Articles, Blog

In conversation with Alim Jayda- British Sign Language & the entertainment industry

Hi welcome to this installment of
Fishing for the truth thank you for joining me today. This afternoon I’m off
to London to meet a friend of mine a wonderful man called Alim Jayda, Alim and
I met last year working on what can only be described as a dream job we were both
involved in the second ‘Mamma Mia’ film ‘Here We Go Again’. Alim is an actor, a
singer, a choreographer his first language is British sign language and
he’s also a qualified sign language interpreter. Alim wrote a piece recently
for The Stage, now The Stage is a British weekly newspaper and web site that
covers the entertainment industry but theatre in particular. Alim wrote a
piece for them called ‘Theatres must consider the deaf community before using
sign language’. Now this is a world that I’m ashamed to say I’m ignorant about so
I’m meeting up with Alim today to ask him why he wrote that piece, what is it
that’s going on that needs to be addressed and the issues surrounding the
use of sign language. That’s where I’m going I shall see you in a bit (Music- sung) “This is my truth tell me the truth tell me my truth, tell me what the truth feels
like this is my truth, yeah yeah yeah, truth” I’ll just slo-mo that because I like to
start my videos with a bit of slow mo (laughs) oh dear, so anyway I love the
fact that whenever we have chats we we choose such epic locations, so today we’re in St
James’s Park and when we first had our first heart-to-heart I have mentioned in
the introduction that we did the first the second Mamma Mia film we were laying
underneath the stars in Croatia oh my god
and when we also had the first time we ever ever had heart heart was when we
were filming dancing queen on the jetty and we were under the tree overlooking
the beach not too shabby just sat talking about
relationships, d’you remember? oh, No (laughs) Awkward! that was the first time I ever spoke to you properly
we were sort of sussing each other out okay and then on the beach ,that was
special the one on the beach. Anyway thank you for coming here today so
before we talk about the piece that you wrote and because I was explaining how I’m ignorant to all of this – the subject of that you’re discussing of sign
language and the use of it in I’m assuming not only in theatre but in
television and just across entertainment in general I think most people are naive to it, well unless it’s of your world yeah I think you messaged me didn’t you to ask me about this and you said and you apologized for being naive to it
I think I said oh god don’t don’t be sorry I think there’s so me so
many things in this industry that we’re completely naive to and I think we’re in
a really exciting time at the moment where as we become more diverse as an
industry we have to teach ourselves and we have to force ourselves to learn
and understand and we all come from little pockets of privilege and
you’re privileged in ways I’m privileged in ways and I think it’s really
important that we we break those barriers down and go actually, tell me
about it what can I learn also understanding… I hate using the word political
correctness but understanding what is wrong and what’s okay and but then also understanding that it’s okay to
ask when you don’t know because, we’ll talk about it more later I’m sure but what I found from this whole experience especially
talking to people online and just having and being a part of the community is how
many people just are scared of asking and they’re terrified of asking questions..
like no no ask. Well how else are you going to know? Exactly and actually we want you to ask because
we want to we want to educate you not in a patronizing way. We as in the community?
The community and you know I have to be really careful and I and I specifically
said in my article I do not speak for the deaf community, yeah because I am I’m not
Deaf full stop well I am actually slightly hard of hearing in this ear, but and only
very slightly but I don’t I don’t see myself as a deaf person I am
NOT I don’t advertise myself as a deaf person so who am I to talk on their
behalf but as someone who is an ally and is someone who does it as a profession
and as someone who has grown up with sign language as its first language and
his whole family is Deaf I have always struggled I’ve always
struggled with my identity anyway because I think some.. I think a lot
of my identity is Deaf so I’m a hearing person who has a deaf identity
so I’ve always struggled to… I’m terrible in social situations. If
you put me in a group of Deaf people I can sign away and ask questions and communicate, I’d
be fine but in a group of hearing people I get massive social anxiety because I don’t really understand the art of, I’ve got better I’ve trained myself..
I’ve had a lot of therapy but I’ve learned how to communicate in a hearing world
so that’s that’s where my article came from it came it is me
talking from my opinion from my point of view but also talking on behalf of my parents
because my parents are Deaf but they don’t really have a voice and basically
also stemmed from an annoyed irritated tweet I put out in the moment. Which was
about? … Which was the seeing the increase of hearing roles going that required
British sign language going to hearing actors, rightly so because it’s a
hearing role… that don’t know BSL or learn it for the job, British sign language? British Sign Language. and it basically stemmed from an
audition that I went through, went for one of many that I’ve been for where I
overheard one of the actors say someone had said oh how do you know sign
language and he said “Oh just, I learned a bit from a Deaf girl friend a few years
ago so if I get it i’ll just brush up a bit” and I thought and he got the job.. I
thought you have no respect for the language, the community, for the culture,
for what it stands for and I think the reason I wrote the article because I
wrote that tweet and it got a lot of response and then I was approached by
The Stage to write an article and I um-ed and ah-ed for a while and I spoke to my
agent ’cause I was really nervous and I think as actors we get really scared of
speaking out because we worry that it’s going to work against us so I had to
really think about how I wanted my voice to be heard and I hope it’s come across
in a non aggressive way, it’s just it needs to stop because I think when
people choose to use sign language they have to remember that they
represent a whole community and a culture and a beautifully rich culture and the
example I used in the article was it’s like employing an actor with very basic
English skills in an English role you know and then expecting us to to
relate to that. Yeah. We’d watch that and go “oh god” that you know… yeah… and it’s
exactly the same and and and deaf people are going to the theatre and people such
as myself or going to the theatre and going oh that’s a really poor example
and naively a lot of hearing people are watching it going oh gosh how wonderful
isn’t it wonderful how gorgeous it looks it is. Does that make sense? Yes
well I guess it’s also not authentic is it like any any art or any
representation of anything needs to be truthful and authentic to do it the
justice and respect that it deserves. You know I used an example little while ago
the beauty I’m very very lucky because i’m a qualified sign language interpreter so whenever I’m out of work as an actor I do that so and I wasin
a room and I said to the director, this was a few years ago, I said why are you using
British sign language? You’ve got deaf actor on board which is brilliant but
why are you using it? Are you using it to improve access and equality or does the sign language exists in its own world? Now the easy answer was the latter
because they were like “oh it doesn’t need to be understood by the audience it
exists in its own world within the play” so even if the hearing actors
within the play that don’t know sign language learn a bit and they and they
got through a bit of a conversation with them that’s okay because that’s
realistic with the world and I said let me give you an example as an Indian
because I’m half Indian… if you cast me in your play and said we
have an Indian in the piece and it’s a complete white cast and you’ve
got an Indian or me.. half Indian and then you said to me we have a couple
of accessible performances so normally they’re the captioned performances or the
interpreted performances, there’s only ever two, or three if you’re lucky
… if you said to me Alim your audience can come two nights of the whole thing,
how would that look? that would be racist. Yeah. You’re doing exactly the same thing. You’re saying “your audience…” to the Deaf community “you can only come two
nights of the whole run… you can absolutely come any of the
nights but you’re not gonna understand it” “but those two nights you can come
because we are making it accessible to you”. Why is it not becoming
accessible at the beginning is the question and that was my
conversation and in in the article you know you have to consider by
taking on a Deaf person… Deaf person or someone who can sign, there comes
a big responsibility that comes because in turn an audience come, an audience to get excited to see themselves on stage and they want to see
themselves represented well so my biggest argument wasn’t about the deaf
thing, I digress, it was about hearing actors being on stage with poor
quality of sign and then Deaf people or myself watching it and going, that’s terrible. Yeah which is it’s interesting because
there’s no… you can’t you can’t kind of counter argue that or disagree with
it you saying it now in clear terms it makes so much sense and yet it’s not
something that obviously I’ve ever thought about before but um what are the
what are the steps that … haven’t there steps already been made because of this
as far as casting and Spotlight Spotlight is the, what would how would
you describe it to anybody who doesn’t know what spotlight is? Industry directory?
It’s not a directory it’s where you auditions are posted, it’s like the
go-to place for a casting directors or anybody to see a person’s CV, resume
of what they’ve done. What are the changes that have started? Well since I’ve
had amazing conversations with spotlight and and I should say I’ve been trying to
have this conversation for a while it’s been a long process but this article has
really helped it move along which is wonderful they have been incredible
and they asked my advice i said look I’m here willing to consult with you, it’s
very easy for us to just attack the industry and attack directors and attack casting directors and attack spotlight that’s not what I want to We’re here to educate we’re here to have this open conversation and actually a
casting directors job is hard because they are trusting, when they put out that
brief that says we require actors that can sign, they are trusting that the
actors that are coming forward actually know what they’re doing.. and a lot of the times they’re casting them trusting the actors and
then actually the job is appalling so spotlight have introduced
levels so standards as though I’ve explained to them two different
standards you can be so level one and two was sort of basic. Level three
is the equivalent like conversational French, yeah so you you could get by
yeah and then level four… level five isn’t there don’t ask me where that went.
Level four and level six.. Level four is sort of weird in between but level
six is fluent, then but then you also have native and you have CODAs
which is me so CODA is a child of deaf adults, but also worth reiterating
that just ’cause you’re a child of deaf adults doesn’t mean you’re going to be the best
signer in the world. My brother for example, he’s only ever been able to get
to level three in terms of his exams, and I’ve managed to get to get qualified and that’s not a reflection on him as a person but his ability is just very
different. So they’ve introduced that so I hope that is going to help
casting directors a bit, I was discussing with Spotlight about how to educate them..
they’ve got wonderful training with casting directors and directors
on working with Deaf people and sign language so hopefully that will change but also the onus
also sits with actors too many actors, I have noticed a very quick to just go “I
can do it” Yeah to be honest. Yeah I mean you know at the end of the day like
work’s work and I know actors are desperate for work we all are we’re all just
trying to get by aren’t we.. I think there’s been too many actors that have said to
their agents I can do that I could do that very well or I can learn in a few
weeks and the thing is you can’t learn in a few weeks because you know
on average it takes about seven to ten years to become really fluent and that’s that’s
even by immersing yourself into the world so yeah I think actors need to take ownership as well, actors need to know
when to say… because I make a point in the article which our hope comes across
that it’s okay to cast someone with basic language.. if you knew basic sign
language I’m not saying you can’t be cast in the role but you need to be
vetted by a Deaf person, someone needs to be there in the room to go ‘She’s pulling our leg” or actually ‘She is basic” because there
are so many characters that ARE basic oh yeah we could have a Nia, yeah there’s a place for them, we could have a part
for Nia that that knows a bit of basic sign language yeah that’s fine
but you need to have someone vetting the process. There’s been music videos by big big artists that got released a few
years ago with someone who wasn’t good enough and then furthermore.. this is so political but wasn’t even moving their
lips.. the person didn’t even move their lips. That is like the biggest taboo in the community because there’s a lot of the expression of what you’re trying to
say comes from the face not just hands. it’s a combination of hands, of your face,
of non manual features we call it ‘NMF’ where you push your body your
placement there’s so much to it and the video, you can’t make any sense of it.
That’s so interesting so what in your opinion, what effect does it
have on a Deaf person who would be watching that video to see their
language represented in that way? well again I can’t speak for them but for me
and well I tell you who i can speak on behalf of my mum and dad for example.
I’ve sat in rooms so many times then where they’ll go, and they will tell
me about such and such or there’s a BBC
programme and they have got a guest actor who knows a bit of sign language Great. wonderful let’s watch it and to see their
face deflate it’s so heartbreaking because it’s about representation you
just want to be, you want the world to see you for who you are in the best form possible and I think especially in TV they have a bigger
responsibility and film for example that have a bigger responsibility to represent
communities well. Is that because they’re reaching a wider audience or why’d you
say a bigger responsibility? because it’s seen by so many more people. I think
theatre is where it starts which is wonderful but it doesn’t sadly reach
the the corners of the world or the country that we want it to reach. But TV or
film is so accessible and we watch things in an instant. Streaming it
or whatever and I think if we want to encourage a change we have to make sure
representations are there. There was a conversation about LGBT representation
you know years ago you’d never see it you would
never see it and now it’s about you know the more the more it’s seen the more it’s
understood the more it’s questioned the more it’s accepted and that is the same
for this, because you know, there’s two things here it’s not
just the Deaf community that need to be seen it’s also the sign language
community which which are which are which are interchangeable they they are
one but also they’re independent in their own right because you know I’m not
a Deaf person but I’m very much part of the sign language community and you know that is that
is a world that deserves to be represented properly because people
don’t realize the knock-on effect it has politically. BSL finally got recognized
as a language only a few years ago. Oh Okay. so it
so that’s that’s what I mean about politically but it still doesn’t have
its own rights..even in terms of having interpreters, so many Deaf people are
stopped or don’t have access to the basic right, we would assume, of a sign language
interpreter because the money is not in place or because of cuts or because
someone just said “oh I don’t need to book one”, if those rights if those if
those rights were in place we could turn around and go no actually you need to, so
it goes back to representation, If it’s represented, if it’s represented well, we
lead a high good example which then can in turn transfer in to our politics. Wow, it’s so interesting
like you say the ripple effect, it’s not, what you think is gonna be a
conversation about one thing all of a sudden there’s like a massive umbrella. Yeah and it is awkward because you… there is an argument on both sides which
I have been really privy to you’ve seen so many times,
MPs going to the House of Commons and learning a bit of sign language and there’s
always a bit of an uproar and a bit of a scurry about
whether that’s morally right or not because it’s a very poor representation of
the language, it’s very clunky it’s very basic however you could also argue that
it’s wonderful because it’s getting seen so but that’s in itself but then
when we discuss the industry ,we have the ability as an industry to change lives
and open eyes, open the mind, we have a responsibility to to make a change and a
lot of things we do do have a ripple effect to do make a change and a lot of people do leave going oh god,… politics aside it’s so much more important especially in t.v and film and even theatre and just in the industry in general because if we if we if we if we see it at the
standard it’s supposed to be we understand the standard is all supposed to
be at,. Right okay. Because as someone you know, i I’ve grown up fighting fighting
fighting for my mum and dad to have an interpreter or to be able to speak on behalf of my mum and dad and it’s always been really hard. That was gonna be one of my other questions about what it was like
growing up. Uh.. Wonderful you know I think a lot of people they go, I had a
lot especially being young “Oh God, it must have been really hard…” I didn’t know any different so and
actually the older I’ve got the more I’ve come to realize God how privileged
am i, I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world, that I only have i got a
beautiful rich language I also identify as someone who’s culturally Deaf as well
at times and I’m privy to a world that not many people are privy to but yes it was hard I’m not, you know, I very much got given the responsibility of of managing things my parents, not
because they expected but because they had to, they didn’t have an option,
because English isn’t their first language, the letters would have to be
translated in sign language because they couldn’t just pick up the phone and call
someone because they didn’t make it accessible for them so I would
always have to call on their behalf and I still have it now I still you know
only the other day I had a massive argument with a credit card company and
they said “sorry you can’t make this particular amendment on the account
because you’re only third party, you don’t have power of attorney” and I said to him… “I don’t want power of attorney and I don’t
think my dad wants me to be power of attorney because that’s immediately giving
up all of his rights and that should be his decision, y’know
who am i to turn around to him and say you’re gonna have to give me power of
attorney now but the only way around it is for him to actually give me power of
attorney which we were going through the process of but I did feel as if I was
playing catch-up with myself, I sort of feel like in that place in my life that
I’m 27, where everything’s steadied out. When I was 18 I would never
get old with people my age I always get on with people older than me.
Is that because of the responsibility you had? I think so and I was used to
discussing mortgages and I was just used to discussing bills. Yeah not your usual subjects for an 18 year old. Yeah, now I feel like I’m evened out a bit and I understand the world a bit more and I
can speak to everyone a little bit better and I think I understand myself a
little bit more as hearing person but, yeah, it was hard. Is there anything that
those of us who aren’t British sign languagers or that those of us who aren’t
Deaf what can we what can we do apart from have these discussions and … is there anything? Learn. I would encourage everyone to learn. Learn as in literally learning. Literally learn sign language. I, we as a community, we have been campaigning for for British sign language
to be introduced into the curriculum. and it’s been rejected …so many times. But why? because they don’t
understand and they refuse to understand the importance of it and even my
mum and dad were saying, I’ve spoken to so many friends of mine that are Deaf that say Oh
my god wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone could just sign and there is a
beautiful there’s a beautiful video online, I can’t
remember the name but I’m sure you can google and find it where this guy.. they
get a small little town and they teach everybody to sign this is one Deaf guy, who they film and he goes to the coffee shop and the coffee shop guy.. he says ” I’m Deaf” and the coffee shop say guys in sign language “Oh what would you like.. what coffee would you
like ” and you see his face just go oh oh great
okay cool great, he can sign, and he answers, and then he leaves the shop and someone
walks past and they say ” Hey, how are you?” and it is the most wonderful video because
for someone who has been isolated for so many years become a part of society and
I’m not saying Deaf people aren’t apart of society they’re very much are.. very
independent but just by learning the basic ability of level one you know my
partner’s learning level one and it’s honesty it’s changed the way he thinks
just being able to just introduce yourself , being able to ask where someone is, being able to ask someone how the feeling you know immediately just, it shifts the dynamic of power
between, because at the moment it lies with the hearing people and it shifts that dynamic of power to more of a equal footing. No one is expecting you to being a fluent SL user and you dont have to be. The phrase thats used a lot recently is ‘Hearing Privilege. Where a lot of hearing people with no experience of the Deaf community or Sign Langague will go “Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a bit of SL in it. It looks so wonderful aesthetically. It’s not a form of dance. Its a language. It’s a language! … Yeah. The only reason it’s so
different from any other language is because it’s visual, but going back to
my partner since he’s learning level one.. the way he interacts with the world I don’t think he even realized. What I’ve noticed is so different… he is so much more expressive, he can look at someone and pick up in slight ‘isms’ on the face he is more in tune with himself also in
tune with the world around him because when you learn how, and especially as dancers I’ve noticed dancers are the best ones to learn, because, I think their brains are connected in that level the second you learn sign language
it forces you to see people in a different way because you’re picking up
on every bit. Which can only ever be a good thing.. to open your eyes further and to
see. Absolutely. Everyone wants to be seen, and heard. Heards probably a bad word to use… To be understood… Yeah. So what’s the best way of learning I’m sure like anything there are good ways of learning and
probably not so good I don’t think there’s I don’t think it’s
bad. Ok , or you can get into bad habits? Yes you can, there’s lots of bad habits. Sign Language is a reactive language so you can only really learn with someone
because as I said earlier it’s not just about the hands there’s something called NMFs, non manual features so the way a body’s positioned, what
you’re doing your body, with facial expressions and that’s whats apart of the
language and actually you can only really learn In a three-dimensional setting.. not 2D. I’m not saying it can’t be done but you know
I always encourage people to learn a level-one.. you know on average is about £300. You can learn… london-based ones are City Lit, Remark! but if you go on to
‘Signature’ which are the examining body I’ll put it at the bottom of the screen.
You literally pop your postcode in it will tell you your closest Centre and you can learn level one but don’t have money there are online
courses which you need to be careful about because you don’t know what you
getting, can be quite expensive but there are YouTube videos and are actually what
I would personally encourage, there are freelance Deaf BSL tutors out there as well. Okay. Yeah.. You know I would always encourage any person to learn to sign because know level one great you know the
basics and if you can get to level three even better level three you can have basic
conversations. Yeah yeah which is something that I’ve never considered
doing and it seems it seems not shameful but I can’t I can’t understand now
why it’s never occurred to me because it’s a it’s a whole part of our.. It’s probably because… Its a whole part of our society.. But ask yourself how many
times have you met a Deaf person…. exactly yeah .. you know it’s not something you
will come across every day you know in comparison to me, it’s part of my life
every day so that’s why most people don’t consider it, but a stat
that’s useful to think about ,food for is that 90% of Deaf children … 90?.90. Are are born into hearing families or from two hearing parents. Gosh. So actually the chances of us, maybe not me because I’ve got Deaf parentage but let’s say both of us had no history of Deafness in the family as all.. the chances of us having a Deaf child are a lot higher than a Deaf couple having a Deaf child. I can’t explain it. I don’t know why, but but, so why are we not learning.
There is a wonderful actor I know, she’s just got wonderful
job, only the other day which I am so pleased about. An amazing, high profile company who actually, funnily enough I was involved in, I was interpreting for their audition and it
just happened to be at the same time my article came out and they did everything right. They had a Deaf person in the room that was vetting the sign language, Deaf actors coming in and then they realized very quickly they went “oh
god this Deaf person is going to be the only Deaf person in the company ,what
is that going to do for that Deaf person’s morale it they can’t even communicate with hearing actors that don’t sign?” Why don’t we get actors that can sign in the room. I thought “oh my god you are amazing” and they literally have set the standard of how it should be
done, and I want that to carry on but going back to her, she, her mum and
dad are Deaf, sorry HEARING I don’t believe had any exposure to the Deaf community before, they learnt to sign and she I think she would class herself as bilingual,
she’s English and sign language, her world’s opened up because they have allowed her to access
a world, a world of of language and communication that not many people can
access because they can’t sign so they can’t express themselves which is why I keep going back to
saying I’m one of the luckiest people in the world because I can express myself
in two different languages and i express myself in a language that isn’t common is… well it’s called British sign language I guess for a reason does sign language
vary throughout the world as other languages do? Yeah for every language you
have there is a sign language variation, but then it goes further than that, even
within the UK there’s variations where you go so there’ll be Welsh, there’ll be Scotland, regional sign language yeah. British sign language you can normally understand everyone in the
United Kingdom but there’ll be variations so normally you’d be like “Ooh what’s that’s
sign?” and they’ll say oh it’s Welsh it’s this and you go okay. Yeah a bit like I
guess what happens with regional sayings or dialects or slang yeah yeah yeah yeah.
And then there is a wonderful language called international sign language
which is sort of an agreed collection of visual signs so everyone
no matter where you’re from can understand each other. Wow that’s amazing!
Which I cannot do, I would never claim to be able to do it, so here you
go, this is an example I could very easily as an actor have gone “Yeah I can
do, I can do i international, I can I can I can learn”. I could learn, i could but i
would be able to represent it as well as a Deaf person who has been doing
international all their life so there’s an example for you. Fascinating, fascinating and eye opening
and I think without getting too deep I think anything in today’s world that
helps us to open our eyes more is a good thing, you know to see people for who
they are and to understand people better. I agree there was
a there was a program on telly a little while ago going back to the conversation
I was having about being able to make a change make a difference there’s a
programme, a very well known high profile programme that had the opportunity to
really show how things are supposed to be done okay and they completely failed
so for example there was a Deaf person in the piece and the person in it says
“Oh she’s Deaf I’ll get an interpreter” and I watched it and i went, (gasp) and I was
literally screaming at the television I went “Amazing” and then they came back
with the receptionist or a member of staff that did a little bit of sign
language and I thought oh my god oh my god
you have just not only embarrassed yourselves but you’ve embarrassed me
you’ve embarrassed the community and you’ve made it look acceptable to do that.
Where actually what they could have done is, “I’ve been on the phone for ages
I can’t book an interpreter” which happens a lot y’know. Yeah tell the truth
of that situation, yes exactly “So I’ve got someone here who knows a
little bit would this be okay?” No it’s not acceptable because it’s
a medical setting “Okay let me work on it” and then bring a qualified interpreter
in immediately you’re making a political statement and comment that is shifting things because the amount of times I’ve been in hospitals
where I have had to interpret and it’s extremely common for CODAs children
Deaf adults, that you know we or even just people that can sign that have a
Deaf person in the family that have been forced to sign in a situation. I’ve
had to tell, I told my mum and I hate to say woe is me but I told my mum that my
her mum had died in sign language via the nurse. That’s not my job and that in
turn had had a massive psychological impact and I didn’t, it had
a knock-on effect on my grieving process because I became interpreter and I
became detached from the situation and everything was just like is my mum
okay or more so, is my client okay you know does she have the information,
can she ask the questions she needs to ask when actually, hold on
my Grandma’s dead in front of me, why was there not an interpreter that was
brought in, and they called us a few times to say you need to come to the
hospital now clearly she’d died a while before so they had enough of a window,
listen I know as an interpreter it’s not as easy as just picking up the phone and getting an interpreter,
they’re very booked up but it’s possible there’s agencies within hospitals to be
able to just get an interpreter last minute, you might have to wait a little bit if
they knew if they knew for a few hours they could have got that interpreter in
waited for us to arrive and deliver the news. So that you can be Alim,
grandson, grieving family member as opposed to, yeah exactly going back to
this programme I, they had, I was so heartbroken and I was so let down
because I just thought you had an opportunity to either a- show the impact
of the political crisis we’re in at the moment where cuts are being made left,
right and centre and so therefore interpreters aren’t so readily available which is the truth or you could’ve ignored that, ignored the drama and just gone “We’ve got an interpreter for you” Wonderful! The amount of people who would have watched that and gone “Great, i understand” because by bringing in a qualified interpreter who knows what they’re doing, or having someone who’s just a little bit sticky makes you wonder how much respect they have for the language and the community and deaf people themselves So that was heartbreaking to watch but that happens all the time, i’m talking like this is the first time this has happened it happens all the time, sadly, even within my personal life it happens all the time thankfully we’re getting a lot better
we are changing, interpreters are respected a lot more which is wonderful
as a profession and standards are in place and most of the time you know, now
I sort of, i’ve noticed I don’t need to be there as quick as I needed to be, ’cause
normally there’s an interpreter in place so now like, you know a few
months ago my dad went in to hospital I got a FaceTime from my mother and she said
“The interpreter’s here” and I went “Ah wonderful” and I thought okay cool
and I could have this conversation via FaceTime with the interpreter with the
doctor so it’s getting better I’m not I’m not
saying it’s not happening at all but you know they had an opportunity to really really do something and they didn’t and that goes back to my point of making political changes. We have the power to do that as an industry as artists, we can make change with our voices. That was amazing! Thank you! Thank you so much. Hopefully this will um, yeah this will reach
people and and resonate with people and hopefully make people think a little bit differently or open their eyes up or, I hope so and, I can’t, it can’t hurt, it
can’t hurt because we want people to talk we want people to ask questions, okay don’t be afraid to
ask questions and next time I see you we’ll have like
this Simon Cowell smile (laughs). I’m getting my teeth done (Instrumental music)


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