Watch: BBC Radio documentary about CODAs, translated into BSL and ISL

Posted on December 10, 2015

Cathy Moorehead, who is a BBC Radio Ulster presenter, has made a BBC radio documentary  called the Loudest House on the Street, all about being brought up in  a household with deaf parents.

Here is the synopsis:

As a daughter of two profoundly deaf parents, noise censorship did not exist in Cathy Moorehead’s home. She was the go-between silence and sound, and acted as her parent’s radio to the world. In this story, she shares her upbringing and explores what life is like for deaf people in Ireland

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The programme was broadcast for the first time on Sunday, and is repeated tonight (Thursday 10th December).

On the website, there is signed interpretation of the extended radio programme in both Irish Sign Language and British Sign Language.

The documentary can be watched and listened to here:

Cathy told us:

I am the oldest of four hearing children, I’m a singer-songwriter and normally work on a new music show on BBC Radio Ulster. Every year we have the opportunity to pitch show ideas and work on documentaries.

I decided to do this project this year due to a number of factors –

-Apart from my siblings I had never met another CODA and wanted to meet other people who shared my background.

-When I share my background of growing up in a deaf household with people I meet – people are always taken back in amazement and then are curious to ask hundreds of questions, as they may not have encountered anyone who has a similar upbringing. I thought this documentary would help to answer those questions.

But I also thought it would raise awareness of deaf culture and sign language in general to the hearing population – by telling the story of the deaf community from a different perspective – from the children of deaf adults.

I also thought that the medium of radio would give these deaf people a voice –as we rarely ever hear about deaf people on radio.

I thought it was important to sign the programme – since it was about deaf people – that they should be able to access, watch and follow the story also – and I decided to have it signed in both ISL and BSL – so that everyone in Northern Ireland and the Republic would be able to watch it.

And it is a special extended version including inputs from the BDA, Action on Hearing Loss and another CODA Jill Traynor – who unfortunately could not fit into the radio programme due to time constraints. So deaf people get a special add-on in their content!

So far I have had a very positive response – and everyone who has been involved in the interviews has very much appreciated the story told, and thought the programme fairly represented the stories of their parents and one contributor even had a tear in her eye whilst listening.


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