We Can Do Everything Except Hear? By Mervyn James


More grist to the ever-growing mill of deaf independence and the myth that it actually exists. Savage cuts to UK deaf and HI support are throwing out of work what jobs deaf people were able to get, and removing hard-won hard of hearing financial support and back up, because they are labelled the same as those cultural deaf despite not using same systems or communications or allude to a culture.

Much anger is being seen recently online over UK ‘gestapo’ state attacks on support to get deaf and disabled into a job, with the main Minister showing real signs of clinical schizophrenia, and the UK media targeting the poor and disabled as a drain on the workers, most of whom are claiming extra welfare support to top-up their wage, because UK Employers won’t pay them a living wage to live on, indeed, the low-paid employed are the primary recipients and dependents of the welfare state at present… not the disabled the elderly or the deaf.

The assessment of need process is seriously flawed, primarily, the issue of hearing loss is non-applicable mostly to any impingement on your physical state. It’s a sensory loss. Most of the early issues revolved around the DWP using physical testing/assessment to determine how your hearing loss affected that. E.G. if you can talk or lip-read, you aren’t deaf, so a fraud, if you can walk you aren’t disabled, so again a fraud, a scrounger, taking money from hard-working taxpayers etc…   Regular checks were made to ascertain IF, your hearing had returned every 12 weeks…. As a result most deaf got nothing at all, now it’s reverting to that again.

It’s prejudice from the rabid UK media mainstream and major human rights abuse and discriminations from the system. It is not helped by ‘Deaf’ people insisting:

(A) They aren’t disabled, and

(B) They can do everything except hear,

So they are taken at their word and will get no allowances for it, or allowances they did get, are now being removed or cut. I hope they can cope with what they wished for, others cannot… We are all deaf but we aren’t all caring about others with it. Which is fair enough for those who manage, but is visibly being attached as a stat view to those others with hearing loss suffering real hardship and getting deprived of support as a result of a very curious belief, deafness is no issue for deaf people, and everyone else makes their life difficult.

This is a core issue of major dissent between cultural deaf (By far the BIGGEST group of deaf people getting financial allowances and needing support), and the HI others who are getting pilloried because the DWP says nothing is wrong with them. Awareness never worked and still doesn’t plainly. The irony of the last statement seems totally lost on most, how can you be culturally deaf and independent without  your support? and support, costs money. Do they understand the word ‘relative’?

Definition of relative:  Something dependent upon external conditions for its specific nature, size, etc.

We only have to look at recent UK A2W issues to see who has claimed the most that way, hardly suggestive deaf are not needy, not disabled, and in no need of help either. They benefit by far from state help, for sure they would know real hardship without  it, and funding underpins their cultural output too.

There has to be a fight back, and an acceptance deafness and hearing loss IS a real issue that blights lives, destroys families cuts you off from life, from friends, from work, destroys self-worth, leads many elderly into their twilight years totally alone and isolated, makes some suicidal, if not the financial means to cope with those things at least a recognition of those facts needs to be accepted by us all. Families don’t help each other much anymore they lead busy lives are struggling themselves so are leaving deaf and HI to the vagaries of state help, which actually isn’t there any more.

Obviously money is an issue wherever you are, but the underlying assumption we don’t have any issues to address, is a killer in more ways than one. We all know what follows pride too…

By Mervyn James


We Can Manage, Thank You. By Andrew Arthur

I’m really seething this morning over something I read that raises a disability issue. Many of us as deaf people know that hearing people have a tendency to move in and take over from us when running things. There was the infamous Deaf Fashion Show some years ago now where a group of well-meaning hearing people took charge of the show and ran it in a hearing way without regard to the special demands of deaf people. The result was an embarrassing fiasco and bad feeling all round. Not what we are looking for really.

The mistake the hearing people made was in assuming that deaf people can be organised in the same way as hearing. At one point they tried to address the crowd with a loudhailer! You can still meet people who were there and were most unimpressed.

What I am getting at here is the rather dangerous tendency of hearing people to take up the cause “on our behalf”. The problem being that it removes control and choice from us and places it in the hands of people who may know little or nothing about deafness or indeed disability as a whole. In the end, we suffer because these people don’t really know what they are doing and we do. This is the battle we fight, against ignorance, prejudice and people who think we need help.

So what got my goat this morning was reading in a clip that a Government minister made a remark that I regard as perfectly true and accurate and yet a posse of hearing people seem to have taken it upon themselves to pillory him for it “on our behalf”. They are not disabled people but without asking, they have waded in to condemn this man for telling what happens to be true!

Disabled people ARE grateful to have jobs. EVERYONE is grateful to have a bloody job!! I certainly believe that disabled people work harder in most cases, it doesn’t necessarily follow as there are lazy deaf people just as there are lazy everyone elses. What these hearing people are doing here is taking what they see as a disability cause and using it to beat this guy up with. All supposedly on our behalf. I don’t like it. I really don’t. I think in the long run it will lead to abuse and we should speak out against it.

Nothing about us, without us.

~ Andrew Arthur

Stronger Than Words by Al Jazeera

A part of me has always been with the people in war torn countries as well as those in the developing countries. I have seen with my own eyes just how their corrupt governments have neglected them, my heart tears with despair, seeing them all alone at the roadside having to strive just to stay alive. Those who are physically disabled were left with no or very little equipment to support them. I am not one to be easily fooled or manipulated yet these were no frauds. For several years now we have donated clothes that will help the poor, cutting out the middle man by sending several extra-large laundry bags full to relatives who would distribute them out fairly. During my last visit there, it became so much that I started to ask my husband to donate some money to them. He obliged – after all how could he say no to me?! 😉

This week is the International Week of the Deaf and Al Jazeera has made a very special film about the deaf community in Gaza. Please follow the original link to their page to watch their video about such strong and inspirational people who happen to be deaf and just happened to live in Gaza.

Stronger than words by Al Jazeera.

Alternatively for the deaf audience, here is their captioned version:

In the past I have written about the dirty war that is being waged in case you wished to read up more on the issues and history between Palestine and Israel.

Please, let us be extremely grateful for what we have today and remember those less fortunate than us.

 ~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Disabled Parking.

Some of the troubles the deafblind have to face – that even we are not aware of just as much, ourselves.

Parking like this is a hindrance, endangers and disables pedestrians using their guide dogs from safely walking on by.

She says whom I quote:

“I have asked my husband to film this for awareness to show how blocking pavement affecting us and evidence. The great way to raise awareness about parking on pavement blocking us, it’s forcing us to get on the road. In the fact, I’m deafblind I’m never able to know if another car is about to come, my guide dog refused to go through the gap because it’s too narrow, it’s very unsafe for visual impaired people with guide dogs, and other people with any assistant dogs, prams, wheelchair. Please be considerate and be kind not to park your cars on pavement. Feel free to share video thank you.”

Disabled Parking.

Disabled Parking.

Hence the title, “Disabled Parking” simply because they cannot park – correctly.

Another friend remarked how the other day, after seeing the above video which demonstrates one of the daily frustrations the deafblind community faces:

There was a van parked on pavement of a quite busy road, there were a chap who lives near me who has blindness and uses a guide dog, last night I was walking Boris and I saw his dog refusing to go anywhere, I asked if he’s alright, he said the dog won’t go further or go in a different direction (because he only knows this specific route to home and he uses this route every day), I said there’s a van on the pavement and he said “But the road is very busy too!” So I assist him different way of getting home without having to go through the traffic. He was very grateful, I left a note explaining the situation and said if it happens again the police will be called on the van (and photo taken with date on it!”

Show us you care by being aware!

~ SJ (Sara Jae)