Being deaf in a hearing world can be easy at times, and at others, it can be blooming hard.
I continually find I have to work hard just to try and be equal, and yet I found in the past that I didn’t “belong” to the deaf world as I had clear speech and couldn’t sign. So all my life I haven’t had any deaf friends.
But now Twitter has become a place where I could meet and be friends with other deaf users. Twitter is also the one place that I feel truly equal to other hearing tweeters.
I don’t mention in my profile that I am deaf, merely because I don’t consider it relevant. Others don’t say in their profile that they wear glasses, or have red hair etc and I am the same with my hearing loss.
I wish to be thought of as Michelle, or that Geordie, rather than ‘that deaf girl.’ Other people prefer to state outright that they are deaf, and that is fine by me. Whatever works for them – there is no right or wrong in my view. At the same time I don’t hide it – I do tweet about deaf issues regularly and expect most of my followers to work it out!
Twitter allows me to talk to other people who share the same interests as me without being judged. One of my main interests is musical theatre and especially the West End. Twitter is a haven full of people with similar interests.
Twitter goes one step further and even enables me to talk to those who actually work in the theatre profession from the ensemble right to the leading roles. The anonymity of Twitter allows me to talk to others without any pre-judgements made or misconceptions about my hearing, or entitlement to any views on music and the stage.
In my own way, I hope I am slowly raising deaf awareness as I develop my relationships online when my followers slowly begin to realise I am deaf. As we have already been tweeting, they don’t have any preconceptions that could affect the beginning of a friendship.
Twitter has become a huge part of my life as it acts like a bridge between hearing and deaf people and allows me to participate in what could be called the Twitter community.
We may all be strangers fundamentally, but we are all linked by a desire to talk and chat to other like-minded tweeps. I have “met” so many people and have gained friendships that would never have happened were it not for the medium of twitter.
Twitter also replaces the need for phone calls, which is brilliant for deaf users as we often use Twitter to chat and contact others. Twitter is also my news and radio station with gossip and facts mixed into my timeline.
Twitter has given me so much, and I am very proud to be part of the Twitter family!
Michelle’s Twitter Top 10:
@jonathanansell A tenor who I cannot stress hard enough has a most stunning voice with his long powerful notes and top c’s! He is so kind hearted and gives so much of himself to charities and to fans alike
@westendproducer This account is hugely entertaining and a must follow for theatre lovers. Highly topical tweets are made daily
@mrchrisclarkson Currently the face of Tesco with him reciting 67 products in just 30 seconds, he is a character with many facets and through his tweets and blogs you gain an insight into the life of an actor
@digitalspy Brings you titbits from all walks of life in the entertainment industry
@lemisofficial This account on a weekly basis is taken over by a member of its cast and crew alike and provides an excellent and fascinating insight into theatre life backstage
@markhevans A Welsh actor/singer currently playing Sam in Ghost regularly tweets and reveals a lot of interesting facts
@antanddec As a fellow Geordie I laugh out loud all the time reading their tweets – so much fun!
@mylandsshore This is the account following a new musical written for Wales and I truly hope it reaches the west end. The album is stunning with a score to match Les Miserable or Phantom!
@publicreviews This provides a comprehensive guide to theatre all over the UK with its reviews of just about every show there is!
@gramartin An actor currently on tour with Blood Brothers who continues to entertain with his tweets and snippets of life on tour
Michelle is a Geordie originally from Tyneside, now living just inside the border of Northumberland. She loves discovering music and also has a love of the theatre, especially musicals. She’s a fan of science-fiction, watches anything on TV that is subtitled, and is now reliving her childhood renting DVDs! She is also a geocacher, and is on Twitter as @Shelle02
The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, training and consultancy Deafworks, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Look, Smile Chat campaign, and the National Theatre’s captioned plays.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 6 awesome accessibility apps!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people