Monday, 11 May 2009

BSL Cochlear implant user..

Why does this happening??

Its all stupid!!

I was told by other BSL CI user about what was happening at Adult day at Ears Foundation, that made me fuming mad..

A speaker from Hearing Concern told all the CI user there, that they SHOULD NOT use BSL or sign language at all, because they could hear and should learn to talk properly..

Good grief!!
It like telling the Spanish person that they are not allowed to speak Spanish when they in England.. nor does the Chinese people!!
Does it means... the Spanish person who wear Cochlear implant are not allowed to speak Spanish at all??

It should be up to the person whatever language they are using. Its up to deaf person if they want Cochlear implant or not.. No one should ever stop the deaf person from speaking whatever language they want to speak or sign.

I chosen to use both Sign Language and speech because then I have best of both world..

I was brought up oral - I relies on lipreading. I went to mainstream school (Ashgate Junior school in Derby, Longcar Junior School in Barnsely, and William Sharpe school in Nottingham)

I wanted to use sign language to communicate.. no matter BSL or SSE.. for 2 reasons..
1. why should I force deaf friend to speak because I have CI??
2. do I want to lipread and listen 24/7? no thanks!!!

I rather relax and enjoy myself by using my hands.. its so " visual and creative" no one who can sign should ever give up.. its really useful in noisy places like pubs and nightclubs! I like watch people in the pub who "stove" their ear up the speaker mouth to hear.. Urghhh! do I want to allow my mouth "taste" whatever in their ear?? (think of ear wax...)

There is no shame in using sign language.. if you can sign.. then wonderful.. it make some situation like the workshops so much easier because it so hard work watching 10 different people talking.. and so many different lip pattern to translate..

Yes I can talk.. my speech is okay.. of course I have deaf accent.. nothing I can do to change at the moment.. not without any help.. but why should I want to talk to other deaf person if they want to use sign language?? It so much fun using sign language..

CI users should be able to have a choice to use sign language and speech..
When battery go flat.. I hear nothing.. I cannot even lipread at all!!
other point is how do I lipread at swimming bath?? my CI is not waterproof and I cannot wear when I swim!!
There are quite a few times that I cant wear CI which can make a problem when involve communication.

Its alright for some who can wear CI and Hearing aid together.. (Thats a cheat!) But that's no excuse for tell the CI user that they CANNOT use sign language because they can hear!

One thing need to consider... there are thousand and thousand of words in English langauge as well as in any spoken language, some does sound similar for example "Ship" and "Chip" also "Beans and peas"
How on earth do you expect CI user to "click finger" and miracle happen, understood everything that is said to them without any help from sign language or lipreading if they need it?? It take years and years of practise to understand what is said without any help.
Not every CI users can become an expert in listening everything overnight. We all need to be flexiable to everyone needs, so if CI users decide to stick with BSL and not want to use lipreading because they have not got the skill, then we should respect their wishes. This means, provide an interpreter for this person.

I am losing my faith in Ears Foundation because they are not supporting BSL/SSE users by not providing Interpreters at adult days....

So everyone give a thought to people like me and other BSL/SSE users.. stop picking on us.. go and pick on someone your size!!

we are not living in 1880 where sign language was banned.. we in 2009.. sign language is allowed!! everyone have the freedom and the right to choose.


  1. I think you are right. It is shocked to know that deaf organisation dont approve of sign language when its belong to deaf people.

    Ears Foundation never good with CI users, they only want suck money out anyway! You have nothing to lose.

  2. Debs,

    SSE/BSL is very much used by most deaf people in the world. No matter what their nationality is.

    Quite frankly, you are very right in your angst and disapproval on the Ear Foundation Adult Days. Im shocked and disgusted to know that they are not being flexible and bringing in an interpreter.

    What happened if the person who just recently got CI'd and they are not yet switched on? What if that CI'd person had no history or experience of ever reading lips in the past or even read lips that cannot be understood - ie, mumbled, facial hairs, fast speech etc?

    If I were you, I'd make more of a formal complaint. I'd bring in the local newspaper and make the Ear Foundation look bad. They need a wake up call to realised that many of us CI wearers are still self reliance on our hands and body/face expressions to make sense of the conversation happening.

    Im sorry that EF has been showing a total lack if dis-respect in this manner.

  3. I am a hearing parent of a profoundly deaf child. My son uses a cochlear implant. BSL is his first language. He is beginning to listen to English well and use speech. He still relies on BSL and SSE to support his listening. Because his BSL is more advanced than his English he needs some BSL input when learning new vocabulary and difficult concepts when listening.

    I have a supporter of the Ear foundation and have never been told I cannot use sign language with my son. I am concerned that deaf adults are being made to feel ashamed that they choose to use their first language to communicate with their peers. I assume that is just as difficult for an adult or a child to make sense of the new sounds they hear when newly switched on. I believe that Hearing Concern were at the Ear foundation when Debs was asked to not use sign language. I am confused and shocked that 2 organisations who promote communication and education between the deaf and hearing communities should allow a situation like this to arise.

    I am currently attending BSL level 2 classes so that I can communicate with BSL users. This is important for my son’s social skills and education. I am really enjoying meeting a whole new world of friends. I have had conversations with non-implanted deaf adults who are scared and concerned that the use of cochlear implants will bring a greater divide between the hearing and deaf worlds. I am always adamant in my response in that there is a place for BSL and English in conversations depending on the environment.

    If 2 deaf adults want to have a conversation in BSL then surely it is a human rights issue to deny them that.