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.
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.
I was reminded today just how hard it can be, to be deaf.
An ATM was hungry and gobbled my bank card – not that anything was wrong with my card or account. Stupid (Link) machine played up. Arse.
Panicked a little as I had both X & X with me. I looked at Y in despair and said “My card is gone.” He also knew it was the machine and not my card cos I’m good that way 😜
Banks were closed… tried calling a number via my phone but I’d no credit. I’ve the minutes!! But not credit to call their rates… my money was in the bank. My card was in the machine.
Y’s luckily has dual SIM cards so he could use one of them to call the emergency line with.
Braced for hassles because he was speaking on my behalf.
“I need her to speak on the phone”
“She’s deaf, she cannot hear on the phone.”
Five mins later, I was asked to say my DOB into thin air, phone next to my lips.
Then my address.
Spoke to the ghost again and pushed away the phone. How uncomfortable that was yet it had to be done.
Bearing fraud in mind, card was stopped and a new card ordered.
X looked at me the n amazement, “What if you couldn’t speak clearly enough?!”
A night of despair and undue stress would have been the order of the day otherwise.
Gratitude overcame me and thanked Y for his help.
For us all.
~ SJ Sara Jae)
Update: There is no need to use Signvideo (which is only available with several banks) or Typetalk because downloading a mobile banking app will do the job. And then some.
My daughter goes to the library with her friend so I drop them off and see my father for a brief chat, cappuccino for him. The table he chose to sit down at had a mother and teenage daughter neighbouring it. Cafe was pretty busy and full. Instantly I felt their dismay at us sitting there, next to them. I chose to ignore it.
I happened to catch the mother giving me funny looks so I ignored her again. Fuming inside I was though. I had to keep calm and my wits about me…. even when she put up her mega sized costa coffee cup over her mouth in our direction, not drinking out of it. She held it there for a good five minutes until her daughter made her put the mug down. I ignored the bitch. I had to.
They left and I wished I had put her in her place by asking her what her problem was. The effing cheek of her… to go to a public cafe where all the hearing people can hear sod all she says but hides from us. Not that I wanted to look at her or be nosy. Could it have been because she was trying to hide what they were saying about us?
Kettle had boiled and settled. Calm was restored.
We then went for a walk to pass a little time but one of the shop’s entrances was busy. My dad being tall and well built, slowly edged his way through a small gap. I spy this woman giving him a dirty look behind his back. I looked at her and calmly asked her, “Why did you give him a dirty look?” The dirty look reappeared.
I said to her, calmly – I don’t know how! “There is no need for you to give me a dirty look either.” and walked away….
Walking back to the library… the woman from the cafe and her daughter walked past me. I thought sod it, carpe diem. Don’t laugh. Heh.
She was trying to ignore me as I approached her… I said to her “Just because I can sign and have hearing aids, it doesn’t mean I can’t hear you. Next time don’t be so rude and hide behind a mug.” And walked, back to my father. Who was standing a short distance away, smiling with what seemed to be a sense of pride.
I cannot understand why some people can behave in such a way? How does evil come naturally to them? Mind boggling.
I have been with Orange and now EE for a very long time. I decided to revert to pay as you go last year because of increasing tariffs, which was even tried on my PAYG plan so once again I switched to a new plan to avoid the increasing costs being imposed on us.
I would like to know why EE refuse to source when a voucher was sold with the details provided so they could refund / credit the account?
EE must have a record of all their vouchers sold to top up with – why is it impossible for EE to be fair only to steal our money and turn it into a profit.
I ask because I recently asked for a top up and handed over my top up card, which credits my account almost instantly and was handed me, my receipt.
The next day, I had no credit left and could not use my phone to contact my family. I searched for the recipe it and could not find it. My feelings turned to dread when I realised my husband or kids had binned it – I always keep my receipts for at least several months for my records.
I decided to go back to the store; they explained they could not do anything without the actual receipt. I asked if they could give me a copy of the transaction if I gave them the time, amount, card number and cost. Thankfully, they matched a transaction to my details as given so I had a copy to hand. They still could not do anything, even if they had just given me a copy of my transaction that showed the credit I bought.
It soon transpired from the copy of the sale, that the credit I had bought via my top up card was actually a voucher with a unique code to enter via my mobile, to be credited with. That was not what I had requested? Had I known or it was made clear to me by the cashier, I would have used it straight away.
I am seriously considering switching to another network who does not sell credit vouchers to their customers as that is a sure fire way for networks to make a profit amidst such confusion. Moreover, please, do not suggest that refunds are made at the store’s discretion in order to sweep this under the rug. Thank you.
Over the past few weeks I have seen a campaign by SignHealth and their supporters from within the deaf community, steadily grow.
I wanted to share with you, my personal experience.
At one point last year, a deaf friend was concerned enough to put me into contact with someone offering their professional help except, how could I talk to them when their sibling was one of the bullies? The deaf world was much too small, typical and predictable for my liking. I felt extremely claustrophobic.
Eventually, my GP referred me for counselling to help lift me out of my depression and certain trains of thought. Members of the deaf community had brought all of my life altering experiences on so it was only natural for me to want to stick with a local counsellor, who was hearing and had very little (if no) experience with deaf clients.
My counsellor began the first of our many intensive sessions, asking if an interpreter should be present to help us communicate with ease. This was enough reason to make me clam up. I refused their offer politely and asked if we could continue without one, as I was confident it would work.
I did not at the time trust anyone that had any connections to the deaf community; enough to be anywhere near me. Not even an interpreter bound by confidence because they too, I could not trust.
In time, my counsellor’s deaf awareness grew with each session and once they took me by surprise by saying, “I am glad we didn’t use an interpreter because you would not have told me everything. You would have been extremely cautious. I did not think our sessions would work without one and you proved me wrong. You have taught me that not every deaf person needs an interpreter present and not every deaf person relies solely on sign language.”
Their acknowledgement and increased deaf awareness made my heart smile. I suddenly felt freer than I had ever been and that feeling of being finally understood, not just me but the deaf community too, how diverse it actually is and how our needs and abilities differ, was priceless. This was therapy, albeit my way.
Each to their own for reasons that should be known to themselves, only.
It is vital that we fight to retain our choice to be counselled however we wish, be it the deaf way or the hearing way in order to be at our most comfortable, for our therapy to succeed. And for that, we should be grateful such a service like SignHealth exists because they do work, for those who choose them. For those who need them. For those who solely rely on sign language, for they do exist.
No one deserves to be ignored.
I wish SignHealth all the best with their latest campaign, to continue providing “a national psychological therapy service where all the therapists are fluent in British Sign Language (BSL)”.