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January 26, 2006

Signed Goldilocks and the Three Bears

CBeebies has kids from Blanche Neville School signing Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

January 24, 2006

The world's obsession with tech

Boing Boing is carrying a post which points to a blog about solar powered hearing aids in Botswana.

Boing Boing never seems to see past tech when it comes to ears not working, and this has happened more than once. When are you going to post something related to sign language. Somehow it just reflects an inner anxiety of must hear.

January 21, 2006

Your Tube

A post over at TechCrunch states that Your Tube might soon be acquired.

This might have implications on vlogs using sign language, one that I have had particular concern for a while, archiving. Sign language has not traditionally been preserved, and to had the archiving of sign language vlogs to a commercial company is a dangerous thing. This needs to be explored properly, and better still, solutions.

Where do people go online?

I'm always curious as to where and how people spend most of their time online. Obviously this varies from individual to individual, depending on their interests and how they wish to use the net. In terms of forums, here is a list of the top ranked.

If it is blogs you are looking for, Technorati has a list of the top blogs.

Now where are the Deaf lists?

January 14, 2006

deaf-blogs.com isn't a forum

From watching some of the posts aggregated on deaf-blogs.com is that people cannot move away from a forum mentality. Perhaps it is the focus of aggregated content that is causing this? It seems to happen less with other aggregated sites, and perhaps this is related to a lack of perceived history, and different demographics?

My perception of blogging is that people craft their own blogs, and the content that goes with it. Perhaps trackbacks between blogs happen, where there is an interest in content, or to challenge a view. However, blogs move on from this, and topics tend to be varied, with individuals neuturing their own blog, into a quality that they become proud of.

Instead, I feel as if I'm observing the treatment yet another forum, and questions fill my head as to how to move away from this. And yes, we need more quality content. Blogging to date, we've seen plenty of personal sites, and there is a definite role for this, but what about the journalistic commentary? There is so much scope for this.

January 10, 2006

So where's the BSL interpretation then?

Those banging on the access drum, with regards to ensuring BSL vlogs are subtitled, I have a question for you. When are you going to sign all your blog posts, sign the backlog of forum posts in English, to ensure it is accessed by BSL users? If you want to bang on about a standard, then surely you have to practice it first rather than throwing demands into thin air.

Blogs are about individual expression, and should I want to start writing this blog in Welsh in so much as I might do some BSL posts, then so be it. There's a Spanish blog under Spain, under France there's a French blog, so why isn't anyone demanding they are translated into English (the ultimate killer language)?

BSL is a language in so much as others are, and if someone wishes to express themselves in that language, then that is their choice.

Subtitled vlogs, if you want them then you start creating them

After Tony expressing discontent, Joe has gone one better and created a hilarious post which is subtitled, however not to what he is signing. Go and take a look, and you will not be disappointed.

This post was in response to some mumblings in certain quarters of cyberspace that BSL vlogs should be subtitled. My response: go to hell. Blunt words, but if you want to interact with BSL users, go and learn to sign.

A blog is a person's space to say exactly what they think, and in a language they wish to express themselves in. If its Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, Lak or even Chinese, where are the demands for such material to be made available in written English? Why do we get some kind of turf war as far as BSL users are concerned? Especially with employing tactics which bring about killer language traits, well known as far as English goes. Why is there pressure on the BSL user to become bilingual for another's benefit?

If you cannot stand watching BSL users expressing themselves in their language, I suggest you go away or better still just go and learn to sign. Or what good excuse have you cooked up in terms of what is stopping you?

I will sign off with the following paragraph from one version of the PR:

Self-publishing has traditionally been focused on the written word, which can and has prevented Deaf people from recording their experiences and traditions. The written word has also offered little interactivity and did not lend itself to the nuance and grace of sign language, itself a visual medium. Self-Publishing was often an expensive form of expression and historical record, with the equipment and software necessary for recording sign language costing more than the average Deaf person’s budget. As a consequence both experience and tradition have relied much upon the contemporaneous nature of an oral history which is, otherwise, left unrecorded.

Perhaps something to think about?

January 9, 2006

Flickrs of Video

Tech Crunch has an overview of the Flickrs of Video. Really worth familiarising yourself with it, if you are into vlogging.

Marc Canter says there's a dark horse coming.

January 6, 2006

Bionic Quest for Boléro

This article has hit cyberspace, where someone has home programmed their cochlear implant in order to hear Bolero better. Blogs such as Boing Boing have picked it up, and it even has a high rating via Digg.

Personally I cannot read the article, perhaps finding it boring and being subjected to cochlear issues for years. Apart from reading and debating, I'm thinking here of presentations I've had to make at conferences where I've had to take a neutral line but an attempt to be political, the summer schools and training I've had to deliver, keeping a straight face with my stomach flipping. Yes there's the boredom, and there is an inner protest happening. There is a deeper element here too.

Firstly, I will say, what this guy wishes to do, that's his own business, and good for him. Glad he fulfilled his desire. However, what gets me is the mainstream's reaction to this, and whilst I understand in part it is a fascination with technology, an extension of a mainstream interest, there is also an element further fuelling the desire for normalisation and the fact that hearing is a must. Detracting from the norm is almost feared by some. Whilst not strictly relevant in these circumstances, but nonetheless relevant, is the necessary distinction that must be made between technology that works with us, as opposed to changes us; one that people often fail to identify nevermind grasp.

When such issues such as BSL recognition hit the headlines, the major blogs and people aren't interested. It is frequently seen on mainstream TV when they attempt to do some "debate" (and I use that word with an extremely loose meaning), there is a complete lack of understanding relating to the issues. Hearing people can latch very well onto the desire to hear, but their understanding rarely leaves these boundaries. One wishes a magic wand could be raised to change all this.

January 5, 2006

Accessing the ambulance service

Nee Naw has a post about a call from a Deaf person calling the ambulance service. Worth a read to get an operator's experience.

Odeo on eBay?

Software such as Odeo brings recording audio to the masses a step closer, and it is free. Such audio services are being published on the net, with very little consideration re accessibility issues, solutions and moreover even flagging it is an issue.

It is now being suggested to use Odeo as the way to publish audio content on eBay.

Reasons for promotion of audio are outlined as:

"... have seen the either extremely brief product descriptions or the descriptions that are so long that you could never possibly weed out the “real” info.

Enter audio. .... Podcast your eBay auction! Simply record your product description and then link to the audio on your eBay auction."

This is a worrying trend in that individuals might not be covered by their domestic disability discrimination laws, and with the international nature of the internet, then the country in which the seller resides may not even be covered in terms of obligations. It should be said that it was also suggested that:

"You’d still want to include a written description for obvious reasons"

However, one wonders if people will drop text, and in turn how accessible eBay might be in future, which includes the ownership of Skype? What about Deaf people in all this, and where does the obligation lie?

January 2, 2006

deaf-blogs.com launched

We've finally done it, www.deaf-blogs.com was launched today. For the past 5 days I've done nothing but work on this site, even foregoing new year's eve and more importantly sleep.

We hope 2006 becomes the year where Deaf people blog, and start to take responsibility for their own publishing, content and more importantly their own views.

Two Press Releases went out, one aimed at Deaf people and the other aimed at the mainstream.

Please feel free to pass these press releases onto your contacts.