My letter to the Press Complaints Commission

Good evening, Press Complaints Commission

This is the first time I have taken this further than an odd grumble or rant to close friends and family members – either face to face or on Twitter/Facebook.

Today, in ‘The Mirror’ (see below), you can see another usage of the term “deaf and dumb”. My wife and I are profoundly deaf since birth and we communicate fluently through British Sign Language. Just because we don’t speak in English, we are dismayed to have this negative connotation attached to the likes of us yet again – which only serves to fan the flames of discrimination and victimisation as well as undermine our self determination to be equal member of the society. Even Mr Lansley does not deserve such abuse, as much as we loathe his policies.

However, this term, along with the “fall on deaf ears” terminology, are widely prevalent in the mainstream press. It was only last week that Daily Mail used the wordings of “deaf and dumb” when reporting a young girl being smuggled into UK and used as a sex slave for 10 years in Manchester. This evening, we witnessed an uproar when Richard Pallot described black players as “coloured” on ITV News this evening, which is – in my view – a much less negative term than “Deaf and dumb” but this is not to detract from the seriousness of Mr Pallot’s error.

For the media journalists/editors to use these headlines, it is degrading, demonstrate laziness and ultimately archaic. It should be confined to the Dickensian era.

I would like to make an official complaint about this and I will be encouraging my peers to do likewise. But, first, I will appreciate advice on how to make an effective complaint.

Yours sincerely,
Tony and Genevieve Barlow
Profoundly Deaf and BSL users

I have no idea if this will works but nothing ventured, nothing gained……..

PIP Eligibility – Deaf Case Study

Case study 9
Trevor is 25 and lives in sheltered accommodation provided by the local council,
sharing a house with three other people one of whom, like him, is also profoundly
deaf. He likes meeting up with friends and often goes to see movies with subtitles.
His preferred method of communication is British Sign Language and many of the
people he sees regularly have learnt a few essential elements of sign language, to
help with communication. He keeps in touch with his friends by text and his phone
vibrates and flashes to alert him when he receives messages. The doorbell in his
house also has a light that goes on when someone rings it. He is able to cook for
himself, do his own shopping and manages to wash and dress without support.
Likely descriptor choices

Total points
Daily living activities = 8 (standard rate Daily Living component)
Mobility activities = 0 (no Mobility component entitlement)
Trevor’s impairment impacts on his ability to communicate and he requires a British
Sign Language interpreter. He is able to carry out all other everyday activities

Editor note: I have a lot to say about this. First of all, it says Trevor requires a British Sign Language interpreter. The assessment doesn’t even begin to ascertain how much Trevor requires this and how this requirement can be met. Assessment is so infuriatingly half-assed. 

PIP – Eligibility criteria

Pardon me for not blogging after such a long time. Also, pardon me for launching straight into a raging subject that have worked up Twitter into a moral outrage and people with disabilities up in arms. Pardon me for quickly putting together this post.

In the light of the current Welfare Reform, currently being brutally pushed through the House of Lords without so much scrutiny and analysis, one of the most contentious aspects of it is to replace Disability Living Allowance with PIP (Personal Independence Payment) for spurious reasons. (I hope I can have the opportunity to explain why later).

Last night, DWP have published the proposed thresholds points to guide the re-assessment part of the new PIP. This can be found here.

Below is taken from Benefits and Work website of how each claimant will be scored.

Continue reading

Anytime, anyone….except you(!)

I am currently looking to reduce my telecomms bills at the moment – ever since I’ve been made redundant back at the start of September. Since then, my monthly phone/broadband bills have increased somewhat between 60 to 80%. It is all because of the 08xx numbers linked to various Government services, notably the JobCentre and Tax Credits office – plus other ad-hoc calls linked to my current predicament.

In short, I got to pay if I want information about jobs. There are free phones provided down at the JobCentres but they are no good Continue reading

Dering Interview on File on Four (BBC Radio 4)

Transcript kindly provided by Claire of Team Hado.

File on Four

Part of a programme looking more widely and whether charities be trusted to run public services well and honestly?

Dering section – 11.40

While the impact of reorganisation is troubling some volunteers, what concerns many managers of charities is the future financing of public sector contracts. They worry that, while they might be about to get a bigger slice of the cake, the cake itself is shrinking rapidly under the Chancellor’s cuts, and there’s real anxiety amongst smaller groups that they may face severe financial pressure from the way public sector contracts are awarded. Continue reading

Subtitling of Music

Received this in my email in box from a subtitler who’ve commented on this site before.

“A survey that may be of interest to you has come to my attention and I wondered if you might post the link on your blog.It’s regarding subtitling of music on British TV. This provision is still relatively new and this survey marks the start of some research into its reception and use by the deaf and hard of hearing audience. Ofcom are also starting to see it as a specialist area.”

Here’s the link: