In pursuit of my African Dream : Breathe in, Breathe out!

Voice_You have a voice

You may remember that not too long ago I wrote about training as a Voice Over Artiste
Find the post here:

In preparation for finding work as a Voice Over Artiste I’m hard at work practicing my exercises and keeping my voice in tip-top shape. I’ve learned that your voice is a vehicle for your words just like a car is a literal means of getting around. Vocal preparation, maintenance of the voice and overall health considerations are important.

As a Voice Over Artiste I need to master breathing techniques and take care of my voice in the same way as a professional singer would. In my search for exercises I could use, I’ve come across these which I thought you might find useful too if you are using your voice professionally on a regular basis.

Words to warm up by:
Someone said something simple
A simple something said to me
Simply simple someone said
A simple something said to me

Find your voice

How to warm up like an athlete:
Side stretches (expands the rib cage and makes your lungs feel like they’re full of air):
• Take a deep breath and raise your arms to the sky
• Exhale and lean slightly to the left, lengthening in your side. Hold it there for a few seconds before you inhale to centre, and then exhale over to the right.
• Stand with your feet hip width apart. Inhale, with your arms up to the sky, then slowly bend at your waist on the exhale and take your hands towards the ground. It doesn’t matter how far down you can go. Stay there for a few breaths, on an inhale, come back up into a standing position.

Voice_faceless person

Your face:
• Moving your fingers in a circular motion massage your face where your jaw hinges. This will stimulate blood flow to your jaw muscles, where many of us store tension.
• Gentle head and neck rolls can also make you feel more comfortable behind the mic.
• Yawning is a great way to loosen things up.

If you’ve just woken up, do not get behind a mic without warming up.

Voice_mike

VOICE CARE EXERCISES:
Quick warm ups:
Humming: A loose, gentle modulating hum is a nice way to ease in your facial muscles and create space for resonant sound
Lip trills: Go back to your childhood i.e. a car goes B r r r r r r r
Descend on a nasal consonant sound: e.g. onion, gn sound (gnocchi), anything that ends in Z (buzz, fuzz), linger on the Z to get resonating as well.
Articulation exercises: Tongue Twisters
– Unique New York, Unique New York . . .
– A big black bug bit a big black bear
– She sells sea shells by the sea shore
– Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
– How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Range: Yawning is a good thing. It naturally drops your jaw and regulates oxygen while extending your soft palate. Do the yawning-sigh.
– Open your mouth as if you’re going to yawn and slide all the way down from the top of your vocal range to the lowest grumble you can do. Only do this a few times per warm up and never start with this one. Leave it till the end when you’ve already warmed up your voice.

Voice_Person with mike in hand

Breathing Techniques (5 minute workout by Tommy Griffiths):
This one is perfect as a regular workout for facial muscles, lips, mouth and tongue and is a great way to maintain good articulation, breathing and posture. With daily practice it will help wake up your vocal cords and ensure your voice always comes out strong and clear.

Stretching exercises for your mouth, tongue and lips (do this for 1 minute)
Grin as hard as you can and hold it for a few seconds, then quickly purse your lips and hold. Do this back and forth a few times then quickly stick your tongue out and stretch it as far as it will go. Then touch the back of your upper teeth with the tip of your tongue. Hold for 5 seconds.
Say the word “WoW”. Notice the positions of your mouth when you say the word? Your lips start out pursed and the word ends with your mouth open. Exaggerate the positions and repeat over and over as though you’re saying the word “WoW”. At this point you should feel the facial muscles in and around your mouth.

Frangipani_Single

Improving your articulation with the obstruction drill (do this for about 2 minutes)
• Find a piece of copy and an obstruction for your mouth. Ideally it should be the size of a wine cork. Sit up straight or stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
• Place the obstruction between your front teeth and read the copy out loud as clearly as possible. The obstruction will force your muscles to over compensate for the difficulty in articulating the words. Keep reading for about 2 minutes.
• Take the obstruction out of your mouth and read the same piece of copy. You’ll notice that you now effortlessly pronounce the words.

Sea Shells

Learning to master our Plosives (do this for about 2 minutes)
Hold the palm of your hand a few inches away from your mouth, approximately where your mic would be. Then say “Pam’s preppy pal Peter”. You’ll likely feel a rush of air with the P’s. That rush of air is what creates the “popping” sound through your mic.
With full vocalisation, practice saying “Pam’s preppy pal Peter” until you no longer feel the rush of air.
Practice this every day for about 2 minutes until it becomes second nature to you to speak “plosive” free, even in your regular day-to-day conversations.

It is suggested that you practice these three simple exercises every day for two weeks before speaking or singing in public or recording your auditions.

animal-cute-kitten-cat-medium

Common ways to practice your exercises:
Reading copy aloud: or repeating or imitating what you’ve heard on radio or television
Analysing what you hear: whether it is your own recorded voice or someone else’s voice)
Mentally reviewing copy: to observe markings for breaths, punctuation, inflection etc.

Waterfall

The Announcer’s Test:
Every person who wishes to become an Announcer on radio goes through a particular test called the Announcer’s Test which involves retention, memory, repetition, enunciation, diction and ten factors that use every letter in the alphabet a variety of times. This test is also known as the Tibetan Memory Trick.

T. M. T. (Tibetan Memory Trick)
1. One hen.
2. Two ducks.
3. Three squawking geese.
4. Four limerick oysters.
5. Five corpulent porpoises.
6. Six pairs of Revlon tweezers.
7. Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array.
8. Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt.
9. Nine apathetic sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates
with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth.
10. Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who
stalk around the corner of a cove all at the very same time.

Voice_faceless person

This is actually spoken adding one at a time, so here is how it
actually goes.

1. One hen.
2. One hen, two ducks.
3. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese.
4. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters.

5. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises.

6. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Revlon tweezers.

7. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Revlon tweezers, seven
thousand Macedonians in full battle array.

8. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Revlon tweezers, seven
thousand Macedonians in full battle array, eight brass monkeys
from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt.

9. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Revlon tweezers, seven
thousand Macedonians in full battle array, eight brass monkeys
from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt, nine apathetic sympathetic
diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards
procrastination and sloth.

10. One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters,
five corpulent porpoises, six pairs of Revlon tweezers, seven
thousand Macedonians in full battle array, eight brass monkeys
from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt, nine apathetic sympathetic
diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards
procrastination and sloth, ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical
denizens of the deep who stalk around the corner of a cove
all at the very same time.

Whewf!!!!!!!!!!! That was long!!!!!

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How do I start a blog?

Ant (pondering)

Many of you have asked me this question via my blog and I’ve decided to answer the question via this post.

Before you even start your blog you need to answer these simple questions:

1) What is the purpose of your blog? Why do you want to write a blog? Do you want it to just be an online journal of your life (like mine), do you want to share information (like recipes, Do-It-Yourself tips etc). What exactly do you want to write about and why do you think its necessary to share this information?

2) Target audience – who is your target audience? If you want to blog about fashion tips, your target audience will be those interested in fashion trends (as an example)

3) Hosting platform – which hosting platform do you want to use? I use WordPress because it’s the easiest to set up with a whole lot of free features but some people use Blogspot.com, for example.

4) Frequency – how often do you want to blog. Do you want to post daily, weekly, monthly blogs? If you want to do a daily blog, do you have enough material to write about? Remember, if you start a daily blog and start writing less because you have run out of material, you will lose your readers. You need to be consistent in your writing. I have chosen to write weekly – yes, I sometimes miss a week but then make sure I write the next week. If I missed more than one week, I would slowly lose my readers so I try very hard to be consistent.

Butterfly

Find your guide here:

Have fun!

What I’m learning on my journey to wealth creation – part two

IMG-20140213-WA0002

Many of us have been taught to go to school, get some tertiary education if at all possible, get a job, invest in a good pension or provident fund (for the long term) and eventually you will have a comfortable little nest-egg which will enable you to retire from the world of work, sit in the sunshine sipping cocktails on the beach.

This past weekend I attended one of Robert Kiyosaki’s free seminars to learn more about his Brick-Buy-Brick training method where he teaches one how to invest in property whether you have your own financial resources or not. For those who don’t have their own financial resources, his training programme teaches how to go about finding other sources of income to create wealth for yourself by investing in property.

I went to the workshop as a sceptic, determined to find faults and flaws and to write this off as just another scam, however, I was not able to find any flaws or faults so if it is a scam, it is a very well disguised one.

In my previous post I mentioned that the property you are living in is not an asset but a liability. In terms of wealth creation, you would need at least one additional property from which you can receive rental income which will then be an asset to you. Your (financial) aim in life should be to increase your assets and reduce your liabilities.

Vineyard Hotel Garden_2015-02-28 14.01.46

According to Robert Kiyosaki, there are six steps you need to take to become a property investor. These steps are:

1. Decide to learn how – the first part of your investment should be in your education. Education about the property market, the do’s and don’ts of buying property etc
2. Find an area to invest in i.e. find your deals. Focus on the areas closest to your own home so it’s easily accessible should the need arise for you to go there.
3. Identify potential properties in the area(s) you want to work in.
4. Find a good Broker (Estate Agent)
5. Put the deal together
6. Manage the property

What I learned this weekend:

1. You need to have an Action Plan and it needs to be in writing. Having an Action Plan in your head is no good. Do you have a financial Action Plan for the next 12 – 24 months?
2. Success is something you attract by the person you become.
3. You need to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Of course you still need to give 100 percent at work, but when you’re not at work, you should work harder on yourself than any other part of your life.
4. Self-development for the next 12 months should include: attending at least two seminar/workshop events (more if possible), read at least one book per month (more if you can) and listen to at least one audio book (more if you can).
5. We should not wish for less challenges, we should wish for more wisdom i.e. focus on the opportunities and not on the challenges.
6. Work on that which you can control i.e. you can control your income (cash flow) but you cannot control the Government, inflation and/or recession etc Leave politics to the politicians. Focus on improving your own life.
7. Knowledge equals confidence.
8. Pain can motivate you – embrace your challenges
9. Allow people to help you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
10. Three keys to success: Opportunity, knowledge and Action (massive action)
11. We need to have a positive mental attitude (PMA) and a millionaire mindset
12. Study yourself: keep a journal (write daily learnings, your life’s mission, your vision board etc). Go through your journal every quarter and again at the end of the year and see how far you’ve come.
13. Believe in yourself.

“Hell on earth is meeting the person you could have become”.
Keith Cunningham

Conversations with Myself: Let the words of my mouth (hands) . . .

SASL Alphabet

We (in South Africa) are currently mourning the loss of our icon and global hero Nelson Mandela who has been laid to rest this week. I was determined not to write anything about Nelson Mandela because there has been so much media coverage, tweets, Facebook posts etc and just about every blogger on the planet has had something to say/to share/to vent about the life and/or death of our global icon.

The content of my blog for this week changed three times before I even started putting pen to paper. The reason for this has been due to the very public embarrassment we, as a country, have experienced as a result of the “fake” Sign Language interpreter who stood next to the likes of President Obama and fumbled his way through what was supposed to be interpreting the messages for the Deaf audience.

I have become very passionate about the Deaf because only when I learned SA Sign Language (SASL), I was made aware of how severely disadvantaged the Deaf are when it comes to access to information. Many Deaf people have had very basic schooling (some never went to school at all) and because of the lack of reading and/or writing skills rely heavily on others to share information with them. The people who have the knowledge and information are usually the ones who are not able to communicate via Sign Language which means the Deaf are mostly excluded when information is shared. Adverts, public announcements, documentaries etc on television mean absolutely nothing to the Deaf person without a qualified Sign Language interpreter. Publishing information in print media means absolutely nothing if you can’t read or only have basic language/reading skills. Printed information is usually targeted at the literate and not the semi literate or illiterate.

Chapter 2, Section 16(1) and (2) of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 guarantees freedom of expression and opinion. Section 5(a)(iii) of the Constitution places the responsibility to promote the development, usage and recognition of Sign Language as the first language of Deaf South Africans, with the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB). The Deaf community has been represented on the Board since its inception, and PANSALB employs Deaf persons to help effect the mandate. It is therefore important that we collectively, as a country, take a critical look at ourselves with regards progress made in achieving this Constitutional obligation.

South Africa ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol without reservation in 2007 http://www.un.org/disabilities).

The Convention obliges States Parties to take specific measures that will promote the rights of persons with disabilities, including the right to equal access to information and communication and freedom of expression and opinion through freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice. Such measures could include, among others,

• the provision of professional sign language interpreters (Article 9);
• by providing information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats (Article 2);
• accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages (Article 21);
• recognising and supporting specific cultural and linguistic identity, including Sign Languages and Deaf culture.

You can therefore imagine my utter disgust and sheer frustration when I witnessed this Sign Language interpreter who had no idea what he was doing, being seen not only by those in the audience and those watching at home (nationally) but feeds going through to international audiences around the world. An historic moment that will never be repeated again, being missed out on by our Deaf community, all because the Sign Language interpreter did not know what he was doing.

I will not go into detail regarding this because I am sure you must have seen or heard the media coverage regarding this by now. For those who don’t know what I am referring to, click on the following link and you will see what I am talking about.

The video viewed by 769,792 people on YouTube http://youtu.be/2hCdtUxnOG8

After the event, when they eventually managed to track down the “fake” interpreter, he claimed he suffered a schizophrenic attack while he was interpreting and he felt “trapped” because there was nobody at hand to take over to replace him so he did the best he could in a bad situation. He claims that the attack was brought on either by the fact that he was so overwhelmed by the task at hand, or because he was so happy about being entrusted with this duty. He said the attack caused him to see angels and hear loud voices – these voices drowned out what the speakers were actually saying and therefore his signing did not make sense.

What enraged me about this, was our government’s reaction to this very embarrassing situation. We have a cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister in Parliament who are supposed to deal specifically with matters affecting women, children and people with disabilities. The Minister in this department, whenever her department is in hot water, she delegates the responsibility of dealing with the fallout to her Deputy Minister who, in my opinion, is just her puppet.

Without voicing my opinion in my own words (because I’m too enraged about this whole fiasco to even structure my thoughts in a plausible manner), I will share bullet points of what the Deputy Minister has said to the media in various interviews regarding the appointment of this “fake” sign language interpreter and will leave you to form your own opinion about this whole saga.

Our Deputy Minister had this to say (Mail & Guardian newspaper: 13 December 2013, pg13) . . .
• No single government department is responsible for the fiasco and South Africans have no need to be embarrassed. “I’m not sure, unless there is something that I’m missing – I don’t think as a country we need to first jump and say that we are embarrassed”. [This was her first official comment]
• “I don’t think we should be because as a country, a mistake happened while we were trying”.

The Deputy Minister defended the “fake” interpreter saying many factors had counted against him, including:-
• The fact that there are more than 100 dialects of local sign language
• As an IsiXhosa speaker, his inability to follow English, and the lack of relief interpreter leaving him on duty for four hours instead of the maximum recommended 30-minute stint.
• The “fake” interpreter was only intended as translator for the audience in the stadium and should not have appeared in the television coverage. The government has ensured that other sign language interpreters were available for the television broadcast.
• The attempt to provide live translation for Deaf people is a victory of which Mandela would have been proud.

Regarding the service provider: SA Interpreters the Deputy Minister said:
• The company does not exist, according to registration records.
• Government did track down the owners of the company – initially “they vanished”. “We managed to get hold of them, we spoke to them wanting some answer, and they vanished into clear air”. “Over the years they (“fake” interpreters’ employers) have managed to get away with this . . . offering sub-standard interpretation services”.

In other reports the same Deputy Minister was quoted saying . . .
• “It was bad. Was he fake? No. Does he have the training? He only has the introduction to the training. That’s like a lot of people in South Africa”.
• Asked if anyone did understand his gestures, she said only: “we will find someone who understands him, who requested his services, but we’re not going to do it now”.

Arguing that Sign Language had more than 100 dialects, making it impossible to be understood by everyone, the Deputy Minister was quoted saying:
“Unless there’s something I’m missing, I don’t think we as a country should say we are embarrassed. The issue of Sign Language has always been about where you live, what school you go to and what language you speak”.

Pressed on whether South Africa should be embarrassed, she insisted:
“I don’t think it’s the right choice of word, I don’t think he was just picked up from the street. He went to a school for the Deaf; I went to a school for the Deaf”.
• “His first language is Xhosa, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa”.
• “He was not able to translate from English to Xhosa to Sign Language. He started well and then in the middle he got tired and lost concentration. That did not mean he is a bad Sign Language interpreter”.

The Deputy Minister denied that he had been a security risk and declined to comment on his state of mind. “I don’t think it will get us anywhere to get into his health, his violence, his Schizophrenia. I don’t think other service providers or journalists there on the day had their health profiles discussed”.

The Deputy Minister continued . . . “will we invite him to big national events in the future? It’s not for me to stand here and say yes or no”.

One journalist asked if he would be “brought to justice”. The Deputy Minister responded: “Why? What crime has he committed? Why should he be brought to justice? Yes, he did not sign as well as expected, but what crime has he committed?

The Deputy Minister reiterated that Sign Language in South Africa lacked a universal standard and was the subject of disagreement among academics. “There is a battle between Black and White Sign Language people, urban and rural. Whose slang takes priority? What unit should be used to measure it?
Video: The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial says he suffered a schizophrenic attack. An expert explains why it’s unlikely that this caused his erratic signing. Watch: http://bit.ly/19GGyKX

And to end this post: http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/sarahbritten/2013/12/13/the-eloquence-of-the-fake-signing-man/

Journalists have been able to uncover the following cases pending against the “fake” interpreter . . . He stands accused of:

• Theft (1995)
• Housebreaking (1997)
• Malicious Damage to Property (1998)
• Rape (1998)
• Murder, Kidnapping (2003)

Additional historical information available from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities in Parliament:
Many Deaf learners in special schools are not taught in Sign Language due to the lack of Sign Language skills of educators. Many Deaf children are not attending school due to the lack of Sign Language medium schools closer to home. The majority of Deaf South Africans therefore speaks a variety of sign language dialects, often not understood by formally trained South African Sign Language (SASL) interpreters. The current outrage over the quality of sign language interpretation at the memorial service is therefore an everyday experience for the majority of Deaf South Africans, even when qualified interpreters are available.

There is currently only 7 SASL interpreters accredited with the South African Translators Institute (SATI), and the challenges brought about by the lack of a universal South African Sign Language and disunity within the Deaf sector, are further delaying progress in accrediting many of the interpreters trained at universities as well as through organisations such as Sign Language Education and Development (SLED).

It is important to note that these accredited SASL interpreters are not necessarily proficient in all the eleven official languages, and the quality of interpreting from a language one is not fully proficient in, to SASL, is therefore also compromised.

What do you have to say about all this? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Conversations with Myself: Can you Hear Me?

Deaf (Interpreter Sign)

Deaf Awareness Week is celebrated from 29 August to 4 September. The purpose is to draw attention to Deaf people, their accomplishments and their issues. Deaf Awareness Week is dedicated to educating the public about hearing loss, deafness, Deaf culture and sign language. The aim is to ensure that hearing people understand deafness and the culture of the Deaf community.

For quite some time now I have been concerned about the Deaf and hearing impaired victims (I prefer to call them survivors) of crime and how they interact and navigate their way through our criminal justice system. I’ve had the nagging suspicion that most, if not all, are “falling through the cracks” and are left frustrated and angry for not being heard.

It was therefore a real god-send when I received my latest copy of Servamus (a community based safety and security magazine). I found an article written by Jeanette Smit, Head: Academic, Southern Business School (SBS). In the article, Jeanette highlights the following:-

In South Africa we have the Victims Charter (2004) which represents a variety of policy documents such as:
• White Paper on Safety and Security (1997)
• National Crime Prevention Strategy (1996)
• Annual Police Plan (2006)

The Victims Charter, however, has focused mainly on victims (survivors) without disabilities. The needs of victims, says Jeanette (as I suspected all along) does not explicitly address the needs of victims (survivors) with disabilities and does not make provision for allowing victims (survivors) with disabilities to have equal access to the system.

According to this article, the hearing-impaired are more vulnerable to criminal victimisation – both by caretakers and strangers. The following Acts and policies address the status of people with disabilities in South Africa:-

• The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
• The Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1997
• The Disability Act (currently being drafted)
• The Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998
• The Schools Act 84 of 1996
• Special Needs Education Policy, White Paper 6 (2001)
• Victim Empowerment Policy
• National Disability Policy (currently being drafted)

Jeanette found that according to the official Census report of 2001from Statistics South Africa, South Africa has approximately 300,000 Deaf people. The same report states there are 3,5 percent hearing-impaired people out of a total population of 51.7 million. The biggest group of the hearing-impaired people in South Africa prefers to be called Deaf.

The South African Police Service currently does not have any official statistics on how many Deaf people became victims of crime because neither the case docket nor the computerised system provides for the capturing of specific data of any victim with disabilities. Jeanette goes on to say that Deaf victims (survivors) experience communication barriers when reporting crimes and are therefore deprived of the rights to give evidence. People with disabilities sometimes have dependency issues and are scared to report crimes committed by caregivers, because they are dependent on those who abuse them. They have limited communication abilities and cannot verbalise victimisation. They live in isolation and fear of being rejected by society.

I was surprised to read in this article that no official Deaf sign language interpreter has been appointed by the Courts in South Africa – they mostly use hearing interpreters. Courts use ad hoc services and do not want to use relay interpreters, as Prosecutors believe they cannot be sworn in and it requires extra cost and time. Only seven sign language interpreters have been accredited by the South African Translation Institute for interpreting in legal proceedings.

Jeanette’s research also found (as I suspected for a while now) that the South African Police Service do not adhere to the basic rights of Deaf victims (survivors) in the following respects:

• They do not explain the victim’s right to demand/have access to an interpreter (one can therefore assume that statements are not a true-reflection of events in each case).
• Taking Police statements without an interpreter has the following outcomes:
– A hearing person makes a statement for a Deaf person to sign
– The Police make the statement, resulting in the disempowerment/marginalisation of the victim (survivor)
– A family member/teacher/social worker, whom the Police assume is a skilled signer, acts as interpreter.

Jeanette found that the South African Police Service started with training in sign language in 2006. The training at that stage was not standardised resulting in the provinces using any service provider that could provide the service. Training was standardised in 2009 when only one service provider was used to train members of all provinces thereby ensuring the same standard and level of training. To date, 450 members have been trained at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels after the standardisation. The challenge is that members need regular sessions to practice sign language in order to maintain the skill.
Based on the research done by Jeanette Smit for this article, the way forward would be:

• The CAS system/docket should make provision for documenting details when victims (survivors) with special needs (i.e. hearing impaired) are involved.
• Police members basic statement taking skills should be addressed.
• There should be a closer relationship between the Investigating Officer and the Prosecutor.
• There is a need for the training of Deaf counsellors
• All role-players in the Criminal Justice System should be sensitised in dealing with victims (survivors) with disabilities.
• Investigators should take note of aggravating circumstances where a victim has lost their hearing (became Deaf) as a result of a crime.
• The South African Police Service programme on teaching sign language should be reactivated
• More multilingual people who are skilled sign language interpreters should be used

I am so grateful to Jeanette for writing this article and for confirming what I already suspected for a while now. I just wish I knew who could fix this problems (within the South African Police Service) to prevent further victimisation of the Deaf.

Having completed the second phase of South African Sign Language (equivalent to first year University level), I’m asking myself the question “how can I help and make a difference in the justice system?”

The criminal justice system is not the only place where the Deaf are marginalised. Our health system is also failing our disabled people – more the Deaf than other disabilities because of the communication barriers.

How do we overcome this?

How can I help?