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)

Free Of Hatred.

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I am inclined to do a cull shortly, for I do not wish to see posts on any of my social media feeds which are extremely racially divisive and breeds further hatred, nor do I enjoy seeing and knowing that some of these people are blindly supporting and sharing posts of that nature, JUST because they are “friend(s)” with the original poster – without thinking or questioning first, themselves or the poster’s true intentions.

I enjoy respectful healthy debates but when you see a post that tries to suggest white people are uneducated, for whatever they may choose to think ie “All lives matter” etc or for choosing to be silent… To be against ALL racism… That’s each and every one’s right, to think for themselves but to see someone turn and abuse that right by trying to make us all out as “uneducated whites”. is RACIST in itself.

It is rather hypocritical for someone to expect those who are trying to be more conscious of other unlawful killings (regardless of race, colour or creed) since no or not enough noise is being made on their behalf, who’s trying to be more mindful, inclusive and fair, only to be faced with a condition, to conform under pressure to a particular stance, one that might feel and appear divisive… When that someone or group doing the pressuring, could introspect. reflect and compromise also?

“Together we stand, divided we fall”

Unity against ALL racism is the way forwards. Not one way, or the high way.

So to read “uneducated whites” (by Ashton Jean Pierre) was the last straw, especially by a member (same person!) of the deaf community and worse still, seeing other, potentially influential, members of the same community, supporting. accepting and even sharing that notion. Most people I know have chosen to let it go.

Seeing a degree of manipulation being applied to suit – in all senses, is saddening. Whether they realise it, or not. For potentially. not conforming to them or their way of thinking, behaving.

It’s totally fine for those who wish to remain silent, it’s totally fine for those who wish not to explain themselves… it’s totally fine whatever one chooses to do, or say, or not say. It’s totally fine, not to conform under pressure, it’s totally fine, to stand firm in what you believe in, regardless of the belief(s). It is totally fine, for you to stay true to yourself.

No one has the right to dictate, you, your way of thinking, beliefs, your conscience, your life.

Those who know me well, will know that I am not afraid to use my voice, or to use my right to keep my space neutral, peaceful and free of hatred. As one possibly can.

Politics vs Morals
Seconded.

Quality rather than quantity.

~ 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)

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)

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)