President Obama Inspires Young Deaf Ambassador of Change

Written by Zam Naqvi

Paul Ntulila dreams came true on April 23rd 2016 when the US Embassy and the White House asked Lingoing to provide British Sign Language interpreters to attend an event where President Obama was speaking.

“When I found out that I would have an opportunity to attend President Obama’s speech and Q&A with young leaders and ambassadors of the future, I felt very excited. Barack Obama has been a huge inspiration and a very influential role model for me. He exemplifies the breaking down of social barriers in that he is a Black man and was elected to be President of the United States. This has encouraged President Obama Town Hallme to pursue my own political ambitions. Who knows, maybe one day I will become the first Deaf Black Prime Minister of England!” – Paul.

When Lingoing’s offices received the call to make such an important event accessible for d/Deaf people it was an honour and top priority for the company. “It is opportunities like these that create change and inspiration for our young deaf people, who carry the baton forward for the future of our community” – Sadaqat Ali, CEO Lingoing Ltd.

Lingoing has a network of interpreters, and we found two very trusted members of the Interpreting community to represent us. Brett Best, who is qualified as a BSL and ASL Interpreter and Sharan Thind.

Brett and Sharan recalled meeting Paul and his desire to pursue a career in Politics, and so arranged for him to attend the event. It is this type of initiative that we are so proud of, as Sharan explained “the Town Hall event with POTUS is unique. The impact that the event had for the Deaf BSL user was monumental.”

FullSizeRenderBrett, rightly states that “participation in the political process is fundamental for democracy. Members of the British Deaf Community have struggled with getting linguistic access to political information, and I hope that the British government will take note of this.”

Brett continues that if events like “these are made accessible to all members of society this ensures a diversity of perspectives and participation” which we are all passionate about.

This opportunity did draw an insightful contrast between a government that provides access as a matter Obama greetingof course at public political events and the lack of interpreters present at such broadcasted opportunities in the UK. This sheds further light on a question Paul wanted to ask, but didn’t get to do so “Do you think that the U.S. could serve as a role model for facilitating employment opportunities and access to society for Deaf people?”

A memorable experience for all of us involved and one that has opened more questions in our pursuit of equality.

What do you think? Please comment, share and discuss.

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Ovais’s Blog

 

Ovais1

Please explain your job role:

My role at Lingoing is bookkeeping assistant, supervisor for the booking coordinator, and user experience champion for web development. It has been my greatest challenge but best experience so far. Sara is a great booking coordinator and a great communicator, I have the pleasure of her working with me and also she is very fast in learning British Sign Language. I am very proud of her joining her BSL level 1 course and supporting her voice off days in the office! I enjoy working with Liz, it’s been a great experience and she has taught me how the finance accounting works. We are a great team and we always enjoy solving problems and resolving issues using our new integrated systems on the Lingoing platform.

My team is great and I learn a lot from their roles and it always helps me improve my own skills. Two very special team members are Liz and Sara! Both are great because they made a decision to start learning British Sign Language. Well done to Liz and Sara!

Why Lingoing?

My last job I worked part time, then I met Sadaqat and Saduf. Saduf explained the concept behind Lingoing, I liked it and I gave her some tips. She told Sadaqat, who then wanted to offer me a job but first they needed to give me a trial period to test my skills. I passed it with flying colours!! and they offered me the job to work with them and I have really enjoyed being part of their company, the growth and the fast changing pace. My previous manager offered me the same role of booking coordinator but it was not challenging enough, so I changed jobs and although it is the same role, I realised it involves a lot of things and personally I had to learn to be patient.  I really enjoy it and although I have a lot of pressure, I rise to the challenge and I am pleased Sara joined us so we can support each other. I start a new challenge with my other role of booking assistant, I really enjoy working with Lingoing they are such a great team!

What do you do outside of work?

I am an easygoing person with a good sense of humour who is honest and punctual, these qualities help me with my freelance work of Designer and I still manage to work with my customers in the evenings. I spend most of my time with my family and I enjoy going out with good friends. I miss my best friend as he lives far away from London! I cannot see him, he’s on the other side of the world, in Australia. I have known him since we were 3 years old upto now. I enjoy driving every min and flying off to somewhere around the world, I dream of traveling around the USA and Australia. I would like to go to Los Angeles again! I really enjoy experiencing various cultures in different countries. My best experience was in Asia and I want to go there again some day. I am very passionate about cars and one day hope to own a 911 Porsche!  I always watch football on TV, I am a Manchester United fan!

What is your favourite film?

I cannot live without watching movies! My best movie has to be ‘Seven’, this film is the best one I have ever seen in my life. The three actors are great! I enjoy watching any movie on my surround sound system! It’s great because I get to hear the loud sounds and feel the vibrations! I can’t think of any good movie, Oh yeah I always watch marvel films any of those movies like Hulk, Iron Man, I enjoy watching these movies too.

What is the worst food you’ve ever eaten?

I know everyone has been waiting to hear my worst food! I will never forget, it was the worst food I have eaten! It was only a few years ago, my brother in-law was cooking at my mother’s house. He called me into the kitchen and then asked me if I wanted to taste something great? I said yes and I ate what he gave me, it tasted nice I thought! Then I saw my two sisters laughing! He asked me if I like the taste, like chicken right?  I said yeah, like chicken! Then he told me that it was cow’s testicles!! WHAT!!?? That’s the worst food I have ever eaten!! I will never forget that! I am trying to think of anything else I have eaten that comes close to that but nothing so far! I can’t believe I ate that, one of the worst experiences of my life!

Meet Altan, the LingoStar!

Full name: Altan Michelle Maidrig

Job Role: In-house Language Service Professional

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Please explain your job role:

My role at Lingoing is In-house Language Service Provider, on a day to day basis, I provide communication support whether it be relaying from Sign Language to English or English to Sign Language, I also work with my lovely fellow co-worker when interpreting for team meetings or if there are any urgent bookings where they need an LSP, then I come along! Most of the week, I work with our lovely Deaf members of staff and ensure any communication needs are supported. As well as being the in-house LSP, I also do a few bits and bobs whether it be bugging my interpreter friends to cover last minute bookings (which I’m sure they’re completely used to now!) or making fantastic cups of tea which Ovals is familiar with!

Why Lingoing?

My first step into my journey with Lingoing started with covering a last minute booking for a friend who was already working for Lingoing. I was quite hesitant as this was my very first freelance job and so already taxes were on my mind!! Fortunately, the booking went smoothly and the client was very lovely! I then did a few more freelance bookings which eventually turned into working with the team quite regularly throughout the week. I had originally planned to stop freelancing at the end of the summer and go back to my regular job elsewhere however that was not the case as I am still here six months on! I was offered a position to work with Lingoing which I was more than happy to take on as I felt that Lingoing really stood out from other BSL providers, if I were to use one word to describe Lingoing, it would be ‘ethical’ why? Because everything Lingoing does in my experience is seamless and transparent. There are no hidden fees and costs and Lingoing genuinely cares about having a positive impact on the Deaf community – the founders Sadaqat and Saduf are the most down to earth people I have ever met and everything they do for Lingoing is from the bottom of their heart.

Personally having grown up and being exposed to the Deaf community from an early age, I have been aware of the politics and issues in this industry and every day I see firsthand everything Lingoing tries to do to empower both Deaf individuals and Interpreters as fairly and as equally which really resonates with me. And a bonus is that the team I work with, probably without a doubt, the best team I have ever worked with who go above and beyond to ensure both Deaf people and Interpreters needs are met.

What do you do outside of work?

I am a bit of a social bee, so I’m usually out with my friends grabbing food, drinking some delicious cocktails, going out etc! (Food plays a big part in my life, mmmm). I also love to spend time with my family as well. I am a bit of a history geek so I love going to museums and watching documentaries about history and researching about different cultures especially food in different cultures! Yum yum yum! I definitely want to travel the world.

What is your favourite film?

I like a bit of everything however I have two favourite films and they’re both Mongolian (as I am from the land of warriors, Mongolia! haha) so I guess I am being a little biased. They’re called ‘The Weeping Camel’ and the ‘Cave of the Yellow Dog’ – absolutely brilliant films with a fantastic meaning behind them about culture, identity and family. I also really like ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ which I totally recommend. However I am also a rom com/comedy/adventure lover! I’ll watch pretty much anything really and I’m a crier when it comes to films, so get the tissues ready!

However… when it comes to TV shows (now that is a different story) – I AM OBSESSED WITH FRIENDS, I have already watched all 10 seasons and now I am re watching from season 1, I think I need to go to a ‘friends’ rehab, anyone else want to join me? Friends anonymous? FA?

What is the worst food you’ve ever eaten?

This is a hard question!! I cannot really pin point the worst food I have ever eaten although this might be a little weird… but I don’t like fat especially lamb fat eughhh – this probably stems from growing up eating Mongolian food and we Mongolians eat a lot of meat! And on the meat there’s always a juicy layer of fat and I cannot get it down my throat, I have an automatic gag reflex, not sexy.

But if I try anything worse than that, I will definitely update my answer! Promise!

We work at WeWork! The new chapter.

It’s already been over a week since we’ve migrated from the Ministry of Startups to WeWork Spitalfields.

On 1st October we cleared out our desk at the Ministry and moved our stuff just round the corner to our brand new office.

Bye Bye Ministry of Startups!

The Move to WeWork

We were quite emotional about leaving the Ministry (we miss you Ben!) and on our last day we went out for our leaving drinks with our ex-landlord, Ben. We met at Ben’s PopUp Patio at Finsbury Square. Ben treated us with organic coke, lemonade and ginger beer made in Dalston and he taught us to play bowls, which was great fun (yay!). We will definitely visit PopUp Patio regularly and we encourage you to do the same!

Bowling

It is so true that the end is a new beginning. We have fallen in love with WeWork from day 1. The view from the ninth floor is breathtaking, the staff is really friendly and helpful, the people working here are amazing and we are already meeting a great network of similarly focused minds.

The new chapter of Lingoing has officially opened!

The View

Meet Sara – Office Admin and Booking Coordinator

Full Name: Sara Komaiszko

Job Title: Office Admin and Booking Coordinator

1) Please explain your job role:

I have many faces at Lingoing. My main role is booking coordination so I am the first person of contact for our clients and suppliers and together with my great colleague Ovais we make sure we match the best interpreters with most suitable jobs.

I am also an office administrator, which means I help everyone with whatever needs to be done on a daily basis. From business research, filling out grant applications, helping the worlds finest finance team with invoicing, arranging meetings for my super busy directors or watching cute dog videos on Youtube with our in-house rocking interpreters, I am there for them!

What I enjoy the most is to get involved in the company’s social media. I like to see how the whole team is engaging in creative ideas and I am very hopeful for our new website and promo video. I am excited to be a part of the vision!

On my daily routine I have my hands full with lots of tasks and I am grateful for new challenges everyday as they make me grow.

2) Why Lingoing?

Although I haven’t really expected I would ever join the deaf and signing community in London, I am really glad it’s happened. It has always been crucial for me to have a meaningful job and Lingoing is a startup that wants to make a difference in the community. I joined the company three months ago and already I have started my BSL Level 1 course, which is such super cool and fascinating language. I am very much inspired by the founders Saduf and Sad and I admire their style of work. It is amazing how they are able to motivate the whole team to put their minds and hearts into the work. It is such a vibrant, creative and focused environment and most importantly, it feels like everyone at Lingoing are not colleagues but friends.

3) What do you do outside of work?

I always keep myself busy, either volunteering at the human rights festival, training in self-defence or meditation. In my free time I travel and try new things like bungee jumping or air riffle shooting. I love stargazing with my boyfriend and we recently enjoyed the lunar eclipse. My most favourite things in the world are British bacon and Polish beer.

4) What is your favourite film?

In my dreams I am a secret agent therefore I love a good spy movie. I am looking forward to the new James Bond flick coming soon!

5) What is the worst food you’ve ever eaten?

I remember my first holidays in Italy with my mother, when I was 12 and we had some seafood in Venice. I had a bite of a small and cold octopus’s head and that was enough for me. It tasted as horrible as you could imagine. Wait for Ovais’s worst food though!

5 Communication Tips For Lipreading Awareness Week

Huge Lipreading Awareness Week celebration is going on at Lingoing’s office. We started from innocent lipreading jokes (what did I say? I Love You? Or… Elephant Poo???) and continued with encouraging our friends to shave off their moustaches. We actually realised that in general people do not know much about lipreading. Therefore we put together these 5 little tips for lipreading newbies and provoke the #ReadMyLips Challenge!

1. Look at the person and make eye contact. It is crucial to ensure that the person knows you’re talking to them.

2. Dooooon’t slooooow dooooown and dontspeedup when talking – it doesn’t make it easier to understand.

3. Don’t overpronounce – seriously, you don’t need to stretch your lips and facial muscles to unnatural grimaces. Doesn’t it hurt?

4. Speak normal. Just like you do. As simple as it sounds.

5. Shave off your moustache! 🙂 (or at least, make it tidy). A little bit too much of facial hair covering your lips makes it all more difficult to lipread.

For Lipreading Awareness Week we encourage all whiskered ones to keep their moustaches neat and trimmed. And the true Lipreading Awareness Heroes will shave their moustaches off! (…Just about the right time to do it now and grow it back in full glory for Movember…)

Join our #Tashtastic Gallery! Take a selfie with your funky moustache and:

post it on our Facebook wall (https://www.facebook.com/lingoingltd),

Tweet it to us: (https://twitter.com/lingoingltd)

Or share it with us on Instagram: https://instagram.com/lingoingcom

If you feel adventurous and want to go the whole hog –

#StashYourTash now and show us your ‘before’ and ‘after’ selfie!

Whatever you do, don’t forget to hashtag it: #ReadMyLips !

#ReadMyLips Challenge for Lipreading Awareness Week

Show us your best moustache for Lipreading Awareness Week!

Or… shave it off if you’re brave enough!

September is Deaf Awareness month and this week we celebrate Lipreading Awareness! Did you know that lipreading can become all the more difficult with the amazing varieties of facial hair? 😀 But not too worry – with a little love and gel you can pull it back and make it a little easier for our fellow lip readers.

Share your pics with creative, funky and flashy tashes with the world! Post your #tashtastic selfie on our Facebook wall (https://www.facebook.com/lingoingltd) and hashtag it #ReadMyLips

Happy tashing!!!!

FullSizeRenderIMG_0528IMG_0538IMG_0539Saduf & SaraIMG_0535IMG_0542IMG_0027