I may not make some sense as I am still on a high since 25th October 2019… That day was a day which was unlike any other. Magical evening. I would never EVER thought that I would be standing on the red dot, being my truest self, pouring my heart and soul out. It was extraordinary and what made it more special was the fact my family and friends (at least 20 members of Deaf community) were in the audience witnessing my TEDx Talk with 2 Irish Sign Language (ISL) Interpreters.
Looking back, little did I know, when I took part in the “London Calling” documentary produced by Mind the Gap Films, which was aired in RTÉ last May 2019, that all of what I truly believed in, what I felt but I couldn’t, before, put into words, would begin to take shape. Also, the fire within me to fight for equality for Irish Deaf community and for inclusion would be reignited.
As a Deaf person, it’s stating the obvious when I say it can be so tough.
But since delivering my TEDx talk, “Not Just Deaf”, and realising I do have a voice through Irish Sign Language (ISL), a voice that has now been seen, I have my work cut out. The work that has a real true purpose and this online platform is where I want to show that everyone benefits when people in our Deaf community are included.
If it wasn’t for “London Calling”, I probably would not have this transformative journey. Only because of remarkable Janie Lazar, the lead organiser of TEDx Dunlaoghaire, who spotted me in the newspaper, watched the documentary, reached out to Irish Deaf Society (IDS) for me…. My TEDx journey begun from an invitation. Along the way through this journey, people like Janie, Lottie Hearn, their team and the TEDx speakers, were amazing. I am forever grateful to them. Same goes for ISL interpreters Caroline O’Leary and Orla MacCabe, they were fantastic from the beginning to the night of TEDx Dunlaoghaire 2019.
Through this transformative journey, I explored in depth about who I am and the experiences I went through that lead me to where I am today by working on the development of my TEDx Talk through coaching – around 7,000 words to 3,000 words to YES THIS IS TEDx TALK! In this process, I developed a better understanding of the experiences, it’s hard to explain – It was such an emotional process.
It’s the early days of course, but my head is spinning, bursting with ways in which the great skills that so many of our Deaf community have, can be used to get the message out there that Inclusion is Everyone’s Responsibility.
I can’t wait to talk more down the line. Until then, I want to say this – thank you to those who got me this far, for your endless supports including my partner, family, friends and colleagues. I will never forget it. X