Rumour Has It…

That I have had a breakdown. Hmmm, I must admit that when I heard that, I just had to laugh. Granted, for those of you concerned enough, it was not at all funny but alarming enough for you to actually approach me and find out the truth, for yourselves. I would like to applause those of you for having enough respect for me, to come to me, rather than conforming to the peer pressure of Chinese whispers amongst yourselves.

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“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.”

As for the “breakdown” – it is absolutely and utterly untrue. IF there ever were one, it would have been before I founded the Tree House. There was a time when I was kicked whilst I was down but those who did not dare to look down on me – whilst I was down helped me back up again. After the Tree House was founded, there was another time when a good portion of my previous admin team tried to undermine, overpower me but I stood my ground, stood up (much to their horror hoping that I would stand by) and removed their flaws from damaging me, relatively the Tree House further. (A survival of the fittest of course) They still and will always try their best to damage it but that is their problem, therefore their waste of (negative) energy. These people are behind me, and so it should be the case, for you too.

I have now reached the stage where I do not need social media in my life – any longer. Social media has become quite the tool for sociopaths. It sucks people in, makes them mindless of others and sadly, the preciousness of face-to-face values is lost on most. If anything, the Tree House has been a lifeline to me for the past two years. I am oftentimes (albeit surprisingly) reminded that people can still be humane, respectful, kind, considerate, honest and genuine.

I do appreciate social media in the sense that it has reconnected me in the past, to long lost family and friends, for introducing me to some newfound friends that have brought laughter and tears to my heart. For reminding me, who not to be, who to steer clear of and just how twisted and bitter some people can be. That is not the way I wish to use my second chance at life – most people only get one chance and if they could turn back time and change certain aspects of their lives, they would. Thus, why, I am because I can. I have once again found the balance in my life in order for me to cherish life and social media is not part of that equation.

Look to the person next to you, to the cashier in the shops, to the stranger opposite you on public transport. Consider how they may be feeling or what they may be going through. They would love a friendly smile just as much as you do. Smell the freshly cut grass, cherish chocolate even – as a treat mind you! Strive to be righteous, honest and the best one can be. Find a way to being happy from within because being happy for a reason is dangerous since that reason can be taken away from you.

There is certainly no need for me to broadcast why I have taken a step back, a sabbatical, especially when it is for very personal reasons that only my family and a selected few friends deserve to know. They have after all, always been there for me.

Please trust in me that when I say, I am more than fine, I am actually anticipating all the joy the future has in store, for me, and my children.

For… “What is coming is better than what has gone.”

Onwards and upwards – Positivity rules! 😉 😉

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

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‘Understanding Hearing Parents Of Deaf Children’ by Barry Sewell

When we published the piece by ‘The Deaf Terminator’, we were given a link to a video made by Barry Sewell, otherwise known as ‘The Holism’. We thought we would pass onto you, our readers, the link to the very same video.

“Recently much attention have been generated between AG Bell’s (Alexander Graham Bell Organization) and the culturally and linguistically deaf people, also known as the sign language community. AG Bell believes it is better to provide deaf children with necessary means and tools to learn to speak and hear sounds. However the sign language community believes it is better for deaf children to learn American Sign Language. Each sides have been vying for the most attention in the social media. They both are aiming for each other’s throats. Unfortunately it only hardened their stances against each other however I wanted to contribute my thoughts on the situation, maintaining my focus on 95% of deaf children’s hearing parents because they are the ultimate force here.”

~ Barry Sewell.

‘EU Referendum in BSL Survey’ by Drip Media

The EU (European Union) referendum leaflet is in just written English, large print and audio CD. There are no visual materials for those who rely on sign language hence why, I support this video by Drip Media in trying to gauge just how many people would like to see the same content available to them so they too, can make an informed choice however which way they would like to vote.

Their video is in BSL yet it is captioned to be inclusive of all.

Please complete their survey in order to assist them in achieving what I hope, will be a successful and fair result. This will only take a minute of your time.

http://www.dripmedia.tv/eureferendum

Thank you for your time and patience.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

‘Confessions Of A Raving Lunatic’ by Lesley Kiddell-Spencer

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Lesley Kiddell-Spencer and her darling grandson.

Bit about me, I went deaf at seven (that’s not great when you are a Dr Who fan and love music) due to meningitis of course. I have two deaf children (who married deaf spouses) and I also have five grandchildren, all deaf except one. I tell my daughter-in-law, Kaizen must belong to the postman, so you see I have my very own deaf club.

Married 3 times, only one of whom was deaf, I tend to trade them in when they fail their MOT, but my current one is a lovingly restored classic car so he will be fine.  My first husband had to deal with me blasting the chicken instead of basting it as I read the recipe book wrong and he couldn’t understand why I kept going to the kitchen to switch the oven on full blast then back down again. My current one who I met on a dating website had a heck of a shock coming face to face with a whole deaf family when he had never met a deaf person before…you can imagine communication was hilarious.

I am old – 55, and have spent the best part of my life fighting stupid systems made up by idiots with nothing better to do.  I was in the radical FDP – that was a brilliant time, thousands marching for recognition of British Sign Language, I had to make a speech at Trafalgar Square, so I was plied with whiskey beforehand by the other committee members as I was a wreck, and can remember nothing of it except I probably made a right idiot of myself.  We were in the media often… ‘Lesley and her comrades’ in the Guardian newspaper (their words not mine but boy did it turn me into an egoistic eejit) I still smile about that now.  However my life is like the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” go read it and you will see the higher up you go, the greater the fall.

I have long since learnt, everyone is different, now that was hard because I wanted everyone to think like me because they jolly well should, people can be wonderful, and on the other extreme nasty.

Ten years or so ago I jumped out of my ivory tower as CEO of a deaf organisation and regenerated myself as a female Lovejoy, becoming an antique dealer which had always been my passion. I get hold of the most weird and wonderful items, and meet equally weird and wonderful people, however the antique world is a bit like the Mafia. Fortunately, I have blonde hair, green eyes (never mind fat and 5ft) not to forget deaf so I have been adopted very well, and boy do I play the deaf card, otherwise I would have found a horse’s head in my bed by now.

In my spare time I also take all kinds of deaf people on guided tours of the Richard III centre in Leicester – a man I totally am in love with, despite the fact he has been dead some 500 years plus. Yes, I am eccentric too. Or you can find me in a field full of people and mud, digging up the past with archaeologists (no, I promise I don’t pinch the stuff to sell!) I once found some bones in a Roman children’s cemetery and I was scared stiff, until they told me it was an expired rabbit.

What do I want to see? Utopia, where everyone gets on and dances around with flowers in their hair singing and kissing, but oh my days that’s never going to happen.  Technology has brought out a terrific change for deaf people, but with that has come out a new kind of nastiness with respect, morals and tolerance flying out the window into cyberspace and I sadly realise deaf people are never going to unite.  I fortunately have thick skin but many younger than me do not and are open to attacks, which can seriously cause a lot of grief, we have sadly reverted back to school day bullying.

As for expecting the whole world to change to understand hearing loss, and go mad, when they don’t… I was once like that and believe you me it is arrogant to think that because no one has the right to expect everyone to revolve around you – even if you are disabled.  All minority groups have these issues, it’s just a case of trying to teach and have an open mind.  There will always be downright rude nasty horrible people, I was probably one myself and so were you… I learnt to cut out the negative influence in your life.

I saw a saying recently which sums me up perfectly

“Don’t confuse my personality with my attitude… My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are”

by Lesley Kiddell-Spencer.

‘Rant of The Day’ by Suzie Jones.

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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.

‘Dear Hearing People’ by Sarah Snow & Jules Dameron

Here is an impressive video made by Sarah Snow of Glide and Jules Dameron.

“The Deaf community tells all hearing people what’s truly on their minds— and it’s a big deal.”

You can also read about why, Sarah made this video.

http://www.glide.me/dear-hearing-people