Deaf sisters are refused a ‘signer’ for One Direction’s Belfast concert
|Belfast Live has reported the experience of two sisters, Sara, 18, and Lisa, 20, who both live with hearing loss. They wrote to the Odyssey Arena to request a signer for the upcoming One Direction concert in Belfast this October. The sisters said they could hear the songs but needed the interpreter to hear the boys chatting in between songs. The sisters, whose first language is British Sign Language, then received a letter from the concert promoters which stated:
“It is our considered view that the provision of a signing facility is not appropriate for this kind of performance. There is no possibility of the signer being placed on the stage, and any other location would detract from the usual impact of the performance.
We do not believe that your suggestion of a signer positioned at another point can allow you and others to experience both the usual performance of the act and the interpretation by the signer. Our information is that even if the set list and lyrics can be provided there is limited prospect of this ‘ad-libbing’ of the act to be adequately reflected. We understand that some signers can ‘dramatize’ or ‘code’ such ‘ad-libbing’ but it is not always a true reflection of the performer’s words.”
The organiser’s choice of vocabulary reflects their lack of awareness of Deafness, and the idea that interpreters ‘dramatize’ or ‘code’ (whatever that means!) the performers’ words is incredibly insulting to the profession.
Read more about this article here: www.belfastlive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/one-direction-promoters-stand-over-9281481