Do 2 Year Old Self Correct Language When They Speak Recommendations for the Implementation of Equipment and Services for the Support of Deaf People

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Recommendations for the Implementation of Equipment and Services for the Support of Deaf People

Deafness some facts!

Deaf (capital D) – usually refers to a person who is born Deaf, uses British Sign Language (BSL) or Sign Supported English (SSE) and may consider themselves part of a cultural minority.

Deaf (small d) or deafened – usually refers to a person who learned to speak before they lost all or most of their hearing. They may feel lost between the hearing and the Deaf worlds!

Hard of hearing – usually refers to a person who has lost some of their hearing but still has some useful hearing remaining.

Hearing – refers to a person who hears within normal limits.

Many people think that deafness is simply an inconvenient sign of old age in their friends and family.

1 in 7 people (around 9 million in the UK) are affected and many of them are born deaf or become hard of hearing through illness or injury.

Almost 15% of the population in the UK have some degree of hearing loss (1 in 7 people)

For every 10,000:

10 will be born profoundly deaf

20 will become profoundly deaf

100 will be partially to severely deaf / deafened

600 will be audible to the partially deaf / deafened

800 will be a little hard to hear

BSL is the first or preferred language of around 70,000 people in the UK

About 2 million people wear hearing aids (and maybe another million could benefit)

Almost all deaf/deaf and hard of hearing people rely on lip reading to some extent

Many combine BSL signs with English to communicate, ie use Sign Supported English (SSE)

Unlike easily recognized disabilities, deafness is usually unseen or hidden and because of this Deaf or Hard of Hearing people often have to endure impatience or misunderstanding.

D/deaf and hearing people are not stupid and resent being treated as if they were!

Due to a lack of Deaf awareness, people with varying degrees of hearing loss face daily discrimination, exclusion from services and exclusion from social contact.

Deaf and hard of hearing people also have extremely limited access to information and opportunities to develop social inclusion.

Deaf people are usually seen as only hearing impaired.

Losing your hearing as a child or as an adult can be devastating and can have an enormous psychological impact on that person.

People who are Deaf and deafened and their friends and family must adapt to live in the hearing world!

This is a difficult process and the help to do this is not always apparent.

A person suffering from hearing loss may experience:

Shock and denial – especially if the loss is sudden.

Isolation and withdrawal.

Depression.

Loss of confidence.

Avoidance of social and public events.

anger

Sadness and a sense of loss.

Fear of the future.

Declining self-esteem.

equipment

You may need to provide special equipment for deaf people working for or visiting you such as; vibrating fire alarm pagers, flashing/amplified phone equipment, text phones, personal video players for fixed tours, etc.

What should be done to help?

BSL users should be provided with an interpreter at meetings etc!

BSL users and Non-BSL users should be provided with either –

1. Palantypist.

2. note taker (it is not possible to watch an interpreter and take notes at the same time!)

Use a communication support worker.

You have a duty under equality law to train your staff in Deaf awareness and BSL requirements if they have contact with the public.

PLEASE NOTE!

Training staff to BSL level one is like training them to have a signing age of roughly the equivalent of a 4 year old – it’s not enough!

(How would you feel about being communicated at business meetings or public events if the language level was that of a four-year-old?)

BSL Level 2 is a basic conversational level!

BSL Level 3 is the standard by which Social conversations can happen fluently!

BSL Level 4 is the standard by which technical/business conversations can happen fluently!

**THIS IS HOW YOU NEED AN INTERPRETER!** – Level 6 or 7!

For hearing aids –

Build an audio loop system in every location where public announcements or information is provided.

Have it professionally serviced and maintained at least annually by someone who understands how to maintain and adjust these systems! (see notes at the end about sound systems and their setup requirements!)

SPECIALIST TRAINING! – Learn how to use it!

If the microphone is not used, the hearing aid receives no sound!

If the microphone battery is empty, the hearing aid receives no sound!

If the microphone is turned off, the hearing aid receives no sound!

If the people don’t know the loop system, won’t your will know to change their hearing aids to use it!

For those who read lips –

OK – Use a lip-speaker!

& Provide a note taker

(it’s impossible to look at a lip speaker and take notes at the same time!)

SECOND BEST SPECIALIST TRAINING! Train your staff how to present clear lip patterns!

Make sure only one person speaks at a time

Make sure all speakers are facing the Deaf before they speak.

Make sure that good lighting is provided in front of the speakers.

Do not stand in front of bright or distracting backgrounds. (visual noise!)

Make sure the Deaf person is looking before you start speaking.

Train people!

Training is not a one time thing, it has to be done on an organized regular basis

You need to provide basic essential training for everyone who is likely to present to any group of people!

THE BASICS!

Don’t shout as this will distort your lip patterns – speak clearly!

Sentences are easier to read than single words.

If the person is lip-reading and doesn’t understand a word or sentence – rephrase what you said. (allow/encourage interruptions)

Avoid exaggerated facial expressions.

Use gesture where it is relevant.

Keep your head still and don’t go around.

Don’t turn away while you’re talking.

Don’t hide your mouth movements behind your hand or a piece of paper/book.

Don’t talk while looking down at a book.

SPECIALIST TRAINING! – How to use the microphone!

Introduce the topic first.

Reduce other noise to a minimum.

Write things down so Deaf people know what you’re talking about – your speech, talking points, etc. Give it to them well in advance!

Use an OHP/projector

DON’T FORGET to include deaf people!

Use power-point but don’t go overboard!

Too many clever effects are distracting and tiring to watch!

Don’t forget to seek advice – it’s part of Coaching Concepts’ role to help you!

BEST OF ALL

Encourage deaf people to participate.

Learn to use sign language!

Wherever a standard script is used, a BSL recording provided by a professional interpreter with English subtitles should also be provided!

What does an interpreter need?

A place to stand that is well lit from the front without a distracting background.

This place must be visible from where the Deaf people will be sitting and not too far away.

An enlarged copy of the information.

Something to put the copy on that won’t get in the way of their signature space – a good strong musical instrument is ideal.

All relevant wording in plenty of time!

Two minutes before is not acceptable!

Two days in advance is acceptable.

A week before the event is ideal.

Time – rearranging seats or their working position to enable them to work to the best advantage of the Deaf. They are the experts – use their knowledge!

Your workplace audit.

1. Where are all the announcements, notices etc. from, are they clearly visible or do D/deaf people need specific seats?

2. Do you have a public address system and hearing aid loop?

3. Where are the microphone stations? Do they always use speakers? Can people who are lipreading clearly see the speaker?

4. Where are the notices to say you have a loop system?

5. Do you have and do you join a meeting or service agenda and provide the relevant information in accessible formats for all D/deaf people?

6. Identify obstacles to seeing clearly in your workplace. How do you avoid speakers being hidden by a lectern etc.

7. Does the speaker always face the people?

8. What problems can you identify with light? Are there situations where light comes from behind the speakers head? Do you have good front lighting?

9. Who knows British Sign Language, can anyone use the deafblind manual alphabet?

10. If a Deaf person comes to your workplace, where would you go for help? How would you get a professional interpreter?

11. What is the name of your local or professional deaf support organization?

12. Would you be willing to allow a Deaf person to participate in your meetings, in sign language?

13. Do you know which members of your staff are hard of hearing or use hearing aids?

14. Has anyone stopped coming to your meetings/talks/services because they can no longer attend them?

15. Do you have a portable loop or other communication aid to help you?

16. Can you get access to a private room to talk to a hearing care person?

Sound Reinforcement Systems

There is a huge difference between a sound amplification system, which is provided to help those with hearing impairment to be able to hear and understand and the local band amplification systems, which is designed to make very loud noise reach through a given area projected by the. scene

In many cases where sound systems are installed this simple fact is not understood and sound system advice is provided by people who want their music/singing to be projected like their favorite pop stars.

The use of a sound reinforcement system requires the correct use of a microphone and the correct placement of speakers so that the sound is not distorted or reflected by projecting it on hard surfaces.

The wrong use of microphones is a very common problem. Over-driving a microphone by placing it too close to the mouth or speaking/singing too loudly into it will cause the microphone to overdrive and produce a distorted sound. It can also cause a hearing aid to overclock and automatically cut specific sounds, which can cause a weird mute effect! For good hearing it is essential that all users of microphones are trained in how to use them correctly if this common mistake is to be avoided.

The set up of speaker systems is just as important, for your local band having as many speakers as possible pointing over the heads of the crowd is the usual format! This is disastrous for hearing impaired people as it provides a lot of reflected noise and transverse wave interference. A system designed for improved hearing will provide speakers that are directed into open space, never at a hard surface so that sound is evenly absorbed throughout a group of people. This is facilitated in places like churches by the careful positioning of speakers so that they point down into people’s bodies which allows the people themselves to become the absorbent surface that stops reflected noises.

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