Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Deaf employee experiences: 2016 Report.

National Lip-reading week

A pupil's viewpoint.

It's interesting regarding how pupils can 'bond' in classes, but is that the primary focus of classes ?  I saw the classes as a way out of being restricted who I 'bonded' with, you are hoping attainment of the skill of lip-reading is your passport out of isolation.

As a 'tool' to enable me to move outside the isolation I was in. There seems a point of using the social aspect to put 'like with like', but my driving aim was to be enabled outside that restrictive focus. I thought that is the aim of learning to lip-read, a 'way back' to mainstream, not a sideways move to only socialise with people who also have poor hearing.

I can understand the lesser stress value of it, I wonder how the motivations work in classes ? especially e.g. young people who want to be 'out there' not forever 'in there' with people who cannot hear well either. This is meant as no disrespect to other class mates, but what aims you have, after all we have to survive in a hearing world, not a hearing loss one. 

Are classes outward looking or just focused on some sort of mini social club set up ? And with people you may only see 2hrs a week for about 6 months. Also young people didn't want to attend classes where older people were, like most young people anyone over 18 is one foot in the grave ! BSL classes are completely different, NO-ONE with hearing loss in them, just relatives of them, or others wanting to work in the field. I'd like to see all present class taken on the street as an integral part of learning.

There can be age-related issues.  It happens still, because the difficulty in accommodating an older person with a severe loss, can halt the class progress, it's not by design but default, and one tutor could not manage the issue, so they refer them on. 

The referral elsewhere effectively removes the communication support they need. Ideally those with effective hearing should make way for the worse off in need.  The focus being addressing the issues before they arise, but not accepting the pupil are there pretty much as a last resort, not first. Obviously if you can teach someone to lip-read BEFORE their hearing gets too bad all the better, but the issue as we all know is people don't seek help until it is more difficult to teach them. 

There is e.g. no system designed to assist a newly deafened person. It is postcode lottery as well, there is no further area to refer these people to, when a class cannot help them. Teachers need to watch the class dynamics, because the students/pupils form clique's by decibel, this deters those in difficulty who feel left out. If they feel not part of the class they will leave. 

I'm on record anyway as not wanting and/or classes, be they BSL or lip-reading, I think it is a divisive and pointless situation that doesn't include a holistic approach to need via abilities. A pupil may well ask for an lip-reading or a sign class, but hardly suited to either, so inclusive approaches, clinical assessments, should replace both, and the teacher attaining higher qualifications in psychology..

I'd like to see extensive tuition too, at least an intensive year, and far more than 2 hours a week. A communication qualification too, without a bottom line you have nothing to 'achieve' have you ? This why sign language succeeds where lip-reading doesn't.  Even if the sign qualifications do not always regard access to hearing culture as a priority.

I get pretty hostile responses from BSL people for that, and, opposition from HoH who say I am opposing their preference. My point is simple, preference isn't the issue, it is NEED. Far too many at the end of their tether being deafened at later age, are simply being abandoned, if the classes are a 'way in' they need to up their game somewhat.

Teachers who 'refer' them to social service etc are literally casting these people straight back into isolation, because the system of support isn't there.  Once a deafened person feels there is no help even at a class, then they won't try again.  They will live online forever texting and never meeting anyone face to face, which is what socialising is all about.

A new way is needed.

Campaign for sign language interpreters at GPs

Two Hellingly teenagers who were born with rare speech disorders are calling for sign language interpreters to attend GP surgeries. Lara Goring and Eddie Osborne, both 18, are calling for a change to current system to make access to interpreters easier for people with speech and language disorders. 

Under the current system Lara and Eddie, who both attended St Mary's School in Bexhill, are forced to take their parents to doctor appointments to help communicate, which the say can be embarrassing if they are discussing personal issues. Unlike deaf people, patients with speech, language or communication needs are not entitled to an interpreter when visiting the doctors. They can apply in advance for an interpreter to attend, but must give plenty of notice. 

Lara said: "If there is an emergency you can’t get a speech and language interpreter to come in instantly, so it would help to already have those rights there." Lara, who can talk but finds signing more comfortable, was born with a rare disorder called Cat Eye Syndrome, which affects various organs in the body as well as speech.

Deaf children are being 'let down'..

Children during a lessonDeaf children in the North East are less likely to get five good GCSEs than their hearing counter-parts, a charity has revealed. 

Government figures show that deaf children in the North East are 18% less likely to get 5 GCSEs (including English and Maths) at grades A* to C.

With thousands preparing to open their results this week, the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has urged Government, local authorities and health bodies to provide the support needed to close the gap between deaf children and their hearing friends.

Jo Campion, deputy director of policy and campaigns at the NDCS, said: “It’s clear that deaf children are being failed.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Deaf in the Outback: Australia

Are Deaf people cursed ?

1 in 4 Australians may go deaf....

There are only a few things more important to Brett Lee than cricket.  Hearing is one of them.  “I can’t imagine cricket without sound,” he said.
“On the field not hearing the appeals and the crowd, off the field not hearing team mates or at home not hearing family.” Brett is the Global Hearing Ambassador for Cochlear, an organisation that develops implants to help those suffering from hearing loss.

He was at Cochlear’s global headquarters at Macquarie University on Monday to help launch Hearing Awareness Week.  Held from Sunday, August 21 to Saturday, August 27, Hearing Awareness Week aims to raise awareness of hearing loss and encourage people to get their hearing checked.

“Hearing Awareness Week is important because it gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of hearing loss and remind people to take care of their ears and get regular hearing health checks

Deaf Europeans smuggled Into Israel to Work as Beggars.

Police arrested six people on Monday suspected of smuggling deaf people from Eastern Europe into Israel, forcing them to work as beggars and confiscating their earnings.

The six are suspected of serious offences, including human trafficking, false imprisonment, forced labour, assault, rape, withholding passports and conspiring to commit a crime. Police said they were detained in a “swift, professional and covert investigation,” based on information from the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority. The trafficking in deaf people was first revealed by Haaretz almost two years ago.

Three of the suspects are from Rishon Letzion, with the others from Ashkelon, Netanya and Bat Yam. They are believed to have brought deaf-mute people from Eastern Europe into Israel on tourist visas, forcing them to work as beggars, often treating them violently and extorting and threatening them.

Police say the ring provided the beggars with housing, took away their passports and confiscated a significant portion of the money they earned. One of the victims is believed to have been sexually assaulted, police said.

The beggars come from relatively poor countries, like Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Estonia....