In a recent Pride Edition of the publication of Shortlist, this is what Michael Seglov said.
He was, in fact, talking about the LGBTQ community, but it is an idea that has relevance across multiple minority groups.
There should be an awareness of people’s needs, a level of empathy and understanding, that enables us to treat people as humans and therefore overwrites the need for any group of people to explain how they need to be treated or served.
In essence, treating people as an individual and respecting any differences. This is certainly true of the deaf community too. Deaf people do have different needs from hearing people and with 1 in 6 of the general population deaf or with a hearing loss, this large population should not have to try hard to be understood.
We live in a world with access to any information we seek at our finger-tips, yet still, every day, deaf people and minority groups experience a level of service that is unequal to others.
Some of the time, this is simply down to people following process and not thinking about the simple task of customer care.
It can also happen from a simple case of maybe never having met a deaf person before, the fear of not knowing how to communicate.
I think that with deaf people regularly making the headlines, maybe this lack of understanding will self-correct.
Recent examples of this are the Oscar-winning short movie called The Silent Child that featured Maisie Sly, the deaf child who had a lack of access to education. Maisie then appeared on the Aldi advert that was aired in prime-time slots, using sign language and subtitles and with no voice-over.
And Nyle Di Marco, America’s Top Model Winner; then going on to win Dancing with the Stars – showing the public that that ‘just because deaf people don’t access sounds like you or I, they still have rhythm’.
When we are accessing popular media, we are not seeking out information, we are not focusing our brains to think about these things. Our mind is open, and we can be exposed to lessons that we may not have originally gained.
What could you learn if you sought out this additional learning?
Now there’s a thought!