November 24, 2009

Deaf Conference at the Vatican

A three day conference at the Vatican has taken place, “The Deaf Person in the Life of the Church”. Here's some footage, but no subtitles (there's some sign language used in parts, including BSL):

If you want to read more about the conference, more here.

June 13, 2009

Queen's Birthday Honours 2009

The Queen's Birthday Honours 2009 has been released. I can only find one deaf related honour:

Order of the British Empire
Members of the Order of the British Empire

Philip Norman SAUNDERS
For voluntary service to Hearing-Impaired People in Bath.

Who is he? If you know, please leave your comments.

Other possibilities, but more generic:

Order of the British Empire
Members of the Order of the British Empire

Ms Kamini GADHOK
Chief Executive and Professional Director, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. For services to the Allied Health Professions.
(St Albans, Hertfordshire)

Ms Alison Patricia MCCULLOUGH
For services to Speech and Language Therapy in Northern Ireland.
(Newtownabbey, Antrim)

Ms Janet Grace Macfarlane SCOTT
For services to Speech and Language Therapy in Scotland.

Comment from Alison: So when is the Honours system going to start acknowledging real diversity?

DirectGov - 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List

See also:
[2007] New Years Honours List
2008 New Years Honours
Queen's Birthday Honours 2008
2009 New Years Honours

April 17, 2009

Dooce Overhears An Angry Deaf Person via a Relay Operator

Heather Armstrong aka is carrying a post where she describes a relay operator conveying a deaf person being angry at the lack of captions.

It was a hate phone call. An emotional hate phone call. A hate phone call threatening to sue someone because the captions on certain Saturday evening shows haven't been working. Where is the person in charge?! They wanted to know! NOW! WHERE ARE THEY, DAMMIT! SHUT UP WITH ALL YOUR EXCUSES! I'll admit, for a second I thought I had entered some weird dimension where the comments section of this website had come alive and was now being read aloud through a telephone.

And goes onto say:

.... the caller was undeterred and viciously shouted things like, "NO! NO! NO!" and "SUE! SUE! SUE!" and even threw in a growl for good measure. When the receptionist tried politely to wind down the conversation the angry person hung up abruptly. The best part? The angry person WAS A RELAY OPERATOR, meaning this was a person hired to communicate for a deaf person.

You can read the full post here.

I know relay operators in the UK use monotone, the argument being that its too risky to translate written English into emotion. I've also used relay operators in the US and they do introduce via text e.g. "sounds happy", etc.

For the conversation Heather overheard, I have to wonder whether this was via an ASL/English Interpreter (given the amount of emotion was introduced)?

My thoughts on this post. Anger. As a stand alone situation, deaf people's anger might be deemed as excessive; yet anger comes from a bigger picture. Do we as deaf people have a responsibility to contain this more, or should we just let it out? Having asked that question, there's always going to be a limit to how much this can be done: we are human, yet I know most people out there do a damn good job at keeping a lid on it.

If Heather experienced a loss of sound via television on a regular basis, she might consider cancelling her television subscription. Or any so called level headed person, a constant tide of inaccess sees to that.

I also feel uneasy that deaf people's lack of access (as a minority group) is compared to random internet trolls; even if done for comical value. Here the two are pulled together for a short term entertainment value of a blogger. And for the record, I can see she's homing in on the skills of a relay operator here; and yes I know Heather has the habit of exaggerating for entertainment sake (I've read that blog for at least five years).

In any case, for clarification, the television company is responsible for its output, be it picture, sound or captions. A receptionist's job is the public face of such a company, and a first point of contact.

Update: I commented. My comment is no. 267. Not the best I could come up with (nor this post for that matter), but its Friday afternoon and I'm so not in the mood to explain.

Ask the Readers:
What do you think?

April 15, 2009

Subtitled Susan Boyle, Britain's Got Talent

susanboyle.jpgSusan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent is doing its rounds on the web currently. If you're looking for a subtitled version, you can find it here.

I know its pure hearie entertainment (some of you might be able to appreciate it, the facial expressions tell a story too); there's a lesson for everyone. Never judge a book by its cover.

April 2, 2009

It Really Takes All Sorts

ChristinaAguilera.jpgA quote from Christina Aguilera:

I’m not really religious but very spiritual. I give money to this company that manufactures hearing aids on a regular basis. More people should really hear me sing. I have a gift from God.

Ironically found on a website called Brainy Quote.

August 19, 2007

Put your clothes back on!

Oh dear. The naked signing newsreaders have had their funding pulled... perhaps that'll teach them not to use SL as a way to make money!?

On another note, however, I disagree with pornography in any form... BUT if people want to make Deaf-accessible porn, shouldn't they be allowed to? And if so, is it fair of the Japanese Government to exclude porn from their access funding criteria? Does anyone care?



August 4, 2007

The RNId's new digital hearing aid...

blingaid.jpg ... not. I don't think even the RNId can afford this hearing aid. For a start, it's made from solid 24-carat gold and is studded with 220 diamonds. It has a remote control. It is expected to sell for over £25,000.

Jeesh. And yes, it's real! It was designed by a bloke called Barry Moule for a company called Widex:

"Creating this aid required the services of Barry Moule a highly specialised London-based jeweller with a unique set of skills. “Though I have produced exotic items such as jewel encrusted mobile phones in the past this is the most unusual project in my career,” commented Moule."

... So it looks like lots of rich hearing aid wearers are going to have to fight over it. Too bad if you want a matching one for your other ear(!)


See also:
Coming soon: will you be forced to get your hearing aids from the RNID?
Autonomy and Gurning
RNId = The New Google?

July 26, 2007

Glow in the Dark Gloves


These Glow in the Dark Gloves produced by Novaglow (a company based in New Zealand) is said to be "originally designed for signing at night". Unfortunately its recharge life only lasts for two hours, not a lot of good for Deafies who like to sign all night, and secondly this company doesn't exactly get it facial expressions are important. However, I can see the fun in a sea of illuminated hands, for some late night gathering, political or otherwise.

For people based in the UK, you can purchase these gloves here.

July 19, 2007

Have we missed something?

Got this from Deafweekly:


A Japanese TV program that combines nudity and sign language made headlines this month when it was revealed that the program is subsidized by the government. Paradise Television Inc. was given about 150,000 yen ($1,231 US) to help pay for sign-language translations of “Hadaka no News Station” (Naked News Station), said The Mainichi Newspapers. The money funds a five-minute segment in which Miyabe Fujino gradually sheds her clothing while presenting the news in sign language. “I generally welcome sign-language translations for TV programs,” said Japanese Federation of the Deaf official Mitsuji Hisamatsu, “but it’s questionable to provide a subsidy for this particular program.”"

The question that must be asked is... why?

(I get the Deaf-hearing-equality-in-nudity argument, thanks... just.... why?!)

- jen

July 15, 2007

Hand Soap


Deafies usually like products involving hands, but this hand soap looks bizarrely a bit too creepy for my taste.

Would you buy it?

July 12, 2007

Bizarre gadget for "couples and deaf-mutes"

Yes, I know I am guilty of not blogging or vlogging here on GOD for ages. Got a lot on at the mo, and anyway Alison is doing such a fab job so who needs me?!

However, I couldn't resist blogging about this vibrating ring/alarm clock thingy for couples and deaf-mutes..! Whatever next?

(If you scroll down to the little man, you will see the speech bubble saying "I am deaf. But I must go to work everyday at 8.30..." - why the "But"?! There is no but. We Deafies have jobs too! Sigh. I hope it was simply a translation glitch, i.e. the English wording in the advert looks as if it may have been translated from another language.)


May 10, 2007


While I have to be impressed by DeafEquipment's creativity, I wonder if anyone would actually wear these?! For some reason, they remind me of legwarmers... and who would wear legwarmers on their hearing aids?!

I wouldn't. I don't wear hearing aids, and if I did, I wouldn't put legwarmers or anything else on them. I wouldn't even wear legwarmers on my legs!

I'd much rather watch this brilliantly cool Flash art that apparently shows you what music looks like. It's got drums playing if you want to crank up your volume... I swear I could see the music playing!

Anyway, I liked it.

May 2, 2007

Under construction (kind of!)

Translation for non BSL users:
Hi, I'm Jen, the invisible vlogger! I am guilty of not vlogging for ages because I've been so busy with various things, but anyway, here I am now. I'd also like to make it very clear that I'm not Alison(!)

Alison and I realised it's not obvious enough that two of us write this blog - well, she does most of the writing, probably because she's grumpier than me - so we're looking for a new theme where we can have small photos of ourselves on each post so you know who's posted what. Unfortunately, it's not technically possible at the moment, but this quite nice white theme will do for now until we can do something better!

And I promise to vlog more. It's important that more of us British Deafies get off our asses and vlog more regularly! It's easy!

March 12, 2007

Boys, boys!

"Wow", you might think; "three Grumpy blogs in one day!?" - yes, but the two good posts below were written by Alison, and not me (jen). We need a new skin, amongst other things.

Anyway, I've finally got round to blogging on GOD after tooooo long (again) because I am annoyed. (Again).

So what has annoyed me? This has. While I'm very happy to see how happy Deaf Americans are with their Deafreaderships, can we please not keep rewriting history? Am soooooo fed up seeing posts that seem to have forgotten that, although Mr Mayer says the Deafread idea come to him out of nowhere while walking around one fine day, actually, came first.

The weird thing was, was featured in SIGnews a year ago, probably in February/March, because it was launched in January 2006(!)

It doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things. It would just be polite to acknowledge us Brits from time to time, for a change. Yes we come from a small island, but we do have good ideas sometimes.

So please don't pretend you didn't notice..!

December 30, 2006

New Year's Honours List

The New Year's Honours List has been published. Deaf wise, these are the notable ones:

Order of the British Empire
Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Dr Evelyn Elizabeth Ann GLENNIE, OBE Percussionist.
For services to Music.

Knights Bachelor

Herbert William MASSIE, CBE Chair, Disability Rights Commission.
For services to Disabled People.
(London, N17)

Order of the British Empire
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Ms Mabel DAVIS Headteacher, Heathlands Special School, Hertfordshire
For services to Special Needs Education.
(St Albans, Hertfordshire)

Order of the British Empire
Members of the Order of the British Empire

Helen, Mrs FOSTER Founder, Saturday Club for Deaf Children, Isle of Wight.
For services to Disabled Children.

November 9, 2006

Save the Deaf UK Four (!)

OK so thus far, four of us have been banned from Deaf UK for various silly reasons: Tony explains it all very clearly here.

I still don't know why I was banned because I honestly did nothing - I was shouted at for forwarding emails and then did nothing at all! Suddenly last night I found out I was banned. I'm probably guilty "by association" because I'm friends with the other DUK Three. That's fine by me, I accept I have sinned by having friends.

Sigh. I simply can't believe I have even bothered to write this post. More to the point, I can't believe what used to be an important British Deaf resource has been reduced to a silly playground-style fighting place.

I'm glad to be out of it, in all honesty.

There are two of us!

Just in case you didn't notice, two of us run this blog - j (Jen) and a (Alison). We are aware it isn't clear, and will sort it out soon! Cheers!

October 13, 2006

How very ironic!

I see that the RNId website has been nominated for an award (dunno if they got it or not, and don't really care)... what made me laugh was the fact that the award "recognises websites that ... are accessible."

So where's the BSL, huh?!

July 18, 2006

Dating around your chronic problem

I picked this up via a tech blog I read, not a desire to find a dating site. Prescription 4 Love is a specialist dating site, for people with chronic problems.

"It’s intended to be a safe space for people who risk serious embarrassment talking about their medical conditions with people who cannot relate."

Listed as one of the chronic problems is: DEAFNESS

"You can improve your interpersonal relationships and deafness situation with an online dating service. It is the perfect place to meet deaf people so they can comfortably share their circumstances."

I've no idea how much this actually costs, why pay for a commercial service run by hearies when you can go somewhere else for free TO TALK ABOUT YOUR CHRONIC PROBLEM?

(Note tongue sticking out of cheek very far).

These people seriously don't get it.

April 10, 2006

A quick question for Deafies

Sorry it's so blurry! Was asking why so few Deafies blog in BSL (vlog).

TIP: Press 'play' and then 'pause' straight away so that the video loads. When it's loaded press 'play' again.

March 30, 2006

rnid expansion

Has the rnid branched out into Japan, or do we wait until this feature as part of their future business plan 5 year Strategic Plan in the UK?

Soon to be found at all tube stations near you, first stop Old Street.

March 18, 2006

Happy BSL Day...?

TIP: Press "play" then "pause" straight away, and wait until the line has got to the other end. Then press "play" again and watch it without the stream stopping or jumping!

Summary: A rant about how no-one is really paying attention to BSL Day this year (except people in Preston, it seems)... and a question: should we really bother marking it anyway?

January 15, 2006

Let us entertain you