Signs For Change – Rogan Productions

Signs For Change is a documentary that aired on BBC on Monday 26th June 2023, it follows Strictly come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis on her journey as she speaks to friends, family and professionals that are pushing the boundaries for the deaf community and helping break down barriers and misconceptions. Rose hopes the documentary helps shine a light on deaf experiences and highlights the beauty of sign language itself.

The documentary was  a wonderfully insightful and powerful documentary, it shows the challenges that deaf people continue to face and how Rose Ayling-Ellis continues to break down barriers by sharing her experiences of being deaf. 

We caught up with the team at Rogan Productions to ask them a few questions to help us better understand why they decided to make this documentary and what they think makes it so special.

What was the reason you decided to make this film?

“When Rose started on Strictly, it was clear she was going to be a force to be reckoned with because she so quickly started to challenge assumptions and prejudices. At Rogan Productions, we love to make films that are full of emotion and challenge preconceptions, so it was completely natural to collaborate with Rose.”

How do you think this show will impact people with little knowledge of deafness?

“Often deaf stories are told from a hearing perspective. Here we have a documentary which is led by Rose’s own experience of being deaf and that in itself is unusual. So, for example, when she meets Harrison, a young deaf man finding his deaf identity, they bond over agreeing that they’d never want to become hearing, as they value their deafness. It’s hard to imagine a programme led by a hearing presenter and crew delving into this kind of conversation.”

Do you think this film can shine a light on the amazing things deaf people can achieve?

“Yes but in an incidental way – but it’s about more than being inspiring. Rose wanted to show that being deaf itself is not a barrier and some of those she meets tell us that without barriers deaf people can do amazing things the same way hearing people can.”

Why do you think people should watch this film?

“It’s an extraordinary journey through deaf experience with one of the most charismatic and influential people of our time.”

Rose Ayling-Ellis has achieved some amazing things over the last few years, what was the reason you chose Rose for this film?

“The nation adored her on Strictly and it seemed she opened up the opportunity to take viewers deeper into an experience that had been long overlooked. Rose has a natural curiosity and drive that make her a brilliant lead for a documentary. But it’s also important to say Rose chose to do this documentary – it is deeply personal and reflects her ongoing engagement with trying to promote positive change for deaf communities.”

Thanks for speaking with us Rogan Productions.

Signature, were moved by how open and honest Rose, her friends and family were about her deafness and experiences of finding out she was deaf. These conversations that happen everyday in homes across the UK about the challenges that deaf people have, it shouldn’t be like that. For example, look at Katie Littlejohn’s, who Rose met on the show, they are still having to battle to get free BSL lesson to be able to communicate with her young son, that shouldn’t be a challenge it should be a right! We fully support the campaign and will help in anyway we can to make this a reality – if you haven’t already you can support the campaign here.

Following the release of Signs for Change, the feedback across social media has been incredibly positive and emotional, with many people sharing similar experiences to Rose.

“This was brilliant . So informative and great to learn the different feelings from deaf people, no two are alike, just like the rest of us . Well done Rose”

Thank you @RoseAylingEllis for your documentary today, ‘Signs for Change’, and bringing our stories alive. It is time for people to understand that choices are not real ones if options are taken away. We are richer for BSL. #SignsForChange

“Brilliant and thank you for enlightening so many people”

“A brilliant program all the more powerful because it was all true”

“Hopefully the BSL ACT will mean deaf awareness is on the rise and soon things will change soo much more. Well done Rose for showing all young deaf people to never settle and keep pushing boundaries. We need more deaf role models and awareness for the hearing world!”

Signs For Change, can be watched here on BBC iPlayer and is made by Rogan Productions.

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