Jen Dodds: I have no idea who the Access to Work petition campaigners are. I’m just grateful they’re doing something good

Posted on November 21, 2013

The new stopchanges2atw campaign has really interested me, for two main reasons.

Firstly, as someone who has been involved in a lot of activism, I’m always pleased to see people campaigning about things they believe in. Good for them.

Secondly, it’s been interesting because it’s shown that the Deaf community is a bit, er, weird.

Some Deaf people are basically cross because the people running the stopchanges2atw campaign don’t want to use their names. That’s fine with me.

As the campaign website says, the campaign is bigger than individual people, and they want to focus on the actual issue – which is how Deaf BSL users aren’t being represented while decisions are being made about them and their Access to Work funding.

Fair enough. Does it matter who the campaigners are?

Apparently, it does in the Deaf community, because we are a collective community, and we like to agree on everything. WE NEVER DO ANYTHING UNTIL EVERYONE AGREES (which is probably why we hardly ever do anything!).

Plus, we usually only agree with people who we like, or with people who our friends like. So, because people don’t know who stopchanges2atw’s “Emily Smith” is, they’re getting wound up.

The stopchanges2atw campaign people say that they are a group of Deaf professionals and interpreters who have lots of experience. Do you know what? I believe them. Both Deaf people and interpreters have a lot to lose from the Access to Work changes, so it makes sense to work together.

And no, I don’t know who they are either. I have absolutely no idea. But I don’t really care, because they’re doing something useful, and I don’t have time to get all paranoid and suspicious (I don’t even have time to campaign myself, actually). Life’s too short, innit?

I suppose I’m an armchair activist these days: I occasionally have a rant on Limping Chicken.

I sign lots of petitions about completely random things every week.

My local MP hates me because I’m always sending him those automated letters about things he disagrees with.

I often make donations to campaign/disaster funds too.

I have no idea who the people behind THOSE petitions, campaigns and fundraising bids are, but I don’t care. I’m just grateful that someone is doing something good in this mad old world that we live in.

So, I say to the stopchanges2atw people – thank you very much for DOING SOMETHING USEFUL, whoever you are.

Jen Dodds is a Contributing Editor for The Limping Chicken. When she’s not looking after chickens or children, Jen can be found translating, proofreading and editing stuff over at Team HaDo Ltd (

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