Jen Dodds: My 3 favourite photos from the Access to Work march (BSL)

Posted on September 28, 2015

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Saturday’s Access to Work march was simply amazing.

There was a great mix of Deaf and hearing people, including disabled people, non-disabled people and BSL/English interpreters.

About 1,000 of us joined forces to give the government a strong and clear message: Stop making changes to access to work! We’ve had enough of your cuts!

To watch this article signed by Jen in BSL, click play below, or scroll down to read it in English!

I was part of the great team of organisers. We worked hard together to make sure everything went smoothly; and it did indeed.

After handing in our petition at Downing Street (about 20,000 people had signed it by then), we had a rally, with John Walker as compere and a range of speakers, including Deaf people, disabled people and union reps. That was excellent, too.

I’m sure most of you will have seen lots of photos and videos already, on Facebook, Twitter and other places online, but I’d like to share my favourite three with you:

downingstreet

This photo shows the group of people who handed in the petition at Downing Street.

The group was made up of three Deaf people, two disabled people and an interpreter (there was another interpreter there to actually interpret the handover).

This made it clear that we are all united and working together against the cuts. That’s what we must do if we want our campaign to succeed. There is strength in unity!

stewards (1)

All of the march stewards were superstars, working hard to make sure that the march went smoothly and safely.

I was the lead steward, and I happened to take this photo of four of the stewards… it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised that the four of them are all hearing and don’t “benefit” from AtW by claiming it themselves or earning any money from it.

They were all there to support us because they value what we contribute to society, and they feel that we’re all in this together. The government says that AtW is “for deaf and disabled people”, but in reality, it’s for EVERYONE, so that we can ALL contribute.

Photo credit: Unite the Resistance

Photo credit: Unite the Resistance

This beautiful banner is 15 metres long and was made by a deaf woman, Millie Vadgama from London, back in 2003 to mark the government’s “recognition” of BSL. We used it in the 2003 BSL march, but there hasn’t been a deaf march since then, so it’s been in storage for the past 12 years.

A bit of a waste, really, so we asked the people who were looking after it in Preston if they could bring it along. It was great to see it back on the streets!

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). On Twitter, Jen is @deafpower.

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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.

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