Wow, 2019! That means I am now in the 11th year of blogging here on DeafinitelyGirly.com.
When I started out, it was a bit of a therapy for me. It was a place I could have a rant about things, and when I look back, it's amazing to see how much of what I was ranting about has now changed.
The subtitles on BBC iPlayer are mostly flawless now. Back when I started ranting about iPlayer, they were practically non existent.
I no longer have to make horrifically stressful calls to utility companies or phone providers as much of it can either be sorted via live online chat, Twitter or if absolutely necessary, the NGT app on my phone.
But while all these things are marvelous, now is not the time to be complacent and I'm going into 2019 with a renewed vigour for change. It's not that I haven't been campaigning for it. More just not writing about it on here.
So in no particular order, here are my five missions for 2019 and beyond:
1. Continue the Subtitled Cinema campaign with Deafie Blogger
Last year, Deafie Blogger invited me to join forces with her and Michelle Hedley to try and get more open captioned showings of films in cinemas around the UK. Deafie Blogger had already set up a hugely successful petition by this point - sign if here - and it's already had more than 11,000 signatures.
Her determination saw us have two meetings with the UK Cinema Association, including one with representatives from the big UK cinema chains. And we are hoping that now the conversation channels are open, that we will find some way of increasing the open caption availability at UK cinemas - at more reasonable times.
And if we manage that, then what we need is your support. To go to as many as possible. To tweet about them, share awareness and get D/deaf people back into the UK cinemas. Currently, that's not that possible seeing as there are only a small number of subtitled films and these are quite often not at 'work-friendly' times.
2. Look into getting new hearing aids
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my hearing aids, but they are now quite old. I've had them for more than six years and in modern technology terms that's quite a long time. The last time I got hearing aids, my life changed dramatically. I got promoted at work - twice - and this gave me the confidence to eventually quit my job and write a book. Which then gave me the confidence to go back and do something on my terms, which turned into an even better opportunity, which then meant when a fantastically mind-blowing challenging role came up, I thought 'Yep, I'm going after that!' and I got it.
These hearing aids have enhanced my world in a way I never thought was possible. After spending my entire twenties not wearing hearing aids, my thirties were a revelation. But let's be clear... putting on hearing aids is not like putting on glasses. They don't make the world perfect. But they make it a lot more understandable. And if there's new hearing aids out there that could do even more, then I want to try them.
3. Sort out my book
Four years ago, I wrote a book. And then, as new job opportunities came along, I put it to one side to focus on building my career. It's still there at the side, but this is the year I am going to do what needs to be done to sort it out. You see, I've had some amazing advice on it. And it's advice I agree about. I just need to make time to prioritise sitting down and starting the edits, the rewrites, the plot changes and structure - NOT MUCH THEN - and perhaps my deaf romantic fiction character will make it beyond my laptop screen. The good news is, that no one has said my writing is crap. Just that the structure needs work. So that's something!
4. Catch up with new technology
Just as I want to see what new technology is out there in terms of hearing aids, I also think I am due for a refresher on what amazing technology is out there in general for D/deaf people. From apps for my phone to things around the home, I'm going on a mission to get up-to-date on deaf tech and make my life easier. Please let me know what you recommend via Twitter or email.
5. Blog more
Yep, 2019 is the year that I am going to reconnect with DeafinitelyGirly.com. Not the daily blogs I did when I first started out 11 years ago, but perhaps four a month to keep you up to date on the things I am passionate about. In the last two years, while I was off getting married and living abroad, I've kind of lost the time to write about what's going on in the world of Deaf Girly, which is a shame, because so much of it was new challenges and discoveries for me as a deaf person. So there will be a retrospective series, while I bring you up to date. And it'll give me a chance to tell you about the time I...
Happy New Year peeps