Hello BBC (and other broadcasters) – from Pardon!

We are deaf, and we need access for all. That’s our strapline and our vision.

We pay a licence fee, full licence fee, just like everyone else. We are learning about politics, for the first time we have been able to understand what it’s really all about because we’re deaf and can’t hear things, but we have been following the General election – finally – thanks to social media and your hard work. We have to say your subtitles for the election were amazing, the best we’ve ever seen, then this… Continue reading “Hello BBC (and other broadcasters) – from Pardon!”

Fake Hearing Dogs

I’m not normally one to read the papers as half the time articles can be over exaggerated or just impartial facts but I’ve come across something today that made me sad. For those of you who don’t know me – I’m profoundly deaf and I have a Hearing Dog from the assistance dog charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, called Inca. Continue reading “Fake Hearing Dogs”

An Open Letter to the CEOs of LOVEFiLM

Dear Ms Fern O’Sullivan and Mr Chris North,

We are writing to you under the auspices of Pardon a social network group consisting of over 3,400 people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Our group focuses on raising awareness and campaigning for access to communication for all people with deafness or hearing loss. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the CEOs of LOVEFiLM”

Gov UK – Supporting customers who need extra help

A while back various people linked to an HMRC consultation which some us participated in. The results of that consultation are now out in full and summary form.

Page 6 discusses the definition of groups needing extra help (how very medical model, why not frame it as ‘more screwed over by systemic fail’?) including deaf/HOH and pleasingly people with mental health impairments who also struggle with phones.

Page 8 identifying that deaf people don’t always have access to telephony, textphones, textrelay or a third party who can act on their behalf (shame their lawyers don’t know this!)

Page 15 mentions deaf people and phone access. Acess to face to face appointments with communication support. Feasibility of alternative access to phone such as SMS or email.


Question for Communication professionals.
What would you do if you went to a medical assessment supporting a deaf person and the assessor asked you to stop providing communication support for any reason? (Call it a dilemma if you like!).

If that happened to you as a deaf person how would you react?

There were lots of comments on our Facebook page about ATOS. Here are a couple …

That happened to me, the assessor told the interpreter to stop signing and for me to lipread her. So I told the interpreter to stop voicing over and for the assessor to understand my signing!
The assessor then apologised!

I have been on the ATOS medical with no support and no aids it was awful she stood in a corner with her back to me and was shouting [I could tell by her body language] words for me to repeat it was pathetic and awful never again I gave up oh and I failed.

One of the Ethos of a NRCPD registered communication professional is “do no harm” and part of the training for the qualification is to have dilemmas like this. whatever you do – as a CP – you are responsible for the client. should there be misunderstanding, it is your role to ensure the client knows. This is especially hard for those CP’s working with deafblind people – but equally important for all. Should an agency or person who books them try to make them work outside that remit, the CP themselves have just as much right as the client to make a complaint to the NRCPD board.

On the matter of ATOS assessments, just been informed a lady had an assessment with a notetaker, she asked the notetaker for a copy of the on screen notes, the notetaker refused saying they were the property of ATOS as ATOS had paid, so she asked ATOS while she was there, they refused, the notetaker told her it was because the notes were a legal document. Now this isnt right somewhere, hopefully it will be sorted when the lady sees her social worker tomorrow

Clearly there is confusion at ATOS and on the notetaker’s part as to who the notes actually belong to. They exist to provide communication support for the deaf person, not ATOS!

Link: Is Hoban and the DWP letting you know your rights on Atos assessment recordings?

UK Deaf Sport

Uk Deaf Sport is working on behalf of ALL Deaf and HoH, deafened and Deaf Blind people. Including as well, people with other disabilities in addition to deafness.

There is a misunderstanding that we only work with people who use sign language. Not correct, we help everyone.

Yes indeed, we do govern deaf sport – under the regulations of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf and the European Deaf Sports Organisations (for European, World and Deaflympic competitions) – but all our organisations are also open to everyone else who does nat qualify under our international regulations. We are here to help you have the best possible access to physical activity and sport and enjoy it all int he way most suited to your circumstances.

UK Deaf Sport

Lloyds bank #Fail

Major Fail!

A response from my bank. It took an age rod find a contact email on their website to complain. Everything was phone numbers. Secondly when I did complete to online complaint, the form insisted on me putting in a telephone number and a time for them to call me to discuss my complaint. Er no I don’t think so!

“Thank you for letting us know about the problem you have with the services Lloyds Banking Group. We always welcome customer comments as it helps us to put things right for you.

As you mentioned you are not happy that Lloyds Banking Group do not offer any other services other than text relay and text phone for our hearing impaired customers to complete their every day banking queries. You have seen that other banks offer a mobile text service to answer fraud calls where you just need to answer yes or no and you have seen that there has been an online chat service introduced by other high street banks. You would like Lloyds Banking Group to offer these additional services as you do not use text relay as you or text phone. You also feel that Lloyds Banking Group is discriminating against you due to the limited services we offer.

We appreciate how this situation has made you feel, however, our review shows no mistake was made.

Lloyds Banking Group currently offer text relay and text phone to our hearing impaired customers there is also a British sign language video relay calls that our customers are able to use through our website the opening hours for this are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm but I understand that you do not use sign language as a form of communication. If you need a, lip speaker or palantypist to support a branch meeting, please let our branch colleagues know. They will provide this support for you. You should expect there to be a two or three week wait for interpretation services.

If you wish to provide your own interpreter we will be happy to pay for this. We simply need evidence such as a business card or letter heading to show that the interpreter has been accredited by the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People.

We did do a pilot last year around a solution called TexBox which uses an application called TexMee. We have some challenges to overcome in respect of implementing this solution and are actively progressing this and looking at potential other ways to implement this. At this stage I am unable to give any timescales although I would say that it definitely won’t be before next year. In addition, we have recently run a group wide accessibility challenge and had a great response. We have collated 514 ideas to improve products and services for customers with a variety of disabilities, which we will be progressing over the coming months. Specific details will not be disclosed and until we know for sure they can be implemented.

Our Disability Services Manager is currently looking into the email contact option as we are aware that other organisations like First Direct offer this contact method. Web chat is also something that we would consider although we are keen to finalise our reviews into texmee service before we look at any further options.

I trust I’ve explained the reasons for our decision. If you wish, you now have the option to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, so long as you do this within six months of this letter. Please find a copy of their leaflet enclosed. I’ve also enclosed a copy of our complaint information which gives you details of our commitment to how we deal with complaints.

It’s important we’ve resolved your complaint fairly. If you feel we’ve misunderstood your complaint, or you’ve any questions or further information, please contact me.”