Regular readers will have read the earlier article Please Say It Isn’t So. Well I am sorry to have to tell you – It actually is so. A friend, simply by emailing the Cora Barclay Centre, asked for a copy of THAT Ad … Dutifully the centre emailed it in the form of a Windows Media File. The friend, quite chuffed and proud of herself, emailed it to me. While my other friends sat with Video Record at the ready, just in case the Ad should come on – My friend simply emailed and asked for it, making the rest of us look like a bunch of ineffective wallies.
On viewing the Ad I can tell you that it is actually worse than what it was described. The lad in the video signs in a combination of Auslan signs in English and Signed English. He is not a natural or fluent signer. Very stiff and uncomfortable. But I have a trained eye. The public, in general, would not know this. The lad says his bit, telling us that born deaf people communicated by sign in the past and informs us that there now is a better way. He then proceeds to talk, fast and fluently as the camera comes in with a close up and finishes with a beautiful smile. Lovely lad that he is I am sure that one day, when knowledge is developed, he is going to feel very exploited.
What the lad actually speaks I would not know. It wasn’t captioned you see. It may well be that the file is just a master without the captions. The actual TV Ad may have been captioned, I do not know. Captions or no it has to be the most insulting, nae the most insulting, and derogatory piece of propaganda against sign language that I have seen in a very, very long time.
It appears that the Cora Barclay Centre are not aware of the damage nor of the gross insult that they have caused through this Ad. My friend just emailed in and asked for it. Quite happily the media person at Cora Barclay passed it on with a cheery question asking as to why my friend wanted it.
I have further evidence that they are not aware of the consequences of this Ad. An organisation, more associated with hearing impaired than the Deaf, protested to the Cora Barclay Centre about the inappropriate nature of the Ad. The Centre replied, matter of factly, that the Ad was part of the Telethon Community Ads and had received free airplay in the last few months. They also stated that the Ad had been well received by the community. Clearly they are not taking much note as to what the Deaf community feel.
The sad thing is that the Cora Barclay Centre are just carrying on as if the Ad is the most perfectly normal thing to do. They do not appear to understand how misleading the Ad is nor how insulting it is to the Deaf community. Like a bunch of old British aristocrats in their top hats they slap each other on the back, raising their walking sticks exclaiming, ” Jolly good show chaps”, while the British Army slays the Zulus … “It is all in the name of progress chaps – was that an arm that flew past my ear.” Totally ignorant and superior.
Well the damage has been done. One can only hope that one day soon they realise the damage that they have caused and apologise profusely. Stop the world I want to get off – AGAIN.
Anyone that would like a copy of the Ad to judge for themselves email us at The Rebuttal.