The BBC License Fee.

That same old drum is being banged upon once more.

Deaf people always seem to resent having to pay the full license fee to the BBC, just because the blind get a concession and they do not. In the old days, I might have agreed as there was evidently a real lack of captions and hardly any in-vision signers. Nowadays, the accessibility is there. And then some.

My father went through the very same motions a few years back, which my experience with, has prompted this post.

Petition

Any petition, past, present or to come, to reduce the BBC licensing fee on grounds of being deaf (regardless of how severe it is) and that programmes are inaccessible will fail. Without a doubt.

It does not matter if you do not watch the BBC even if it’s out of protest. If you watch or listen to any of the other channels or even access them online over devices, this is prescisley what the fee covers. That space. The fee is basically a tax, so you can watch or access any channels over the air space that is owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Better known as, the BBC.

It is extremely hard, to keep deaf people happy, especially if they love anything that’s free.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

The Deaf Way.

There are particular people out there who anticipate a post from me each time an issue arises in the mainstream news or on social media concerning the deaf. This one is especially for you. Mwah.

There will always be people who will never be satisfied, regardless of who or what they happen to be yet others overjoyed with a simple balloon. There will always be people who think they are above others whilst others remain humble. There will always be people who are striving for change, some for better yet some, for attention. There will always be people who think of only themselves whilst others choose to be selfless. There will always be those who suffer from paranoia and others will not give a shit…. There will always….. There will always… There will always… There is always a balance..

Someone once upon a time caused an outrage when they decided that Justin Fletcher of CBeebies’ ‘Sometthing Special’ was signing “Fuck” when he was actually signing “Happy”. As a native BSL sign language user, the signs for “Fuck’ and ‘Happy’ are not even that close and it was clear as day, then and now, that he was and is signing “Happy”. The “Happy” sign has since sadly, evolved within Makaton as a result of someone’s bitter ‘misconceptions’. Makaton is derived from Britain Sign Language, both of which are man-made and is still a beautiful language, a form of communication (tool) for those who rely on it.

Whilst Sally Reynolds has decided to take Little Mix’s promoter to Court, many other deaf people do not and will not have the same level of access to legal services as she is able to. She is not the first to spit her dummy nor will she be the last. It is apparently, the deaf way.

One might say deaf people are in receipt of benefits to help pay for interpreters or in other words, access, where and when needed – IF any cannot be provided. There are events which will provide equality in the form of accessible inclusion as and when available, even when (politely) asked. If you consciously choose an event outside of any given dates, why would you knowingly attend, enjoy it to an extent and sue, perhaps ungratefully?

I hope people will feel encouraged in the meantime to patiently request, for their needs to be met regardless of what their needs and abilities may be. To continue having their right to choose. Just, do not take the piss by pushing your luck.

How you go about making a stand automatically reflects upon your community, for example, the deaf community as a whole. Not every deaf, deafened or hard of hearing member of the community can use or know BSL. Most do and will be able to use subtitles on TV and at the cinema so are able to make use of Captions at events where and when made available. Sign language interpreters be it in-vision or live is considered to be an added bonus, especially for the minority within the minority – who cannot get by in their everyday lives without sign language. My father is one of them and yet, he was born hearing.

While all our spots may never change, physically our bodies will. Let us all stop taking life for granted and help us, to help you, make a change. For a better and more inclusive place? God knows generations before us have tried, today’s are tying, should tomorrow’s continue our battles too? Until then, history will keep on repeating itself, deaf, (dis)abled or hearing.

This is one broken record.

D4E6D511-9ABB-4775-9B3B-2CF4B1769F47

The ball is in, YOUR court.

Last but not least, I am choosing not to focus on the deaf world anymore because it is at a cost to me to keep on being passionate about deaf issues, of which keeps falling on deaf(ened) ears. Literally even. I have gone above and beyond in several instances only to be accused of seeking recognition by those whose noses were put out of joint. All because, I choose to tell things as they truthfully are. Accusing me, was and is, a sign of your/their weakness(es). I have now, much more important beings to focus on, I will however, continue to post as and when I wish to do so.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Outdated Attitudes.

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“The disability is not the problem. The accessibility is the problem.” – Mohamed Jemni.

Not always accessibility but rather, attitudes.

A friend shared this earlier which helped me to appreciate yet correct it a bit further… since the out-dated term “Deaf-mute” was used in my presence earlier this week, this left me feeling speechless. If an elderly person had said it, I would not have minded so much but she was thirty ish.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Available But Not Available.

This afternoon I had to take my daughter to her first physiotherapy appointment, I roughly knew where to go as my son had once been several times before for a completely different reason.

I found the relevant but communal reception. At the counter, there was sufficient space for two more receptionists but there was only one and in front of her was this notice, “Children’s hearing services only”… The counter besides her had a notice which stated, “All Services, please call using the phone provided”

hearingvsphone

Eh?! My first thought was. There was a receptionist there but ONLY for the hearing department. This was both useful for those who needed assistance with their hearing screening / tests appointments but otherwise useless for parents, like myself who happen to be deaf with children who required another department.

She was available but not available…

I found myself in a conflicting and contradicting situation. I showed her a letter, for my daughter’s appointment. She pointed to the phone and answered “You have to phone”. I took little comfort in letting her know that I was deaf and I could not use the phone. She spied my husband and knew he would be able to call instead.

What would have happened then, if I was on my own, with my daughter? Would she have been willing to go above and beyond her role as the sole receptionist?

We just might find out in due course 😉

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Hearing Hands.

Once upon a time, Muharrem, who has a degree of hearing loss went about his daily routine as usual. Except, he was then pleasantly surprised to see strangers all around him using sign language, which made his day pass by easier.

When he finds out why and how, his reaction is priceless and most likely this heart-warming stunt will make you shed a tear or two, also.

All because a world without barriers is everyone’s dream.

This ad was made by Samsung, Turkey in order to promote their video call centre – for people with hearing problems.

I Am Tired Of…

Here I compile some of the frustrations the deaf community feels, sometimes on a daily basis. With injections of humour here and there 🙂

I am tired of seeing a phone number on parking ticket machines because I cannot use the phone to pay.

I am tired of talking lifts. Just wish they would shut up! Never mind the telephone in the lift with the number to ring in case of a breakdown or emergency! Duh!

I am tired of being treated like an idiot by hearing people.

I am tired of “I’ll tell you later” but it never materialises!

I am tired of intercoms.

I am tired of being judged.

Judge not lest ye be judged.
Judge not lest ye be judged.

I am tired of the constant tinnitus in a whole world of its own.

I am tired of being patronised.

I am tired of people having a go as bullies.

I am tired of being the odd one out! (to which SJ responded “We can all be odd together!”)

I am tired of hearing the words “It doesn’t matter!” Of course it matters.

I am tired of having to stand up for justice.

I am tired of Mondays!

I am tired of people being all talk and no action.

I am tired of not being taken seriously.

I am tired of thinking people are talking to themselves (bonkers) when they are actually on hands free mobile!

bonkers

I am tired of waiting for Channel 4 on demand getting their act together and providing subtitles for iPad!

I am tired of people manipulating others for their own gains.

I am tired of people saying “You are not missing anything!”

I am tired of being left out.

I am tired of a particular job requirement “Must be able to use the phone.”

I am tired of people moaning and being so negative.

I am tired of being a second class citizen.

I am tired of seeing other (deaf) people telling others what to do.

I am tired of background music when actors are talking.

Cue background music: Doooooe – a deer a female deer, Raaaaay, a drop of golden suuuuun, Meeeeee – a name I call myseelf, Faaaaaar – a long long way to ruuuuuun, Seeeeew – a needle puling threeeeeeead, Laaaaaaaaa – a note to follow soooooo, Teeeeeeea – a drink with Jam and breeeeead!

And that’ll bring us back to doe oh oh oh! Hence forth comes the musical tinnitus.

I am tired of not being able to understand what any train or plane announcements are saying – whether to panic yet or not!

keep-calm-and-eat-chocolate-1004
The answer to everything!

I am tired of people’s attitudes – always complaining – they need to consider how lucky they are to live in the UK with a decent life….

I am tired of always being the last to understand or be informed. Tut tut.

I am tired of seeing online forms asking for a telephone number but no space to put the full type-talk number in so I have to remove 18002 from my number then I get hearing people phoning!!!!!

I am tired of not being able to go to the movies anytime I wish.

I am tired of the radio whenever they broadcast shows concerning deafness or deaf people.

I am not tired of kicking ass!

I am tired of always having to strain my eyes more to concentrate on lip reading.

I am tired of feeling belittled.

I am tired of segregation, exclusion and discrimination.

I am tired of people asking to speak to me on the phone when they have been told I cannot hear on the phone but still, they insist to speak to me on the phone?!

No need to shout!
No need to shout!

I am tired of seeing how quickly people are so willing to follow the flock.

I am tired of people thinking they can pass on skills from someone who has just “attended” a (deaf awareness/sign language) course – it just does not work like that….

I am tired of finding out things in the office then being told they’ve all known for ages and as usual I am the last to know!

am tired of the lack of inclusion and inaccessibility in today’s day and age.

I am tired of my mobile fire text alert (testing every week) going off at least half an hour before the real fire test goes off.

I am tired of being abused by egocentric manic d/Deaf ( & hearing) people.

I am tired of being told to “Get on with it” when that is what we have been doing everyday?!

I am tired of not being able to switch off at night time!! (as a hearing dweller commented because the deaf are lucky in being able to turn off our hearing aids – ahhh silence is golden! Oh yes just rubbing it in….)

I am tired of the bloody answerphone and not understanding a word said….

I am tired full stop lol – 24/7 campaigning is a hard slog.

I am tired of deaf politics and political correctness gone mad and madder and even madder!

I am tired of having to stay strong for so long.

I am tired of all the injustice in this world – stop the planet, I want to get off! (ah you don’t – you’d miss all the fun!” as another dweller tried to persuade SJ)

Wait for me!!
Wait for meee!

Thank you to all who contributed – very much appreciated x

~ SJ (Sara Jae)