So you’re a member of the deaf community and you’re looking to attend an event. Bird watching with a group, a trip to the museum or watching your local sports team. Anything, at all, you made that all important New Years resolution to spend less time at home and more time out experiencing new things! Well you’d best get cracking then, it’s already March!
But wait….. You may be thinking “Yep that’s ok but are these things all really going to be accessible?”
We understand why you’d ask. Many companies and organisations are still well behind in terms of providing access for deaf people. We all know these things don’t always happen:
– Flashing lights to indicate a fire in public places
– Subtitles/Closed captions aren’t available on every big blockbuster film or TV programme
– Still a real lack of awareness of how to communicate with a Deaf/hard of hearing person
Plus not to mention booking an interpreter isn’t cheap, whoever is booking it!
“In that case, if there’s no access to these basic things, events won’t have access” Well I hate to tell you this but, on this occasion, you’re wrong! I’m shocked too. I know, I know everyone makes mistakes, right? We’ll let this one slide….. 😉
But on that note, since you were misinformed, let me tell you about all the wonderful annual events that take place for deaf and hard of hearing people all across the UK:
Deaffest is a Deaf Film and Television Festival. It was launched with the purpose of providing Deaf filmmakers with an opportunity to be recognised for their talents, to showcase their work to a larger audience and gain support in achieving their career goals.
The first Festival was held at the Light House, Wolverhampton, in December 2006. It was subsequently held every year in November from 2007 and then every year in May from 2010 onwards.
The festival brings together media artists and encourages networking and interaction between budding filmmakers, actors, media experts and film buffs. The festival has quickly gained a following in the UK and its reputation has spread internationally, with well known celebrities such as Matt Littler (Known for his role as ‘Max’ on Hollyoaks), Darren Jeffries (Known for his role as ‘Sam’ in Hollyoaks. His mother is also a BSL teacher) and Rachel Shenton (Known for her role as ‘Mitzeee’ in Hollyoaks. She has also appeared in Waterloo Road and Holby City) attending the festival.
Rachel Shenton’s father became deaf when she was just 12, after receiving a course of chemotherapy. He later sadly passed away. This prompted her to learn sign language and she is now an Interpreter. In 2011 Shenton was made ambassador for the National Deaf Children Society (NDCS) and she continues to raise awareness of deafness in the UK. In March 2011, Shenton completed a skydive in aid of NDCS and in February 2012, Shenton announced that she would climb Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of the charity. In May 2011, Shenton helped to launch a social networking website for deaf people named “Viewtalk”. In October 2012, she climbed the BT Tower in aid of Action on Hearing Loss. But I digress…
The 2016 edition of Deaffest is at the Light House, Wolverhampton between 6th-8th May. So DON’T MISS OUT! See more about the event at the official site here: http://deaffest.co.uk/
The 2016 edition of sign2sing’s yearly song release is already out in full flow. Sign2sing is an annual fundraising event with the purpose of raising money to help vulnerable deaf children and adults.
Schools, businesses and choirs all join together to learn a specially written song and accompanying signs.
This year’s song features Deaf pop star ‘Star Fletch’ with deaf and hard of hearing children from schools in and around Hertfordshire. The video that accompanies the song was made by award winning Deaf filmmaker Bim Ajadi.
The ‘Reach Out Your Hand’ video was filmed at Garden Fields School in St Albans, with children from both Garden Fields School and Heathlands (a specialist school for Deaf children) appearing in the video.
Check out the video here:
And get involved with the event here: http://www.sign2sing.org.uk/
This is a fundraising event for Deaf Cultural Outreach Group (DeafCOG) which is held in Brighton. DeafCOG host activities and projects that are of value to the Deaf community, in order to positively promote what it means to be Deaf, to strengthen the Deaf community and to provide community led services in BSL and Deaf culture.
DeafCOG’s projects include:
– Deaf Engagement
– Our Space: A space for social learning and community engagement.
– Deaf Celebrations
– Deaf Disaporal: An annual celebratory festival bringing the Deaf community, traders and Artists together in the spirit of furthering our human and language rights.
The big one, the annual ‘Deaf Disaporal’ will have a DJ playing all the 1960s tunes, with everyone dressing up in 1960s attire and having a photo-shoot to share their best memories! A 3-course meal is provided and Deaf Comedian John Smith will tell his stories through the night! Plus more.
The address for the event is as followed: Kings Road East Sussex Brighton BN1 2FU Brighton, Brighton and Hove. And tickets can be found here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/1960s-ball-party-tickets-17208180130?aff=ebapi
The Hearing Dogs For Deaf People – Annual Christmas market…… Stop right there, I know what you’re thinking. We’ve just had Christmas it’s 9 months away now, why are we talking about it? Or, this information would’ve been useful 3 months ago, you know when Christmas was actually on!
I know Christmas has been and gone but with this post being on annual Deaf events, it doesn’t hurt to mention it for this upcoming year. Please don’t be mad. Just look at that picture above, you can’t be mad at those cute puppies!
Any who, back to the event at hand, Hearing Dogs Annual Christmas Market. Hearing Dogs are a charity based in Saunderton Buckinghamshire, who seek to help partner up deaf people with a life changing helper and canine companion. The charity receives no government funding and relies heavily on donations to allow them to continue to benefit deaf people.
Christmas shoppers, dog lovers and Santa’s four legged helpers themselves are welcomed to join in on the event. As expected, there are plenty of Christmas themed activities and stalls. Not only that but the charity’s celebrity supporters are known to make an appearance, these include the likes of Pam St Clement (Best known for her role as ‘Pat’ in Eastenders) and Tim Vincentfrom Daybreak.
There are always plenty of gifts and stocking fillers on offer and a festive grotto where children can meet Santa Claus himself!
Hearing Dogs also have an annual late summer show. To find out more about Hearing Dogs and their fabulous events visit the site here: http://blog.hearingdogs.org.uk/
Where To Find Events?
Annual Deaf events, or any events for that matter, can be hard to find, but we have compiled a list of websites that advertise local and national events for the Deaf community: