‘Rant of The Day’ by Suzie Jones.

deafawareness

My rant for today – as a deaf person and it’s public. Everything in life should be accessible – from the bank to the Government to the public meetings everyone is entitled to attend – to the opportunity to go to the cinema, to the gym – or a counselling session, or to read the news online at our own leisure (with subtitles).. or to talk to family – or friends – We have to “ring” or we have to go round and rely on someone to speak clearly – no two bones about it. If we make the effort to go round – we are told to “wait” if someone rings your phone, but we were there first! – how come? Never say “it doesn’t matter – it’s not important” – never say “hang on my phone is ringing” in mid conversation with you.. if we are with you – we need to communicate -and we need to follow – never go from a clear speech to a mumbled speech if someone who is hearing starts a conversation.. I can go on…

– and so many are not aware that we are perfectly competent to communicate – Now I refer to those companies and organisations like HMRC, utility companies, electric gas and councils – BUT it needs to be in an accessible format, which, to me is the stumbling block. If you are discriminated against – it means they are trying to make you communicate with them in their way – not yours. Square peg in round hole – or whatever – they can’t force you to “learn how to access their services” – they should be making “their services fully accessible”. Forcing you to break the Data protection act because they can’t “accommodate your needs” – is discrimination. Pure and simple. Forcing you to use a different language – simply because it is seen to be the language of your “disability” – is NOT the ultimate solution.

By Suzie Jones, who is one of the founders of ‘Pardon’ and believer in equality for ALL of us – deaf and hearing.

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