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Disabled Voices Online: Interview with E from the blog Deafie Blogger

Aidis Trust logo with the words "Disabled Voices Online" beneath it.

This week’s post is another instalment of our Disabled Voices Online series, where I interview disabled online creators about their experience of online content creation, accessibility and raising awareness about their disabilities. For this week’s post, I have interviewed E who runs the blog Deafie Blogger.

E is a deaf blogger and activist, writing about her experiences of deafness and campaigning for the rights of deaf people on her blog Deafie Blogger. She also writes for Phonak’s Hearing Like Me blog. You can find her blog here: www.deafieblogger.com

Picture shows the blogger E who writes Deafie Blogger. E has long hair and is smiling at the camera and holding what looks like jewellery shaped as a heart but might actually be hearing aids

What inspired you to start blogging?

I started blogging two years ago, as I came to a point in life where I felt everything was a constant battle. I wanted somewhere to vent my frustrations and to share some of my experiences of hearing loss with others. At the time, I was searching for a deaf role model but couldn’t find one and thought to myself, perhaps I could fulfil this role. Soon after, I became known as Deafie Blogger.

How did you find the initial set up of the blog?

My deaf boyfriend suggested setting up a blog as a way of sharing my experiences. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about it as I’ve always struggled with English, but after writing a few blogs and sharing on social media, I was amazed at the wonderful response from the deaf community.

How do you find the process of updating the blog?

When I first started, I made the mistake of promising a weekly blog, which I soon learnt that time goes by too quickly and before you know it, you’re behind schedule. I tend to post when I can. If I ever have a free day off, I try to encourage myself to get some blogs written, but it’s a harder commitment than I originally thought!

How do you promote the blog?

Through social media. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I have my own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages which I try to share content throughout all networks. Also, if you build relationships with other organisations, particularly like mine with Phonak, you’ll find that sharing each other’s content is a fantastic way of promoting it. It might start slow, but over time followers build up. Word of mouth in everyday life is another great way of promoting blogs.

You’re a writer for Phonak’s Hearing Like Me blog. How did that come about and how are you finding the experience?

When I was publishing my own blogs, and sharing them on social media, Phonak were showing interest and before I knew it, they got in touch with me to start writing for their blog, Hearing Like Me. It’s probably one of the best experiences I’ve had, I’ve got such a fantastic connection with them and every day there’s a new opportunity, so I’m excited to see what the future holds.

According to your about page, you’re a marketing executive and you work in events and publicity. Does your blog help with your career or do you keep the two separate?

Yes, I have quite a few jobs! I tend to keep all jobs separate, but the skills required in each workplace overlap in some way, which is fantastic. For example, since blogging for Phonak, I’ve had some experience in different writing styles, which have helped my Marketing Executive role, writing blogs for the company website, it all helps!

You’ve done a petition to get more subtitled cinema shows. What inspired that? What advice would you give to people wanting to start a petition?

What inspired me, is simply the lack of subtitled cinema showings! It’s 2017 and I still struggle to understand why they refuse to put subtitled screenings on for deaf people, technology is at is best too! Why should we have to go to the cinema at 8 am on a Sunday morning, when everyone else gets to go when they like? I also think there might be another petition coming soon for accessible services! If you feel passionate that something needs to change, you could start a petition. Do your research first, it needs to be realistic, if you have a valid argument and some reasonable suggestions, then go for it.

You seem to be involved in a lot, including political and charity work. What are some of the best opportunities you’ve had in recent years? Do you think the blog has given you more opportunities?

I’ve been invited to go to Parliament for Action on Hearing Loss Hearing Matters’ launch event, and I was also runner up in the Young Person Category at the Royal Association for Deaf People Awards in 2016. I also completed a charity tandem skydive for my local Deaf Association. I’ve enjoyed every single experience. The blog has definitely opened up some fantastic opportunities!

How good do you think the internet is at helping deaf people?

Personally, if it wasn’t for the internet, I wouldn’t be here doing blogging! It’s a fantastic way to get in touch with other deaf people and to interact with all my followers. Everything we need nowadays, seems to be online and when it comes to communication, deaf people love using the internet! My long distance deaf boyfriend lives 250 miles away, so it certainly helps being able to FaceTime him!

How do you think the internet could be improved for deaf people?

I have loads of suggestions, but I say let’s see what the future holds! Maybe holographic 4D calls, hearing aids with wifi… who knows..!

What other blogs by deaf people would you recommend?

Hearing Like Me is a fantastic community blog with a wealth of topics for all levels of hearing loss. If I had to choose my two favourites, it would be Limping Chicken? and Living With Hearing Loss’

?What advice would you give to deaf people wanting to start a blog?

If you’re passionate about writing, or fancy trying something new, a blog is a fantastic hobby. Just write an article, share it and you never know what the response might be! It certainly surprised me. If you don’t seem keen with writing, Vlogs (video blogs) are the next up and coming trend, check out some deaf YouTubers!

Aside from your blog, where else can we find your work online?

I’m on the following!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/deafieblogger

Twitter: @deafieblogger https://twitter.com/deafieblogger

Instagram: @deafieblogger www.instagram.com/deafieblogger

Hearing Like Me: www.hearinglikeme.com/author/deafieblogger

Thanks to E for participating in Disabled Voices Online. You can find her blog at:

www.deafieblogger.com

If you are a disabled person who’s involved in creating content online, such as a blog, making videos for a platform such as Youtube, podcasting or anything similar and would like to be intervieered for this series, please contact The Aidis Trust.

What blogs, podcasts, videos or other content by disabled people do you enjoy? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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