Gallaudet Dreams

1st September 2014

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Whilst procrastinating on my analytical essay about the study of positive media portrayal of Deaf President Now! movement at Gallaudet University, I decided to check out Gallaudet’s graduate course.

There it was in its finest glory…

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ISIW Interview #3 – Willos Callaghan

29th August 2014

Willos Callaghan is a Deaf man who has discovered his talent for ocean and landscape photography. I am a HUGE fan of his work, hence my choosing him to be the third lucky interviewee in ISIW’s interview series.

His tools are: GoPro Hero3+ (Black) and Canon 5D MKIII. He’s new to photography, only having started late last year but his skills and talent have developed so much in short time, and he devotes his spare time to capturing the beauty of bodyboarding, the waves and the tranquility of the beach and the ocean. His photos beautifully captures his passion for the ocean.

Willos

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I’m Deaf, not stupid.

26th August 2014

“Being deaf doesn’t mean you’re stupid: One woman’s experience with workplace discrimination in Australia” 

My Facebook newsfeed was flooded with this article, and many Deaf people can relate to it. I can relate to it as well.

As a Deaf person, I have experienced workplace discrimination. It’s not a pretty experience, to be honest. It’s extremely frustrating.

Like Ms Carlton, I use Auslan to communicate with others, however I do not speak. I’ve never been able to speak a whole sentence. I’ve found myself more comfortable signing rather than speaking.

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Auslan interpreter symbol

Why NDIS will be beneficial

25th August 2014

I’ve been reading about how fellow bloggers across Australia are excited about the upcoming #PBEVENT this weekend. It’s hosted by ProBlogger and will be providing workshops for blogging in all aspects, and will be held in Gold Coast.

I really wish I was able to attend, but alas, I cannot.

I found out too late about it, of course….and well, funds.

However, there is a much bigger issue that would have stopped me from attending…their ability to provide Auslan interpreters. Most blogging conferences/workshops/seminars usually do not have a small budget put aside for accessibility such as the costs of sign language interpreters.

Without interpreters available, I would not go. I deserve access to all information in my preferred language, and that is Auslan.

Sign language interpreters are expensive, and for a whole weekend like the #PBEVENT, it would have cost them well over $2,000. The hourly rate for an Auslan interpreter is approximately $110 at the moment, although it varies in each State/Territory.

I don’t have spare $2,000+…and most organisers do not either.

This is where NDIS comes in.

If I could access to NDIS right now, I would have been going to conferences/workshops/seminars and whatnot, and I could have organised interpreters myself and paid for it.

But alas, NDIS is not available nationally until 2019 at the latest. That’s a while away yet…and in the meantime, if I do learn of more blogging conferences/seminars/workshops/whatnot then I would have to contact the organisers to see if Auslan interpreters would be provided.

NDIS should have started AGES ago.

Carly Findlay, a fellow blogger with a disability, has kindly offered to live tweet throughout the weekend, and she will also be posting a summary of the said event, so I am incredibly grateful for her. Thank you Carly, and I look forward to your tweets!

All in all, someday I hope to be able to attend a ProBlogger event, and other blogger conferences and what not! For now, I’m learning more and more about blogging, especially on how to grow I Sign. I Wander. through this wonderful Facebook group – Aussie Bloggers. It’s a smorgasbord of information, and so many bloggers help each other out which is just incredible. I’ve never felt so welcome :)

Yours in blogging,

S x

Dementors, be gone!

12th August 2014

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. 

Remus Lupin.

Depression is fucking ugly.

In the light of Robin Williams’ death, this has gotten me thinking…especially about my own battle with depression in late 2012.

It was the most darkest time I had ever gone through. I felt like the Dementors was visiting me every day. Initially, I bottled everything up and pretended that everything was well and dandy…until one November afternoon, everything came crashing down onto me. I broke the camel’s back if you will.

I stuffed up at work. I stuffed up a couple of friendships. Why? I shut everyone off. I wouldn’t share my feelings about everything and the world around me. I constantly felt like I wanted to say a big fat FUCK YOU to the world and disappear. I knew I wasn’t okay, but I denied it.

On the day when everything came to light for me, I realised I had to be honest to myself and everyone else in my life. So, I posted a status on Facebook saying “I want to say I’m okay, but fuck this. I’m not ok. I want to tell the world to fuck off and disappear”.

I didn’t do this to seek attention. I just had to get it off my chest. I didn’t think people would comment – especially to remind me that they’re there for me. You know, at the time, I thought I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through. But…to my complete surprise, so many people sent me messages. So if you’re one of those people – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I then realised that people out there love me for who I am. This made me feel a bit better.

People suggested me to see an counsellor and to go on anti-depressants. I did consider those, and I researched a couple of counsellors. However, my gut instincts was saying that only ME can help and save myself. Just me. I was responsible for my depression, so I had to pull myself out of it.

Rome wasn’t built overnight…and I didn’t snap out of it overnight either. It wasn’t until early 2013 when I found my outlet by blogging. Every time I blogged, I felt better. It was like an anti-depressant for me.

I had read Harry Potter numerous times, and it has helped me to cope through terrible times especially during my teen years and early adulthood. Harry Potter was another outlet of mine, and I re-read the whole series. JK Rowling battled with depression, and her writing about the Dementors reflected on that…and she reminded me that I was battling my own Dementors. It wasn’t pretty, you see. Like Lupin said in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, they’re fucking ugly creatures and I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone, even my worst enemy.

I also found another outlet in planning my European adventure. Every time I booked a hostel, bus, flight, etc, I felt excited and optimistic for the future.

Europe helped me to find myself, and that it did. I’ve been on a soul search ever since then, and I’m loving it.

Robin Williams’ death brings the topic of depression to light on a large public scale. Depression is a taboo topic for many people, and we don’t like to discuss it. True this may be, but we need to acknowledge that it is okay to reach out for help whenever you feel like you’re being surrounded by a Dementor or twenty.

Celebrities are humans like us. Williams had been battling with severe depression for many years, and he even turned to drugs and alcohol to try and cope. There’s many other people out there who have done the same. No matter who we are, and how famous we may be…we’re all humans regardless.

It’s unfortunate that the death of a world renowned actor & comedian has brought this to the light, but in a way, we’re becoming more aware of how depression can be a killer illness.

Don’t be afraid to call out for help – even if it’s on Facebook or any social media platform. Send a text message to someone you trust the most and let them know that you’re not ok. Pick up the phone and give someone a call. Contact a helpline. Heck, send me an email if you want to.

Signing off with this profound quote from Good Will Hunting.
S xo

Luna 1878 Night Market

1st August 2014

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During the months of July and August, Queen Victoria Market plays host to Luna 1878 Night Market, which is another gem in Melbourne. The night market is held every Wednesday night from 5pm until 10pm.

There are 20+ food stalls specialising in street food from all over the world. You’ll have a difficult time choosing your dinner – I know I did!

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Airlines and fear

23rd July 2014

malaysia airlines

On Thursday 17th July 2014, Malaysia Airlines was hit with another tragedy. This year has not been a good one for the said airline with the loss of MH370 and MH17.

What astounds me is people proclaiming they would never fly with Malaysia Airlines – no matter if they have flown with MA before or not.

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