The Artistic Director of Graeae theatre company, Jenny Sealey, who is Deaf, has written a blog for the Guardian about the effect of Access to Work cuts on both her work and the work of Graeae.
In the article she explains how her work has been limited by a lack of sign language support, and says that the cuts risk making Deaf and disabled artists invisible.
For the last 16 months, my theatre company, Graeae, has been battling against cuts to the Access to Work (ATW) scheme and its new proposed framework. The cuts to the scheme, and these changes, will make life extremely hard for freelance deaf artists in particular. Not only are they being penalised for paying class 2 national insurance, but they may also have to manage a budget cap of £40,800 per year. That may sound great, but in reality it means that should they be lucky and have a good run of work, they may then find that they can’t accept any more work for the rest of the year because their allowance has run out and they can’t afford to cover the cost of their sign language interpreters. If the theatre companies they are working for can’t afford to cover these costs, the deaf artists won’t be able to accept work. So not only are these artists (and the sign language interpreters) out of work but theatres will be less likely to employ deaf and disabled people because we come with a massive pound sign over our heads.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out 5 ways to fund live captions at your event!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- SDHH: Project Development and Consultancy
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- 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
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people