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 (teamhado.com).
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s independent deaf news and deaf blogs website, posting the very latest in deaf opinion, commentary and news, every weekday! Don’t forget to follow the site on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our supporters on the right-hand side of this site or click here.
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