Despite going to a mainstream secondary school with a deaf unit, nobody there once asked me or told me about the idea of a ‘deaf identity.’ It’s only now when I’m questioned on how I identify, I can pinpoint exactly how I feel and be proud of all the different parts that make up me.
A few weeks ago, I had what I would probably describe as an ‘activist burnout’. Asking hearing people to make their content more deaf friendly and accessible, only for them to ignore you and belittle your concerns is exhausting. At worst, it can make you question your efforts to increase deaf awareness, when certain individuals just don’t want to listen.
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like the last 12 months have been extremely stressful. A year ago we were in the first month of a national lockdown and I was naively hopeful that things would ‘all be better by the summer.’ Ha, if only I knew!
Last month it was Sign Language Awareness Week, as organised by the British Deaf Association. During this particular week I shared tips and images of signs on my personal Facebook page, spreading awareness of my love for sign language and encouraging my contacts to give signing a go if they hadn’t already had the chance.
I have one person to thank for repeatedly encouraging me to set up an email newsletter. For the longest time, I had brushed it aside on the basis that I didn’t know what on earth I would want to write about. A lot of things I considered news, I had written about in my job as a freelance journalist. If we’re talking personal news, then I’d save that for the small number of people on Twitter who may find that interesting – emphasis on the ‘may’.
We continue our focus on our founding members, this time looking at deafscotland. Known for being the lead organisation for deaf issues in Scotland, deafscotland (Formerly Scottish Council on Deafness) is made up of members from across the country. Much of their work involves organising events, conferences and National Council meetings. deafscotland state that their vision …
The Heather Jackson Award is presented jointly by the National Association of Deafened People (NADP), Signature, and Hearing Link. The award is made annually to a deafened person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunities of deafened people, as well as enhanced positive relationships between deafened and hearing people.
We continue our focus on our founding members, this time looking at BATOD (British Association of Teachers of the Deaf).
Formed in 1976, BATOD is the sole association in the UK which represent teachers of deaf children and young people.