Archives for September 2009

Doctor! Doctor!

SH Line Producer | 17:47 UK time, Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Have you ever had a nightmare experience with your GP? Had problems making appointments? Found your local doctor's surgery to be under par when it comes to communication? We want to hear from you.

If you have a story to tell and you'd like to be filmed for See Hear, get in touch with either Samuel ChegeLauren Hurrell or Cynthia Charles.

Don't be afraid to step forward...

SEE HEAR - Wednesday 30th September, 1pm BBC TWO

SH Line Producer | 12:13 UK time, Tuesday, 29 September 2009

This week's show marks the end of Daryl Jackson's long and arduous quest to find his birth mother.

Over the last three years See Hear has had the privilege to follow this intriguing story and get a fascinating insight into the world of adoption. Daryl was helped on his journey by adoptive parents Margaret and John, along with expert support from Birthlink's Gary Clapton and the Children's Society.

In this final chapter, Daryl journeys to Scotland for what will hopefully be a meeting with his biological mother. But will she allow him to meet with her? Will Daryl get the answers he's been waiting for, or will the communication barrier jeopardise the whole thing?

All those questions will be answered in this week's programme - expect an emotional rollercoaster.

Deaf Irish Politician wages war on mobiles

SH Line Producer | 11:45 UK time, Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Some might argue that mobile phones are the bane of public life. Many theatre performances, train journeys and museum visits have been disrupted by people surreptitiously texting or making phone calls.

Well, one Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Ireland has had enough. SDLP member John Dallat's hearing aid is aiding him in the fight against mobile phone crime.

Read the rest of this entry

999 text messaging: Sign up now!

SH Line Producer | 13:20 UK time, Friday, 25 September 2009

We've already mentioned it on this here blog, but we thought we should remind you all that the 999 text messaging service is still trialing and you can get your mobile phone registered. It's really worth doing - the more people who sign up and make use of the service, the more likely it is that it will become permanent in 2010.

Read more about it on the Ouch! site here:

Start the sign-up process here:

Ceefax: Thanks for all the Memories

SH Line Producer | 12:58 UK time, Friday, 25 September 2009

Did you know that one of the reasons the BBC originally agreed to produce See Hear was so that they could advertise programmes that had Ceefax subtitles?

After the first series, See Hear were allowed to drop the Ceefax subtitle plugs!

Sadly, the era of old fashioned teletext is reaching its end. As the UK switches over to digital, all those old sports result pages, interactive quizzes, 888 (and 171!) subtitles will soon cease to exist.

To commemorate the 35th birthday of a service that was part of so many Deaf and hard of hearing lives, here are some nice links.

Read the rest of this entry

Fight to the Deaf

SH Line Producer | 12:53 UK time, Friday, 25 September 2009

That there is our favourite headline of 2009, it'll take something to top that.

It's from today's Daily Record, describing a football match involving Glasgow Deaf Athletic FC, the world's oldest Deaf football team.

Losing 4-1 to Fordbank, one of the Glasgow players headbutted an opposing team member and was sent off. The match was then abandoned after the ensuing on-pitch handbags.

Read more about the whole sorry incident here.

See Hear Birmingham: NOW RECRUITING!

SH Line Producer | 18:32 UK time, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Assistant Producers, Researchers and Runners

See Hear

Vision Productions

6 month contracts

See Hear is a long-running, established strand with a strong following amongst the deaf and hard of hearing communities. It is a magazine format, and it covers a diverse range of stories, from consumer items to current affairs, arts, science, history and politics. The production is moving to Birmingham and will be part of the BBC's Factual output based in the Mailbox.

We are looking to recruit to a number of posts, at Runner, Researcher and Assistant Producer level.

Read the rest of this entry

Finger lickin' good!

SH Line Producer | 11:11 UK time, Tuesday, 22 September 2009

This Wednesday's programme is all about restaurants where you can't hear yourself think... but it turns out there are some very Deaf friendly restaurants out there... if you're prepared to travel to Egypt, that is!

Watch the report here, and give thanks to MM on the See Hear messageboard for providing us with this link:

Do you know of any other strange places where you've found sign language? And can anyone substantiate the urban myth that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to beat ticket touts, all the football stadium ticket offices were staffed by Deaf signers? This apparently worked until the touts learned sign language...!

SEE HEAR - Wednesday 23rd September, 1pm BBC TWO

SH Line Producer | 11:03 UK time, Monday, 21 September 2009

In this week's programme See Hear is going undercover!

We're investigating the poor acoustics in some of Britain's most popular restaurant chains. The latest fashion for minimalist interior design, open kitches, canteen-style tables and hard surfaces makes for a seriously stressful experience for many people with hearing impairment.

Louise Simmonds, a Hard of Hearing lady, has had many nights out spoiled by loud and echoey surroundings. She decided enough was enough, and accompanied by audiologist Mark Scutchings they set out to measure how bad the problem really is.

Using secret cameras and concealed noise monitors, Louise and Mark consumed a lot of pizza and noodles to bring us their findings. The proof of the pudding was in the results, so join us on Wednesday as we visit some of Britain's noisiest restaurant chains, and find out what they intend to do about it...

Ditch Your Old Mobile for Charity

SH Line Producer | 10:58 UK time, Monday, 21 September 2009

One UK Deaf charity has come up with an ingenious solution to raise funds... getting rid of your old mobile phone!

Many millions of people have old or unwanted mobile phones lying around the place - these can now be donated for recycling, the profits from which will be donated to Deafness Research UK.

If you've got an old Samsung under the sofa, or a Nokia in the attic, dig it out and donate.

Find out more at this link:

Frank Barnes School for the Deaf: Under Threat Again?

SH Line Producer | 10:54 UK time, Monday, 21 September 2009

The future of Frank Barnes School for Deaf children is once again in jeopardy - prompting governors to lash out at Camden Council for messing the school around, according to reports.

Read more about the story here.

Back to 1981: Steam Trains on See Hear!

SH Line Producer | 12:05 UK time, Friday, 18 September 2009

The BBC have started uploading films from the good old days for viewers to watch. We found this clip from See Hear and thought you'd like to have a look.

Deaf man Jeff Brown talks about how he has loved steam trains since he first sneaked out to watch them at the local station when he was eight years old.

What do you think of this clip? Should the modern day See Hear take a few cues from the olden days?

SEE HEAR: The Next Generation

SH Line Producer | 10:01 UK time, Friday, 18 September 2009

The BBC are delighted to announce that See Hear has been recommissioned until March 2011, with 49 programmes in total being commissioned between January 2010 and March 2011, ensuring the continuation of one of the BBC's longest running shows.
See Hear's final December programme will however be the end of an era. It will be the last one to be produced in London, thus ending See Hear's 27 year association with the capital.
From January 2010 onwards, production of the programme will be moving to BBC Birmingham, where many of BBC's Daytime programmes are currently made.

In an email to staff, Nick Patten, head of studio in Birmingham, said the move was part of the BBC's commitment to moving 'flagship programmes to regional and national bases.'

'Our proximity to a number of high profile organisations for deaf people and for learning and promoting British Sign Language (BSL) makes us ideally placed to make See Hear.'

He also reassured staff at the Mailbox that See Hear would not impact the studio's ability to pitch for singles and non-returning formats as the commission was outside the inhouse guarantee.

Production on 49x30' episodes will begin immediately, crewed by - as in London - a combination of deaf and hearing staff.

The recommission will take the programme up to March 2011. The new run will be series produced by Ellena Stojanovic, and exec produced by Michael Armit, who joins the department on September 28.

The BBC will be looking to recruit new Deaf and hearing staff to work on the new programme.

More details soon.

Come and work for See Hear

SH Line Producer | 12:05 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

See Hear is very keen to find the new generation of Deaf media superstars both behind the camera and in front of the camera. One of the ways we do this is through work experience placements.

If you're an ambitious, driven person with a genuine passion for television and long term ambitions of working in the media, then this could be the opportunity for you to show us what you're made of.

If you apply at the link below, specifying See Hear in your choices, it could be you who's the next See Hear Line Producer in 10 years...

Vote in this year's Remark! Film & TV Awards!

SH Line Producer | 09:55 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

It's the start of Awards Season in the Deaf Community, and the annual Remark! awards are one of the hottest tickets in town.

After much deliberation cogitation and agitation, they've announced their shortlists in categories such as best actor, best presenter and best director. You can vote by text message for your favourites, and the winners will be announced at a no doubt star-studded ceremony in November - tickets may still be available for this.

You may notice that Memnos Costi and Radha Manjeshwar are among the nominees. However due to the unique way in which the BBC is funded, we couldn't possibly tell you who you should vote for.

Peruse the shortlist of nominees here:

PLEASE NOTE: Text messages cost 50p per vote, and this is not a competition endorsed or promoted by the BBC in any way

A hero's welcome for Great Britain's Deaf Athletes - you can be there!

SH Line Producer | 08:42 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Deaflympics may be done and dusted, but our GB athletes are now flying home from Taipei, and you can be there to meet and greet them!

They are scheduled to arrive at Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 at 6.20am.

An area has been reserved in Terminal 3 for the homecoming - and they'd appreciate your support if you're able to get there at that time to show your support. You might even get to see one of the 10 medals they won over there!

For further details have a look at this link:

Marlee Matlin on See Hear - Wednesday 16th September, 1pm BBC TWO

SH Line Producer | 11:54 UK time, Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Marlee Matlin is arguably one of the greatest living Deaf people. Seriously, how many other Deaf people can you think of who've won an Oscar; made signing mainstream on so many prime time US TV dramas including West Wing, Spin City, Frasier and Picket Fences; brought up 4 kids; AND appeared on Dancing with the Stars?

So it is with great pleasure that we announce she will be appearing on See Hear in a no holds barred exclusive interview, speaking frankly about her relationship with her Children of a Lesser God co-star William Hurt, her problems with drugs, and how it felt to hold Oscar for the first time.

If that's not enough for you, why not follow her on twitter? Yesterday was a momentous event when Marlee met with Shoshannah Stern and Phylis Frielich - the film Sarah Norman, the new stage Sarah Norman, and the first ever Sarah Norman, all in one place together...

If that's still not enough - then perhaps you could take a look at her new autobiography I'll Scream Later, now on sale in all good bookshops:

Deaflympics - so long and thanks for all the medals

SH Line Producer | 11:35 UK time, Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The fat lady has signed her last song, the last medal's been awarded, and the 2009 Deaflympics are OVER.

It wasn't a great Deaflympics for Great Britain, especially not compared to Melbourne 2005, and definitely not compared to Russia, who topped the medals table this time round. 

But we've still had our fair share of success stories. A big shout out to Cathy Graham, Rajeev Bagga, Lauren Peffers and Hannah Fitton for their success in their respective sports.

Things we've learned:

- The German team did a victory conga at their hotel every night
- The Swedish Women's football team were very attractive
- The 8 athletes who were thrown out for not being 'deaf enough' were allegedly from Chinese Taipei, and members of the waterpolo team

That's all, folks.

BSL Family Days at the London Science Museum

SH Line Producer | 11:20 UK time, Tuesday, 15 September 2009

As a child, I loved the Science Museum in London. Whether it was the huge aeroplanes hanging from the ceiling, the interactive exhibits, the life size replica of Apollo 11, or the medical section - there was always plenty to see!

On the first Saturday of every month, they now have free family BSL events - fully interpreted and accessible whether you're deaf or not. For example, on Saturday 3rd October, they're doing three different events - on explosions, train drivers and science secrets. Good stuff huh?

For updates on all Science Museum news and events check out this link at

Deaflympics Update 4

SH Line Producer | 10:56 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009

Anthony Sinclair and Catherine Graham made a superb piece of British sporting history on Saturday when they won gold in the tennis mixed doubles final at the 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei.

In doing so they beat Italian top seeds Gianpaolo Damiani and Barbara Oddone 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, ending the Italian duo's unbeaten run in the event that stretches back 20 years. The five-time champions won their first mixed doubles title in in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1989. Victory for Sinclair and Graham also secured Britain's first Deaflympics mixed doubles gold medal for more than 50 years! Well done guys.

Serena Blackburn also took bronze in the Women's marathon, with Candy Hawkins narrowly missing out on a podium in the Women's 5k race.

Elsewhere, Rajeev Bagga narrowly missed out on gold in the Badminton singles final. Rumour has it his Russian opponent was given £100,000 for winning gold. Rajeev got silver, £0 and narrowly missed out on his sixth consecutive gold. You're still a legend, Rajeev. No-one can take that away from you.

An important note on the weather in Taipei: "It's continuing to be hot - some winds but these are always warm. The air conditioning is so cold that we have to go outside to get warm again."

As ever, you can follow the action LIVE and IN DEPTH at the following links:

See Hear is here to stay...

SH Line Producer | 10:50 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009

...on iPlayer.

See Hear is now a series linked programme on iPlayer, which means that all episodes will stay online for the duration of the series.

This is great news, as it means that people can now refer back to previous programmes without having to worry about the old seven day deadline.

Follow THIS LINK for your See Hear series goodness - and ignore the confusing programme numbering!

Footloose! Footloose! Kick off those dancin' shoes!

SH Line Producer | 10:37 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009

Apparently Deaf people can't dance. I know my own efforts on the dance floor constitute clenched fists and a white man's overbite - but do we really need mechanical assistance to keep in time to the rhythm? One person seems to think so - they've invented vibrating shoes. No, really. Vibrating shoes.

I wonder if Marlee Matlin used vibrating shoes on Dancing With The Stars? By the way, that's a reminder - MARLEE MATLIN is going to be on See Hear this week...

Back to the vibrating shoes - let us know if you're thinking of buying a pair, at the usual address.

Deaflympics Update 3

SH Line Producer | 11:16 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

Well, the GB Women's Football team went a bit further than the men, crashing out of the semi final 2-1 against USA. At least we didn't lose 6-2 in the final to Germany, like the England Women's team last night.

In the other semi-final, Germany scored in extra time to make it 4-3. They'll take on USA in the final while GB duke it out with Russia for bronze.

Hannah Fitton has taken her third bronze swimming medal in the Deaflympics, her third place in the 200m Freestyle taking her haul to 3 bronzes altogether. Congratulations Hannah!

Our mole tells us by the way, that "Dan Ryan's Bar in Taipei does the best fillet steaks ever."

Guess they didn't fancy Chinese food...

Our updates are very random, for up to date news keep checking out the following sites:

The Shame of Wearing Hearing Aids

SH Line Producer | 10:55 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

Hearing aids are a fact of life for many Deaf and hard of hearing people. Whether they give some hearing to a profoundly deaf user, or enhance the gaps in hearing for a partially hearing person, they're not going away any time soon.

But in this latest article by Ouch! columnist Charlie Swinbourne, he finds that many people who would benefit from wearing them... don't.

Have a read of his article here and see what you reckon. Hearing aids... force for good, plain evil, or just an embarrassment?

Emergency Text Message Service now on trial

SH Line Producer | 10:50 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

14th September sees the launch of a new service that allows Deaf/Hard of Hearing people to contact emergency services via text message on their mobile phone.

From that date you'll be able to register your telephone and take part in the trial - this could be one of the most important technological developments for deaf people so far, and it's been a long time in coming!

We're keeping an eye on this scheme ourselves - if you've registered please do let us know whether you're interested in informing us of your progress!

You can register here from 14th September onwards:

New BBC ONE Drama seeks "pretty, sexy Deaf teenager"

SH Line Producer | 11:01 UK time, Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Silence (Television)

Role: Amelia (Female)
Description: THE LEAD
17 years old, very pretty and sexy teenager. The character is deaf and has a cochlear implant, so she does have some speech.
We are hoping to cast someone who is hearing impaired.


A four part drama for BBC1
Company Pictures for Sky Television
Eleanor Greene
Dearbhla Walsh
Shooting in Ireland
Dates (Shooting, Rehearsal, etc.):
16th November through to mid January 2010, with a break over Christmas and New Year
Closing date for applications: Monday 5th October
For more information please contact See Hear and we will pass your details on to the casting agents. 

Are you a Deaf filmmaker or know British Sign Language?

SH Line Producer | 10:59 UK time, Thursday, 10 September 2009

Neath Films has been invited to tender for a series of programmes for a deaf audience.

This is uncharted territory for us so we are looking to connect with Deaf producers, filmmakers,and talent who are keen to collaborate on the preparation of the pitch. We want to continue this collaboration should our pitch be successful.

It would also be great to hear from people who have a working knowledge of British Sign Language and have a strong understanding of the language and culture of Deaf people's lives as well as the key issues related to the Deaf community.

If this sounds of interest or if you are able to point us in the right direction then please get in touch.

Many thanks,

James Tracy

Classroom Acoustics - listen for yourself

SH Line Producer | 10:51 UK time, Thursday, 10 September 2009

Following on from yesterday's item on poor classroom acoustics for deaf students, why not find out more on the NDCS website?

This page includes a sound simulation of a noisy classroom through hearing aids. A bit of an eye opener (or should that be ear opener?).

Deaf Model Kellie Moody on 'deaf stigma'

SH Line Producer | 18:16 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Kellie Moody is a bit of a See Hear favorite - we first met her when she won Miss Deaf UK, then followed her to Prague where she competed in Miss Deaf World.

She's been going from strength to strength and is now a spokesperson for Siemens hearing aids. She talks about life as a deaf person, and her recent experiences on Britain's Missing Top Model here.

Deaf Sri Lankans finally given driving licences

SH Line Producer | 16:07 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Sri Lankan government have apparently finally decided to allow deaf people to drive cars. This is mainly because "In a lot of developed countries deaf people are allowed to get their driver's licences as long as they pass the tests," but also because:

...around 70 percent of vehicles arriving Colombo from various parts of the country are fully air-conditioned with tinted glasses. It has resulted in a double the number of train accidents since people traveling by these vehicles do not clearly hear the horns of trains. Therefore, there is no difference between them and deaf people," he said.

So, what's worse for international road safety - being deaf or having tinted windows and air conditioning?

Do you know of any other countries in the world that are unfairly keeping deaf people off their roads? Tell us, we can feel a survey coming on...

You can read the original article in full here: Clunk click

Deaflympics Update 2

SH Line Producer | 15:59 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

It's been a bit of a mixed bag in the Deaflympics so far - the biggest shock being that the GB Men's football team, despite winning Gold in Melbourne in 2005, didn't make it out of the group stages. Console yourselves by watching the hearing England Men's inevitable World Cup qualification against Croatia tonight.

GB women, despite being tightened up defensively with the help of our own Memnos, were given a 6-2 spanking by Russia. Here's hoping they can get back to winning ways.

The big success story of the Deaflympics so far though has to be Hannah Fitton. She's won two bronzes in swimming so far, and was in contention for a third medal in the 100m Freestyle. Sadly she finished 7th.

Our UK Deaf Sport mole in Taipei says: "Seriously, Taipei's a cracking place - shame we fly back the day after the closing ceremony; little time to sightsee."

Our heart bleeds for them...

As always you can catch up with the latest news at

See Hear: Wednesday 9th September 1pm BBC TWO

SH Line Producer | 18:00 UK time, Monday, 7 September 2009

This week See Hear is going back to school, with a special focus on education!


We go out campaigning with schoolchildren who are lobbying MPs to tighten up the rules on school classroom acoustics at a time when the Government is spending millions on renovating and building schools.


Poor acoustics make it difficult and sometimes impossible for children with hearing impairment to concentrate and follow their lessons and yet there is no obligation to meet the recommended acoustic standards.


We also meet a family trying to find the right kind of education for their five-year-old son Adham, who is Deaf and autistic, and go to Heathlands school to see the launch of the first GCSE in BSL.


Stay tuned until the end of the programme, where we have a sneak preview of next week's very very special guest star...

Deaflympics Update 1

SH Line Producer | 13:23 UK time, Monday, 7 September 2009

Here's a quick roundup of what's been happening in the first day of Deaflympics action:

Andrew Yick was Great Britain's first-ever Deaflympic competitor in a martial arts event but could only finish fourth in the Tae-kwon-do (58kg) event. Andrew needed hospital treatment for a foot injury after losing his 3rd/4th play-off bout but was back at the training camp this evening to accept commiserations from fellow athletes.

Men's Football
Team GB had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Ireland. The result leaves both teams level on 4 points at the top of their group. GB had beaten Japan 2-1 in their first game on a waterlogged pitch but conditions were much better today.

Read the rest of this entry

Monday Morning Video Round Up

SH Line Producer | 10:53 UK time, Monday, 7 September 2009

A selection of interesting videos from across the web.

First up is a rare newsreel of Helen Keller from 1930. It's interesting to put a face to the name of the famous Deaf Blind woman. Interesting film too - is that what See Hear would have been like in the 1930s?

Helen Keller Newsreel Footage

Secondly, someone emailed me this Pantene commercial the other week. Beautifully shot and edited as most hair commercials are - but I never knew that using a particular brand of shampoo gave you magical violin playing powers? It's got 1.5m views on YouTube so it's obviously pulled a few heart strings as well as violin strings.

Extraordinary Pantene Commercial

We hadn't heard of Ashley Fiolek until recently, but this is one extraordinary lady. She's only 18, but is already a National Champion in Women's motocross. She's also a Deaf American Sign Language User. In this video you can see a bit of her ASL and some Moto X action.

Ashley Fiolek Pro MX

Keep up with the 2009 Deaflympics online

SH Line Producer | 13:20 UK time, Wednesday, 2 September 2009

This September, 80 British Deaf athletes are competing in Taipei, the venue of the 21st summer Deaflympics. They're all hoping to bring back gold - and you can keep up with their progress online!

Regular news updates from UK Deaf Sport can be found here:

You can see regular video reports on the BSLBT website and on SignTube:

If you're a user of Twitter, why not follow the official UK Deaf Sport feed: @deafsport

If you're interested in other countries beside Great Britain, you can check out the official Deaflympics website:

There are lots of potential success stories this year. Will Rajeev Bagga win his sixth individual badminton gold? Will Andrew Yick take Gold in the TaeKwonDo? Will GB Men and Women's Football be triumphant?

All those questions and more will be answered from the 5th of September to the 15th of September in Taipei. We can't wait to see the drama unfold.

See Hear: Wednesday 2nd September 1pm BBC TWO

SH Line Producer | 14:23 UK time, Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Hello all - See Hear is back on your screens after the summer break, and we've got a bumper programme for you all, catching up on what the Deaf community's been up to over the summer.

Radha Manjeshwar zips up her leathers to go to the Deaf Bikers UK rally near Reading, and discovers they are not ALL hairy tattooed men!

We followed Stephen Collins to this year's Glastonbury Festival, where he's determined to soak up the atmosphere, sample the interpreted performances from the likes of Tom Jones, and enjoy the full festival experience with a group of young deaf people.

Memnos returns with an intriguing chapter from his Stories Behind the Signs - all about celebrity sign names. His sign for Michael Jackson has to be seen to be believed...

We joined Memnos in the most famous of London's Royal Parks; Regents Park at The Tree House project. For more information on the project go to or

NOTE: For our viewers in Scotland, the programme is showing a day later on Thursday 3rd September, on BBC TWO.

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