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#DeafMust

On 18 March 2018, it will be the 14th anniversary of the Department of Work and Pensions’ ‘recognition’ that BSL is a language.

We all know that Deaf people continue to experience inequality. For example:

  • The number of Deaf people in employment is lower than the national average;
  • Deaf people typically leave compulsory education with a reading age of 8 and are less likely to achieve GCSEs compared to the national average due to the Government’s mainstreaming policy;
  • Deaf people do not have equal access to justice or access to legal advice;
  • Deaf prisoners experience a “double sentence”;
  • Deaf people are not allowed to serve as jury members; and
  • Deaf people generally have poorer health due to lack of access to health care

We are therefore delighted to announce the launch of the #DeafMust social media campaign, and we would like members of the Deaf community to post or tweet as many examples of discrimination that they have experienced in their lifetimes as they can.

Why?

The aim of this is to simply raise awareness. The legal action taken by Sally Reynolds against the promoters LG Live in relation to the provision of BSL/English Interpeters at a Little Mix concert, went viral in the press, on TV and on social media. Unfortunately, it was clear for the Deaf community to see that the attitudes of hearing people in society generally were quite abusive towards Sally and deaf people generally, and that they do not understand the extent of the discrimination we have to put up with.

There is therefore a need to raise more awareness about the discrimination that deaf people face, and the #DeafMust campaign should go some way in doing so.

What do you need to do?

From now until 31 March 2018:

  • Share as many stories of discrimination that you have personally experienced as often as you can:
    • via Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube;
    • using the hashtag #deafmust or #DeafMust;
    • add subtitles to videos if you can to make them accessible to hearing people; and
    • put each experience of discrimination in a separate post to maximise impact.
  • Like and/or share other stories.

Please note: You must ensure that all your posts are in public mode so that everyone will be able to see them. For YouTube, add the hashtag to the Description field for the video clip.

All posts will be automatically combined on this social wall page.

What will happen afterwards?

We will compile a report of all acts of discrimination, by area of law, and we will publish these on this website and via social media after 31 March 2018 and send a copy to the Prime Minister, Theresa May and Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.

We will also provide instructions on how you can send a copy of the report to your local Member of Parliament, Assembly Member (Wales), Member of the Scottish Parliament, Member of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Ireland) and your directly-elected Mayor (if there is one).

We hope you will join the #DeafMust campaign. After all, Deaf Must.