Gü will be speaking next week at our Deaf Awareness Week evening event where we will be celebrating DAW (2-8 May) to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, especially in the work place. Click here to find out more about the event and register for your FREE ticket.
Before we hear Gü present next week, let’s learn a little more from her!
What do you believe is the number one issue that the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Face in today’s world?
“I personally believe the number one issue the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community face in today’s world, is just not being heard. Good, clear communication is vital, a lot of employers tend to fixate too much on disabilities. I feel that many of us within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community have to work harder everyday just to prove we belong and are accepted as individuals, a factor taken for granted by our hearing peers.
We experience a lot of discrimination and there is a genuine, lack of understanding of Deaf culture. This can negatively impact on our lives, so I would really like the hearing world to alter their stereotypical views and misconceptions of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. It is not the case of what we can’t achieve, it is what we can achieve, with a little help and support along the way.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your personal background and what your experience was like growing up in London?
“I was born hearing and became severely Deaf when I contracted the measles at the tender age of one years old, but I wasn’t officially diagnosed Deaf until two years later, when my child-minder realised that there was a serious problem. As a four-year-old I was always placed at the front of the class, with my very own Teaching Assistant, and I was never really allowed to integrate with the other children, who were all hearing.
After several years of speech therapy, I was able to better communicate with my voice, and at University, I didn’t want to standout anymore, I just wanted to be me–not ‘the Deaf girl’. As I do have the ability to communicate using my voice, I was fortunate to able to integrate (to a certain extent) with both the Deaf and Hearing communities.”
How did being Deaf affect your career and employment opportunities?
Sadly, throughout my career I have had to deal with discrimination due to my deafness, even though I had degree in Television and Production. The best form of promotion I was ever offered at a company (that should have known better, seeing as they were world leaders in subtitling), was to work in the warehouse, with the other deaf employees. I had no idea that the Department of Works & Pensions were in position to help through personal Access to Work (ATW) budgets, and that is why the creation of the Signlync app is a crucial development in the career progress of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.”
Tell us more about Signlync
“The Signlync app will be a safe and secure app that seamlessly connects the Deaf Hard of Hearing community to interpreters in British Sign Language (BSL), Communication Support Workers, Note Takers etc. The app will break down current barriers experienced by people involved in booking each individuals support needs, whilst helping to bring the community together to alleviate the feelings of exclusion and isolation.
I am passionately dedicated to seeing British Sign Language (BSL) being taught from a young age, in every school across the country, because children are incredibly accepting and have a remarkable capacity to pick up languages. Learning and loving to Sign has so much more meaning than a simple knowledge of another language, it is about children connecting and being accepted for who they are. I believe Signlync can help aid this cause”
Thanks, Gü! We’re looking forward to hearing you speak next week!
Click here to find out more about the event and register for your FREE ticket.