Blogs

Another Academic Year, Another Deaf Student at the Bottom of the List.

Here I am, yet again… waiting for my notetaking support to be put into place.

Student Finance England, well done. You never fail to surprise me.

I am starting University in 2 weeks and my support is nowhere near put in place, I have no note-taker provider.

I accept for hearing students, it is a scary and life changing experience going to University BUT for Deaf students, its ten times scarier and nerve wracking.

I am currently thinking

‘What if the notetaker isn’t Deaf aware’

‘What if the students aren’t accepting of my Deafness’

‘What if no-one is Deaf aware’

‘What if the lecturer doesn’t want to wear my Roger Pen’

‘What if students make fun when I don’t catch what’s been said’

Whereas, the typical hearing student is thinking

‘Which pillows should I get?’

‘I hope there’s some fit lads there’

‘Fresher’s is going to be lit, all that banging music’

‘What if the lecturer is boring and talks all the time’

So hearing students, before you moan about how much you have to get done before university, think about how much Deaf students have to do, and we haven’t even started yet!

Why I left Lancaster University

I started on a Social Work course at Lancaster in October 2018. I left that course in May 2019.

There are many reasons why I left and didn’t continue the three year course Lack of Deaf Awareness

1.Lack of Deaf Awareness

The Disability Services has a ‘one size fits all’ approach. They seem to lack adequate education in Deaf students at University and show no interest to support Deaf students in the best they possibly can, this is my personal experience.

Students within the course and University itself don’t receive Deaf awareness sessions within the introduction week.

I provided a Deaf awareness session to staff and students thinking it would improve the situation, which it didn’t for most staff and students.

2. Attitudes

Students held negative or pre-concieved views of Deaf people and held stereotypical views of Deaf people

Disability services seem to treat support for Disabled students at Lancaster as a favour rather than an entitlement

3. Accessibility

Educational videos were more than often not [CC]; when they were [CC], they were inaccurate.

Resources were not made easier for me as a Deaf student to understand, I wasn’t provided with 1:1 support at Lancaster.

That is a short summary; if you have any questions about being at Lancaster as a Deaf student; DM me on kirstyj.18 (Instagram)

They said because I was Deaf, I couldn’t be an actress, so I went to Brit School : Labbie Jolaoso tells all

‘One of my biggest achievements was getting into the Brit School’

Labbie tells me all about what it’s like to be in the Brit School as a Deaf person in tell-all interview

What is your biggest achievement?

I have four achievements

  • Getting into the Brit School
  • Performing with Deafinitely Theatre Company
  • Going to East 15 Acting School for University this year 2019/20
  • Bronze Arts Award

What’s it like being at the Brit School as a Deaf person?

It’s hilarious, I got to teach my class sign language for my Year 13 final show, the entire script was signed in BSL/SSE which was a fun experience for me and the other students

Sometimes, it is hard because there wasn’t really any other Deaf people. When I was in primary school, I had a deaf unit, so there was lots of other Deaf people I could talk to but I didn’t have that in college

People also can forget that I am Deaf because I use speech to communicate and my new hearing aids are quite small and unnoticeable

Have you ever come across people who have doubted you as a Deaf actress?

Yes! Someone said that I would ‘never be an actress’ because it’s a ‘dream too far away’ and I am disabled to have a talent… but I went to Brit School and now I’m going to University to become an actress

What is your message to other Deaf people, in particular, Deaf women who want to pursue a career in performance, acting, singing and dancing?

‘I chose to ignore those people who said I couldn’t do it, and look where I am now’

‘Be confident in yourself and say I AM ENOUGH when you are in doubt’

‘Being Deaf does not affect your ability to showcase your talent, being Deaf is an additional bonus to your talent’

Can you give some future changes that you want to see in performance, music, dancing and acting for Deaf people?

Obviously, more BSL integrated and captioned shows and I want to see more Deaf musicians

Most importantly, when there is a Deaf role in a movie, play or whatever, there should be a Deaf actor playing that role. When a hearing character plays a Deaf person, it’s an insult to the Deaf community, and that hearing person is acting out and pretending what it is like to be a Deaf person just because they ‘studied Deaf people’ and learned sign language’

Deaf role = Deaf actor.

IDIOT ALERT!!! STRONG WARNING

Image result for DUMB
NOPE, WE AREN’T TALKING ABOUT DONALD TRUMP TODAY 😦

Sterotypes exist for Deaf people and they are real.

So far, I’ve had

  • You talk so well, you can’t be deaf
  • You don’t look deaf
  • So do hearing aids fix you, so your not really deaf
  • What are those things in your ears

PLUS MANY MORE. Have you had any, share them with me on Facebook in the comments πŸ™‚

I just want to punch, smash and break down a few stereotypes in this short piece today

  1. Deaf people can’t drive

Yes. We can.

2. All Deaf people sign

No, not all.

3. You don’t look Deaf

That’s so dumb. What is a Deaf person supposed to look like? A alien with three tits? Come on..

4. Hearing aids/cochlear implants cure Deaf people

Oh my god. Could you sound anymore like Donald Trump with this nonsense..

5. Deaf and Dumb

Really Billy, you have 2 GCSE’s and 1 tooth. Go away πŸ™‚

If you have any other stupid comments or stereotypes that have be said to you, comment below on Facebook or message me privately. I love to hear people’s stories

Going to the Doctor’s: a brief overview

Waiting for the GP to come out and call your name… and then missing it when they come out πŸ™‚

My local doctor’s are anything BUT deaf aware. They insist on using the phone to communicate rather than simply emailing or providing alternative communication methods.

Image result for doctors negative

Quite frankly, some of the attitudes towards me and my family when we say ‘we are deaf, we don’t use the phone’ – it feels as if we are a nuisance to them… I hate it.

Image result for rude receptionist

In the future, I want to go to 10+ GP Practice’s to deliver deaf awareness to those professionals as a deaf patient, as it is vital that deaf people have access to the best quality of healthcare.

Image result for deaf aware

It is easy for hearing people to ring up and make an appointment, for them to look on their phones while their waiting for their name to be called.. deaf people do not have that luxury.

Well, some deaf people may have better access to healthcare than others depending on the region where they live. But I can firmly say, where I live, access to healthcare is minimal, it really is not easy.

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SIMILAR THINGS TO ME? CHECK BELOW

Image result for i want to hear your opinion

If anyone who lives within Southport and is Deaf, if you have a similar experiences to me, please get in touch.

You can email me via deafgirlkj@outlook.com

You can private message me on any of my social media accounts – @kjdeafgirl

Can you relate? My experience in mainstream school in 12 sentences.

I attended mainstream primary, secondary, college and now University. So I have A LOT of experience being 1 of 2/3 Deaf people out of hundreds of hearing people.

Lessons:

  1. Being in ANY, almost EVERY lesson when the teacher is doing the register to check attendance and worrying and waiting for when they will say your name.. anyone else? or is that just me

2. Every time a teacher explains a new topic and they HAVE to use fancy diagrams and pictures on the board whilst directly talking to the board…

3. Getting asked a question but not hearing what the teacher has asked, then the teacher assumes you don’t know… instead of REPEATING it

Other students:

  1. Getting asked if they can use your radio aid… ‘can you hear me’ repeated 200 times. Like YES I CAN HEAR YOU but I have no clue what you are saying

2. ‘What are those THINGS in your ears’ – One day, I really want to answer ‘Oh you didn’t know, I work for the CIA πŸ™‚ ‘

3. When other students panic that you are Deaf and think if they open their mouth wide and talk loud and slow.. it will help. Firstly, no. Secondly, you need a chewing gum

‘I know everything about Deaf people teacher’

  1. I know sign language!!! –

Me: excited

Them: A…..p……C…..o

Me: IM OUT

2. Making it obvious that you are the only Deaf person in the room

‘ 3.Your doing so so well even though your Deaf’ … ok so Deaf people can’t achieve. Got ya πŸ™‚

‘I can’t be bothered to attempt to understand how to include you in my classes teacher’

  1. ‘Didn’t you hear what I just said??’ – nope.. that’s kind of why I’m staring at you with a confused face??????????

2. ‘Next time, listen in class’ – yeah okay, I’ll just programme my hearing aids to ‘hearing’ next time πŸ™‚

3. ‘Stop talking to the person next to you’ – but I’m just asking the person next to me what you SAID BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT

Here are some interesting clips from Deaf people for you to check out this week!!



Hajra Mirza: ‘at Manchester City Women’s FC, I feel safe knowing that we all share the same disability’

Hajra

What is your experience at a young age, of playing football?

‘Before, I used to play for the local hearing football team where I lived, it was difficult to be able to perform at my best when I did not know what the other players were shouting

As Ben Lampert, Britain’s only Deaf full time football coach says ‘
people get judged. They think you can’t do it and they tend to be a bit patronising. We need to take that away and judge people on their skills and ability rather than their deafness.’

‘I felt judged in my local hearing football team. because they weren’t deaf aware, so when I made a mistake or didn’t do what I was supposed to do, they though I was rubbish already without giving me the opportunity to improve’

Now, what is it like playing for Manchester City Women’s FC (Deaf Football)?

‘In Man City, everyone’s very aware and has a different approach in football that suits all of us in terms of eye contact’

‘Deaf football teams like Man City give me encouragement which motivates me to do well’

‘I am now able to take in and understand the coach/players feedback in order to progress as a player’

As a University student, do you find that playing for Manchester City Women’s FC helps you as a student?

‘As a University Student, I am constantly studying which is so stressful so its nice to have a break as well as keep myself active’

Like Hajra, regardless of disability, other University students who take part in regular physical activity say they perform better, are more employable and enjoy better mental well-being, according to a new study.

Hajra

‘As a University student, I am always around hearing people so its a challenge everyday. It’s nice to be able to come to training, let my hair down and socialise in the most comfortable environment’

Manchester City Women’s FC (Deaf)

As NDCS says ‘Deaf children may prefer to participate in mainstream football as there are more opportunities to play in a wide range of matches against the very best footballers, while others may prefer to participate in deaf football as it may be more socially and culturally appealing’

To find out more about Manchester City Deaf Football, click on the links below!!

Twitter – Man City Deaf FC

To find out more about Deaf football, click on the links below!!

England Deaf Football – Putting Deaf Football First

Somalia’s football league for deaf players