Brexit: What D/deaf people around the country think of Britain’s decision to leave the EU

Posted on June 24, 2016

Following the vote to leave the European Union this morning, we asked our readers to tell us what they think. We asked:

We would like to know, in a sentence or two, what our readers feel about the result, and its possible effects for D/deaf people.

What do you think the possible consequences might be for D/deaf people in the UK?

The vast majority of responses so far are from people in the Remain camp.

On Facebook, D/deaf people said:

EJ Raymond : 
Am proud of Scotland’s high percent of vote to remain EU. But I can tell that my Facebook friends seem deepest anxiously for what’s will coming, what will it affect us (with our careers, disabilities, etc). The island of UK being to suck down within saddened and grief.

Simon Herdman commented on the European Accessibility Act:

Heartbroken that we will not be a part of the upcoming European Accessibility Act, that would have empowered us as Sign Language citizens of Europe to have access to information in Sign Language. The only thing I can do is to place our hopes on the new regime that will take us in a direction that protects our rights as Sign Language users.

Asher Woodman-Worrell:

I think we have to take it on the chin as the democracy has clearly spoken. I hope this level of engagement with politics can continue as it is the only way we can elect the right people in power to make right choices and to minimise the fallout much as possible.

Giles Bowman:

When we went through recession… deaf services were badly cuts. I have bad feeling that they would do the same for this situation. I don’t think we will be heard for awhile.

Richard Turner:

I think it could impact on the work we do. As the economy shrinks funding will go down.

Ben Leigh:

I feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time the remain camp fought hard to vote remain but as the votes were coming in wasn’t enough to fight against the tide of leave votes the government must not forget that 48% of the population wanted to remain in Europe and hope the new agreement will factor that in this vote divided a nation let’s not let this divide family and friends. The next few weeks and months will have life changing consequences for all and I hope our new government will recognise the hard work done by the uk and Brussels in partnership with Europe would s government be foolish enough to tear up some great European laws and start again from scratch? It would be very foolish to do that.

Martin Griffiths:

Its a disaster for Deaf people because the European Accessibility Act will not apply to us. Also our Govt will surely press ahead now with plans to replace Human Rights and get rid of the Equality Act. Also as the economy shrinks less money and jobs for Deaf people. God knows its hard enough now but the future looks bleak for marginalised people.

Andy Mell:

I’m sad yes, but at the end of the day 52% voted leave. That’s huge and can’t be explained by simple xenophobia. There’s a massive section of the UK population politically disenfranchised here, and it ultimately has to be dealt with somehow. Blame Cameron for waking the sleeping dragon in a misguided effort to get votes and burning us all in the process. I suspect many other countries will do the same before long as the same issue exists elsewhere in Europe too.

Martin Griffiths:

52 per cent is hardly a landslide victory and means the country is not far equally divided. You are right about political disenfranchisement but I wish this anger came out at General Election time. We need new politics in the UK.

Lou Redpath:
Devastated & fear.
Simon Herdman:

Heartbroken that we will not be a part of the upcoming European Accessibility Act, that would have empowered us as Sign Language citizens of Europe to have access to information in Sign Language. The only thing I can do is to place our hopes on the new regime that will take us in a direction that protects our rights as Sign Language users.

Jill Medlock:
Absolutely devastated. We have learnt no lessons from history. Like Hitler Farage appealed to the fear and ignorance of the nation. I am disabled and I have a Deaf son – the future does not look good
R Van Nieulands:
If anything to be seen done by the conservative party towards disabled from what they have done already. I am very relieved that Cameron had resigned. The message was strong enough and we said enough is enough. I hope that no government of the future will dare dismantle our rights and hard battles of decades past gained for the disabled and disadvantaged. I believe europe as a whole will once again look towards uk as a beacon of bravery and demrocracy and we will see major changes for the better for uk and europe too that works better for the people not the elites.

Shaun Sadlier:

Cost of my businesses gone up quickly and try make best of it. I heard David Cameron has resigned. I think Boris Johnson want to reform the EU to make it more democracy with people to vote for president elect. So, we hope for the best.

@Limping_Chicken Shocking! Well what I am saying? I born here as a British Muslim. I believe one community all the world not just UK alone.
24/06/2016 08:26
@Limping_Chicken It was predictable, but it’s still worrying. We don’t have a clear exit plan, so now we’re plucking ideas out of the air.
24/06/2016 08:18
@Limping_Chicken Potentially disastrous for CI users who are heavily dependent on NHS for free operations and maintenance.
24/06/2016 08:15
@Limping_Chicken I better learn how to live without my hearing aids in a world that the majority won’t learn sign language…
24/06/2016 09:05
@Limping_Chicken In non-swearing terms, we are screwed. Our rights to access, and ‘promise’ to discrimination has been wiped.
24/06/2016 08:17
@Limping_Chicken -we’re all going to hell in a handcart.
24/06/2016 08:14

I feel anxious for the future and embarrassed that we have spurned the friendship of our European partners

MW said:

Tragic, utterly tragic, We are at the mercy of those that want to leave. I feel we will lose the support of our human rights with EU. It feel much worse than the austerity program. I am living with fear now.

Reg Cobb said:

Very much saddened and my kids are too, as its going to affect their future for worse. The first bad news was that the pound has dropped to its lowest level in years and there’s more to come. People will complain about price rises, increase in mortgages etc. Government released information on expenditure and showed that only 0.37% is spent on EU, so little and we get so much out of Europe. We will miss the value that Europe bring to the UK and I may consider moving to Finland!

Melow Meldrew said:

I can tell you the Deaf were not even in the campaign for either side. Clubs here organised a day trip to the seaside instead,and most said they had no intention to vote too. Apathy has reaped its own reward, and the LC support for remain [Editor’s note: while we have posted articles from Deaf people supporting Remain, as a site we have not supported either side] shows they know nothing about the issue too. Time to join the real world and get real awareness. You spent far too much time with deaf issues and not involved enough in the real world, Time to come in out of the cold ? wasn’t that the ‘remain ‘ argument ? Sorry, the freebies and trips to EU deaf junkets look like being over….

 In reply to Melow Meldrew, MW said:
Mr Meldrew – you are so very Welsh and it is them (my home country with shame!) that turn the tide against Remain. Look to Scotland and Northern Ireland they understood the importance of being partners with the World. d/D people did listen and understood the issues – newspapers and television with subtitles don’t you forget was available to us and no we didn’t take a day out to the seaside. You mock us so unkindly! For some of us it is a very upsetting day. I also shared Tim comment about being embarrassed. Cameron should never have done this referendum.
Melow Meldrew replied:
So you are unwilling to accept the majority opinion of your own people ? Typically EU attitudes I must say. This isn’t about making the issue aware to deaf people, it was the fact they never engaged with hearing about it. I was fully involved with hearing and the campaign, I saw no other deaf there. There was real evidence deaf people, despite access, were just not interested in voting. So having fought for access to the issue, no-one considered they aren’t interested ? Of course We are,but rank and file… Some truisms may be upsetting it doesn’t change the facts. Forget being embarrassed we all have a LOT of work to do. (Which doesn’t entail running off to Finland !).
By Charlie Swinbourne, Editor

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