Learning from a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advocate
It seems that a man with Ushers Syndrome has successfully advocated with the Brighton and Hove City Council for better access for hard of hearing people. You can at check out the story.
Now maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not hard of hearing, I’m DEAF. And I don’t have Usher’s Syndrome. And I’m not even in Brighton and Hove, UK! So why should I care about this story?” But if you care about accessibility issues in general, and if you are a passionate fighter for civil rights for any population (or at least you think you ought to be), then I think it can be worthwhile to study how other fellow advocates and civil-rights fighters conduct their own campaigns for better access. And I think that holds true whether they’re fighting for Deaf access, deaf access, hard of hearing access, or general disability access (for blind people, for wheelchair users, for people on crutches, autistic people, people with specific area learning disabilities, people with cognitive disabilities, whatever). Maybe you will find their success to be an inspiration, even if they’re fighting for something not directly relevant to your own concerns. Maybe you will find that they used specific techniques of advocacy that might be useful in your own fights for access, even though you’re working in a different part of the world on a different set of issues.
If you want more detail on just how Colin B. Bennet won his fight, then read the news article linked above, then go to his blog for more details (click on his name). His blog indicates that he is working to make public spaces more accessible to people in general and he also works with an organization called Families Need Fathers, which campaigns for equal access to children by both parents after family breakdown.
[Want to submit your own essay for publication at Reunify Gally? It should be related in some way to reunifying or healing the Gallaudet community in the aftermath of the protests, or to diversity within the Deaf/deaf communities. If interested, review my Guidelines for Guest Bloggers and submit your essay to ashettle (at) patriot.net]