Jen Dodds: My personal review of 2014! (BSL)

Posted on December 18, 2014

As 2014 is coming to an end, I thought it would be good to celebrate by doing my own little video review of the year (all views are mine, not the views of the Limping Chicken site in any way).

To watch this article in BSL, signed by Jen, click play below!

For me, 2014 was The Year of The Bucket – when lots of deaf people posted Facebook videos of themselves chucking water over their heads. Oh, yeah.

On a more serious note, though, I think all of those “bucketings” led to more and more deaf people feeling braver about signing online. I’ve certainly seen a wider variety of signed videos online this year, which is great.

Let’s have a quick trip down memory lane and watch some of the Limping Chicken writers chucking water over their heads…

How lovely to look back at the warm summer weather while I’m freezing in my office. Not!

Now, let’s take a brief look back at 2014…

Must-watch video of 2014 – Patrick Speaks (Unreported World, Channel 4)

This tells the heart wrenching story of 15 year old Patrick from Uganda, who has just learned to sign after a lifetime without language. Lots of hearing people have said how wonderful and marvellous it all is – I agree that it’s wonderful and marvellous that he’s learned to sign, but what about all those years he’s spent without proper communication?

I can’t even think about that. And the worst thing? Patrick isn’t alone. There are millions more like him.

I think everyone should watch and learn from this video.

Campaign of 2014 – Stop Changes to Access to Work

On a more positive note, this year, there have been quite a few deaf-related campaigns which are starting to gain momentum. That’s good to see!

In my personal view, the Best Campaign of 2014 Award should go to Stop Changes to Access to Work, who have campaigned tirelessly throughout the year, working with solicitors and doing lots of brilliant stuff.

So, thanks guys, and keep up the good work… although, I hope you won’t need to!

Ridiculous policy of 2014 – Devon hearing aids

I tend to find lots of policies quite ridiculous and basically incompatible with life in general. However, the news that from now on, deaf people in Devon will only be given one hearing aid each, in a bid to save money, actually made me laugh.

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t laugh, but how ridiculous is that?!

It’s not the same thing, but imagine people trying to save money by wearing glasses with just one lens?! Come on, Devon! Sort it out!

Villain of 2014 – Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions


Any review of a year wouldn’t be complete without a villain, and the man responsible for the DWP cuts, Iain Duncan Smith, is the obvious choice for me.

So, if you want someone to blame for, for example, people going hungry or not being able to afford to book interpreters, IDS is your man.

Editor of 2014 – Charlie Swinbourne


I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed to keep this bit in – it might be edited out, although I hope not – but I’d like to give a special award to the man behind Limping Chicken, Charlie Swinbourne.

I know it’s a bit weird, but I’d like to thank Charlie for setting up the ‘Chicken, and for all his hard work in keeping it going.

I really appreciate having an independent deaf media source; especially one that can include BSL. It’s brilliant, and just what we need!

[Editor’s note: I just wanted to say I didn’t pay Jen to say this. Honest.]

And now for some festive cheer…

So, that was 2014, according to me. What was your favourite moment of the year? Feel very free to tell me – in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter!

Finally, I hope good things, and fewer cuts, will happen in 2015.

You never know, everyone might get all their Access to Work funding back!

There might be a BSL Bill in Scotland (fingers crossed)!

And the deaf people of Devon might get two hearing aids…

I’ll leave you now with two Christmas videos that aren’t new, but are brilliant. Firstly, there’s BSLBT’s Tree Fairy, a very sweet children’s story:

Click here to see Tree Fairy:

… And here’s the American CODA girl who went viral last year when she signed Christmas songs in ASL for her parents. She’s fantastic! Enjoy!

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 ( On Twitter, Jen is @deafpower.

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