Communication is spreading like wildfire!

There was a time when Deaf people were hard to understand. The society was very less tolerant in who and what they could and would accept. Today is a whole different world.

Worldly affairs and political crisis in certain countries have deprived Deaf children of the simple education and communication skills that they deserve. Communication between the hearing and Deaf generally all over the world for the Deaf was once a taboo, but not anymore.

In Syria a 15 year old brother and 7 year old sister fled violence and had to be moved to Turkey and then final destination, the United States. This upheaval meant that they did not receive the education and opportunity to learn a complete language, but after moving to the United states and being in a school with other Deaf children and seeing more children like themselves being accepted and happy, these children have become entirely different individuals. They have rapidly learnt how to sign, maybe not amazingly well yet, but enough to make others understand them and express their feelings and emotions, something that they had NEVER been able to do with their own family even.

In today’s day and age it is almost impossible to believe that a Deaf child has lived around 14-15 years without ANY form of communication, almost so saddening that it makes me shudder and bring a tear to my eye.

I agree that in some parts of the world Deafness is still shunned, kept very quiet and seen as a disability that is so severe that children and adults are almost kept locked away. This isn’t because that’s what it is, a contagious illness of some sort, but because in those parts of the world the society is still to be educated.

Deafness is something to be proud of and the society we live in today to some extent takes pride in their Deaf identity. Even though ‘communication is spreading like wildfire’, we have a long way yet to go in order for us to achieve total equality.

Lingoing is constantly thinking of innovative ideas to achieve this!

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Visual Culture

Some deaf people identify themselves as deaf with an inability to hear, and Deaf as in deaf people who are culturally immersed in the community, language and more. So no longer see themselves as deaf but as Deaf, redefined by their “disability” but feeling a part of something private and visual culture that sits within the hearing world and is a community united by experience and shared experience….” Saduf COO Lingoing.

 Saduf wrote this to explain the use of d/Deaf in articles that will be used on the different social media platforms for Lingoing. It brought about a very interesting discussion. One little phrase used “Visual culture”; there are a lot of reasons why I love Saduf, but the main one has to be how complex her brain and thinking process is! We have all heard about Deaf culture but Visual culture? A debate was started. It was interesting how we could not explain the link visual culture has in the deaf community and how it can be used. As hearing people involved in the deaf community and use sign language, “deaf culture” and its definition is easy to explain, but “Visual culture”?? that was a new one.

So off I went to do more reading about it. The first thing that came to mind was how in my BSL training, our tutor often talked about iconicity. “The state of being iconic in all meanings” This would usually follow with visual examples of famous people and what they are visually identified by.

 

We all knew who he was talking about without him finger spelling their names. Evidence of a shared culture that can be described visually.

The research began. After having an idea of what Saduf was talking about, I looked up some articles that covered the subject. It made for an interesting read. The definition that was very popular was by Nicholas Mirzoeff and it seemed to sum it all up nicely.

“Visual culture is best understood as a tactic for studying the functions of a world addressed through pictures, images and visualisation rather than through texts and words”.

Many academic fields study this subject, including cultural studies, art history, critical theory, philosophy, media studies and anthropology. They explain it as “the aspect of culture expressed in visual images”

In his book, Mirzoeff went on to explain that visual culture does not depend on pictures but on this modern tendency to picture or visualize existence. Having experienced meeting Deaf people from different countries who use different sign language being able to communicate just 30 minutes of meeting is truly amazing. They relied on this “Visual culture” to start their communication, and in no time, where able to carry on a conversation. The BDA (British Deaf Association) on their website, when talking about the Deaf community and what it is, said “Deafness here is a description of a state of being: it defines a group of people who share a perception of the world through an emphasis on visual and kinaesthetic input” (Tactile learning) Hearing people have come a long way understanding the importance of Deaf culture, but may not understand that visual culture is equally important. It unites Deaf people from all over the world enabling them to communicate with each other in no time and enriches them in their own country.

So how can I implement this in my own practice? I will strive to embrace Visual culture and not shy away from using iconic states and images when I am signing. This will help Deaf people I come across feel comfortable with me as hopefully they will recognise that I am aware of their culture. When a Deaf person does not have to work hard understanding what I am signing, then I can truly say that I have given a good service interpreting.

So, Saduf, looking forward to seeing what pops out of your brilliant brain next…. lol

#Nomorevoicing

As part of the team at Lingoing, I wanted to share something with you guys today!

My role at Lingoing is the Business Developer and I absolutely love working with our team!

As a child I have grown up with a deaf sibling and so developing an education about the Deaf world was known to me, it was something that came naturally to us as a family. When we were talking as a family or watching TV it was essential that we spoke using sign language or made sure the subtitles were on all the time.  ‘Spoke using sign language’, it sounds weird right? But that wasn’t and isn’t weird for those who are aware of the communication barriers between the Deaf and hearing.

Around 30 odd years ago people were a lot less educated about the Deaf and what their needs and wants were. Deaf people were almost hid away because it was seen as a disability that hindered living a normal life. My parents along with other parents in the group at that time had a big hand in getting Deaf children the rights that they were entitled to just as the hearing children were.

I came across a video today with the hashtag #nomorevoicing and I wanted to know more. The video explained how everything should have captions and this hashtag has been created to make this concept stand out and show the world that they need to adapt this to every video, TV program, etc.

I grew up with subtitles and its become a part of my life, I as a hearing person physically can not watch and understand a program clearly if I don’t have the captions/subtitles turned on, and its not something to be embarrassed about, I feel proud!

Today I don’t see Deafness as a disability, yes maybe it is classed as a  disability in medical terms, but not in today’s society. Deafness is an identity, just as every person from a different religion has a different identity.  Its a sense of pride, and every Deaf person takes pride in who they are in today’s society.

We at Lingoing believe there should not be any barriers and we are working towards eliminating this. Help us to help the hearing and the Deaf community scream out to the world that ‘Whether we are Hearing or Deaf, we are proud!’

#Lingoing #getridofthebarriers #nomorevoicing #Deafpride #Deaflove

How are companies becoming more d/Deaf aware?

What ways are companies becoming more deaf aware? Arguably, if we look at findings in the UK a survey revealed that disabled people had to apply for 60% more jobs before finding one, and only half of them reach the interview portion, according to The Independent.  These findings reflect a true image of the lack of awareness companies have as they may often prejudge the abilities of d/Deaf people and may not hire them.  Here at Lingoing we aim to rid companies of these ideas and try and break down the barriers of communication that perhaps make such companies perceive d/Deaf people as less able than they truly are. Lingoing does it’s part to try and enlighten companies or individuals, to become more deaf aware. Through Fateha and Ovais brilliant deaf awareness presentations, the reception team in Aldgate Tower were able to undergo a crash course in basic Signs and finger spelling that would come in handy for any deaf clients on their way up to us.

I had the pleasure of interviewing  Anne Sandfort one of the receptionists at the Aldgate Tower – Lingoing’s current home. I often see Anne on my weekly trips to the Lingoing office as she registers me to enter into the building and she always has a warm and welcoming aura to her. Through the series of questions I asked her, this same warm aura shines through.

What signs did you learn and how have you practiced them?

She laughs as she states Oh you are really testing me now , we learned ‘What is your name?’ ‘Thank you’ ‘Have a good day.’ the alphabet ‘Floor’ ‘Lift’ Doors’ all the basic signs we would need to help a hearing impaired person get to Lingoing’s floor. I was able to practice on quite  a few occasions, with Paull, Zena and Asim. I have to say my most delightful experience was with Asim  (One of Uber partners mentioned in a previous post) . There are so many hearing impaired visitors that have come and I really want to do more to help them feel comfortable. 

We also briefly discussed the ways in which Ovais and Fateha taught the team some signs with their presentations to which she states I was really impressed with Ovais and Fateha’s presentation; it was really thorough, to the point and exactly what we (her team) needed and  it was delivered BY a deaf person and although there was an interpreter we knew to focus our complete attention on the person signing and it taught us hoe to really engage with a deaf person.  I even shed a tear as it made me think of simple tasks… like tax are really hard to 

She gleefully recalls the encounter she had with Asim the first time she signed to him. 

My favourite experience so far is definitely with Asim. I remember signing to Asim and feeling a sense of acceptance, the short phrases that I used were liberating as there were less barriers to communication. I signed simple signs like ‘Lingoing’ ‘Floor 6’ and his face – she acts out his expression – literally lit up and he was really happy! The signs I have learned have been helpful so far and I have interacted successfully with other people coming to see Lingoing.

How has sign language enriched your life so far?

Sign Language is something that is close to home as my mother taught at a hearing impaired school in Trinidad in American Sign Language. It was an amazing experience learning some BSL phrases because it is brilliant to take back to my company and highlight how we can also do more to help hearing impaired people.

Was it difficult to learn?

No it wasn’t difficult at all! It is a very direct language so you miss out all the pronouns which makes it straight to point. We also continue to discuss the training session she had with Ovais and she recalls how she …shed a tear, because I didn’t realise how hard simple things like paying tax can be very difficult. 

Have you become more deaf aware from this experience?

I have definitely become more aware to the issues deaf people face! Even in Trinidad I saw basic challenges that hearing impaired people face and it is very interesting that coming to a first world country like the UK it is quite shocking that they face the same problems. Even now though they say that 55% of spoken language is body language so we can still figure out what hearing impaired people are saying through their expressions etc. I think becoming deaf aware is all about equality and I remember asking my husband who runs hotels in London, “How many deaf people work for you?  to which he replied “none” and I said “That’s the point! That is what it is all about!”. So I think it is really important that we all become more deaf aware. 

Anne alongside her colleagues have taken a step in the right direction in becoming more d/Deaf aware. This is the type of thing that encourages Lingoing to keep doing what we do best – breaking down barriers of communication! The efforts shown both by Lingoing and the reception team should be commended because although these efforts to sign simple words and phrases may seem small, they are a huge step towards companies becoming more d/Deaf aware and inclusive of all hearing-impaired individuals.

 

 

Deaf cricket team to tour Sri Lanka

Studies from the World Health Organization and the World Federation of the Deaf report that there are between 70 million and 200 million Deaf people in the world who do not have access to education– people who often times never learn to read, write, sign or otherwise communicate.  In developing countries, at least 90% of deaf people do not go to school.

Recently news has shown that the Deaf cricket team is to tour Sri Lanka from November 19th to play two ODIs and  and three T20 matches in Columbo. The training camp will start on the 9th November for 10 days and then a team will be determined according to their performances during the camp.

 

We here at Lingoing think it is absolutely amazing that the Pakistan Deaf Cricket Association (PDCA) alongside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have extended so much help in getting these players to a platform where they deserve to be recognised and appreciated. We hope that this can only become bigger and better in the future not for just cricket but for every sport and activity that is nationally and internationally recognised!

‘World class’ new Deaf Academy plans approved

New beginnings for the Deaf community all around as it seems recently. Plans to convert former Rolle college, Exmouth, into Exeters Deaf academy were being talked about and as of yesterday 1st November 2017 have been approved to go ahead!

It is always important to make sure the basic platform a child begins his/her education on is secure, in order for them to secure their future. As parents, teachers, guardians, we have always hoped that a child receives the best care in terms of education and social care, especially when they are deaf and are not open to a lot of opportunities that the hearing world has. This Deaf Academy seems to be the perfect set up to do just that!

This academy will open up exciting new opportunities in education and care services for the young deaf people and families. The proposal will provide a school for approximately 100 children and young people between seven and 25 years of age. Of the 100 pupils, up to 50 could be boarding, and the boarding accommodation will be provided by three-storey new town houses.

We will be sure to keep following this story as although this is an excellent start for the deaf community, there hasn’t been a lot of details disclosed of what will follow and it would be interesting to see what new developments will be coming along the way!

It all comes down to building a platform for the Deaf and here at Lingoing we are doing just that. It makes us proud to see we aren’t the only ones and there are so many people out there making sure that the Deaf soar the world with their excellence just as the hearing are!

Should pupils have to learn sign language?

We always have and most probably will at least come across a deaf or hard of hearing person in our lives. This maybe at the work place, at the grocery store, a passerby, or even at our own school or college. How amazing would it be if we were able to easily communicate with that individual without having to feel shy or frustrated that they can’t understand us and vice versa.

 

BBC recently made the public aware of an online petition that was set up by a man named Wayne Barrow who grew up with deaf parents and feels that life wouldn’t be the same without learning BSL and it is so important for the world to be deaf aware in order for both deaf and hearing individuals to achieve equal goals and have equal opportunities on everything. Blanche Neville School in North London has collaborated with Highgate Primary school to break down barriers and make new friends through BSL.

Although BSL is a language that has been recognised in its own right 14 years ago, it is not yet included in the national curriculum in England. Both deaf and hearing children have both agreed life would be pretty boring and lonely if they didn’t know how to communicate with each other!

The main aim of this petition was to break barriers, and here at Lingoing we aim to do the same! So go ahead and support us to support Wayne Barrow in achieving what he has set out to do and make life that little bit easier for the Deaf community!