Telecoms and Convergent Media Event

25 09 2009

The next in UCL Advances series of Technology Innovation Forum events will cover telecoms and convergent media and will take place on 12 November 2009 in central London.

How will new telecommunications technologies develop? Where will the social, economic and legal barriers between digital and real-world lives break-down? Where will the innovations in new media take us?

This half-day conference will cover:
• New telecoms and media technologies
• The need for collaboration between traditional telecom suppliers and media service providers
• The technical, legal and social problems faced and the disruptive forces to convergence

Although the technology is in place, deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK are being denied access to a modern telephone relay service. Christopher Jones is the director of AccEquE Ltd, a company that offers consultancy services in telecommunications for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. He will be speaking at this event about captioned telephony and video relay telephony for deaf and hard of hearing people. Come and show him some support, see him demonstrate captioned and video telephony for deaf people, try it out for yourself, and take this opportunity to ask him questions. The campaign to have a modern telephony service for deaf people in the UK is ongoing and Christopher is one of the leaders in this campaign.

Volunteers are needed to man the captioned telephony stand. Please contact Christopher on cfgjones at bt internet dot com if you can help.

Further details after the jump.

A palantypist (speech to text reporter) and Christopher’s sign language interpreter will be available at the event.





Save DLA and AA – the first crucial task

11 08 2009

This post is an email sent from Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd.

Persuading disability charities to speak out against the threat to disability benefits is absolutely crucial. Unless leading agencies like Mind, Arthritis Care and the MS Society are prepared to openly oppose these proposals it will be very difficult to halt them. The government will be able to argue that they consulted with ‘stakeholder’ organisations and they supported the green paper.

So whether charities are swayed by the strength of your arguments or alarmed by the prospect of losing members who feel abandoned by them, it’s vital that they commit themselves to defending AA and DLA. So far only RNIB has been courageous enough to risk the wrath of six secretaries of state rather than desert its members.

So what we’re going to suggest you do today is to get in touch with a local or national disability organisation, preferably one that deals with a condition that affects you or someone you care for.

Even if all you can manage is a quick email saying:

‘What are you doing about the green paper plans to abolish some disability benefits?’

that will be enough to make them realise people are aware of, and concerned about, the issue.

But if you feel able to write in more detail, below are some of the points you may want to make. We haven’t written a standard letter or email for people to copy because we think that they may quickly be dismissed as just a sort of spam.

1 Explain very briefly that you are concerned about the proposals in the Shaping the Future of Care Together green paper to integrate some disability benefits into a new funding stream for a National Care Service

2 Explain why DLA care component or AA is important to you.

3 Point out that it’s vital that their organisation work with other disability charities to fight with you on this issue, because the government will find it hard to ignore a wide coalition of disability organisations.

4 Point out that RNIB have put a statement on their website saying they will oppose the scrapping of AA and other disability benefits and that if such a reputable organisation is prepared to do this then there’s no reason why every disability organisation can’t do the same.

5 You might want to explain that at the moment the campaign against abolishing disability benefits is being led by a private sector company and that you think this is highly inappropriate, it ought to be a coalition of charities leading the way.

6 You may also want to suggest that if charities look the other way as their members are deprived of a vital part of their income then it may result in charities getting a great deal less support, fewer members and fewer donations in the future.

7 Most important of all: ask for a reply. And if you don’t get one, keep going back until you do. And when you do, send us a copy and we’ll publish at least some of them. Or if you’re a Benefits and Work member, post the reply in the forum.

If you’d like to contact more than one charity, then members of the Disability Benefits Consortium are worth considering. This is a coalition of charities which “aims to lobby and campaign on welfare benefits as they relate to disabled people.” Clearly they are the people who should be running this campaign, rather than Benefits and Work.

You can find the email contact details for all these organisations on this page.

Another possibility is the members of the green paper stakeholder panel. There’s a list of the members here, though we haven’t had time to research email addresses – volunteers to do so would be very welcome.

If you want to be getting on with other things rather than waiting for next weeks’ email, then there’s a few suggestions here.

Thank you again for signing up to the No More Benefits Cuts campaign. At the time of writing you are one of an astonishing 13,815 people who have done so in less than a week.

Please feel free to forward or publish this.

(Steve Donnison)





No More Benefits Cut campaign update

6 08 2009

Emailed to me today:

Many thanks for joining the No More Benefits Cuts campaign.

We had an astonishing 5,245 people sign up in the first 24 hours of the campaign. I confess this has taken us rather by surprise: we thought it would take most of August just to get 1,000.

What happens next?

Over the coming months we’ll be sending out an email each week asking you to do one thing in relation to the campaign. It might be writing to your MP, submitting a response to the green paper, contacting a local disability group and so on.

The emails will be sent out each Tuesday morning with the first one being sent on Tuesday 11 August.

As new people sign up to the campaign they will receive the same emails in the same order that you received them. Once the 100 days are up the emails will stop.

We’ve already been contacted by literally hundreds of people about the campaign and in truth it’s already started without us. Lots of you have been posting on forums, contacting your MPs, writing to papers, emailing TV and radio programmes and generally making an enormous fuss.

Thanks again. And, until next Tuesday, please keep up the good work – you don’t really need us at all.

Best regards,

Steve Donnison
Keep up to date with the no more cuts campaign.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN ON FACEBOOK

– Actually, I wish the captioned telephony campaign would take off like this, with more and more deaf people clamouring for our rights….. come on, join that one too! All you have to do is write to your MP and tell them how much it would benefit you, and ask them to sign the EDM currently tabled in Parliament. And tell everyone about it!





Telephony campaign update

13 11 2008

Cathy Heffernan at The Guardian has written an article about the TAG campaign, following See Hear’s report yesterday. You can catch See Hear’s report for another 6 days here (UK only).





Exciting news … for the USA

6 11 2008

Some exciting news for our USA counterparts that is going to make our UK friends and colleagues cringe!

Three weeks ago, Sprint, one of the two US CapTel Relay Providers announced WebCapTel on the Go. Meaning it works with Windows Mobile 6 handsets! Yes, Mobile WebCapTel. Its free as usual! You need two mobilephones, one of which is a smartphone with Internet.

phone

Mobile WebCapTel

News snippet

Last week, Hamilton, the second of the two US CapTel Relay Providers announced their WebCapTel on the Go using Apple IPhone! VERY nice for them! (I’m going green here!)

Photobucket

phone

Join the UK campaign to get this modern phone technology for deaf people adopted in the UK. We want it too!

TELEPHONE CAMPAIGN :
Campaign updates are posted on Funny Old Life’s blog
Campaign updates are also posted on the Facebook group Campaign : deaf people want greater access to modern phone technology
Contact us if you think you can help us with the campaign!

Watch out for See Hear’s programme on Wednesday 12 November, when the TAG campaign will be screened, so you can see this for yourself! Episode 18 of the programme investigates what the Government could do to improve access to telecommunications for the deaf. Link is HERE.