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)

The Right To Decide by Catherine Vest

A vlog about one’s very personal experiences was shared publically, this relatively hit home.

Vlog: https://www.facebook.com/cmcastil/posts/10102003581703274?__mref=message

Transcription:

“This is in regards to ‪#‎whyisign‬— I am one of those unfortunate individuals who was forced to learn ASL purely for survival. I was not linguistically deprived and was happy with my current method, which was Signed Exact English (SEE), until I was placed in a deaf school. The transition at the deaf school was brutal and I was bullied horribly because I signed differently. It is akin to bullying someone else who spoke differently, like talking with a stutter, lisp or some kind of speech impediment.

While many of you consider that it is a human right to have access to our language, I doubt many of you did stop to consider the possibility that bullying or tormenting someone else who happen to have different signing skills— that you may have denied our right to decide whether SEE or ASL would be best suited to our needs.

You took away my right to decide if I wanted to learn ASL and took away something that I grew up with and served me very well in many areas of my life.

You do not get to decide how my signing should look like- just like with our unique ways of communicating. This is how my sign looks like and you do not get to tell me that it sucks or that it does not fit in your ideal vision of how sign language should look like.”

Meanwhile… I would like to applaud Catherine Vest, for her courage in speaking out – in many senses.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Whole School Can Learn To Sign, Not Just A Class.

While it is admirable that a class (in Bosnia) has learnt to sign to make a deaf classmate feel welcome and included, there is actually a whole school (in the UK) who has learnt to sign to make the students from their PHU just as welcome and included – this I have witnessed with my own eyes and was blown away.

So, if a class can do it, just take a moment to think outside of the box – somewhere, there is actually a whole school that deserves just as much recognition for their dedication over many years to be inclusive.

schoolfront

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Pitched Perfectly? If Only

Pitch Perfect was broadcasted on TV earlier this summer, it was only then my daughter and I discovered what an awesome film it was to watch. We enjoyed it tremendously and the subtitles were marvellous, I could follow every single word, the dialogue as well as the songs. I felt on a par to everyone else.

Recently I treated myself to a Pitch perfect DVD – I had debated with myself which DVD to buy, as the ‘sing-along’ version was available too. I could not make up my mind since I knew from experience that subtitles on DVDs were not as inclusive as on TV so my sister helped me to choose. We concluded the singalong version should allow me to watch the film’s dialogue as well as following the lyrics to the musicals however; this option of being able to toggle was not to be the case…

My daughter at present is home unwell from school due to a virus so I thought that by putting on the Pitch perfect DVD it would also cheer her up. I had very much been looking forwards to watching it once more in my own leisurely time. However, I have had to leave her side to let her watch and enjoy the rest of the movie since I could not follow/enjoy it.

The DVD menu gives you two options. First option is the “Play Movie” of which allows you to watch the movie without the karaoke style captions to the songs but upon selecting English subtitles for those like myself who happen to be hearing impaired, the subtitles omit the song lyrics. The second option “Play Movie with Sing-along” version only allows you to watch the movie with the karaoke style captions to the songs yet despite selecting English subtitles they do not show up at all for the dialogue remainder of the film. Examples of which are shown in the video below.

Why can’t people like myself who happen to be hearing impaired, watch a musical DVD (in general) at our own leisure with the subtitles reflecting the whole context of the movie? The dialogue and the lyrics…. Only then, it can and will be ‘pitched perfectly’…

Thank you, for your time and patience.

Nevertheless, my daughter thoroughly enjoyed the DVD…

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

The Suffering of Deaf Children In Gaza

There are many untold stories and here is one of them……

“The idea of making cartoons was started after the war, after being inspired to help the many traumatised children within Gaza. They suffered from psychological and behavioural problems during the war, as with all children living in a state of armed violence. Their idea behind the cartoons is to show the world what the children living in the Gaza Strip are suffering from and what they have witnessed during the war.

Deaf children specifically were in a state of isolation during the war because they were unable to go to school or come to the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children for someone to explain what was happening around them as not all families were able to use sign language to explain the reason behind the brutality. They would only see is their families leaving their homes; mothers barely had time to pack some things and take her children and leave, sometimes even forgetting some of them.

They also suffered from power outages and were unable to communicate with anyone, as they had to do so only in sign language, and although the parents were there, it was difficult to communicate in the dark, thus leaving the children isolated.

The biggest fear felt by the deaf children in Gaza is the fear of losing their arms and hands, as that it their only means of communication, so that scared them the most. They had always hoped if something were to happen to them, that they would be martyred immediately rather than lose their arms, because if they did, they would have no way of communicating with the outside world.

One form of psychological rehabilitation used by Atfaluna, for both all the children and the employees, was the use of drawings, which were later turned into cartoons for the deaf to express themselves. We are happy that these cartoons were very popular and received attention from all across the world.

Video by MEMO’s Mohammed Asad.”

Source.