, a doctoral student at Oxford University's Department of Engineering, explained to me just how challenging a task this is. "Words like mat, bat and pat all have similar mouth shapes." It's context that helps his system - or indeed a professional lip reader - to understand what word is being spoken. "What the system does," explains Joon, "is to learn things that come together, in this case the mouth shapes and the characters and what the likely upcoming characters are."

Human lip-readers are not likely to be replaced by computers just yet. The BBC supplied the Oxford researchers with clips from Breakfast, Newsnight, Question Time and other BBC news programmes, with subtitles aligned with the lip movements of the speakers. Then a neural network combining state-of-the-art image and speech recognition set to work to learn how to lip-read.

After examining 118,000 sentences in the clips, the system now has 17,500 words stored in its vocabulary. Because it has been trained on the language of news, it is now quite good at understanding that "Prime" will often be followed by "Minister" and "European" by "Union", but much less adept at recognising words not spoken by newsreaders.

A lot more work needs to be done before the system is put to practical use, but the charity Action on Hearing Loss is enthusiastic about this latest advance.

If they can make it a portable option great....  ATR believes only technology will really enable lip-reading, as most who allege to be lip-readers do not use lip-speakers....

UK Charity goes to Europe ?

The Hard sell goes on despite Brexit !

Sheffield: Sign language week.

We’re celebrating the British Deaf Association Sign Language week from Mon 13 – Sun 19 March. Our wonderful Assistant to our Chief Executive and Artistic Director Jackie shares our commitment to support Deaf Patrons here at Sheffield Theatres'.

Deaf express with Jessica...

How do deaf people think ?

More to the point WHAT do they think ?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Journey to resilience....

The Community Education vlog illustrates the journey of resilience which includes the interviews with deaf and hard of hearing community members. This vlog is voiced, captioned, and signed in American Sign Language (ASL).

Gorilla gets hearing tests....

Zookeepers at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida began to suspect Kumbuka, a 20-year-old Western Lowland gorilla, might be deaf after zookeepers had a hard time waking her up in the mornings. 

They decided to look into bringing Kumbuka in for a hearing test during her routine medical exams, when she would be put under anesthesia. Luckily, the Nemours Children's Health System was happy to take on the patient. 

Re-Hab access for deaf addicts...

The Lakehouse will soon offer comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  For more information please email our DHOH Director HERE

Taking BSL to Hearing Children

Not only do all deaf sign, none of them speak or use lip-reading.  Are we sure this is real awareness ? Probably the prime reason deaf awareness is viewed misleading.

WALK into Zebra class at Brimsdown primary and you won’t hear a pin drop.  The 30-strong class of 10 and 11 year-olds are learning sign language with their deaf teacher Lisa Smith.  Lisa doesn’t use her voice, but her expressive signing and engaging lesson – about flags and food from all over the world - has every pupil in the class transfixed.

“It’s fun and it’s nice to be quiet sometimes,” said Ilayda Elbudak, 10, who is hearing, like most of the Enfield 3-form entry school, but has been learning British Sign Language for three years.  Her peer, Hamza Kizilboga, said: “I like the way it helps us communicate with deaf people and it’s fun.”

The school in Green Street, Enfield is leading the way with deaf teaching. They have had ’Hirbie’ (Hearing impairment resource base in Enfield) for ten years where young hearing impaired and deaf children were taught.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Living in a parallel world.

A number of academics and sociologists, think deaf schools ruin it for deaf people.  

The whole system of deaf education seems a hotch-potch of cultural argument, and the state insisting they be included without back up, and without encouraging hearing or deaf to make real effort. Throwing deaf and hearing together and expecting they will find own level. They don't, they maintain the status quo.

Many deaf leaving deaf education never manage successfully in mainstream, so that is an indictment of it, but mainstream them isn't working either.    It is easy to blame other areas as to why this happens.  Maybe the unpalatable truth, is the will is not there.

There is little doubt sign is highly beneficial for born deaf, but the application and deaf educational approaches are counter-mainstream in nature, as it does not accept the reality that is mainstream, and how can deaf manage without that understanding, that context, or the skills to address the problems it presents. Sign usage is still only effective via 'support', and still reliant and socially viable, via restricting to peers in your social life.  The fact remains the elephant in the room is that 'third party' support.

UK Deaf schools have been decimated over the years, but the state slipped up leveling the playing fields and offering real inclusion in closing them, by not providing back up in the class, or real-time interactions within mainstream, this gave cultural activism a cause celeb.  It legitimised opposition and division, provided 'proof' deaf aren't included.   The specialist staff did NOT move into mainstream to continue that support, they did instead, retire or go free-lance, fragmenting continuity.  Class tuition one on one approaches, or in annex's, compounded the image of deaf staying apart.   Deaf needed to be apart to function properly.

Technology is wonderful, with that NO-ONE knows you are deaf (At least online !), but it needs to be taken in perspective, even using it to hold down a job, you can get deaf complaining it hasn't leveled any playing field between them and hearing co-workers in any social context, thus  Deaf feel isolated within mainstream because they had no skills to attempt interaction, they relied on others doing that, making 'team' effort very difficult to achieve, employers see that negatively, even deaf failing to make effort themselves causing disharmony. The onus is near always on everyone else, not the deaf.

They can learn lessons from those who acquire deafness and do not sign as to how to at least attempt integration and communication, but the community support the y get from each other, makes them feel who needs it ? The deaf have the technology it still doesn't  work effectively. Misunderstandings can multiply, deaf can still feel discriminated against, and this is because they lack awareness of hearing contexts/etiquette to what goes on, and lack any confidence to engage without help, be it physical or technological.  It's a conundrum they call their status choice.

They have little idea of hearing protocols or social norms they have, deaf education focused on deaf communication, i.e. deaf communicating to each other, but without taking into account, that outside educational tuition support, hearing were doing very different things, there is no 'hearing awareness' in deaf education, and deaf awareness is bias, and unviable, it's not inclusive itself. The ridiculous approach of making 'visits to hearing areas' with class peers, then calling it inclusion is obscene, and achieves nothing,  deaf just carry on relating to themselves.  A day out to see how others live, then back to your 'norm'.

Unless you work in a sign exclusive area, you have got a real issue to address holding down a job or training for one, you won't have the skills to proceed. Education without communication.  This is the prime failure of deaf education, being unrealistic in expectation or accepting deaf go to the deaf world, end of story.  The approach seems to be, that mainstream must adjust to deaf, and not vice versa, because 'deaf cannot do that..' they have already accepted it won't work, they start from a point of negativity, but even enabling some deaf areas, they will still feel when they clock off their jobs, they can retire to some 'deaf space' after, so continuity of interaction is never really there.  The mindset is all deaf.

If you live in a parallel world then everything becomes problematic even academic after, equality, access and inclusions become relative.  Maybe cultural deaf need to accept they never will be equal or included in any real sense of the terms, because their culture relies on them not integrating to most part of it.  They don't have the one on one skills to make it work.  They are happy where they are, but are they ?  They are not because they want equality without the effort and that doesn't happen, so blame is the name of the game..

Monday, 13 March 2017

The power of speech..

From 2016 (UK), but shows deaf really CAN talk.

My story...

Narrative text:    "I have a story – my name is Haley Martin. I am deaf and Aboriginal. I grew up in the Sydney suburb of La Perouse and my mob is ‘Gamilaraay’. I grew up with Aboriginal people and in Aboriginal Community. I went to Aboriginal festival, play sport with Aboriginal people and watch Aboriginal people play football at Maroubra. But when I met other deaf people, I felt a little bit awkward because I was not farmilar with the Deaf Community. 

I felt this way about deaf people until a few years ago when I met a few deaf Aboriginal people. One woman in particular, Joanna, inspired me and helped me to feel comfortable with myself and understand more about being deaf and Aboriginal. She shared her story and explained the barriers she faced being deaf and Aboriginal. She told me to take action and advocate service providers for our rights as deaf Aboriginal people. 

I would like deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal people to be confident, have support to achieve their goals and be able to access services without separating their disability from their Aboriginal identity. At the moment, I am working at the Deaf Society as Aboriginal Officer. It is my role to understand the support needs of deaf Aboriginal people and make recommendations to the Deaf Society. 

The Deaf Society’s vision is equity for deaf people. They want all deaf people to have supports and access to match their needs. By better understanding the needs of deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal people, they will be able to provide supports and services to assist you to live your life, your way. 

So how can you help? Share your story with me and we can make a difference. I’m looking forward to meeting deaf and hard of hearing Aboriginal/ Torres Strait Islander peoples from all over NSW. You can contact me on email or Skype haleym.dsnsw

Everybody has a unique story, just be you no matter who you are, we all have a story to tell and we can all work together."

Assistance dog owner subject to abuse...

Tokoroa's Roger Drower with his disability dog Harper.
A partially deaf Tokoroa man is calling for more acceptance and understanding of people with disability dogs following ongoing abuse from strangers.

A South Waikato District Council bylaw prevents dogs from being taken into South Waikato towns but Roger Drower has special permission to do so with Harper, his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Despite having permission it doesn't stop some people from having a go, which he says is often worse for men.

"[I've been told] I shouldn't show that I have a disability because I am a male," he said.  "There needs to be greater understanding that males do have disabilities as well and may need a disability dog.  "I find it hard to hear in crowds or with background noise around me. Hearing aids just amplify everything, including the background noise, not just the people talking.  "So having Harper means I have a greater sense of security and I am less reliant on my wife and young children."

Drower said people also needed to be aware that disability dogs could be taken wherever their owners go.  "As helping professionals they have special privileges and right of access under the Government Dog Control Amendment Act 2006. They are also protected from discrimination under the Human right Act 1993.  "There are six organisations in New Zealand that can certify dogs for legal public access which means the dog can go with the owner into areas where most dogs can't."

He said that included places that served food, retail shops, doctors, hospitals, libraries, courthouses supermarkets, and even the movies.  Public transport such as buses, ferries, taxis, planes, ships and trains were also not of limits.  "Denying us is a serious offence."

More here in the USA.

ATR Comment: We do not believe deaf people need assistance dogs, but are aware animal lovers,  (especially dog owners), will insist otherwise.  One suspects opposition to hearing dogs for the deaf is based on the fact they do not appear to be assisting owners as dogs for the blind do.  Do deaf REALLY need a dog to go shopping,  and traverse the streets ?  ATR's experience, is that dogs provide poor sign or verbal interactions and yet to hold meaningful interpretation skills.


Saturday, 11 March 2017

In defence of HoH..

Image result for Thought policeCan someone explain who is still rational in the 'Deaf' world the reason, for current attacks on HoH 'terms' via some petty and deluded terminological warfare currently being waged by Last Hiccup (Undone by their audist tagging, a sure sign they lost the plot and, there is NO Power struggle only in your mind), and Ella (Undone by her refusal to include, so discriminating against other deaf people in the name of her culture, I'd suggest staying out of the kitchen when the heat is on..).

Do not be fooled by these people purporting to champion culture, but with own agendas and paranoias, who use sign to engender support for extreme views. The latest people in a long line of the deaf activism which uses deafhoods and audisms (All invented words without basis),  for misleading hearing loss and deaf awareness promotion.

It is easy for people to play to own gallery and insist paranoia is quite a legitimate issue to have to enforce deaf cultural aspirations, none have the courage of conviction to make themselves accessible and thus have to defend what they say to others who may well not know what they are saying.  We DON'T buy it.  Should we encourage all feedback ignoring signed access, treat fire, with fire, why would I NOT be surprised they would then call it discrimination ?  Is not what they are doing the same thing ?

Aka my wife doesn't understand me ? or maybe we understand YOU too well !?  Labels are damaging to Deaf people ?  Was it not the cultural area that started the whole stupid D/d/Audism/Deaf hood set up itself ?  damaging access for millions of others with hearing loss, by monopolising awareness and support, labeling US ?   These divisionists need to get a handle on real issues deaf HoH are worried about instead of searching out ways to take pot shots at others who don't share their view ?  since THAT is the real reason for going at HoH.

You attack the term you attack the people in it, it's a view culture holds too.  To suggest HoH labels them is ridiculous or discriminates, and shouldn't be used is way out of line, the real problem is the total abuse of the term D/deaf by cultural inclined, and nobody knows what deafness means, the clarifications were lost years ago, so ANYONE with a hearing loss can be deaf or Deaf now.  Having realised deaf still stands for profound hearing loss, the approach seems to be 'Let's attack all labels that ID people that deafness isn't a choice or right or even a medical issue..'   The term HoH is not theirs to decide about.  We do not accept the D approaches and have to spend too much time already correcting support systems and awareness classes who lie and mislead..

It is disappointing some cultural deaf have assumed the position, that the best way to promote culture is to 'weed' out those who don't sign, or allude to the view deafness is disabling, and god help them if they retain a remote visage of hearing or speech.

Perhaps cultural 'Deaf' SHOULD go own way and stop interfering with HoH issues, support, emancipation, or hearing loss awareness ?  (staying out of medical support for others and alleviation would be appreciated too, if you don't want it, DON'T take it, end of, we will continue to support these things), because above all, it a right of choice, something signers should, but aren't comfortable with but that is their problem.  

It was e.g. always a lie support such as CI's etc is forced on people, that may be true in non-sophisticated countries NOT the USA or UK, where the option is taken via parents.  NOT welcome were cultural attacks on parents for it.  If you understand the sheer cost of implantations and the reluctance of systems to cover those costs, you will find coercion and 'brainwashing' claims ridiculous, and false, the systems spend their time deterring implants to save money, they would be only too happy to leave children deaf.  A number of born deaf are demanding them as well.

Who are these 'problem people' who hide behind language, culture,  and background, even preferred isolation to attack others ?  the disenchanted ? the disenfranchised ? the plain isolated hitting back in frustration and anger ?   That would be all of them.  These people are basically sad people, cowards, they are hypocrits too, because they prosper via using support and funding intended to help those with hearing loss and other disabled people too.. Culture is not standing alone, it is standing and existing on the support for others with hearing loss. but maintaining some aloof or elitist pose, that is frustrating.

Over the years 'Deaf' activists oppose disablity as a term.  If that does not apply to you, then OK, but it IS an accepted term for many HoH or severely and acquired deaf, so get with it, stop claiming disability welfare and funding too, at least offer some semblance of principle..  Only by 'Deaf' REALLY isolating themselves from other people's areas can we all move on, and offer real ID status, that is a horrific option, as this will offer discrimination to those deaf who have no intention of being marthyrs to some cause celeb by Deaf extremes.  It is not possible anyway.

You cannot differentiate, sign is no longer the sole domain of deaf culture, they no longer own it, and it is taught by hearing, and sign courses organised by them, but used by many others with hearing loss, what annoys purists is the HI/HoH don't view it as intrinsic to culture but just another tool of communication, sign no longer identifies clearly enough with culture, so it offers issues when HOH use it.  Here in so-called 'civilized' areas, we are the only people actually questioning sign use with HoH to this degree.  

If activism by Deaf continues this way, then requests will go to support areas and charities to isolate 'Deaf' from everyone else with hearing loss, to promote harmony and clarity, and an end to the Deaf and HoH remit, this would pitch people against each other in the name of equality, a concept Deaf still do not really understand or can manage.  If they wanted real equality and access they would be encouraging others, and they don't, just offer up 'concerns' about who uses what word to describe someone else, you could understand it, if it was derogatory this is just dubious dogma, a sub-dept of the 'Deaf thought police'.

This would be a damaging indictment of deaf cultural aspiration, who do not seem to have got rid of their sign extremists and use culture as a blunt tool to express bile and create problems of harmony and unity.  It's clear the omission of access in vlogs for other deaf is the 'Deaf way' of retaining their clique approach to everything, but it would in the end, restrict freedom of choice and access to their own membership.  

There is no real 'fun' preaching to the converted, and worse promoting the suggestion we are all out to get them or something !   Deaf independence comes with issues, we do not think Deaf want these issues or the image of being discriminatory of others, I think that will kill off access for culture who would be isolated by default, and restrict opportunity for signing deaf, we don't all want to prisoners of culture, there is a world out there, and the idea of existing in a very narrow world 'In' there isn't really viable or wanted....  

Progress will/has rendered such oppositions pointless, at the end of the day, deaf will choose for themselves and a happy isolation is a system no-one wants.  We want the same as everyone else, but must accept we will have to manage the same limitations too.  Nobody gets all they ask for.