Today, I was supposed to be in Brum rehearsing for InteGreat’s ‘Sweet Nothings‘ for the SHOUT festival on 1st March, but my ongoing winter flu bug kiboshed it. So naturally, I went on Facebook to see what was happening in the big wide world, or rather, to kill some time.
And I found this marvellous video from Lee Robertson. As well as being well made and having some great points re BSL ‘recognition’, I found his illustration of the dummy incredibly funny – and inspiring.
I could totally identify with what he was saying – BSL might have been ‘recognised’ but how much has actually changed? It’s been ten years, and in that time, I’ve been told by the JobCentre that they wouldn’t give me an interpreter because it wasn’t “in the budget”, dealt with poor awareness and discrimination more times than I can count, in fact I gave several examples last year of some of the access fails I’ve had to face when the whole ’limping chicken’ / ‘chickengate’ thing kicked off – which reminds me, The Limping Chicken just passed its one year milestone, Happy Birthday LC! – and believe me, I’ve had to handle many more since then.
What, actually, has changed? Do deaf children and their parents and families have automatic access to free BSL lessons? Are interpreters in schools provided as a matter of course? Hell no, right now they’re cutting services for deaf children. Here’s the petition against that; sign it now. I said now!
So, having been hit by Lee’s dummy, I’m spitting one of my own.
Here is a rough draft of a BSL poem that I spent the afternoon composing, feedback welcome! May need a little polishing before it hits a stage
PS when I give the title of the poem in the video, it’s meant to be ‘spitting the DUMMY’ not fag or anything else. Not sure how that happened…
“Spitting the Dummy”
(If it won’t play, here’s the YouTube link)