centred’s BSL Level One and Cultural Days

Thu, 16/05/2013 - 16:58 -- ashlee

I just sat in on the third week of the centred BSL level one course - it's such a great experience - for a good while now centred has been on a journey to make our work accessible with deaf and hearing impaired people - and learn to be more aware of deaf culture and inclusion issues - starting the lgbtq BSL level one is an important milestone. There are sixteen students from London and beyond - learning signs for where people live work volunteer and study - tonight meant I know some students live as far afield as Aylesbury and Rochester - and work and volunteer with organisations like Imaan, Queer Resistence, Justice for Gay Africans and Rainbow Jews - reflecting back to my own level one, I appreciate how nerve racking the strict 'voice off' policy is that the teacher Barbara Flintham maintains - at first - then suddenly it can be liberating - at least if the nerves can be kept in check! I also reflect back on the environment of my course, compared to this queer space - it's not as though we have vocabulary yet to cover much on identity - but it is all to come - and I know for certain as we get there - with this type of space and these amazing and diverse, young and older people, the learning is going to be very rich indeed. And beyond the learning, in years to come, I am looking forward to seeing more queer deaf spaces and the collaborative projects that may be cultivated amongst the group in film, print and activism more widely.
Last Saturday was our first D/deaf cultural day with deaf and hearing people; a morning of visual communication skills and confidence building, and an afternoon UK premiere of Hilari Scarl's 'See what I'm Saying' - and Sandra Alland's deaf, disabled and trans film project. Thank you to Awards for All for funding the course and everybody who has and is part of making it happen.
By Jane