Return to Video

Not just Deaf | Joanne Chester | TEDxDunLaoghaire

  • 0:31 - 0:34
    I'd like to ask you a question.
  • 0:35 - 0:38
    Irish Sign language interpreters are here.
  • 0:39 - 0:41
    Who are they here for?
  • 0:42 - 0:43
    For me?
  • 0:47 - 0:49
    Well yeah, they are here for me.
  • 0:51 - 0:54
    But most of all,
    they are here for all of you
  • 0:54 - 0:57
    so you can fit in with my language.
  • 0:58 - 1:00
    The ISL interpreters,
  • 1:01 - 1:02
    what are they doing?
  • 1:02 - 1:03
    I sign,
  • 1:03 - 1:07
    and then they voice-over
    and translate into English for you.
  • 1:10 - 1:12
    Let me tell you a story.
  • 1:14 - 1:16
    I was born Deaf.
  • 1:17 - 1:21
    The doctors identified me as Deaf
    at six months old.
  • 1:23 - 1:25
    My Mom and Dad,
  • 1:25 - 1:28
    did they get the support they needed?
  • 1:28 - 1:29
    No, they didn't.
  • 1:30 - 1:32
    Did they get the information there was
  • 1:32 - 1:34
    about the Deaf community
    and their language
  • 1:34 - 1:38
    and their culture
    and their potential opportunities
  • 1:38 - 1:39
    I had for me in the future?
  • 1:39 - 1:40
    No, they didn't.
  • 1:41 - 1:47
    My life was doomed as a negative
    from that moment forward.
  • 1:49 - 1:51
    I initially went to a hearing play school
  • 1:51 - 1:53
    with other children.
  • 1:54 - 1:57
    I can remember once sitting in the circle
  • 1:57 - 2:00
    with two teachers sitting out front.
  • 2:01 - 2:05
    All the children were involved
    in an activity of singing a rhyme.
  • 2:05 - 2:08
    The children sang away.
  • 2:09 - 2:10
    What was I doing?
  • 2:12 - 2:13
    Nothing.
  • 2:14 - 2:17
    I just sat there doing nothing.
  • 2:17 - 2:19
    I was lost.
  • 2:20 - 2:22
    The children continued singing,
  • 2:24 - 2:26
    then they stood up,
  • 2:26 - 2:28
    which was part of the actions
    of the nursery rhyme,
  • 2:28 - 2:30
    and they dropped to the floor.
  • 2:31 - 2:32
    What was I doing?
  • 2:32 - 2:35
    Still sitting there doing nothing.
  • 2:35 - 2:37
    Just sitting,
  • 2:37 - 2:38
    lost,
  • 2:38 - 2:40
    isolated,
  • 2:40 - 2:41
    left out.
  • 2:44 - 2:46
    I gestured to a little boy
    who was on the ground,
  • 2:46 - 2:48
    "Come. Sit with me."
  • 2:49 - 2:52
    He did that. He came and sat beside me.
  • 2:53 - 2:55
    That just went to show
  • 2:55 - 2:59
    just how I was feeling alone
    sitting by myself,
  • 2:59 - 3:02
    and having him there sit with me
    made me feel a bit more the same.
  • 3:05 - 3:09
    Later, I went to the local state school
    for hearing children.
  • 3:09 - 3:11
    I was there for about a year.
  • 3:11 - 3:12
    It really didn't work out.
  • 3:14 - 3:18
    My parents had to make
    the agonising, difficult decision
  • 3:18 - 3:21
    to send me to Dublin,
    to a boarding school for Deaf children.
  • 3:24 - 3:27
    I can remember the first day
    going in there.
  • 3:27 - 3:29
    I entered a classroom.
  • 3:31 - 3:33
    There was a group of girls
    sitting in a circle.
  • 3:34 - 3:38
    Those girls are still my friends today
    after all these years.
  • 3:38 - 3:40
    One of them
  • 3:41 - 3:42
    remembers clearly waving at me
  • 3:42 - 3:45
    and gesturing towards me
    to come join them.
  • 3:46 - 3:47
    They were doing colouring.
  • 3:48 - 3:50
    I went over.
  • 3:51 - 3:54
    They made space for me,
    pushed two other little pals away.
  • 3:54 - 3:56
    I sat in.
  • 3:57 - 4:02
    And my friend gestured and signed to me
    what they were doing.
  • 4:03 - 4:04
    So they were colouring.
  • 4:04 - 4:06
    And from that moment on,
  • 4:06 - 4:10
    I don't remember ever
    actually learning Irish Sign Language.
  • 4:10 - 4:12
    I don't remember how I learned.
  • 4:12 - 4:14
    I don't know how I picked it up,
  • 4:14 - 4:15
    how I was influenced.
  • 4:15 - 4:18
    I don't remember
    the actual pragmatics of that,
  • 4:18 - 4:20
    but I know it was my language,
  • 4:20 - 4:23
    and I know the first five years
    and nine months of my life,
  • 4:23 - 4:25
    I was deprived of that language.
  • 4:28 - 4:30
    Irish Sign Language,
  • 4:30 - 4:31
    what is it?
  • 4:32 - 4:33
    It's a language.
  • 4:34 - 4:37
    It's the same like
    your language that you use,
  • 4:38 - 4:40
    It's similar to spoken languages -
  • 4:40 - 4:44
    French, Spanish, German, English,
    all the languages that there are.
  • 4:44 - 4:47
    And each country
    has its own sign language.
  • 4:48 - 4:53
    Irish Sign Language has
    its own structure, grammar, syntax
  • 4:53 - 4:56
    just like spoken languages do.
  • 4:57 - 4:59
    Irish Sign Language
  • 4:59 - 5:03
    is their first or preferred language
    of the Deaf community.
  • 5:04 - 5:08
    ISL is 80% based on body language
    and visual expression.
  • 5:08 - 5:10
    It's a visual language.
  • 5:11 - 5:13
    I'm not sure if you know
  • 5:13 - 5:17
    that ISL is already
    a recognised language of this country,
  • 5:17 - 5:22
    the third language of this country,
    since December 2017.
  • 5:23 - 5:26
    Irish Sign Language is for everyone.
  • 5:26 - 5:29
    It's the key to inclusion.
  • 5:32 - 5:35
    I want you to imagine this here.
  • 5:35 - 5:37
    Imagine if here in Ireland,
  • 5:37 - 5:40
    everywhere you went, any part of life,
  • 5:40 - 5:41
    everyone could sign.
  • 5:42 - 5:45
    Imagine going into the street
    and bumping into people and signing;
  • 5:45 - 5:47
    going into the bank, being able to sign;
  • 5:47 - 5:49
    going into shops, being able to sign;
  • 5:49 - 5:52
    hearing and Deaf, people all alike
    being able to sign.
  • 5:52 - 5:53
    Can you imagine?
  • 5:53 - 5:56
    Can you imagine the world
    if it was like that -
  • 5:56 - 5:59
    in all the other countries
    where there are sign languages,
  • 5:59 - 6:02
    we use sign language everywhere -
  • 6:02 - 6:05
    if everybody could communicate
    through sign language?
  • 6:05 - 6:06
    Imagine that.
  • 6:08 - 6:10
    Let me tell you another story.
  • 6:12 - 6:15
    This just happened to me
    about three weeks ago.
  • 6:17 - 6:20
    I was at a tram stop, waiting.
  • 6:20 - 6:23
    I noticed a woman coming towards me,
  • 6:23 - 6:27
    and I could see by her body language
    that she was a bit confused.
  • 6:27 - 6:29
    She approached me and spoke to me,
  • 6:29 - 6:32
    and I tried to communicate with her,
  • 6:32 - 6:33
    but as you know,
  • 6:33 - 6:37
    Deaf people can work extremely hard
    at trying to lip read,
  • 6:37 - 6:40
    but 90% of that skill is guesswork.
  • 6:42 - 6:45
    So I tried to lip read
    what she was saying to me,
  • 6:45 - 6:48
    and she said something like this:
  • 6:49 - 6:52
    "Is this something,
    something or other stop?
  • 6:53 - 6:58
    So, clearly she was asking me
    if she was at the right stop.
  • 6:59 - 7:00
    So i took out my phone.
  • 7:00 - 7:02
    I thought, "Okay, I'm going to try
    and help this lady."
  • 7:02 - 7:05
    So I typed out on my phone a message:
  • 7:05 - 7:07
    "How can I help you?"
  • 7:07 - 7:09
    and I gave her my phone.
  • 7:12 - 7:14
    She typed.
  • 7:14 - 7:15
    I got excited.
  • 7:15 - 7:19
    I thought, "Great! She's going
    to finally communicate with me."
  • 7:20 - 7:22
    So she gave me back my phone,
  • 7:23 - 7:26
    but she walked away
    to speak to someone else,
  • 7:26 - 7:27
    and when I looked at my phone -
  • 7:27 - 7:29
    do you know what she said?
  • 7:31 - 7:32
    "It's okay."
  • 7:36 - 7:37
    It's not okay,
  • 7:38 - 7:39
    No.
  • 7:40 - 7:44
    I felt so humiliated, degraded.
  • 7:45 - 7:50
    I felt like a second-class citizen
    to be treated like that.
  • 7:55 - 7:59
    The only time I can remember
    being treated equal
  • 7:59 - 8:02
    happened when I went
    to Maynooth University.
  • 8:02 - 8:05
    I was there studying
    for a degree for three years.
  • 8:05 - 8:08
    Interpreters were provided throughout.
  • 8:09 - 8:14
    I was fully included with my class,
    with the students and lecturers.
  • 8:14 - 8:16
    They recognised me. They saw me.
  • 8:16 - 8:20
    I also went on three
    professional work placements,
  • 8:20 - 8:23
    and all the colleagues
    who met me valued me.
  • 8:24 - 8:29
    One particular placement,
    I went as youth worker on a project.
  • 8:29 - 8:32
    I had interpreters provided to me
    for the duration.
  • 8:32 - 8:34
    And during that placement,
  • 8:34 - 8:36
    It meant that I had to act
    as a professional
  • 8:36 - 8:38
    and carry out my role,
  • 8:38 - 8:41
    and I could do that through ISL
    because I had interpreters with me,
  • 8:41 - 8:45
    and I was able to link and build
    relationships with people through ISL.
  • 8:50 - 8:51
    So when I was asked
  • 8:51 - 8:54
    to participate in the programme
    "London's Calling" last may,
  • 8:56 - 8:59
    it really opened my eyes
  • 8:59 - 9:03
    because in the UK, especially in London,
  • 9:03 - 9:07
    they have the Access to Work scheme,
    that is funded by the Government,
  • 9:08 - 9:10
    where they provide funds
  • 9:10 - 9:14
    so that Deaf people there can carry out
    their professions and their jobs,
  • 9:14 - 9:17
    can look for job progression, promotion.
  • 9:18 - 9:21
    They are Deaf professionals.
  • 9:23 - 9:27
    It's not fair that here, Irish Deaf people
  • 9:28 - 9:32
    end up forced to move to the UK
    to achieve their dreams
  • 9:32 - 9:35
    because of that Access to Work scheme
  • 9:35 - 9:39
    when they could actually do that here
    if we had the Access to Work scheme here -
  • 9:39 - 9:41
    a proper one.
  • 9:43 - 9:45
    Can you imagine
  • 9:45 - 9:46
    Ireland,
  • 9:47 - 9:51
    if we had the Access to Work scheme here,
  • 9:51 - 9:55
    it would mean we would be visible,
  • 9:55 - 10:00
    we would be your colleagues
    through Irish Sign Language?
  • 10:02 - 10:05
    Just like can you imagine
    a world, in every country,
  • 10:05 - 10:08
    and if they copied that model
    for the Access to Work scheme,
  • 10:08 - 10:11
    it would mean that
    so many Deaf professionals
  • 10:11 - 10:12
    would be seen everywhere
  • 10:12 - 10:15
    and able to progress in their work life?
  • 10:17 - 10:19
    And that would mean what?
  • 10:19 - 10:20
    That young Deaf people
  • 10:20 - 10:24
    who already have the motivation
    and the dreams of things they'd like to do
  • 10:24 - 10:26
    ahead in the future,
  • 10:26 - 10:29
    that would be there for them,
    they could achieve that,
  • 10:29 - 10:32
    just like I couldn't.
  • 10:34 - 10:36
    Inclusion -
  • 10:37 - 10:40
    that's everyone's responsibility.
  • 10:43 - 10:44
    Inclusion
  • 10:45 - 10:48
    is everyone's responsibility.
  • 10:51 - 10:57
    Now I'd like to invite you
    to learn about the Deaf community.
  • 10:57 - 11:00
    I have a long list of tips
    of what you can do,
  • 11:00 - 11:02
    but I've just picked three.
  • 11:04 - 11:08
    One of them is linked
    to how to communicate with a Deaf person.
  • 11:08 - 11:10
    There's many different ways.
  • 11:10 - 11:12
    You could write something down
    on a piece of paper,
  • 11:12 - 11:14
    write back and forth.
  • 11:15 - 11:18
    You could use your phone,
    just like I did at the tram stop,
  • 11:18 - 11:20
    and type something out on your phone.
  • 11:20 - 11:22
    The technology is there. It's amazing.
  • 11:22 - 11:23
    Use it.
  • 11:25 - 11:27
    You could try and speak
    with a Deaf person,
  • 11:27 - 11:30
    but please speak normal and clearly.
  • 11:30 - 11:32
    Just use normal mouth patterns.
  • 11:33 - 11:34
    The Deaf community,
  • 11:34 - 11:37
    one of their pet peeves,
    and my particular one,
  • 11:38 - 11:42
    is when hearing people talk like this:
  • 11:42 - 11:44
    "Hello ...
  • 11:44 - 11:46
    How ... are ... you ...?"
  • 11:47 - 11:48
    Really?
  • 11:49 - 11:53
    Like, just talk normal and clearly.
  • 11:53 - 11:55
    That's all we want.
  • 11:56 - 11:58
    Also you could try and make sure,
  • 11:58 - 12:00
    as you'ar progressing in the conversation,
  • 12:00 - 12:01
    that you are being understood.
  • 12:01 - 12:03
    Have that flexibility,
  • 12:03 - 12:05
    and problem is solved.
  • 12:06 - 12:07
    The second thing is:
  • 12:10 - 12:12
    Why don't you go and learn
    Irish Sign Language?
  • 12:12 - 12:14
    There's classes.
  • 12:16 - 12:18
    And if you learn and become fluent,
  • 12:18 - 12:23
    well hey, you've got a second or third
    or maybe even fourth language.
  • 12:23 - 12:25
    That would be cool, right?
  • 12:25 - 12:26
    Then you'll be able to talk to me.
  • 12:26 - 12:27
    You could be my friend.
  • 12:27 - 12:29
    You could be their friend.
  • 12:31 - 12:33
    Thirdly,
  • 12:33 - 12:35
    the way you describe Deaf people,
  • 12:36 - 12:39
    what's the right terminology to use?
  • 12:39 - 12:41
    The most acceptable terms
  • 12:41 - 12:45
    are "Deaf" or "Hard of Hearing."
  • 12:46 - 12:49
    Don't say "hearing-Impaired"
  • 12:49 - 12:51
    or "a hearing difficulty"
  • 12:51 - 12:53
    or "hearing disability"
  • 12:53 - 12:55
    or "deaf and dumb."
  • 12:55 - 12:57
    They are not acceptable.
  • 12:57 - 12:59
    It's "Deaf" or "Hard of Hearing."
  • 13:05 - 13:07
    I'm going to remind you again.
  • 13:08 - 13:12
    Inclusion is everyone's responsibility.
  • 13:16 - 13:19
    I am Joanne Chester,
  • 13:19 - 13:21
    and I am not just Deaf.
  • 13:23 - 13:24
    Thank you.
  • 13:24 - 13:27
    (Applause)
Titolo:
Not just Deaf | Joanne Chester | TEDxDunLaoghaire
Descrizione:

Joanne is Deaf and an Irish Sign Language user. She is a Community Worker and Youth Worker with a passion for social justice. She featured in the “London Calling” documentary which was aired last May on RTE. In the light of the documentary, she campaigns for Access to Work in Ireland and for Deaf people to be included as equal citizens. She says, “There are many potential rising stars from the Deaf community who yearn to strive in society, but they face barriers daily due to inadequate access and deep-rooted prejudices. With a shift in attitude, we can create a better society for us all”.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

more » « less
Video Language:
English
Team:
closed TED
Progetto:
TEDxTalks
Duration:
13:38

English subtitles

Revisioni