It’s been a special day for me, because not only has this site passed the million hits mark, but this morning, I also became the proud owner of a house for the first time!
The funny thing is that the journey towards owning a home and stacking up one million views started at roughly the same time.
In February 2012, I was writing for various publications, seeing some of my articles being turned down, and some of them accepted, and wondering whether it was time for me to move on from just pitching and writing articles to also editing them.
I felt there were a lot of stories people weren’t able to read, and that, for one reason or another, a lot of elements of the deaf experience were hidden.
I realised that there wasn’t a website in the UK where deaf people could go online to get a wide range of news, blogs, videos relating to the deaf experience.
So I decided that I wanted to create the kind of website that I would want to read, and that other people could contribute to.
I am still grateful to Laraine Callow, who supported the idea from the very start, with her company Deafworks becoming this site’s first supporter. That initial support lead others to follow, and it also gave me the confidence to set up the site from scratch and build it up from there.
My vision was that there should be a site where something of interest to all kinds of deaf people would be published every day of the week.
I also wanted the site to be inclusive, to give a platform to everyone with an experience of deafness.
That’s why, in the last 20 months or so, we have published articles by over 80 writers from the point of view of people who are BSL users, who have cochlear implants, wear hearing aids, are deafened, deafblind or have Ushers. Not forgetting hearing people who are related to, or work closely with, deaf people.
For me, all of them are part of the deaf world. Even if we don’t all see everything in exactly the same way, I genuinely feel there is something that links all of us through our deaf experiences, and the site has always tried to reflect that.
There was a big change for me one year after the site was set up, when I brought in a team of people to work with me on the site.
So in February this year, some of our regular writers became Contributing Editors, like Emily Howlett, Donna Williams, and William Mager (who has since become very busy with his TV work but hopefully he’ll be back on these pages before long!).
And another person joined who has made the biggest difference of all – Andy Palmer, our Deputy Editor.
As the son of deaf parents and a father to a deaf son, Andy has brought his own experiences and fantastic articles to the site. He’s worked incredibly hard since he came on board.
Over the time I’ve been running the site, I’ve been amazed by the number of people who have supported us.
So many people have written fantastic articles and sent them in to be shared with a wider audience. It’s made me very proud to see your points of view being shared and debated widely.
Our supporters have also been vital, so this is a good time to say thank you to all the charities, businesses and other organisations who have given us their support (check out the services they offer by clicking on the boxes on the right-hand side of this page!).
As ever, we are thinking of new ideas for the future, and working towards changes to the site that will keep the site feeling fresh and reaching an ever wider audience. So look out for further developments in the next month or so!
Above all, I would like to thank all of our readers who have not only read our articles, but shared them and commented on them.
Bring on the next million! I’m off to get my house keys…
Charlie Swinbourne is the editor of Limping Chicken, as well as being a journalistand award-winning scriptwriter. He writes for the Guardian and BBC Online, and as a scriptwriter, penned the films My Song, Coming Out and Four Deaf Yorkshiremen.
The Limping Chicken’s supporters provide: sign language interpreting and communications support (Deaf Umbrella), captioning and speech-to-text services (121 Captions), online BSL learning and teaching materials (Signworld), theatre captioning (STAGETEXT), Remote Captioning (Bee Communications), visual theatre with BSL (Krazy Kat) , healthcare support for Deaf people (SignHealth), theatre from a Deaf perspective (Deafinitely Theatre ), specialist lipspeaking support (Lipspeaker UK), Deaf television programmes online (SDHH), language and learning (Sign Solutions), BSL interpreting and communication services (Lexicon Signstream), sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting (Action Deafness Communications) education for Deaf children (Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton), and legal advice for Deaf people (RAD Deaf Law Centre).
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