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)

Deaf Mental Health On Social Media.

If you want to learn sign language or needed an interpreter for an appointment, would you settle for someone who knows only the basics and perhaps a little more? You would not because you would want a qualified sign language tutor or a registered interpreter – right? So that you could be fully confident of what you were being taught / told.

Then why are people (especially the deaf) sharing very personal videos about their mental health issues and sharing them to a secret group, run by an admin team and members that are NOT qualified to relatively advise?

I from personal experience appreciate that friendly support can be therapeutic and is better than nothing but it’s potentially dangerous in such a social media group. Thank you, but no thank you. I’ll stick to sites provided by qualified counsellors.

Please view a previous post of mine which also relates to mental health therapy, the deaf way. 

Vent given. ☺️

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

An (Un)fortunate Reminder.

I have been (un?)fortunately reminded why I did not want to be a part of any social media groups, relating to or based on deafness / sign language. For I am now much happier, without, having since left quite a few.

Why?

Having this extraordinary second chance at life has meant I have very little tolerance for such toxic “deaf world” attitudes. For me to get extremely angry nowadays is very rare but as always, is justified.

My personal experience (here in the UK) is that because deaf people do not support each other, that often makes matters worse. Sadly, causing mental health issues from within.

What is deaf culture? And an important message for the deaf community.

The deaf community has however, come a long way and that should not be forgotten. From being hidden away, or being forbidden to sign, to what it is today for we now, are able to be an equal. There is still a lot to do to improve the mental health state within the deaf community and it is down to the deaf community to work harder through legal means to improve situations.

Each and every being, deserves to be respected – regardless.
Each one of us, deserves better.

I would like to publicly thank my friends, for your continued support. For one another especially. For your courage and conviction.

Much love and admiration to you all. 💖💖💖

Bless your cottons! 😜

May positivity and peace reign over us all, once more.

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~ SJ (Sara Jae)

British Sign Language.

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Deaf & deaf

The one thing I have noticed about (British) sign language is how it is always evolving. How they signed in the 1930’s is different yet similar to today’s. Back then it was mainly fingerspelling at a very fast speed!

https://www.bslzone.co.uk/watch/deaf-world-archive-films-deaf-people-1930s/

I also observe that there is no right or wrong way to sign a word, due to regional “accents”. Much like how spoken languages is always evolving, has accents and have adopted foreign words too.

I bring this up solely because I’ve noticed people continuously trying to correct a person’s signing “No, wrong!”, I have even ‘heard’ (pardon the pun!) that someone was trying to suggest to the signing community, not to adopt any foreign signs.

There are different signs to words like “Deaf” and “Thank you” today, to what I learnt as a child.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Are You One?

Some people be sniffing the walls in Audiology!

Surdusphile.

Surdusphile.

Is someone who has a fetish, a deep obsession with deaf people, deaf culture, deaf devices, sign language, etc, etc.

~ 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)

At Whose Fecking Mercy, Exactly?

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The other day I was concerned to find quite a passionate post, ranting about being denied the opportunity to watch a captioned screening of a film they particularly and most eagerly wanted to watch. They went as far as to complain to Cineworld because they felt as though they were “at their fecking mercy”. So not my words.

Then I spot an editor adding fuel to the fire by suggesting they write a post about the dispute they were locked in, with Cineworld – for them to publish on their blog. Surely an editor is meant to fact check first? Or are they just desperate for ratings…

These days I do not wish to get involved with anything deaf related because usually, it’s the brutal truth which people know but refuse to accept. They are happy in their dream world, assuming all is against them when the fight to break down barriers are sometimes of their own doing.

This current dispute with Cineworld is unjustified. Because I myself had been following listings not just from “Your Local Cinema” but comparing them with official listings by the cinema companies themselves.

your local cinema logo

Why would I accept a third person’s say so? I’m going to double check it and make sure it’s correct or otherwise. This is how I knew Cineworld was not wrong and so felt the need to inform the complainer, of my findings. That actually, ‘Your Local Cinema’ was in fact publishing incorrect listings on occasion and even listed non-existent cinemas. Some of which had long been demolished. I had been checking throughout the holidays as there were and are films we, that my kids and I, would like to see and saw for myself, the inconsistencies.

Double check, the information and yourselves. Try not to be so trigger happy, eh?

~ SJ (Sara Jae)