Hi there, I’m Leah Riddell and I specialize in providing customized training and resources to help businesses and organizations improve their inclusive communication practices in the workplace. In this blog post, I’ll share my insights on the importance of inclusive communication, the challenges Deaf employees and those who communicate differently face, and how I can provide training and resources to help your team build character and better communicate with one another.
Spring is here but it sure felt like summer over the weekend. I want to talk about trail walks, how it is important to be courteous and mindful of others around you. As a Deaf person who enjoys walking on trails with my dog (my family comes sometimes). I understand the importance of being mindful and considerate of others around me. Since I cannot hear bike bells or verbal cues, I’m always extra vigilant and aware of my surroundings.
One thing I do to ensure that my dog is on a leash and I stay on the right side of the trail is to use a keyword. We trained my dog to respond to the word “clear,” which means that we need to move over to the side more and let someone pass. This has been a useful tool in ensuring that we don’t get in anyone’s way, a bike rider or runner in our path from behind or in front of us and can easily communicate our intentions.
Being Deaf on the trail can present some unique challenges…
Priortize Deaf ASL Performers for the National Anthem
I express my concern and disappointment to the woman who perform the national anthem recently using ASL at a sporting event in the US. She has not been vetted or even have proper certification or training, which is disrespectful to the deaf and signing community.
Culture appropriation is a serious issue that can cause harm and offense to marginalize communities.
Meat and Bread
I want to talk about after the conference when my husband and I explored Vancouver downtown. We decided to have lunch, discovered a unique simple business name display and was intrigued by their menu. Meat & Bread on Robson street. We were looking forward to a sandwich which sold out with the people before us. A nice man named Colin appeared and started signing to the best of his ability. Explaining what was available.
Taboo No More
People around the world are seeing a new generation of Deaf people achieve what is achievable, there are endless online platitudes splashed across social media, recognizing amazing Deaf people who are performers, writers, business owners, and more.
It has long been taboo to talk about the possibilities of and by Deaf people, some of that do linger today.
It’s world hearing day.
Translating Music in Sign Language
Have you been following all the news on Justina Miles? Everyone is stunned by her performance as I am to Rihanna’s songs. The first Black female SuperBowl halftime ASL performer did amazing and garnered lots of media attention that she deserves.
Like all languages, American Sign Language (ASL) is a means of communication but also a means of art expression. Music is inclusive and it is meant for everyone to enjoy. Yes, we do enjoy music! There is absolutely no reason to deprive Deaf people from experiencing a good time. We are always pushing for access. Three different roles play this out to give us, the Deaf community, an experience.
Read more about the differences of ASL interpreter, ASL performer and ASL artists.
Hello, I am wrapping up the year 2022 this week for a much needed two week tech free holiday to spend time with cherished family and friends.
Funny how it seemed only yesterday that I retreated to reflect on the year 2021. I treasure this time of the year because it gives me a rare opportunity to conduct an inventory of my motivations and values; my relationship with my family, friends, and colleagues; and, my work. But, it is also a time to assess my learning curve and to identify areas of improvement. I cherish the moment because it is the time of the year when I get to compose my year-end review of the year, not just a catalogue of the chronology of my activities, but also my heart and my business soul.
Access at the theatre
You never know what’s going to happen until you ask.
Few weeks back I wanted to treat my husband to a comedy for his birthday and saw that the Kingston Grand Theatre was having a show that looked intriguing. One problem, I wanted to be able to enjoy the show too! I emailed the theatre to ask if interpreters can be provided knowing how short notice it was.
Sticky Situations in Hospitals
Have you ever seen Squid Game? Do you remember the dalgona cookie challenge? How each player had to patiently and methodically lick or prick their way against the countdown before they were eliminated for good? Can you imagine being trapped in a life-threatening situation forced to play a game that may determine whether they survive?
Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients often end up in situations like these, where they are trapped by necessity and circumstance. They show up to the emergency room or to their doctor’s office and are not provided the communication access they need so they can discuss their needs or decisions, often leading to miscommunication, misdiagnosis and mistreatment.
Alexander Graham Bell
In the last few years we have learned so much of what has happened and is happening in our country. How it affects people livelihoods. We learn about Every Child Matters, Black Lives Matter. Gay Pride and more. We learn to do better not to repeat history and educate to end hatred, I hope.
A friend wrote me discussing the latest concern, “People really need to realize it is difficult to find a cis-gendered, heterosexual abled white male in our national history who isn’t problematic. Stop honoring them! They have been honoured! Focus on the people who have been erased or ignored!”
This is regarding the Royal Canadian Mint honouring Alexander Graham Bell not doing their homework. The researchers at the mint have an obligation to dig deeper and be curious about the people they clear for this honour. Google his name and controversy before declaring his worth.