This may have been one of the most rewarding nights I have been out at work.
Yes, it started with the usual drink casualties – but then three lads came in wearing ties. I was DJing at RETRO Bar on commercial street – reggae & dub – and in the small room it became apparent that all three of the lads in ties had just come from a wedding and that they were speaking in sign language.
I have to say, that as someone who has had limited experience of playing music to people who cannot hear it came as a bit of a surprise. After my DJ set, I parked myself at the bar and tried to introduce myself to them. I turns out they were a right laugh.
The first lad I spoke to (A) works as a support worker translating between hearing and sign. I asked him how I can be more ‘deaf aware.’ He said that the best way is to first treat them as a person, but try and get them writing on a piece of paper so that you can have a conversation. We got Talking – this was possible because he had a cochlea implant – and I soon found out that most people are not Deaf Aware at all – they take the fact that all people can hear as granted. This was a bit irksome. As someone who suffers from a disability I found the fact that I was slightly out of kilter with a sufferer of another disability to …. well, unsettle me: I just want people to make life as easy for everyone as possible. Continue reading →