13 May 2021
View Digital have been recently awarded from Comic Relief Community Support programme to produce and publish journalism on deaf inequalities.
The UK Deaf community of approximately 70.000 people have had little access to public announcements due to a lack of the daily updates being translated into British Sign Language (BSL). If these individuals are to experience symptoms or contract the virus then daily updates on how to contact healthcare providers are often inaccessible to many Deaf people.
This issue was further highlighted in the recent appearance of Garda Sergeant Andrew Geary and his 12-year-old deaf son Calum on RTE’s The Late Late Show highlighting a section of our society who are often marginalised because of structural barriers.
Andrew’s comments, earlier in the week, on The Ryan Tubridy radio show, prompted a huge response from listeners.
“Something happened a few weeks ago, and it basically shook my wife Helen and I to the absolute core. Calum is such a bright, humorous boy.
“He loves his family, his dogs, his walks, cycling, but he said to us the other day, ‘Mum, dad, I’ve something to tell you. I’m never going to have a job, you know. And we said ‘why?’ You know, we always encourage our kids, we love education and we love our kids and we said ‘why?’.
“And he said ‘it’s because I’m deaf’ and he just walked off and left the conversation there.”
Andrew said that it would be easy to create a curriculum to teach students sign language as there are many experts in Ireland.
VIEW, with the support of guest editor Dr Bronagh Byrne, will profile a number of individuals and organisations within the deaf community in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Britain. Allowing their stories to reach a wide audience and raise awarness.
Bronagh, a deaf academic at Queen’s University Belfast, whose work is driven by her desire for society to do things better for deaf children and adults, has researched justice for deaf people in Northern Ireland and the need for a Sign Language Act in Northern Ireland. Her lived experience, research and policy background will enhance the depth and scope of this issue of VIEW.
View Digital will also interview people, who are deaf, about their struggles during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The edition, when finished, will be available to read on the VIEWdigital.org website. Print copies will be available in libraries.
Written by View Digital.