Wear Your Sunflower.

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There are members of the public policing others when one goes outside, re their/our use or rather the lack of use, of a mask.

“Not all hidden Disabilities are visible.”

I decided to purchase 2x Sunflower lanyards, one ‘Exempt’ ID card and one ‘Hearing loss’ ID card, with 2x clear wallets to help diffuse any unwanted presumptions, to help educate others in anticipation. The other lanyard is for whoever may be out shopping, with myself since the person accompanying the lip reader is exempt, from wearing a face mask.

However, if you are deaf and the person accompanying you is also deaf, then it is appropriate to cease the use of your masks as and when since you both rely on lip reading / sign language to communicate.

https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/for-you

Be proactive, not reactive.
Remain kind, patient and educate.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

 

Weathering Storms.

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We have and we are all weathering storms of our own, throughout our lives, and there will always be more to come. Regardless of its causes.

One may feel more weathered than another.
They may allow themselves to be more stressed by their memories, thoughts and feelings, than by the “stresses” around them. Internalising the storm from within.
Whilst another appears, able to shrug it all off. Things are not always what they seem.

One may choose to be an open book, whilst another, may choose to remain closed.
It does not mean, another suffered, will suffer or is suffering, less.
Yet, one sometimes chooses to borrow tomorrow’s troubles, potentially reliving the stress – two-fold. Each to their own.

Beings will cope differently to one another, whilst one will cope as best as they can, some, the only way they may know how. Some, needing guidance.

One person may retreat whilst another will be in awe of all those around them, for managing to shine on having been and being, in storms of their own.

One may experience a storm in a teacup whilst another may experience it as an overbearing storm on their horizon. 

Every being and situation is different, naturally, coping mechanisms will differ.

What with face masks and face coverings being made mandatory, the isolation, the anxieties and the barriers we as a deaf community are feeling, will face daily. we are ALL in this, dealing with this, as one. The best we can. We will all be able to relate and empathise with one another.

Be proactive, not reactive. It is down to education – there will be situations due to ignorance, arrogance, lack of deaf awareness and presumptions as to why someone is not wearing a mask. Remain kind, remain patient and educate.

I’ve had an elderly guy who was wearing a face mask, laugh at me when I explained I couldn’t understand him since I couldn’t lip read him. I chose to let his immaturity pass, and not react at all. Sure, it bothered me a little at the time but I refuse to let it, or anything trivial, consume and/or dictate me and relatively, imprison me. We cannot stop the waves but we can learn to surf. 

If anyone feels alone, be it as a result of the sea of emotionless, faceless masks or otherwise, please DO REACH OUT, for those who are able to, will be there.

💖

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Mask Exemptions.

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People who happen to be deaf, are naturally wondering if this means deaf people are exempt from wearing masks but we all need to remember that invisible disabilities exists and anyone not able to be mindful of that is more than likely to make presumptions about why one isn’t wearing a mask and perhaps, make their feelings known.

I was watching BBC news last night as it tends to send me off to sleep nicely but for the first time, I noticed I could not lip read any one that was being interviewed – at all. They were ALL wearing masks.

Extremely uncomfortable viewing, never mind mingling amongst mask wearers.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Anti-Racism Demonstrations & COVID 19.

A good friend of mine has voiced his thoughts on the anti-racism protests happening at the moment , it was and is courageous of him to do so because of his own background. He and many others, is saddened to see the violence, the rioting at which was supposedly a protest about racial inequality.

Kudos to you my friend, who wishes to remain anonymous for personal reasons, for speaking out against his own community. For standing by your own morals and values. For being you.

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This kind of behaviour will inevitably be the cause of the Coronavirus 19 second wave, except Dawn Butler, an MP, wishes for them to be exempt from any blame. No one is above the law or exempt from any social distancing rules. No one has the right to be violent and/or destructive either.

Violence and hatred gets no one anywhere. They are only rioting because there was a sense of injustice but they have gone too far now.

Other unlawful killings in the past were dealt with on the spot because justice was relatively served, they/we were satisfied. Regardless of what race or colour they/we happened to be.

For anyone to be selfish, manipulative and hypocritical about it all is very off putting. “White silence is violence” That’s just provoking. Then to say “uneducated whites” is also going too far. All because there are those who aren’t conforming under their pressure, to join them, their cause. It’s their choice and everyone has the right to choose. Just don’t manipulate everyone else and their choices to suit you / them.

I’m seeing a lot of my friends, some of whom also happen to be black, having their say now, like the post I have shared here with their permission.

It is not about racism anymore yet the race card has continued to be thrown around to try and justify their actions and the lockdown has naturally made people frustrated, the protests has given the “protesters” a way outside and they have taken that frustration outside, and unleashed it. It has turned into a mob culture and relatively, another virus. Hatred once again is at the root of it all.

Best to let these people do as they wish, let them hurt each other and blame everyone else but themselves. and the rest of us, to stay out of the way, to stay safe and well. There is a deadly virus about after all.

Stay peaceful, stay kind. Stay righteous, regardless of who you may be, where you may be.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Moan & Groan.

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There was a time when I was an admin for a pro BSL social media group, this group was known to the MP’s at Westminster as where the moaners and groaners go, its members sharing their experiences, barriers faced within the deaf community, for example, no interpreter being provided and so on. Quite rightly so. Their shared experiences was being gathered as evidence for a BSL Act campaign. I enjoyed being an admin for this particular group at the time because it helped empower those to start standing up and asking for their rights. Myself included.

During the current Coronavirus pandemic, the deaf community has once again started another (#whereistheinterpreter) campaign, pointing out the “lack” of an interpreter, but demanding one is *physically* in the same room as the Prime Minister or a couple of their advisors whenever a news broadcast or briefing is made. It is somehow no longer enough to have an in-vision interpreter provided… Therefore one was and is still being provided, regardless of who is paying their wages or contracting them to provide this accessible and inclusive service. The Government replied to the campaign by suggesting it was and is due to social distancing. Based on this, Wales, Scotland and other countries are apparently therefore endangering the interpreter who is in the same enclosed room as their VIP’s? Open to interpretation, whichever way one wishes to look at it.

In vision BSL interpreter
Double protection

Except now, there are those from the hearing world who are moaning about the in-vision interpreter getting into the way of any visual charts on the news etc etc. This is nothing new by the way. Even subtitles / captions get in the way on the news and other films, programmes being broadcast.

Except now, once again, there are deaf people moaning about the hearing people, moaning… Even lowering themselves to that level and recruiting others to contribute. Is that not bullying? A mob culture? It is.

Whereas before, it would have all blown over, been tolerated by the majority and hey, tomorrow’s a new day.

It is extremely easy during uncertain times like the present, to permit ourselves, regardless of whether we happen to be deaf or hearing, to get carried away with our frustrations, focusing on and displacing negative energy,, somehow following the (m)asses once again. 

Stop letting any toxic divisions get in the way, creating higher barriers for both or either worlds to break down. Surely, people have better things to do than witness moaning in any sense or contribute to it?

Refocus people… reprioritise, tolerate and compromise. Show kindness – regardless.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Mask Warriors.

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Photos by SJ

I had to go into the local pharmacy this morning to pick up a prescription for my daughter, the staff were all wearing face masks.

Talking at me….

I’m patiently letting them know I’m not able to understand them as I am profoundly deaf and I cannot lip read them with their masks on.

They started pointing away here and there, still talking at me, I’m close to walking out but my daughter needs this prescription.

Someone gave me a pen and paper, I write down what I’m there for and who it’s for. Hand the pen and paper back… Prescription is found and she returns, trying to talk at me again.
I’m close to feeling emotional, anxious and once again I patiently remind her that I can’t hear her or lip read her because of her mask, or any of the mask wearing staff within that shop.

She realised and finally empathised, lowered her mask and spoke to me with a smile in her eyes.

What a world of difference that made. 😏

I had to go to the bank last week to sort an issue out, the staff in there were wearing those transparent facial shields – it may have been surreal still but it was certainly a lot more “friendly” and we could still easily communicate. I’d pick that over a face mask, any day.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

During The Coronavirus…

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Photo by SJ

As I went to check my bank balance by paying the ATM a visit, I saw an elderly man impatiently waiting outside the bank as I approached. I knew it was closed due to it being a bank holiday / VE Day so decided to inform him it was closed today. He didn’t want to believe me.

I pointed at the polite notice on the bank’s door… I said that’s today. He spoke to me whilst wearing his face mask… I’d previously told myself I wouldn’t communicate with anyone wearing a mask simply because I cannot lipread them. I decided to be patient with him as he was elderly and informed him that I am deaf, that I can’t see his lips while he’s wearing the mask. He laughed.

Hmmm.

I reminded him once more the bank is/was closed and he frustratingly left to do his shopping.

After obtaining my mini statement, as I started to walk home, there was such a noise which made me look up to the sky to see what it was and there I saw, the red arrows flying over in a V formation. 💖

The best things come to those who wait?

One day, our children’s generation will be saying, “During the coronavirus….”

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Stupid-19

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My oldest daughter had not been keen to venture out at all this past week so to get her out for a walk this evening was an achievement, at her pace, within her comfort zone of course. So we headed to the local park which is just down the road from us. I was feeling pleased to see her outdoors at a very difficult time, for any one of us.

We could see a family which had stopped a short distance away in front of us and I didn’t want to hang around behind them, waiting for them to get a move on so we went around them giving them a wide berth.

My oldest daughter overheard the mother and father… and told me what they had said once we had passed them. They were Americans.

The mother was apparently telling me off for going around them, that we were not two metres away, and did I not know they were infected? That English people are so rude…. The father stopped the mother from saying any more by saying “Oi!” to her.

One, we gave them a very wide berth, wider than most would have and have done,
Two, if she wants to use the language that “we are infected” whether it’s to describe herself, her family, the town, the city or country, my daughter would like to know just why you were outside? As of today, London has 16,721 confirmed cases. https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ae5dda8f86814ae99dde905d2a9070ae
If she was talking about herself, her family being infected, wtf were they doing outside?
Three, the English are rude? Erm… hello?!

Had I heard what she was venting at me, I would have turned around to her and signed “Welcome to London, England – enjoy your stay.” 🙄

Thankfully, my daughter enjoyed her quick walk, I had warned her beforehand that there are police monitoring the park so for her to actually see them there, was a strange experience. She mentioned enjoying her walk except for encountering “stupid”.

It’s a strange experience for each and every one of us. We can only deal with this the best we can.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)