I really enjoyed working with Sam. It was important for us to take the time to find the best accessibility, the best enabling, to find alternatives, to not stop at barriers, no matter how many barbecue shapes we broke we will find a way for Sam to measure my foot. To go into the back room so we could actually hear each other speak. This reminded me (particularly as someone who struggles to identify as having a disability) to take up/ask for the access options, because guess what they really help. Once we were in the back room we thrived and made some really great stuff, and had lots of fun. The theatre and the play of it I loved!
Lunch. Lunch like always was great. So important to connect with each other. Also really important to do when interpreters are on break. To learn, to be called a bitch, to talk about experiences and things that are important to us. Always take the time to have a long lunch and get to know the people you are working with.
Today I sat in a room with a whole heap of different abilities and disabilities. Together we were forced to be accessible. We couldn’t slip into talking, nor into watching. Thank you to everyone who sat in that room.
I will be honest I was scared at how I was going to communicate to people today, I didn’t know any sign language I am not the best at articulating myself anyway. But geez it was easy. I found myself speaking with my hands for the rest of the day. I had to leave the workshop early which was a real bugs to go teach a drama class. And I could feel myself as I was teaching using my hands to communicate what I was saying, I could articulate myself better and be better understood. Accessibly is not just helpful for those who need it but also helpful for everyone else.
Georgia teaches Bridget and Rachael AUSLAN/American sign language alphabet.
Yesterday I went to the Meeting Place and I thought I would just put a few reflections on that. They were certainly things circling around my head today.
Yesterday’s discussion on What does it mean to be disabled? was so important to me, and how I entered the room today. Currently having a disability identity crisis, I think I articulated it well yesterday, I don’t identify as being disabled but I have been labeled as disabled. In the social model of disability I am not disabled by my society. In the medical model, yes I have a disability, a doctor diagnosed me and told me my brain did “not work as well as everyone else’s”. Because of the way that I was labeled as disabled, I did identify with being disabled while I was still needing some access requirements and getting help but I don’t think I do now.
and pondering on things that I do not know and need to ask some people…
As a theatre maker my job is to manipulate the audience, to make them feel different things to take them on a journey. And I use different techniques to make you feel different ways, I use visual images, I use sounds, I use text, I use acting (as in the way we say text).
As someone who is visually impaired do you want to imagine what is visually happening or is it ok to just hear things that will take you on the same journey at the same time?
Today I also learnt a bit of Auslan.
Theatre, Rehearsal, how to spell my name. Emails. Thank you. Please. Fuck you. Beer. Pub. and Bullshit – which for your information is literally a bull shitting. I love deaf culture.
More importantly I found we were able to communicate, even when I didn’t know auslan we had enough shared vocab and understand and a pen and paper for when we got really stuck.
Reminder to remember.
Something that I should never forget to do when making a show. Articulate how I want to be described, allow other members of the team to articulate how they want to be described. Particularly for the press.
At the start of a workshop or a process ask everyone what their sign name is, and what pronouns they prefer.
Today’s interesting question was do we give an audio description of what is literally there or what we want other people to see?
I still have a slight disability identity crisis, even with a whole bunch of new friends and knowledge. But what I do know is that I want to be a part of disability culture (I am not sure of the right wording for this but basically I want to help always make things accessible share stories of experiences of disability ect.)
I can not thank the participants enough. For patience, unquestioning acceptance, determination to assist everyone even and make things universally accessible.
Thank you Jenny for bringing us together. For letting us dance, it was something truly special.
Being a part of both PIAF Connect residencies with Claire Cunningham and Jenny Sealey, I feel incredibly blessed.