I grew up in the seaside town of Berwick-on-Tweed, which is the northernmost town in England, although people often get confused and think it’s in Scotland. Not true! Everyone in my family is hearing. I’m hoping that my sister will soon be joining my wife and I as a RSLI (Registered Sign Language Interpreter), bringing the total number of Dodds BSL/English interpreters to three!
When did you discover your Deaf identity?
I think perhaps my defining moment was when Linda Woolfe introduced me to the concept of Deaf rights way back in the 1990s. I remember standing wide eyed in her kitchen as she gave me a mini-lecture! I know her son (my friend, Tyron) will roll his eyes at this, but it was so important for me as I started to understand the Deaf community.
Growing up in a hearing family and going to oral schools, this wasn’t ever really explained to me, so I’m forever grateful to Mrs Woolfe!
You were part of the campaign for BSL recognition, tell us how you got involved?
Ha. I was a member of the FDP committee at the time, and did lots of odd jobs. Doug Alker asked me to design a flyer to advertise a march through London, and I ended up getting a group together to actually organise the march(!) I’m still not sure if that was what he really wanted me to do in the first place, but I thought I’d have a go, because someone had to do it!
You later moved away from campaigning. How has your life changed in the last few years?
Well, I’ve gone from being a city living campaigner to a somewhat calmer mother-of-two who lives in the countryside. Claire and I run Team HaDo from home and know how lucky we are to be able to live here in beautiful West Yorkshire and do a job we love. Recently, I’ve been getting back into writing some stuff and am really enjoying that, too.
So, watch this space!
What are you looking forward to writing about for us? What can our readers expect?
Anything that takes my fancy or makes my blood boil!
Look out for Jen’s first article as a Contributing Editor, tomorrow!
When she’s not looking after chickens or children, Jen can be found translating, proofreading and editing stuff over at Team HaDo Ltd (teamhado.com).
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