In episode 9 of the podcast, I chat with Wayne Barrow, a CODA (child of Deaf adults) and a sign-singing performer where he performs online and also runs his own business where he teaches other people to sign-sing to popular music. Wayne is also a huge advocate of having British Sign Language taught at school too and is campaigning to make it happen.
Listen to the podcast or read the transcripts below:
- Wayne’s Official Website
- Wayne’s blog post about where does he fit in
- Wayne Barrow Academy Website
- Wayne on Twitter
- Wayne on Instagram
- Wayne on Facebook
Announcer: Welcome to, The Hear Me Out! [CC] Podcast. A show where you’ll hear from inspiring people in and around the d/Deaf community, and from your host, Ahmed Khalifa.
Ahmed: Yes, welcome to episode nine of Hear Me Out [CC] Podcast. I’ll be interviewing Wayne from Wayne Academy.
And, a very interesting guy who is not only a hearing person but, he’s fluent in sign language, and he has his own sing-sign or is it, sign-singing, I can never work it out, academy where you can just teach you how to sing in sign language and I think it’s really, really cool.
So, we have a shot, and I just want you to understand from his perspective, what is it like being a CODA which stands for Child Of d/Deaf Adult.
So, let’s get into it with my interview with Wayne Barrow.
Ahmed: So Wayne, thank you very much for being on this show.
Wayne: Thank you for inviting me, it’s a pleasure.
Ahmed: Oh, it’s going to be great, I think it’s going to be a really good conversation because you’ve got many different angles that I think we can talk about.
But, before we get into that, can you give us a brief story of, who is Wayne, your background and, what do you currently do as well?
Wayne: Okay so, I am a sign sing performer so, where I take songs and I translate them into sign language or, sign-supported English.
So, I’ve come from a background with d/Deaf parents so, I’ve grown up in the d/Deaf community, I’ve been very involved in the d/Deaf community. Lots of my friends and, you know, obviously my family are all d/Deaf as well so, that’s where my passion for sign language came from.
And, part of that, I’ve been campaigning to try and get sign language taught in schools as well. Again, that’s another one of my passions.
Ahmed: Wow, I mean, that’s something that I think I’m hearing more and more in the news. It makes sense, I mean, it makes sense to have another form of language, it’s going to be quite popular in the U.K. anyway, you know, it makes sense to me.
I’m definitely a fan of that.
So, the sign signing is something that I’ve been very clueless about and that’s kind of how I first get to know you online in terms of who you are. I had seen some of your videos, I’m going to put it in the show note, people can check it out.
And, it’s interesting because I never realised that you can learn sign language from sign singing but, it seems to be a good way of doing that, isn’t it?
Wayne: Yeah, I think it’s a great way to pick up extra vocab. Obviously sign language itself does have its own structure, it is a language in its own right and, I always say to anybody, if you want to go and learn proper sign language, you do need to go take up a course.
However, doing sign songs is a great way to learn extra vocab. So, you might learn a lot of words that you wouldn’t normally use just because they’re written in the song so, it’s really fun and interesting to get people kind of engaged using music as, in the hearing world and some of the d/Deaf world, music is a massive thing and, a lot of people relate to it.
So, I do think it is a very interesting and different way to learn, yeah.
Ahmed: And you make a good point about BSL has its own grammar, it’s its own language definitely. There has been some debate, I’m noticing or you did the YouTube comments and stuff like that and, people are debating whether, it’s called BSL because it’s using as people call it, SSE, in terms of grammar.
So, what’s your opinion about that? Is it, you know, why is it that people use SSE more in sign language than BSL? Or, why does it work better that way?
Wayne: I think with songs it is down to, well with anything actually, I think it’s down to personal preference.
But for me personally, with the songs, I like to do it in sign-supported English or SSE because that’s the way the song has been written. However, that doesn’t mean my opinion is right, or my opinion is wrong, it’s just, it is a matter of opinion.
There are some people out there that think it should be done in BSL and, again, it is a matter of opinion.
And, I’ve sat in rooms with d/Deaf people who have debated it amongst each other so, it’s not just a matter of hearing and d/Deaf, it’s a matter of d/Deaf people and d/Deaf people having that debate as well.
But that’s not just to say that limits assigned songs, I know some d/Deaf people that will have a conversation purely sign-supported English, some will have it in pure BSL and some will kind of sit in the middle of the two
So I don’t think you’ll ever make everybody happy using SSE or BSL because I think it is down to personal preference but, I think, as long as you enjoy it and you’re showing you have fun with it, I think that’s the main reason.
Ahmed: I think I agree with that.
I mean, it makes sense that I imagine the kind of people who attend your classes, they’re just there to, yeah, you learn some of the vocab’s but, you’re there to have fun, and you’re there to learn some of the popular songs out there and, it looks great fun, it looks great fun.
So, it’s definitely something that I’m curious to attend because, I live in Edinburgh and I know you have a Glasgow class so, I’m really keen to attend and give it a shot myself.
So, it’s really, really cool with that.
And, the other thing I’ve noticed is that you’ve got your website and you’ve written a blog post which kind of, you know, hit the spot in terms of like the challenges you faced as a CODA, a child of a d/Deaf adult and, I found it really interesting because it’s not something that I can relate to.
I mean, yes, I’m hard of hearing but, it’s not something that I can relate to, the challenges that you have faced.
So, can you start off, if we go back a bit, what kind of challenges did you have growing up with a d/Deaf parent and you are the hearing child? What were the challenges you had to face and, how did you overcome them?
Wayne: I think one of the biggest challenges growing up I found was, if we would ever be out in public and we would have conversations between myself and my parents, and a lot of people would stare. Now, as a child, it doesn’t matter whether they’re staring at you in a good way or a bad way, it makes you feel really embarrassed and, really self-conscious.
And obviously, you know, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised it’s just out of curiosity and interest in sign language but, when I was, you know, five, six, seven, eight, it used to be really embarrassing and I used to try and avoid conversations in public with my parents.
And I know that sounds awful and I did mention it in my blog post as well and, it’s something that now, as I’ve grown up, I’m super proud of being a CODA.
But, as a child, it was really embarrassing just having loads of stares at you and, I can imagine, you know, that’s just me coming from a CODA’s perspective as a member of the d/Deaf community, having sign language as your main form of language, you have no way of hiding away from that and, you’re probably used to people staring at you all the time.
So, you know, that’s obviously got to hit you harder as a d/Deaf person. Some people may be completely like, yeah, that’s fine, I don’t care, you can look at me all you like but, I think for someone like me who I guess, you know, I do have my own insecurities and, you know, people staring at me kind of makes me really anxious.
So, yeah but now I’m completely proud of it and, you know, whenever I go out in public with my mum and dad I’m so emotive with my sign language now that I don’t care whose listening.
But, yeah, it does change as you get older. I think it’s just becoming an adult really has that impact on you.
Ahmed: Definitely. I think if, called being a teenager isn’t it? I mean I had a phase where I just didn’t want to be in public seen with my parents. It sounds really stupid but, I didn’t want to draw too much attention.
But when it’s sign language then it’s hard to not draw attention and, I get that.
Wayne: Yeah, it is.
Ahmed: It makes sense.
Wayne: Yeah and I think when it’s something that is very unique to a lot of people and, very new to a lot of people, especially back then where, you know, BSL wasn’t even a recognised language when I was a kid or, you know, the awareness of sign language or, you know, d/Deaf communities were nowhere near as big as it is now.
So I think, back then it must have been even harder whereas now it’s a lot more acceptable.
Ahmed: Yeah, I agree with that.
So then, if we twist it around then, what about for your parents? Did they ever tell you about their challenges? What kind of difficulties, if any, did they have to face in terms of bringing up a hearing child?
Wayne: God, where do I start?
Wayne: They told me loads of different challenges they faced and I think, obviously technology played a huge part in overcoming those barriers which is fantastic.
So, a prime example is, a parent would hear if their child is crying or, is upset. Mom and dad could never do that with me so, they had baby monitors that used to flash every time I used to make any stirring or movement or anything like that which, you know, I think was a real big help for them.
But, if we go back even further, you know, before my time, I couldn’t imagine how parents would have overcome, that d/Deaf parents would have overcome something like that without technology.
It blows my mind how people sort of got by without technology because it is amazingly useful.
Ahmed: Yeah, I think I look at all the gadgets and apps and, all the automated things that’s going on that you can use and, you know, it just, it is amazing, it is amazing.
And I’ve looked at the technologies that you had in the past and, I was one of those which had the big hearing aids, you know, very big and chunky and, even before that, tested having the one you have around your neck and then the t-shirt has a separate microphone and just wires everywhere and, that was annoying for me.
Modern technology must be great right now.
Wayne: Yeah, my best friend who we grew up together, she had hearing aids because she’s hard of hearing as well and, she had exactly what you’ve just said.
Like, she had the one around her neck and then the teacher had one around their neck as well and, it was just, I mean for me that was really normal to see, it was just a normal, every day-to-day thing but, for a lot of people it was like, “Oh my God, what is that? What does that do?” And, yeah, like you say, how things have changed now.
Those tiny little sort of things that clip onto the back of your hearing aids at the back which is completely different but, yeah.
Ahmed: Yeah, I think, I mean, for me personally, I think technology is a good thing. I know there’s a debate about you should encourage people to learn sign language instead of using technology.
But, I think, I don’t know about you but I think everyone’s different, everyone has their own feeling, everyone has their own kind of scenarios and lifestyle that they want to live so you can’t really say which is right, which is wrong.
And, a bit of a current debate, as you say, in the d/Deaf community, I think sometimes.
Wayne: Yeah and I get quite involved in that debate because, I think it should be, I think everybody who has the opportunity should be given all choices. So you should be given the choice of learning sign language, learning speech, having the technology. I think, if you have everything given to you on a plate of eats, you as an individual can make that decision, and I think that’s the most important factor.
Because, as you say, some people gauge better with technology, some people gauge better with sign language and, I think it is down to that individual. I think as long as you’re not forcing it on somebody, I think that’s the most important thing you should be doing.
Ahmed: Yeah, I agree with that.
And I guess it kind of goes nicely to the next topic about the d/Deaf community and, this is especially around that blog post that you’ve written.
And it’s just about how you are kind of in the middle because, you’re hearing but, you are fluent in sign language but, you are obviously all in in the d/Deaf community, but you’re not accepted as part of the d/Deaf community and, I can sense your frustration in the post that you’ve written and, I’ll put it in the show note, people should check it out and have a read.
But, could you elaborate a bit more, I mean, just briefly explain what it is that you’ve written so that people can understand why are you feeling what you’ve written?
Wayne: I guess it depends on the kind of d/Deaf people I speak to but, I think, what a lot of people who aren’t involved in the d/Deaf community probably don’t realise is, the d/Deaf community has its own culture, just like, you know, someone from another country would do.
So, there is this big culture in the d/Deaf community which, like you say, I’m very a part of, it’s part of, you know, my heritage with my parents and, you know, their community but, at the same time, this doesn’t apply to all d/Deaf people by the way but, there are some d/Deaf people out there that see me as an outsider to the d/Deaf community, as that privileged hearing person and, you know, I am privileged, I’ll accept that, I definitely am privileged.
But, I think, it’s very difficult because, I see that culture in my parents, I’ve kind of embraced that culture with my parents and they’ve taught me everything that they’ve had so I do feel like I am part of that.
I guess it’s almost in a way that maybe a child who was born in England but their parents were from another country, you know, their heritage is that culture but, they’re also ingrained in British culture as well, and they’ve got the two cultures together. But you do sometimes feel like a bit of an outsider in the d/Deaf community at the same time because I’m not d/Deaf myself.
So, yeah, it’s a difficult one. But again, there are some d/Deaf people that have said to me, you know, “You are part of this community, you are part of this culture”, but then, there are others, again, it’s a debate within the d/Deaf community that have been like, “We know you’re hearing so, you’re not part of our community.”
Ahmed: Yeah, I think, the key point as well, I think people should know that not everyone is like that in the d/Deaf community, not everyone’s going to be saying, “No, you are not allowed to be part of us, you are not part of us” it just, there’s a minority.
Ahmed: We definitely need to clarify that, first and foremost but, I think you are right, I mean, I haven’t really immersed myself in the d/Deaf community mainly because I grew up mainstream.
But, at the same time, I do have a feeling that I am in that funny middle part where, yeah, I can hear a little bit and, you know, I’m part of the hearing world but I’m also hard of hearing but, I’m not completely d/Deaf so I can’t be part of the d/Deaf community but, my main language is English but, I’m learning BSL.
It’s like, it’s a funny place to be in so I can kind of understand where you’re coming from. But, I don’t know about you, I don’t think there’s a solution for it, really.
Wayne: I don’t think there is and, it’s quite interesting because, I was taken out to Lapland last year and I was out there with a guy who went to Mary Hare School, I don’t know if you’ve heard of the school, it’s quite a famous d/Deaf school.
And, he wore hearing aids, his speech was really clear, he could hear you obviously as long as you kept your eye contact and he could lip read but, because he had good speech and because he could hear to a degree, the Deaf community, like again, like what you said, not everybody in the Deaf community is like this.
But, there’s a lot of people in the d/Deaf community that wouldn’t accept him as being d/Deaf because he could hear even though he went to a d/Deaf school, he didn’t go to a mainstream school, he learnt sign language, he did really well in d/Deaf school but, he can hear and speak.
And I think he’s felt the same way as you where he’s kind of stuck in the middle somewhere because he’s not hearing so, you know, anyone in the hearing world would be like, oh you’re d/Deaf, you wear hearing aids but, in the d/Deaf world they’re like, well you can hear and you can speak so, it’s a really difficult situation to be in, I think.
Ahmed: Yeah, I can kind of resonate with that.
Yeah, I don’t know what’s the solution and I don’t think I’ll be, I mean this is me being open now, I don’t think I’ll ever be fully part of either the hearing community or the d/Deaf community, it’s just going to be a funny one.
I do sometimes think that even if I happen to one day go completely d/Deaf which, is a possibility, even then I still grew up in the hearing world and English was my main language and, as you say, I speak the language and, yeah, who knows what’s the future going to hold but, it’s not going to stop either of us for anyone, anyway, to get involved with the d/Deaf community.
Even, you know, you’re sharing your passion about the academy and teaching people how to sing in BSL, as such, and you’re also campaigning for BSL to be part of the national curriculum which I find that quite amazing.
So, why are you passionate about this particular topic, about BSL in the national curriculum for students to learn in primary school, high school? Why are you so passionate about it and, you know, what would everyone get out of it? You know, especially for those who are not d/Deaf, what would they get out of it?
Wayne: I think there’s a number of reasons I’m passionate about this and, it stems from actually when I was a teenager, I made videos as a teenager saying we need to get sign language taught in schools.
You know, one of the reasons as a hearing person, I think its really important for a hearing person to be given the opportunity to learn sign language even if it is just very basic, incorporated into day-to-day lessons purely because, as someone who is profoundly d/Deaf or, capital D d/Deaf as I like to call it, they don’t have the option of hearing.
For example my parents, they can put hearing aids in, it doesn’t do anything for them. Their only sort of communication is sign language.
So, if we can bridge that gap from the hearing community, it can make things easier for those who are profoundly d/Deaf. You know, just day-to-day tasks that I’ve seen my parents struggle with like, just going in the shop and having a conversation like asking where something is or, the price of something or, asking for directions, just those basics can make a huge, huge impact on someone who is d/Deaf.
And, reverse it, you know, look at people who are d/Deaf that go to mainstream schools, d/Deaf schools, whatever school they go to, I think having the option to study in your own language, you know, I studied English and that is my language, BSL is also my language but, I never got to study that.
But as a d/Deaf person, BSL is your language, that’s your heritage or culture and I think having the option to study your own language, I think, is really important.
Someone from a different country has the ability, someone from France, for example, can come over to England and study French, they can study their own language because we have that readily available but, why can’t we have something available for people who are already existing in this country and that’s kind of another one of my passions there.
So yeah, I think it will be really important.
Ahmed: I think so.
I think it makes sense, as well, even from my own experience, I, you know, learnt French in high school, back in the nineties and, it was a challenge, I mean, it was such a challenge especially when the have to use the old fashion cassette to play some kind of scenario in a shop or whatever and, I just blanked, I was like, no chance, there’s absolutely not change.
But, you know, it was kind of frustrating. I did have a special excuse that I was allowed to have a one-on-one, face-to-face with my French teacher who speaks that sentence in French and then I get to kind of guess the answer, in a sense.
That made it a bit easier but, I think looking back now, if I had the option of maybe learning BSL as part of my GCSE, then I think I would pick it because, learning languages as someone who is hard of hearing, it is so, so hard and I think people don’t realise that you get exhausted from speaking and listening in your own language but, in another language, its just a huge, huge challenge.
Ahmed: So, I appreciate what you’re doing, I think it’s great, I think it’s really cool.
Wayne: Thank you.
Ahmed: And I hope to see that happen in the future, not too far aware as well.
But then, even for me, I’m a person who is learning BSL and I’m only at the beginning stage, I don’t know if you call it Level 1, let’s just assume it is.
I’m just using YouTube and I have like a Skype call with someone who teaches me as well but, what advice do you have for me or anyone who is learning BSL? What’s the best way to learn about it and, do you think it just maybe singing and singing in BSL, is that the best way or, do you recommend any other way?
Wayne: I think learning BSL it’s about loads of different things. I always say to anybody, you know, obviously we teach sign songs but, I genuinely and I will hand on heart always say this, the best person to learn BSL from is someone who is d/Deaf and someone who has grown up in that and, I think, if you’re going to learn all about proper BSL, all the linguistics, I think you need to go to somebody who is fully trained, fully qualified and is profoundly d/Deaf.
I think you just can’t get better than that for many different reasons.
I think doing things like sign songs is a great addition to your sign language course and, I think if you really enjoy sign language, you want to learn some extra vocab in a really fun and informal way, sign songs are fantastic as well, it can just add to that kind of extensive range of skills you’ll learn from.
But also, I think getting involved in the d/Deaf community. Now I know I’ve talked about a lot of negatives but, there are a lot of positives which do outweigh those negatives in the d/Deaf community. You know, they welcome people who try to learn that language and, you know, if you get involved, they will help you out and I think that’s something I’ve seen a lot of.
And I think, as long as you make that effort and make that step towards the d/Deaf community, you know. Eventually you will be embraced and people will start to talk to you and get to know you and, I think, you know, having conversations with those who are profoundly d/Deaf, going to the d/Deaf clubs or d/Deaf meet ups, that sort of thing, I think is a great way to add to your vocab as well.
Ahmed: I think that makes total sense, it’s just like any language, really, you want to learn from someone who is fluent int that language.
Ahmed: Just like any other language.
And, you know, you just try to find that person in the local d/Deaf clubs or meet ups or events of some kind, you know, it makes sense, it does make sense.
And I guess, you know, you’re right that we’ve been talking about d/Deaf community in a slightly negative way but, just because we’re talking about the challenges but, in general, you know, if you really get involved with certain people and they are amazing, you know, they would welcome you.
And the fact that you’d actually make the effort to talk to d/Deaf people and to communicate with the, you know, what’s not to like about that?
So, I think, you know, definitely, keep on repeating it, we’re not being negative about it, it’s just, you know, this is how the best way to learn a language is to be involved in that community and, you know, I totally get it.
So, and then, if we’re gong to end it with a few questions then I’d like to round it up in the interview.
I’ve got a few things I want to ask you and, what, you know, we talk about the negative side of the d/Deaf community and, just want to pick your brain and say, what do you think is the best thing that you think about the d/Deaf community as a whole?
Wayne: My favourite thing about the d/Deaf community is actually the language itself. I think it’s just so beautiful to watch someone sign whether I understand them in British Sign Language or whether they’re using American Sign Language or, you know, a different language of sign language from another country, I just think it’s so emotive and expressive and it’s just, you paint a picture rather than just verbally saying something.
So, with speaking, yes you can obviously use describing words and say things but in sign language, it just brings it all to life and makes it look like a piece of art rather than just a normal conversation. And, that’s probably one of my favourite things from the d/Deaf community.
Ahmed: Yeah, I think definitely when I watch it as well, especially from someone who is starting from scratch, it’s amazing, I absolutely love it. I mean, I love languages in general but, it’s a whole new different kind of enjoyment when you watch people communicate in a sign language of any sign language anywhere around the world.
So then, as a CODA, what’s the worst thing about being a CODA?
Wayne: The worst thing about being a CODA? I think it’s hearing the same questions day in, day out and, I think from anybody in unique situations, so to speak, you get those same questions.
So for example, you know, I always get asked, “So, why aren’t you d/Deaf?” Or like, you know, things like that and, I’m like, do I have to answer this for the millionth time?
That was probably one of the worst things. But again, that’s just down to education, isn’t it? You know, more people learning about it so, yeah.
Ahmed: Oh, I’ve got a video, one of my popular videos, you know, things that you should not say or the most ridiculous things people have said to me (see below).
You know, the whole, the classic you don’t look d/Deaf, you know how it goes, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.
Wayne: Yeah, definitely.
Ahmed: So then, let’s twist it around then. What’s the best thing about being a CODA?
Wayne: I know I’ve talked about the challenges of being in between two communities but, you know, that’s a downfall but also a blessing and it’s one of my best things about being a CODA is, I am to a degree part of this d/Deaf community, part of this world but also, I am lucky enough that I am in between two cultures and I can flip from one and the other.
Also, another great thing and I know my friends will laugh when I say this but, a lot of my friends do sign language because they’re CODA’s or they’re hearing impaired or partially profoundly d/Deaf as well.
And, we’ve had conversations in sign language about different situations, about different people in public and no one’s had a clue what we’re saying.
It’s almost like a secret conversation and, quite funnily, a point that someone made to me the other day was, “Well, if you’re going to get it taught in schools, how are you going to have your secret conversations?”
And I was like, you know what, I’m shooting myself in the foot here, aren’t I?
But yeah, I think that’s one of the great things about being a CODA.
Ahmed: I love it. A secret language, I never thought about that. You know it’s like a secret language, yeah, that’s pretty cool actually.
That makes sense, I imagine, I’m thinking back in the day of when you had the walkie-talkies and you’re trying to speak in your own language but, a secret sign language or, secret language in general.
Wayne: Yeah exactly and, it works in the classroom as well. Whenever our teacher used to turn and write on the white board, my best friends and I would talk across the classroom in sign language and no one would ever know. It was great.
Ahmed: Oh, I should have thought of that. Why did I not learn it earlier? Okay. It’s not too late, I can still do it, it’s not too late.
Wayne: Yeah, you could always do it.
Ahmed: That’s awesome.
And, earlier you know you’ve mentioned that you are, maybe quote “privileged”. So, from your perspective, what advice do you have for hearing people when they are around d/Deaf people?
You know, what advice do you have for them to help them to kind of just to even socialise with d/Deaf people, communicate with them or, being around them? What do you have to say about that?
Wayne: I think good eye contact is always great when you’re with someone whose d/Deaf. I think making sure you’re in a well-lit place, you know, you’re not back lit, either, as well, you know, standing against a window where the sun’s behind you, it casts a shadow on your face and, I think someone whose d/Deaf, you know, they have a visual language so they need to be visual with yourself as well.
Making sure you’re not covering your mouth, the list goes on and, on and, on and, on. There are loads of different things.
Someone who may not be profoundly d/Deaf but has some hearing loss, I always think, making it clear what the topic of conversation is at the beginning so they can follow along as well. There are loads of little things that can be really useful.
As long as you’re seen and you’re clear, I think that’s one of the main things that you need when you’re communicating with someone whose d/Deaf.
Ahmed: Yep, definitely makes sense. I think I would agree with that and, you know, in a well-lit room, somewhere it’s not noisy and, yeah, face-to-face, the classics really as I like to call it and, I’m going to put, again, in the show notes because, I’ve done a video about that on, things that you should know or, things I want my friends to know if they’re talking to me.
And it’s exactly what you said so, yup, it totally makes sense.
So then, if we round up, what advice do you have then for anyone whose living with some kind of, should we call it, hearing impairment or, hard of hearing, d/Deaf or profoundly d/Deaf. What advice do you have for them in making the most out of their life?
Wayne: Oh that’s a difficult one. I think…
Ahmed: I want to ask you because you grew up with that environment. I know people will say, “Yeah, but he’s not d/Deaf, how is he going to advise anyone?” But, you’ve got that upbringing so I think that you would have a unique angle to it.
Wayne: Well like you say, obviously this isn’t from my own experience, this is just what I’ve seen through my parents.
But, I think, one of the things I’ve always sort of found quite frustrating with my parents is, sometimes they let their deafness hold them back and I think sometimes they forget that they are just as capable as someone who isn’t d/Deaf.
But sometimes I think fear takes over them and, I know it’s easier said than done but, try not to let that fear take over you.
As I know my mom and dad are so much more capable than what they have done in the past or what they will do and, I’m trying to encourage them because, I know their abilities, I know they’re very, very well abled in a lot of fields.
But, I think just not letting that fear take over you and, not letting the fear of people judging you take over you as well because I think that’s a massive, massive thing.
And once you’ve accepted that and embraced that I think and, it’s not just for someone whose d/Deaf, I think it’s for anybody, the worlds your oyster after that, you can do anything.
Ahmed: Yeah, I think I can kind of resonate with that and I agree with it because, even for me, myself, I’ve always tried to hide it, I’ve always tried to not talk about it, just something that I didn’t want anyone to know.
And, you know what, you’re right, I think it does hold you back a little bit because you’re not showing your true potential, your capability.
It makes sense, it makes total sense. You know, it took me a few decades until I became more open about it and, campaigning for captions and, subtitles and, you know, telling people why do you not have subtitles and stuff like that.
And, I wish I started earlier. I wish I became fearless, as you say, earlier. So, totally makes sense.
But, so many solid advice, solid advice. I mean, this is why I wanted to talk to you because you’ve got a lot of good things to share from your own background and upbringing and, your current situation.
And, now I feel like I need to sign up for a class at the Wayne Barrow Academy.
Wayne: You’re more than welcome to come along, we would love to have you there.
Ahmed: Awesome, awesome! I definitely will challenge even my wife said she wants to go along as well so, we are up for that.
So, if we’re going to round it up, if you would like to just tell everyone where is the best place to find you, to connect with you? Where can they do that?
Wayne: So, the best place to find me is either online so, Waynebarrow.co.uk, that’s my website or, on social media. So I’m @WayneBarrow, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, I’m everywhere, you just search wherever and you’ll be able to find me which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not but, yeah, I am kind of just on the internet so, yeah.
Ahmed: Awesome, awesome. I’ll make sure I’ll put the links in the show note so everyone can find it.
So, Wayne, thank you very much, I appreciate your story. Thank you.
Wayne: No, thank you. It’s been a true pleasure to have a chat with you so, thank you very much.
Ahmed: Well, that was a great interview, thank you Wayne for coming onto the show. Really, really appreciate it and, I hope the listeners will find it really interesting as well as I think it’s a really cool story, I think you’ve got a lot of insight to share.
You know, sometimes it’s just a case of you don’t have to be a d/Deaf person, a hard of hearing person to kind of have an impact in the whole topic in the community and that kind of thing.
So, check out everything that he does, I’ll put all the links in the show notes.
And, thank you for listening and, in the meantime, if you haven’t done so, I’d really appreciate it if you could subscribe and also leave a review on iTunes, that would be awesome as well.
In the meantime, I will speak to you soon.
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