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)

The HM Passport Office.

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I was in the process of renewing a British passport the other day and I decided after, to have a read through the leaflet that accompanied the passport form. I came across a section in it, written for those who happen to have a disability and i spotted a certain point which made me read it twice, thrice even.

I could not believe the poor quality of this particular paragraph in what is, such an important leaflet from the British Government, the HM Passport Office. For anyone wishing to apply for or renewing their British passport.

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You know me, I tried to contact the Passport office to politely let them know of this poorly worded paragraph but they have not responded or acknowledged it, yet.

For more information about Typetalk which is alternatively known as Text Relay, please follow this link to better understand.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/accessibility/text-relay-guide

Somewhat disappointed at the incompetence but hopeful that the said paragraph will be rectified after some educating . Feel free to join me, in educating them.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

 

Freedom From Frustration.

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Keeping the Tree House fb group going as a wise friend put it “was a form of self defeatist self abuse.”

I have long since been locked “in an intimidated interaction.”

The damage has been done, by all those who consciously chose to target, to spread slander & manipulative lies, acted on their disdain simply because they could not succeed in playing games with me. They could not get what they wanted which was their own way and my Tree House.

The Tree House fb group is now, closed.

The website however, will remain open to view as a lot of hard work has been put into it. I thank once again, all those who willingly contributed and kindly supported.

By removing myself from the equation, mainly the negativity generated by the offenders of the deaf world, I am now free.

To be me. ☺️

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

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)

Deafness Blues

Challenges ahead

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.
Double arse!
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.
How surreal.
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.
How frustrating.
For us all.

Treble arse.

~ 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.

Where Are Your Manners?

Utterly shocked at the snobbery of some people.

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.

Omfg.

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….

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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 wanna get off this planet…

~ SJ (Sara Jae)