August 23, 2015

The majority of the deaf children trained by Deafax in a Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) lesson do not recognise the word ‘contraception’ or indeed understand what it means.  Even when we subsequently taught them the word, writing it down and demonstrating the sign along with a definition, they were still unable to recall it correctly, instead using the words ‘concept’, ‘conception’ and ‘construction’ in its place.  Yet, there is far less confusion ab...

August 19, 2015

We know that a visit to the doctor’s surgery can be difficult and usually it’s very personal, sometimes embarrassing.  You do get used to going through an interpreter to make appointments, discuss prescriptions and for the actual consultations – after all, they do have their own code of conduct etc – but believe me, there are times when I really don’t want another person involved!


For some things, I just want to talk to the doctor directly.  Not unreasonabl...

August 15, 2015

“An Irish friend of mine told me that, when the very first tampon advert was shown on Irish television, his mother, avoiding the eyes of her family, stood up and left the room muttering ‘Ah, there’s no secrets any more.’  From Frank Skinner “Dispatches From the Sofa”


If you look up the word ‘period’ in the BDA’s Dictionary of British Sign Language you’ll be directed to a sign using a flat hand tapping the mouth and chin twice (ref 1265).  It’s interesting,...

August 12, 2015

I work in a team with deaf and hearing colleagues.  We learn a lot from each other, and from the people who get involved in the workshops we run – be that deaf young people, medical or educational professionals, parents . . . all sorts.


One of the things we often talk about is how to communicate sensitive or potentially embarrassing topics or words using sign language.  And this is where we need your opinions and examples.


In this blog series, we’ll have co...

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