It’s time we told David Cameron about deaf people

Can I ask if it’s possible for me to give deaf awareness training to David Cameron and all the political parties? I have been ill with depression for a long time, and I’m still seeing a counsellor.
I think it is time we told the politicians about deaf people. I want to write a letter to David Cameron to see if he and all the parties are interested in deaf awareness training.  What do you think?

Jean, Wales

Dear Jean
I am so sorry to hear about your ongoing depression. I know myself how difficult it is to deal with it. I am pleased you are seeing a counsellor – these things can and do take a very long time. I think the Government already knows about mental health and deaf people, as relevant organisations such as SignHealth remind them every now and then.
I know how frustrating it is when we feel the Government are not listening to us. I am not sure giving Deaf Awareness will help at all, though. We need to remind deaf charities what we want them to do for us. Let’s see what other people think. I am sure some will agree with you!
All the best and look after yourself.

6 responses to “It’s time we told David Cameron about deaf people

  1. I definitely agree with this. David Cameron and the goverment don’t want to be reminded now and again. They definitely want deaf awareness training and any other disability training as well.

    • I just seen I had not commented as I would have quiet had liked. I have minced my words up, and got them muddled. You probablly gathered what i meant to say but i want to make sure i came across properly. So I repost what I should have typed originally.

      “I definitely agree with this. David Cameron and the goverment don’t want to be reminded now and again. They wanted to be reminded all the time. They definitely want deaf awareness training and any other disability training as well. Disability does not go away. Its here all the time.”

  2. I was sad to read this latest request for advice, speaking as someone who is older and had a career in the Hearing world, and from the word go….from job no 1 to the last job I had even in Civil service, I have experienced all sorts of discriminations that beggars belief!

    It was good news to have the DDA 1995, 2005 and now the stronger EA2010 as laws , however things are still a long way from the ideal world where our abilities rather than disability is valued. The main reason is that the law as it stands is weak and a lot of lawyers are afraid of this law on this basis so we still have daily battles,

    I am one of those that reached the pinnacle of my career, as manager of a department in Government and I did make changes for the better for the disabled at the time but I could have gone MUCH further However like the Deaf FCO Diplomat who suffered discrimination I finally had to resign and so my story continues.

    I think Deaf Awareness was useful as a tool but it actually is a temporary measure. All too often the lesson learnt are “forgotten” in the cut and thrust of survival in the workplace and especially now in the Recession.

    Discrimination continues, sadly, but more and more of us are taking companies, even HM Government, to Court and yes they are winning even if some lose. I believe, as the number of cases increases, the impact of the Court Action will be felt and force companies to take heed. It always takes time. So dont get depressed my generation had its own battles in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and 21st century. There have been improvements! We will get there in the end. Just remember that Deafness is the most misunderstood disability, it is not like a wheelchair or anything similar that the Public can see the obvious disability.

    When you are ready and have talked with your Counsellor, you might want to think on positive lines, and contact your MP and express your experience. Make an appointment to see them. Consider, even ask, if you like to campaign in a Policitcal party and join them. You never know those positive steps could lead to a great career and you may be the next Minister for the Disabled!

    One step at a time. Explore your obvious passion and opinions. Turn them into a positive way of life/work and home.

    Good luck and dont forget to let us know DeafAuntie had helped you?

    Just remember this…whatever you have experienced we have experienced just the same! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    • You make some good points, Rob. Whether discrimination is allowed or not often depends on what’s regarded as “reasonable”, as in “reasonable adjustments” to help a disabled person do a job. As far as I recall, in the case of the deaf FCO diplomat who had to resign, the problem was that they would have required a budget of £300,000 to meet the cost of communications support such as dedicated note-takers. This amount, which would have been enough to fund the cost of 10 teachers or 20 nurses, was thought to be unreasonable. In the current economic environment (as you hint), the criteria of what’s reasonable are likely to get more restrictive.

  3. I have to agree with Laraine’s comment – let’s punch the Deaf organisations/charities. Too much is being ignored. Fingers crossed but then again we shouldn’t rely on luck!

  4. Hello Jean.

    I think a lot depends on what you want to achieve with deaf awareness training. For example is it better benefits, or better job prospects, or better communication facilities or what?

    Rather than writing to David Cameron it might be worth considering doing what I did last year. I had some deafness-related issues that I wanted to bring to my MP’s attention so I made an appointment at his weekly surgery and had a long talk with him. He listened very attentively and made some very positive and helpful comments. He was very pleased I had gone to see him and I think he learned a lot about deaf issues.

    The other point I’d make is that I’m a volunteer for two national deaf charities who are always running campaigns for things like better hearing loops, better TV subtitles and better conditions for deaf people in the workplace. Campaigning isn’t the same thing as deaf awareness training but it can be very effective as a way of addressing particular issues.

    The charities involve volunteers in their campaigns. If you feel strongly, you might even consider getting involved yourself. To get started, you could google “deaf charity” if you were interested. Or you could ask your counsellor for guidance.

    Best wishes.

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