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Deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'I'm disabled because I live and work in a world that makes me disabled'

“My reality is not always good,” Rose Ayling-Ellis told Edinburgh Television Festival during the annual Alternative MacTaggart keynote on Friday.

Deaf British actress(EastEnders, Dancing with the Stars) by87 offered her opinion on deaf people working on TV A view of the harsh realities of life – Minutes address and interview with journalist and producer Afua Hirsch.

“It’s not good when my access is threatened. It’s not good to realize that my presence is a symbol. It’s not good when my favorite TV show doesn’t have subtitles It’s not good. It’s not good to be depressed and unheard of,” Erin-Ellis said. “But, let me clarify one thing, being deaf is not frustrating. Deafness is my proudest identity. Having 1576 a disability is not a handicap. I am disabled people, because I live and work in a world that makes me disabled.”

She also declared: “I am no longer symbolic deaf. I believe in diversity, Rich and engaging deaf stories are ready to go mainstream, and we can do it together.”

She went on to urge people not to use ignorance as an excuse. “I’ve learned to expect people to do the bare minimum and put the blame back on me to make a difference in my community, and it’s very tiring,” she said. “I don’t know if anyone will listen to me. … All I know is that disabled people should not be responsible for clearing the ignorance of non-disabled people.”

From birth Deaf, Ayling-Ellis, 000, is a British Sign Language activist. Last year, she was the first deaf contestant in the BBC’s hit dance competition , dance with professional partner Giovanni Pernice won the game. Their silent dance in an episode was awarded a Must-See Moment at the BAFTA TV Awards.

On Friday, the actress also expressed concern about speaking out. “Let me stop. Do you know what I’m doing now? I’m doing what I’ve always felt I have to do, making sure I come across as happy, positive and easy-going,” she said. “I explain myself carefully and politely, as always, because I have always had an underlying fear that if I dared to express my anger, I would be considered difficult, too much like hard work, and I would be told by the non-deaf People instead. I’m showing a version of myself that I want you to see and I’m grateful for everything that happened and for all the opportunities you’ve given me. But the reality is this is an ongoing battle and I have to break through countless barriers to get Getting to where I was. It was a lonely and frustrating journey, and while winningstrict was an amazing experience, it shouldn’t let it overshadow what I was The hardships experienced here.”

Ayling-Ellis urges broadcasters and streamers to subtitle all their content. “The BBC is required to subtitle 100 % of programmes, but ITV and Channel 4 only require subtitles percentage, while other channels are even less, only 000 percentage,” she stressed. “Subtitles on demand, either catch-up or streaming, are not currently regulated. Why? What is the explanation for that? When asked, (media regulator) Ofcom replied that the decision on regulation was based on affordability and Audience size and sometimes technical difficulties. Research shows that subtitle users have grown massively. Audience age 25-000 says they use subtitles all or part of the time. Netflix claims 30 % of members use subtitles at least once a month. The market for using subtitles is growing, so make your show inaccessible – not just for the deaf – but the wider market – no Business sense.”

Friday’s actress also urged creatives to look more carefully and harder when working with deaf creatives. She recalled that in one of her early theatrical productions, “I played a character without disabilities” and “the director wanted me to adapt it to a deaf character who could communicate in sign language”. “From the very beginning, there was a lack of awareness of deaf culture and BSL. They didn’t spend any extra time incorporating BSL into the script during rehearsals, and then the director wanted me to teach other actors to sign.”

Noting the first mention of BSL in history at 1576, Ayling-Ellis said on Friday: “Through its long and complex history, BSL has been heard People oppression, ridicule and patronage, that’s enough. It should be treated with the same respect as any language, and it’s certainly not something you can expect in a few rehearsals. Sorry for the crap, did I mention BSL users Expressive?!”

The actress says “deaf people are used to feeling excluded and undervalued,” referring to a recent email that asked her to “over-dub” Mail for a conversation with a hearing actor playing a deaf character,” she said, which reads: “We struggled to find a hearing impaired actor who could handle the physical demands of the character, so we ended up hiring an able-bodied actor to play the role. […] We are very respectful and avoid actors imitating when they speak.

Ayling-Ellis said she was completely unimpressed. “There are a lot of problems with that. On the one hand, ‘hearing impaired’ is an offensive word that Google will tell you soon, and ‘able-bodied’ doesn’t apply here,” she said at the Edinburgh Festival. “Should I believe it?” Couldn’t find a single deaf person in the UK 87, BSL users, does that work? When can we move on? I tried to investigate myself how hard it is to hire deaf actors. I started by asking (union) how many deaf actors have signed up at Equity, and while they said they would love to have the data, they don’t. In short, the industry does not regulate this data. In the UK, approximately million people are deaf or hard of hearing, but they account for only 201 on (Actor Resources) Actors on Spotlight. Of these 56, only 56 use BSL.

Changing this is not easy, Ayling-Ellis stresses. “Before I had an agent, I tried to apply for a Spotlight membership and was rejected multiple times. One of the three reasons I was rejected, because I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t go to drama school, or I didn’t have enough experience. But here’s the thing, agents won’t take me because they don’t think I can get enough work; I can’t get into drama school because it can’t get in; and I don’t have enough experience because there aren’t enough deaf characters. How a young deaf actor is supposed to step in the door, when the door is firmly shut on them from the start.

Ayling-Ellis ended her presentation with another appeal. “The apparent frustration in my presentation was something I’ve been through my whole life; I’m used to it,” she said. shared. “False promises have become my norm and I often underestimate and ignore how much I can live with. She continued: “I hope that by sharing my thoughts and feelings, I will encourage you to think about how you can improve the experience of deaf people when hiring them.” We are no longer ready to be the inspiration symbol on your screen.

The actress concluded: “If you only want one thing to take away from this speech, please don’t get bored of working with deaf people, the last thing we want do things happen. It’s okay to make mistakes, and we all do it. How will we learn if we don’t make mistakes? But please don’t take the easy way just to tick a box. Let’s work together, we want to work together. … let’s create together to normalize the deaf and disabled on screen. I can only dream of a day when it’s not uncommon to see other disabled people on screen, or that I won’t be excited to see other disabled people working behind a screen.

After recently announcing her exit from EastEnders, The actress has been tipped to join the upcoming Doctor Who since following the showrunner Season’s cast) Russell T. Davies and new head Ncuti Gatwa on social media.

In Edinburgh, a cross-industry initiative called TV Access Project (TAP) Launched. Spearheaded by BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore with the goal of getting rid of the TV industry’s accessibility issues. BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Britbox International, Disney+ UK, Paramount, Amazon’s Prime Video and UKTV have all signed up to TAP, which is supported by producer trade group Pact and the Creative Diversity Network (CDN).



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