Friday, 11 August 2017

BSL TV, has it any point ?

Recent social media complaints the BSL 'Zone' program was repeating old news to fill in program slots, has exposed the reality (Apart from emulating hearing TV), that in fact no TV program, let alone a 'Deaf' minority one, can compete with the immediacy of the internet, or appal to the majority deaf and with hearing loss, because of its exclusive nature..  

This latest 'news' Item was shown many months ago and repeated far too early for people to be unaware it had been on before. 'Another chance to see..' the old standby by all TV stations (And a few UK deaf bloggers !), to repeat till your eyes bleed, being aired first, they might have got away with it.  It was shown in part on the SEE HEAR program and national news too. It is sheer laziness on behalf of the program makers, who assume the deaf attention span is shorter than the average mayfly, so they won't notice, but on deaf social media the deaf did.

ATR responded with the realities:   

SEE HEAR and the BSL Zone are dated Deaf TV concepts. Most has gone to YouTube and elsewhere already. They serve no point these days except to bolster London Deaf egos and encourage the concept of the 'Deaf Luvvie'.   Same old deaf crowd determining 'Deaf' everything and with no real experience of hearing loss awareness in most part, there just because they can sign and get access to 'disability' funds, to continue to promote their own view as a specialist disability area (Just remove the term 'disability')....

Such output dedicated to people who sign,  cannot keep pace with the net where 10 minutes ago was history.  BSL Zone did its own survey sending people around UK deaf clubs (Those that are still open !), to tell them BSL Zone existed, as most had no idea. There has been no appreciable increase of viewing.

SEE HEAR continues to be ignored, so it has to go, it was never an equal access program for those with deafness and hearing loss anyway.  HoH were excluded by default and non-signing deaf. Who can forget (Many tried !), the deaf club quizzes and reluctant deaf presenters being told to bungee jump and wouldn't. Or that the real in-fighting took place on the BBC SEE HEAR website which had to be closed down because of heated Deaf V HoH arguments, and had to exclude BSL deaf responses until it got out of hand ? 

An issue that SEE HEAR should have taken up and sorted out by inclusion, but instead removed the option to talk about its output, re-enforcing the closed shop attitude of the BSL areas they played to. Ignoring the reality of hate posts from their own people. They knew the real attackers on the website were their own sector determined to oppose inclusion of others,  ensuing continual 'jobs for the boys'..  Viewing figures were so low they cannot be noted because they do not reach a basic level to be recorded.  As a 'minority' program the BBC cannot remove it as it does others that fail to get viewers.  So we are stuck with it, even if we never look at it.  Inclusion by passed for a cultural whim.

These are TV programs that are determined not to move with the times, or current acceptances.  Yeah they got HD and a few more gizmos, but the content isn't there and hasn't the wider appeal of the majority with hearing loss who see it a program that excludes them.   There never was enough content to promote a dedicated program as SEE HEAR knew, it is why they only transmitted a few months of the year not weekly.  They kept ending up with the same old faces all the time, they had reached cultural saturation point after 15 years.

It's sole saviour is a reluctance by the BBC to get rid, in case they use the cultural exclusion or rights card, itself an abuse of the access law, the BBC said if no-one watched it they were still bound to air it, which is ridiculous.  Of course serves nil purpose to the 'Deaf' either, the program isn't supported by their own sector.  The niggle of poor inclusion aspects led to the creation of BSL Zone, which does more of the same, just in a laid back manner so they don't obviously look like they are doing the same thing.  In essence it allowed major TV media to move them out of sight.  An issue of be careful what you ask for that created that situation.  You want to stand alone ? You got it.

What the BBC did was move sideways instead, and relocate the SH program out of sight.  Deaf lost major access to the prime TV slot, had its input removed from the BBC website too,  and ended up after midnight or early AM transmission. Far better they included the HoH and deaf of all types in TV output instead, give them real access, not tokenism programs for the few, this just pigeon-holed them and everyone else.   We aren't a special case, we are a non-included one.

With the proviso such inclusion is NOT used as a platform to propagate BSL and cultural access to the exclusion of other loss areas, or, turn participation or inclusion into an automatic lecture on biased awareness.  

It has severely restricted deaf arts and actors to minority output for good, making them one-trick ponies only fit to perform in select areas with others the same as them.  Not least it takes away the desire for deaf to be included, and participate in the main event, as someone who isn't there because they are deaf or sign, but there on artistic merit. It is uncomfortable to watch deaf acting in TV mainstream where the lecture and sign is the main event not the story.  

That is what seminars are for, not acting and the arts.  Even a recent inclusion where a main TV program included a deaf woman in a family search was looked at as some 'breakthrough' when it should be a norm.  It was not lost on ATR, the BSL terp was kept OUT of view, quite rightly it is about the person not their support. Good for the TV program there.  They understood.  It is a pity Deaf arts and such do not....

It's a complete turn off.  It doesn't work anyway.  It just moves these deaf into a corner where everyone accepts they cannot or won't move out of that corner anyway because it suits them to stay. The news item is far better covered with captions anyway.  It cannot be lost on the Deaf cultural area its major event of the Deaflympics is completely ignored.  Time for deaf and others to come in out of the cold and stop playing the martyr card accept the realities and get out there pitching, but get there on MERIT.. use access properly, to enhance, not to self promote.

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