The greatest barrier in society – in my opinion

Rebecca Anne Withey

I was having my lunch with some arts professionals and we were discussing what forthcoming projects we had lined up. I was the only deaf person present and I was interested to hear (lipread, rather 😉) what was everyone was doing.

One lady said she had a ‘dilemma’ as she had been offered the chance to deliver workshops for people with learning disabilities – but she didn’t want to take the work.

Why? We all asked her. “I’m not trained in this area,” she confessed. “And although the organisers have said they will offer me all the training I need… well..” and thenshe turned to me and said

“No offence, but I’m not interested in working with special needs. It’s just not interesting.”

I was stumped. First of all, why was she looking at me? Did she assume deaf people had learning disabilities or were experts on the topic?

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