Wednesday 12 May 2010

Evolving deaf services

Well, we have a new Prime Minister! And he may look young now, but give him time and soon the curse of the PM will get him and his face will slowly start sliding down his body.

Seriously though, watching all the news, I couldn't help wondering that, if Gordon Brown had come across the way he did during his ‘Bye-Bye’ speech yesterday during his entire time as PM, he might have actually succeeded in gaining enough Labour votes to win this General Election.

There was something rather lovely about him.

Bravo to his speech writer I say.

What’s great for me during all this election stuff is how I’ve been able to catch snippets and thoughts of others that I would usually miss out on in general conversation, through Twitter. It’s given me a new perspective of what’s been happening, especially during live TV broadcasts when the subtitles aren’t that reliable.

And better still, because I choose who I follow on Twitter, it means I have a select narrative forming – much the same as if you’re conversing with friends. It’s great!

It’s things like this that remind me just how much technology has changed for the better for me. I remember when The Rents had to spend over £200 on a video recorder that played and recorded subtitles on the TV. But even then you had to hope that the show was actually subtitled in the first place. I also remember trawling through Blockbuster with my friends trying to find a captioned movie. Sometimes there weren’t any we all wanted to watch, and I’d be left with just the pictures.

And then there’s the theatre – OK so there aren’t many subtitled performances, but there are some, which is a long way from where it was when I was doing English A-level. I remember going to see Macbeth and almost wishing he’d murder me too, as I was so bored of sitting through hours of inaudible Shakespeare! I thought I must be terrible uncultured to be so bored – when really I was just deaf.

And now, this year for the first time, The Globe is captioning things – ‘Bring on Shakespeare’ is now something I can finally say!

I also remember buying Smash Hits and Fast Forward magazines religiously just so I could cut the song lyrics out and learn then to prevent embarrassing and wrong renditions of Kylie songs. Now, I can get lyrics online at the drop of the hat, and have an application on my iPhone that I play my iPod through and the lyrics for each song are automatically brought up!


It’s all this that gives me hope, when I discover things like the iPlayer for the iPhone to be lacking subtitles, or a lack of subtitles on iTunes. Only recently, I discovered a programme you can download that adds subtitles to things – and while it’s all gobbledegook to me now, I fully intend to research it to see how it can help me.

I’m incredibly excited for the day where I can attend the theatre at the drop of the hat and know there’ll be subtitles, see films with subtitles at any time, any day and any week and buy movies for my iPhone safe in the knowledge that I’ll have the same extras as a DVD and be able to switch on captions.

I wonder, sometimes optimistically if there’ll eventually be a day when I come to write my daily blog and realise that I have nothing bad to say about services for deaf and hard of hearing peeps – imagine that?! Which is why I am going to continue to complain to companies like the BBC and O2, who I think could be doing better, until they do, do better. After all, it can’t hurt, can’t it? And maybe if enough of us do, then these companies will eventually take note.

Fingers crossed, eh! Fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

hey young lady! where have you and the crew been on quiz night lately? havent seen you for the past couple of weeks! how everything is going well.

the cheeky barman


Me said...

hello Cheeky Barman,
I was there last night after a break away – we came second. But where were you?!
Hope all's well with you, too.

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