Campaigns are super powerful when they are fuelled by collective action. This is when a group of people work together on with a specific focus. This is what we have seen with the #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign.
The deaf and interpreter community coming together with a joint aim.
Daily emergency briefings
This started with the BBC main channel not having a Sign Language Interpreter for the daily emergency COVID briefings. This was made available on BBC Channel 107 and Freeview Channel 231, putting the onus on the deaf person to seek out the correct channel.
The image above (as pointed out by Channel 4), shows the many other countries having an Interpreter on their main news broadcast. Rightly so, British deaf people are asking for the same.
Other activities that have happened to push this campaign forward
- Numerous Petitions have been sent to Parliament
- Deaf campaigners have started legal proceedings against the Government with the premise that “critical information is not being conveyed”.
This all started when Lynn Stewart-Taylor first tweeted #WhereIsTheInterpreter on 9 March 2020.
The group of campaigners raised £7,865 to get the legal battle off the ground
- SignHealth have been producing 2 minute daily Coronavirus up-dates in BSL
- And the story has even been featured in 10-20 mainstream media outlets too
This campaign is already allowing people to start thinking about what access really. Also addressing how certain groups of people are not currently treated equally.
There is also the wider possibility that if this change is considered now, we could be in the position that all of the major broadcasts are made accessible in BSL.
A lot of this activity was happening during Deaf Awareness Week.
For all we know, this could in fact be the most historic Deaf Awareness Week we have ever seen.
How can you get involved?
If you would like to support this campaign, click below for a template letter to send to your MP:
Re: Inclusion of Dear people in live National addresses on Coronavirus
Find your MP:
Birmingham Hall Green: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent Central: email@example.com
Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristol East: email@example.com
Bristol North West: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristol South: email@example.com
Derby North: firstname.lastname@example.org
Derby South: email@example.com
Derbyshire Dales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mid Derbyshire: email@example.com
Devon North: firstname.lastname@example.org
Devon Torridge and West: email@example.com
Devon East: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cities of London and Westminster: email@example.com
East Londonderry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeds Central: email@example.com
Leeds East: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hertfordshire South West: email@example.com
Hull West and Hessle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester Central: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester Gordon: email@example.com
Manchester Withington: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nottingham North: email@example.com
Nottingham South: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nottingham East: email@example.com
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Gloucestershire Avon Filton and Bradley Stoke: email@example.com
Wolverhampton South West: firstname.lastname@example.org
York Central: email@example.com