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Hate Crime BSL Project
We are proud to say that Zebra Access has been working tirelessly alongside Zebra Uno, actors, interpreters and volunteers on creating a Hate Crime video for British Sign Language users. We were given funding from the West Midlands police's Active Citizens Fund.
That funding was to fund us and develop this amazing project, Hate Crimes in BSL. The video took us 3 full days of filming and a couple of days of editing for the project to be brought to life in the end.
The aims of the video are to raise awareness of Hate Crime to the Deaf community and other members of the general public.
Sean Noone, Community Development Officer:-
"The reason that we have created this video, is to show that hate crime is unacceptable and that we need to raise this awareness in everyone, as this could result in serious matters arising if the abuse has been going on for a while. Hopefully this will change people's attitudes towards Hate Crime e.g. by reporting it to us as we (Zebra Access) are an official 3rd party reporting centre. We (Zebra Access) can assist Deaf people in reporting it to the police to prevent themselves from further harm.
As a Deaf person you may not think that being negative about another person's cochlear implant is a hate crime, as it is happening every day, especially for cochlear implant users who are victims of other Deaf people's prejudice. I hope that overtime with better understanding people will respect that everyone has a choice and, that it is their own choice to make.
Most Deaf people are suffering from unacceptable behaviour in society such as being discriminated against or they are accused of unacceptable behaviour and never report this to the police due to a lack of access or they are not sure how to report these incidents. I would encourage people to report abuse that they are experiencing no matter how trivial they think it is, as not reporting this abuse could have an impact on themselves and potentially others. Now they have full access by using (Zebra Access). Deaf people's suffering needs to stop, enough is enough. They have a right to freedom and to participate within the community."
Kirsty Gray, BSL & Deaf Awareness Tutor: -
"I am very pleased we've had this opportunity to do the first ever Hate Crime video in the West Midlands for the deaf community. There is a serious lack of information and awareness within the community and I sincerely hope this will increase awareness for everyone. This will stop them from feeling isolated and hopefully they will realise that there is support out there for them and help and this can encourage them to come forward and to reduce their fears."
During the filming project, Zebra Access has given community users an opportunity to take part in filming and contribute to the project. This has boosted their confidence to be on camera and has encouraged and inspired them to become actors in future filming projects. It has also given them an opportunity to meet other Deaf people who are signing and oral users. There were also four hearing people who were involved in the project and everybody got along well together and learnt a lot from each other.
Now, we will do outreach work with the Deaf community, so that they can view the video and this will raise awareness for people who use West Midlands police, and hopefully we will see an increase in more D/deaf people who have the confidence to report Hate Crime and hopefully reduce the number of victims.