Author Topic: On the Edge - you were right about something  (Read 371 times)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
On the Edge - you were right about something
« on: 06 Apr 2020 12:48AM »
I could have just added this to the other thread but I wasn't so sure you'd read it.

It's about invisible disabilities and a discussion else-site.  Some people were getting ranty about couples shopping together instead of one shopping and the other staying at home.

Some of us pointed out that whilst many may be shopping together unnecessarily, maybe some need to be together.  An example I gave is of where two people, perhaps a couple but not necessarily so, live together and one can't be safely left alone in a pandemic, e.g with a mental condition that could leave them at risk of wandering off.  But where could you leave them for a few hours during a pandemic when so many places are closed?

So the issue of things like badges, cards etc. came up, and I mentioned the sunflower lanyard scheme that's been mentioned here and some of my local shops use.

I thought that this is a situation where on the one hand shops should be reaching out to see which customers might need extra help or allowances, but it would also be not only sensible for people to consider wearing a lanyard but really if they have invisible disabilities, now's the time to be wearing it, not just for their own sake, but to 'protect' the person they're with from aggro.

And of course, the person wearing it may not understand well.

That being said, I realise now how little public awareness there actually is.

I had a friend who had a severe mental illness, whose husband was severely physically ill (he pre-deceased her).  For years, they got on wonderfully.  She provided arms and legs, he provided calm, rational thought and decision-making.  That makes it sound more rigidly divided than it was, but you get the picture.

So whilst I still think people have the right to be cautious a lot of the time about outing themselves as disabled, maybe now's the time to be saying to our fellow disabled people that if they want others to be understanding, they've got to be open.

Oh wotsits.  I've gone and agreed with OtE again and when posting else-site I've been influenced by what he's said on here.  Don't worry, OtE, we can find something else to go hammer and tongs over! 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #1 on: 30 Apr 2020 07:20PM »
I have to be right at some point law of averages lol.  I keep forgetting where my link is sorry! Erm yes regarding accompanying family to shops I have no choice personally, my partner is unable to travel alone without my help as I communicate for her as well, as I do for my Autistic son.  Her only other option would be to never leave the house at all not even for exercise.  I don't find badges posters or tattoos on my head or even TELLING people regarding how they can helps, its wasted time.  We tend to use the same shops all the time and it never varies much, and these retail areas know us well now so we don't have any issue regarding shopping as such. 

They helped my Autistic child to learn how to shop himself/work out money/change, which was the community in action.  Yes, we could use online delivery i.e. IF it was viable, mostly it isn't because selfish idiots all seemed to get there long before me and I would have 2 week wait.  What I have to do is go to the shop, when they see me they prioritise home delivery then, but I have to go there first.  The problem is everyone has a different idea of how to raise awareness and its not viable.  You have to have 'global' approach to it, not a this suits me but won't suit anyone else approach so OK, the individual is a hindrance. 

I understand this is the thrust of most disabled endeavours but.... its about practicality.  The needs of the many outweigh the preference of the few sorry.  I spent 15 years arguing this out with the Deaf BSL area a real pain in the access bum.  They just divide people and put themselves first, I have a real problem accepting their right to do that.  I don't believe the equality or inclusion laws were enacted for that purpose.  If awareness doesn't work it is OUR fault for not having a coherent approach to it. Others shouted louder than we did the systems went with them. 

If you have  10m people with a hearing loss suggesting 10m alternative ways to help it is not going to work.  I suppose other disabled will disagree because they have different needs but they readily accepted the wheelchair logo and let that apply to everyone for them it seems to have worked but other areas are going it alone and causing awareness mayhem result half of us get re-labelled something else etc.  Disabled united everyone else did not. my area refutes the fact they HAVE a disability which I suppose does wonders for disability-Deaf entente cordiale. 

Deaf want to be seen anything but disabled except rather cynically when funding is about or welfare claiming, but then it isn't a disability either its a cultural right, I suppose again the idea is to keep moving the goalposts and confuse, it works.  I tell you what I found with this pandemic, we cope quite well with social isolation, why? because for us there has never been much else.  Will we see a groundswell of care-minded helpful after, erm.. wot you fink!
« Last Edit: 30 Apr 2020 07:24PM by On the edge »

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #2 on: 01 May 2020 09:31PM »
AHL - aargh!  I think they do a lot of good, but I wish they'd make up their mind - are they supposed to be helping people with 'hearing loss' (which I assume includes people who  never had it) including culturally Deaf people, or are they a culturally Deaf organisation? 

I'm all in favour of Deaf people having a cultural identity, I can think of lots of win-win reasons for adding BSL to the national curriculum etc. but we're not all keen to become Deaf just because we're deaf,  and somehow organisations like AHL and local deaf/Deaf organisations need to get their act together over it, otherwise it annoys deaf and Deaf alike.

But then I'm one of those that went ape when Bipolar UK published an article ferociously proclaiming "I'm not bipolar, I have bipolar!"  Could you imagine someone ranting "I'm not arthritic, I have arthritis" or "I'm not diabetic, I have diabetes"?  People have the right to choose, but I don't want a loudmouth charity dictating how I see myself.  Yes, although I see the value in that tax concession called charitable status, I don't like the sort of big national charity that tells people with whatever condition that can disadvantage them what they should think or feel about it or what they're needs must be.

But back to telling people, I think that sometimes it can help although I do think that you and I would probably agree that what would help all of us most would be to keep promoting courtesy and consideration in society.   Maybe, longer term, a 'don't assume' campaign.  There could be examples like "He doesn't have a white stick, but don't assume that means his sight's good."  "She's smiling, but don't assume she's not hurting inside."  "He's not limping, but don't assume his balance is good." etc.

Having had hundreds of falls, having for a while needed to use a white cane, having had to explain to countless people that I have rubbish hearing, I've come up against nastiness, but mostly kindness.

Mind you, I suppose we each have our own approach.  I bore people by endlessly telling them about a shop assistant I had a joke with.  I used to go up to the till and say "No thank you, yes I do, yes please."  In turn, he'd try to catch me out asking the questions first.  "Do you want a bag?   Have you got your loyalty card?  Do you want a receipt?"  We'd waylay each other in the aisles whilst I was shopping and he was re-stocking shelves, competing to see who could get their first with questions or answers. 

So for me, I turned it into a joke.  For others, that would be totally out of their style, and you shouldn't have to learn the questions by rote so you can answer them without hearing them.  Each to their own.  But by turning it into a joke, which helped me personally, I also raised awareness, which I hope helped those who exercised their right not to go round announcing how deaf they are.

Stay well enough for us to keep flinging our arguments at each other, won't you, OtE?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #3 on: 02 May 2020 11:30AM »
Raising own awareness.  I do it too, but the reality is it won't help to raise yours, or even raise awareness of another deaf person who will be doing own thing too.  I intended a lengthy rsponse for your light reading but decided Ouch too was not the place for it try here  https://attherimmm.blogspot.com/2020/05/in-praise-of-ouch-too.html

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #4 on: 02 May 2020 07:59PM »
I just read your blog entry - lots of interesting points.

I think we might disagree on one aspect of BSL.  I think it should be on the national curriculum.  That's because I think it has a range of virtues besides communicating with Deaf people.  I think it's useful for communicating with people with speech difficulties and for people who later become deaf either temporarily or permanently, and for a small proportion of people who can hear and speak but find it cognitively difficult.

However, my biggest argument would be its effect on the brain.

It's known that being multilingual is protective against some of the most common forms of dementia, and having a visual/physical language develops connections in different areas of the brain from a spoken/written language.

To that extent, I'd see it as important as some other subjects our government doesn't value curriculum-wise such as music, dance and art.   When I was at an independent school, although what the school bragged about was that my year got more A-levels per girl than any other girls school in the country that declared its results,  they considered it important to teach us to repair a loo cistern, to do hand and machine embroidery, to play lots of sports, to do flower arranging.

My big personal difficulty was writing.  The concept I grasped as young as three and I was onto reading adult books by six, but I had problems with fine motor control.  I'm not sure I'd have got through school without the physical activities.  I think BSL would have helped as well.

It's also shown that thinking in different languages affects our ability to see things from a variety of perspectives.  I have learnt to read and chat in many languages, mostly forgotten over time, and the different way things are plugged together in different languages gives us different perspectives.

I also think that we might want to consider practicalities in other contexts.  I have industrial hearing loss (military).  How much safer could many very noisy workplaces be if the next generation grew up comfortable signing?


So I will admit that whilst I consider BSL to be a core British language that we should value the same as Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, and, being rebellious in my views, recognising Scots (= Scottish English) as a language, I think the arguments for widening people's knowledge of it go far beyond that.

All that being said, I think there's a lot of overlap in our views.  You and I, with our varying levels of deafness, also need a society that is adapted to our needs, just as a well-functioning society needs to maximise the effectiveness of its citizens.  Not that our government cares about that (I grow perilously close to an all-out political rant here).  To me, what sums that up is closing the Remploy factories.  People made things in them that people wanted to buy.  So they were closed and Remploy turned into what I'll characterise loosely as an employment agency.  But they haven't found jobs for all those formerly gainfully-employed disabled people now stuck on benefits.  Lose-lose for them and the taxpayer.

I hope you could 'hear' what I said ok, even if you thought it was twaddle!
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #5 on: 04 May 2020 07:34PM »
Someone just called me a radical?  Is that a good thing you think lol  I just think there is no black and white just a very vague shade of grey.  Awareness and campaigning have become a response by rote and repeat more than moving with the times, and instead of campaigning, they are doing the same old cut and paste stuff day in and day out.  I don't find ANY of it relevant.  I find a lot uninformative or plain inaccurate I was reading the same stuff in 1970. Ergo 10m HoH, ergo 50.75.98/150K deaf sign users, its got ridiculous and I don't think those areas understand the stats mean zero to everyone else since not a single one can be proven, and even if they could prove hearing loss, they could never prove what degree of need was wanted by them.  Only systems can and their numbers are in a few 1,000 nowhere near the claims being made.  You get half a dozen deaf who missed a BSL translated CORONAVIRUS update, all of a sudden they are launching a court case there is none at all, interpreters are being 'banned', the sun is about to explode immediately, all they had to do was change the channel, or even look at my blog and find at least 47 areas they can get an update in whatever format they want.

I suspect my credentials don't fit the image they have of what a deaf person is.  No wonder nobody takes any notice any more, which is sad because there ARE people who need help and support and they just got lost in translation.   I got a very simple response when I brought that up from the Deaf community, your access, your problem.  I don't think unity comes into it and you can not succeed without it.  We are just voices in the wilderness while this farce plays out, there are times I think please don't give these people a vote or we are all sunk, then find out they have, DOH! I am giving the HoH a spot now lol poor devils although they have cracked the issue and they don't need to campaign at all any more the cure they found.  Perhaps less mileage in being a martyr than there used to be.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #6 on: 04 May 2020 11:40PM »
Actually, if you think of any other campaign where people actually take legal action, actually go to court over something, they tend to be just a proportion of people affected, not all.

However, if there's no indication on the screen when they switch the television on that the BBC has sign interpreters on one of its channels (not BBC1/BBC2), how do they know that that's where to look?

Incidentally, I know I get ranty about it, but I do wish that my fellow internet users would remember that actually quite a few people out there don't have internet access, particularly if poor, and disabled people are more likely to be poor than other people.

You may say so what if a relatively small proportion of the population isn't kept up to date. Well, maybe little harm, or maybe a lot more if they go out and infect others.

I don't think wanting the government to have BSL interpreters at their briefings is any more unreasonable than wanting them to put out the information in a range of other formats, so that some people can read it, some can listen to it etc. 

To me, in the context of a pandemic, it's rather like the issue of blind people who aren't on the vulnerable people list for home food delivery. So what?  Well just don't grumble if there are blind people wandering round your supermarket and down your road inside your social distance.

I don't see it as they win, we lose if another group gets adjustments, I see it as win-win because there's an acknowledgement society has to work together inclusively.

By analogy, I felt good when Jewish Voice for Labour spoke up about anti-Traveller prejudice.  Precious few else are speaking up about it.  JVL could, if they want, just focus on antisemitism, but they don't.  They also speak up about islamophobia.  To me, that attitude is symbolic and important.

I want equality as a non-signer.  But to me, an acknowledgement that BSL is an essential communication language for some British people is no different from an acknowledgement that Welsh is, and no different from saying that some of us need written information, and no different from saying that some of us need written information to be presented in a way that doesn't require excellent vision.

So I sypathise with your frustration over the focus in some Deaf/deaf circles on what appears to be a priority for Deaf needs, but at the same time I don't see this legal action as them versus us, I see it as part of an overall pattern of acknowledging needs, happening at the same time as other campaigns and actions for inclusiveness.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #7 on: 06 May 2020 11:22AM »
I respond only to point out to those who are online insisting the access isn't there, presumably THEY know where the disadvantaged are, their support should as well.  Obviously, those without online access will struggle.  I can't be ar*ed to repeat where the link is again, I already told their mouthpieces where it was, that job is the BBC's or whatever passes for a deaf information area or even their two TV channels, it's not my 'job'.  I Just point out their spokespeople are not doing their jobs properly and inventing situations that don't really exist because they never bothered to look it up.  All I can offer their 'court action' is proof they have no case which won't make me popular will it?  I gave them all links to what they wanted or needed to see, I can't do any more than that if they persist in ignoring it.  A BSL win won't do you or me anything, it's only their particular access they are interested in.  If I had half their support 10m HoH would get what they need.  They will turn up to open a fridge.  The legal action is an example of discrimination in its legal form it isn't inclusive it doesn't identify the need and really cannot display a norm.  I don't like go it alone areas.  It stands to reason only by unity and a significant identified support can anything succeed.  So no its a court case to raise BSL awareness again access is already there.  Some may find that dogged determination to go for it at every opportunity, I just think so much more could have been achieved so a waste of time really.  SEE HEAR and the BSL ZONE are two prime BSL avenues of information anyone with a TV set can utilise and see, the deaf sat on their bum and, launched a court action instead... Why are we even allowing them such channels free when they aren't doing anything to justify their existence?  Because they are a culture? not buying it.  On those grounds why haven't we got one...

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #8 on: 06 May 2020 12:35PM »
Do you feel that way about other minority groups that argue that they should be provided for? 

Do you object when a group of motorised wheelchair users say 'we're totally dependent on our wheelchairs, we're not getting proper access to core services' and ask that proper arrangements be made for access to basic services?  Do you object when people with learning disabilities ask for information in Easy Read?  Do you object when poor sound discrimination want core public announcements not to have background music/competing noise? 

You see, you say that a win for them won't win us anything, but that's where I would disagree.  One of the first things that struck me at law school was how much the law depends on the little cases.  If you think about it, the modern law of tort (negligence and all that) revolves around one stroppy customer who found a snail in a bottle of ginger beer nearly a hundred years ago.  

These days the tabloids wouldn't make up their mind whether to use pictures of the snail together with headlines like 'disgusting find in food' or whether to express scandal that the court system should occupy itself in such expensive detail at appeal over the matter of a snail.

But without that stroppy customer, Mrs Donoghue, arguing her case all the way up to the House of Lords, which then establed the modern legal concept of 'duty of care', we'd all be a lot worse off in terms of our rights.  That principle, and more to the point our ability to sue someone who  breaches it,  protects us from a lot of harm, whether as customers, or in the workplace, or when using a range of services and facilities.   As you go about your daily life, maybe just pause to think of how much safer you are because of all the people and organisations who take extra care because they don't want you to do a Mrs Donoghue on them.

The general principle also triggered a cascade of statutory provisions.  People grumble about ridiculous 'elf'n safety' rules until it's them that's injured and newspapers make up spurious claims about such provisions.

In other words, a win for BSL translation might seem like it does nothing for anyone else, but actually if they win, it can cascade down because the government will then consider whether there are other things they could or should be doing to avoid this sort of faff.  More/better subtitles?  Better leaflets through doors instead of a naff letter from the PM saying precious little in unhelpful language?

Let me give a different analogy.  Let us suppose that a handful of people who've taken a particular medication claim they have a problem with it and sue.  You might think very few people take it and very few have a problem.  But the court's judgement in the case can be relevant to oodles of other medications.  We rely in this country to a large extent on statutory provisions as regards drug labelling, but they're still led by court decisions based on negligence.  

Maybe what this comes down to is that you and I have a very different understanding of the role of the functioning of our Common Law system and its relationship to statutory provisions.


I can fully appreciate that you find it frustrating that where you are it appears that the key drive in relation to deaf people is for Deaf people and that there doesn't appear to be the support you need or want or deserve for people who are deaf but not Deaf.  I don't justify that and would find it frustrating as well. 

I also fully appreciate that you find it frustrating that some key organisations relating to deafness appear to both of us to get in a tangle over whether they're there just for Deaf people or also for deaf people etc. with no obvious non-D deaf organisation to focus on our needs.  I do think that this is an issue that needs sorting.


At the same time, you seem to take exception to Deaf people asserting their needs in a way that wouldn't compute to me in relation to other groups.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2020 11:56AM »
Well, I don't agree with the D or d thing its a discrimination and a divisive thing, in that being true then what follows isn't acceptable either.  The BSL access thing doesn't really exist as such, be it wearing of masks or someone standing next to the PM signing.  My own blog I gave numerous examples where the claims were not true basically and took the trouble to tell people where that access was and on their own dedicated sites.  They chose to blank it all and continue campaigning and promoting the lie.  I think as we are all dedicated to improving our lot and raising awareness we need to stop doing it on any singular basis. In the deaf case, this has meant bias, and indeed allegations of bullying of deaf people.  I am not targetting that area as such only in that it is perhaps the sole area I do have the experience to comment on, I got burnt mixing in with another disabled day one so once bitten etc.  They too have fixations of particular areas and strong 'individual' approaches.

I believe we (Disabled as well),  were sold a pup with enablement, access is still poor still random, the access and inclusion laws just paper,  and just because a few are happy with what they get won't do it for me.  I would not go as far as to suggest the hearing loss area is any more special than any other disabled area, but a db here and there makes ALL the difference, much more than some degree of a disability otherwise might. We belong to an area where 40% of deaf children have mental health issues (The UK norm is 25%), and a lot of adults clearly do as well as having learning disabilities, some tend to take everything very personally and become hostile.  They exist in a communal vacuum and isolated so fearful of change and any suggested change puts them on the defensive. 

Despite all this, I do feel we don't just sit there and 'get on with it'.  It's not healthy physically or mentally.  Disabled generally do not have campaigns about cultures and language etc or sectors of it that disagree with each other to such an extent they don't lobby for the common cause or support each other.  Whether the disability movement is united I would leave that to you to comment, I tend to think they are certainly a lot more united than we are and less likely to ignore each other and draw lines in the sand.  I started with a disability coalition group, the first in south wales, what I saw there I want to see again everyone working together for each other, not opposing.  Over the years I have read 'Disabled got wider doors.. what did we get?', 'We aren't disabled', and more stuff in that vein.  I went to the Launch of the 1995 DDA and the deaf ignored that too, they were quick to take the funding benefits of it and, go own way regardless.  Perhaps something the hard of hearing should have done and we would not be in the mess we are now. 

There is a deaf arts thing that uses the term 'crips' e.g. you get active BSL members of that area who don't want to be associated in any way with that terminology or even called disabled, but there they are, taking the funding to self-promote a 'culture' that defines if you are deaf, or not.  I find it all hypocritical.  The argument I am attacking their need for more access I'm afraid is not taking into account the reality or the area reality.  But it is an excuse used to silence me raising the issue by calling me a discriminator and abuser of deaf people, there is no room for the faint-hearted in the deaf world I can assure you.  I'm sure I am viewed as some Don Quixote but if you don't try you don't succeed, I am hopeful as time goes by our young people will see through the cultural haze.  The clubs and special schools that fostered it all are on the skids so that is a real start.  By removing that area influence more people start thinking for themselves.
« Last Edit: 18 May 2020 11:59AM by On the edge »

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #10 on: 18 May 2020 01:51PM »
I'm really struggling with what appears to be a very hard objection on your part to people who are 'mother-tongue' BSL wanting to see a cultural aspect to it.  I don't personally see a difference between that and, say, some Scottish people seeing a cultural aspect to being Gaelic speakers and/or Scots speakers, and some not.  Neither group is any more or less Scottish.

On the other hand, just as I'd see an objection to Gaelic and/or Scots speakers who see themselves as real Scots, and others not, then I can see how it could niggle if you've been up against deaf people who see themselves as 'real' deaf people because they're culturally Deaf.  Yes, I'll still use the capital letter because I see no difference from that and using a term with a capital letter for describing any other group with a shared cultural identity.  I find it a very useful shorthand for the distinction between those that see deafness as identity and those that don't.  I don't believe it makes one group better than the other.

I do think we're never going to agree on the value of BSL.  I grew up with what they'd now call glue ear and we then called 'being catarrhal'.  For some years, I was profoundly deaf.  I grew out of that, although I had some residual sensineural deafness from ear infections, but the severe deafness I have now is from military service.

I look back and think what a fantastic difference it could have made to my childhood and teens if I'd been able to use BSL as well as English and French.  Lesson after lesson after lesson spent copying from textbooks because I couldn't hear the teacher.  Left out socially.   But if our society taught all children BSL, or if not that, at least Makaton, there would be so much more inclusiveness.  



I get the impression from all you say that what's happened to you is that you've worked hard to improve things for deaf people, but that your experience again and again is that in the circles you've moved in, culturally Deaf people have effectively dominated the deaf scene at the expense of non culturally deaf people, who have needs just as great, just different.

I suppose that can also map onto other conditions.  Our society thinks it gets it with blindness but actually can't get to grips with the fact that you can be unable to walk safely down the street without a white cane or someone to guide you, yet not be registrably blind, or, conversely, that you can be recognised as blind but still have some vision.  My mother was registrably blind but didn't use a white cane (just a walking stick) and those close to her didn't know how little vision she'd got because of the nature/context of her activities (e.g. women clustering together in huddles, physically helping woman with arthritis down steps etc.)

To me, those little bubbles we live in were most comically encapsulated by the chugger for Guide Dogs for the Blind who stepped out in front of me to demand whether I could imagine what it would be like not to be able to get to where I wanted without something to guide me.  I acerbically pointed out that yes, I could, since she'd stepped out in front of me as I'd tried to navigate around her with my white cane.  Oops!

But she was in 'real blind people have dogs' mode so simply didn't register a white cane, didn't even notice it.   My guess is that where you are, there are people who are in 'real deaf people use BSL and see themselves as Deaf' mode and don't register your equally disabling deafness.

I suspect, though, that there are aspects of this that you and I will never agree on.  My views are part linguistic, part legalistic, part political, part  religious.  I don't usually mention the religious aspect because many people feel very strongly about such matters, but I don't distinguish that from things like 'philosophy of life' or 'moral code' or 'ethics'.  And just as religions vary, so do people's other codes.

Nevertheless, I do feel for your annoyance that clearly you've been up against situation after situation where catering for the needs or seeming needs of culturally Deaf people seems to have been used as an excuse for not catering for the needs of other deaf people, which I think we can agree are not adequately catered for in our society.

As for the language surrounding disability, I doubt whether there'll ever be unanimity on that.  It's like the furious arguments that can break out if someone who regards themselves as 'having bipolar' objects to someone else saying that they 'are bipolar', and heaven help the likes of me, still often describing themselves as manic depressive and talking of the 'manic defence'.  (I.e. mania not as a separate thing, but as a phase of depression where you over-compensate.)

But come on, it could be worse.  Just think of the endless arguments over what it is or isn't ok to call a woman who isn't a transwoman, whether it's an insult to call her a cis-woman or born-woman rather than just a 'woman'.  The Deaf/deaf think is as nothing as compared with that crazy fight!

But whether you and I will ever reach an agreement over whether Deaf is meaningful or whatever, at least  we can agree that people who are deaf but not culturally deaf/Deaf, have needs that our society, including a range of organisations ostensibly helping and/or representing deaf people, is doing a rubbish job at catering for.  Oh dear, now I need to resist launching into a 5000 word irate dissertation on background music in shops, cafés, documentaries, news bulletins...aargh!
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #11 on: 18 May 2020 06:15PM »
BTW - thank you for being prepared to debate this with me - even if we never end up in agreement, I'll understand your position better and therefore that of others and be better able to be considerate in my dealings.

Also, given that I get a very, very strong feeling that you've had personal experiences of what I'll roughly call social exclusion by culturally deaf people, that's an eye-opener for me, because I've not experienced it.  I like to learn how things are for others, because if I don't learn that, how can I look at what needs improving in societal issues, and what little things I might do towards that, even if it's just meeting people half way?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
Re: On the Edge - you were right about something
« Reply #12 on: 25 May 2020 11:35AM »
it's a situation only time will solve.  As you say my view of equality means doing your own thing your own way tends to prevent that really happening.  I am I suppose the Don Quixote of the hearing loss area in many respects, but to paraphrase an old Frank Sinatra song 'oops there goes another rubber tree plant.' in that it was a view if you stick to that point and chip away eventually you have to get there in the end and topple that tower.  I don't see it as an assault on freedom of choice, mostly because I don't believe choice or preference has much to do with it. I don't know anyone who prefers disability. I do read there are people who 'prefer' to be deaf, blind or wheelchair-bound.  Even a group in the UK and USA who deliberately disabled themselves because they 'envy' the community ethos and closeness the Deaf have.  I did a blog at the time where I infiltrated that group and saw advice on 'how to make yourself deaf by sticking knitting needles in your ear etc.

Which I considered was more a mental health issue than a desire to break own isolation by 'being one of them.'  An excuse to justify the belief well what can we do about it?  deafness or other disabilities are, so just get on with it, which I do anyway.  Looking at the bigger picture that tends to mean coping/managing your issue means you tend to accept nothing much can be done about or no changes will ever occur etc.

I don't go with that obviously.  Some deaf areas took it a step further declared not being able to hear was a right etc and started to attack others who sought out cochlear implants or hearing aids or promoted oral approaches to alleviating hearing loss, they justified attacking other people's 'choice' (Or their parents choice),  by saying it demeaned them and their culture.  At that point, I thought that's the line you are not allowed to cross.  Nobody can be 'more equal'' than others. You may be entitled to your view no matter how obscure it is, but, you cannot go at other people's.  Do no harm to others.  Obviously the Deaf can bring in the heavy weaponry then by throwing discrimination claims at you regarding their 'disability' (Despite not accepting that description of their issue), and you going at their culture by default as they don't see the difference.

I have never seen them able to defend a lot of it outside their own closed areas and social aspect.  Where curiously the image promoted is one of deprivation and discrimination.  The other elephant in the room are the other deaf and those hard of hearing, currently playing lip-service whatever they do because they can not be bothered to challenge the fact the Deaf promotions are undermining support for them.  They too run scared of being accused of some discrimination or other, so cest la vie rules and stand well clear seems to be the order of the day.  I never chose to do that but to challenge the fact promoting isolation as a necessary norm to protect culture e.g. is undermining equality access and integration, awareness is done by rote with no real desire to take advantage of any door that is currently closed being opened for them.  If it is they can demand where that door leads to and usually, that is back where they started from.

Of course many deaf have no time at all for the nonsense as managing their daily lives takes higher priority.  I think most is online and done by people who barely rely on sign at all or are able to function in hearing and deaf situations without much issue, but the tail is wagging the dog.  Recent closures of deaf culture charities and support charities for the deaf has shown such people are wasting huge amounts of disability funding and undermining support for their own too. ELDS saw 130 deaf left with no cover after the charity was found financially incapable of running deaf support, 70 deaf staff lost their jobs too, the BDA saw ALL their trustees mass resigning and they still run that charity on some feudal based system threatening members with legal action if they disclose how that charity is run.  The RNID/AOHL sold off their deaf care too and assistive device market.

It suggests to me the emphatic over-focus on the cultural aspect overrode common sense and created neglect of duty and care to the deaf.  I have complained to my MP that culture should not be recognised as a charity at all also that any area setting up a charity has to provide proof of a capability to run it and a cause that is recognisable.  You and I know the CC is a government arm in reality and they are quite happy to let disabled, deaf, whatever, screw it all up for themselves, then blame then doesn't go their way.  So I suppose I want support charities that try to emulate a system the government and health authorities abducted years ago should be closed, and state care returned again.  It is a simple admittance we made a mess of it ourselves and it has allowed care to deteriorate not improve.  Deaf and HoH charities blew it.

I also thing the equality laws are now unviable.  Having been at the launch of the original back in the 90s I knew then the acceptance of the '90s Act was a sell-out. We wanted to stick to our guns, our charities wanted the funding and saw a way to run care, so we lost.  All I am seeing now are re-runs of issues the Act was supposed to have addressed.  the state divided the disabled and the amateurs moved in to screw it all up.
« Last Edit: 25 May 2020 11:38AM by On the edge »