See Hear : Cochlear implants

5 04 2011
On BBC2 Wednesday, April 6th, 2011   1:00pm to 1:30pm

See Hear takes an in-depth look at the controversial subject of cochlear implants. For some they offer life-changing opportunities but for others the implants signify the suffocation of deaf culture. See Hear speak to people on each side of the argument and also consider the facts from a medical standpoint. Available on BBC iPlayer.

Benefits Green Paper

22 10 2009

The recent Government Green Paper on Care Services in the UK is still causing concern to many people who are worried that this will mean the end of their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

There are only a few weeks left before the consultation period on the green paper ends – so See Hear are hoping to organise a question and answer session at the House of Commons next week, with an MP who will try their best to answer your questions.

If YOU are concerned about your future benefit entitlement, or want to find out more about what the green paper may mean for you, please email See Hear‘s forward planning producer: cynthia.charles @ with details of your name, address, age and background, along with a few words on why you’d like to take part in the question and answer session.

See Hear blog

27 11 2008

See Hear have a new blog. You can see it HERE.

Access to Work

31 03 2008

Wednesday 2nd April, BBC TWO 1.00pm

In a special investigation that goes to the heart of government, Memnos Costi uncovers the shocking truth behind a company claiming thousands of pounds intended for their deaf and disabled staff.

It’s a story of lies, deception, unpaid bills, taxes and wages – and it raises huge questions about the way in which the Government’s £66 million Access to Work fund is being managed.

There’s also another chance to catch this edition overnight on Tuesday 8th/Wednesday 9th April on BBC ONE, as part of Sign Zone.

Remember, you can also watch old See Hear programmes on iPlayer, for up to seven days after the programme is broadcast. We’re now transmitting with full open subtitles for full access as well. Simply click on this link to find the latest programmes available for viewing.

Healthy Deaf Minds London Group

31 03 2008

The next meeting of the London Healthy Deaf Minds Forum will be on Wednesday 2nd April 2008 from 6.30 till 9pm.

The venue is the Small Meeting Room at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, opposite Euston station. Tea & coffee and BSL communication support will be provided. The evening is sponsored by BBC “See Hear” so entry will be free, normally the entrance fee is £5.

This is your opportunity to tell the “See Hear” team what you think of the current series and what topics you would like to see covered in future. As with so many things it is easy to spout views, and rare to get a chance to make a difference and influence decisions, so please show your support!

In order to receive automatic emails you only need to subscribe at:

British Society for Mental Health and Deafness

Where’s your deaf identity?

21 01 2008

I’ve grown up feeling like I’m part of a different race, that I’m an ‘In-Between’.

I wasn’t hearing (because, obviously, I can’t hear) and was seen as Different by the hearing world. I wasn’t Deaf according to Deaf Culture (because I didn’t sign). There is a part of the deaf community that feels strongly that deaf people who can’t sign (BSL) aren’t really deaf. To me, that just shows ignorance, or would someone please explain this one to me.

I’ve not grown up signing because it was my parents’ choice that I should be able to speak and fit into the hearing world. This would maximise my opportunities for getting on in education and work. If I was only able to sign, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today – I would have missed out on so many opportunities. I see BSL as a way to *enhance* my communication skills. I believe in total communication – use whatever you have, and don’t rely on just one method of communication if one method is more problematic for you. There is no reason why a deaf person can’t learn to speak and use speech as a means to communicate. Relying only on BSL is being lazy and expecting hearing people to conform to your BSL world is selfish and inflexible. Yes, hearing people do expect you to be able to fit in and use their means of communication, but they are in the majority. They will try to meet you half way and accommodate you, if you try to accommodate them by using speech.

I just don’t understand why BSL 1st language users feel the need to exclude other deaf people and put themselves up on a pedestal saying “BSL Culture” is special – it’s not. Deaf culture need not be exclusive. By excluding other deaf people, they are shrinking deaf culture! If BSL users want “their” culture to grow then they have to accept newcomers. How am I not deaf if I can’t hear? Where is the logic in this? BSL users say they don’t need assistance therefore they are not deaf. How am I not deaf if I don’t need any assistance for my disability? Of course I need assistance – I need technical aids to communication (textphone, flashing fire alert, pager) and human aids to communication (interpreter, lip speaker, palantypist, Hearing Dog). Some hearing people become deaf due to medical injury and decide to learn BSL, like my friend Jeanette. According to a lifelong BSL user, she is not deaf and therefore not a part of deaf culture, and does not have a deaf identity. I find this very hard to understand. Can anyone enlighten me?

I find deaf culture and BSL is very interesting as I have struggled, believe me it has been damn hard sometimes, to get on at university without communication support, to get on in the world of work, to have a decent social life. The social life is the hardest one to overcome and the only way to really make a success of that is to learn some sign language and meet other deaf people. Learning sign language has opened up new doors for me and made my life much richer. So I felt as if I had been slapped in the face when I was told by a whole group of BSL users that I was not deaf because I couldn’t sign (at the time) – this happened on a training course for deaf people. If this is the attitude of today’s Deaf BSL users, they need to wake up and think this through properly. Deaf isn’t about being able to sign and not to communicate with people who don’t sign, it’s about being unable to hear and having to make adjustments to make real communication a possibility. To be sure, becoming deaf or being deaf and stuck in a hearing world is difficult and you will embark on a ‘journey’ of self-acceptance and acceptance of your hearing loss, before discovering your deaf identity. Now that I can sign up to a point, and have met other deaf people, I have developed my own sense of identity and accepted that yes, I am deaf, yes I do need communication support, yes I am not hearing, and yes, I am happy with being deaf. I’m at the end of my journey.

Basically, I’m a hearing person with ears that aren’t perfect. I’m a human being too, I just happen to have a hearing loss. If you don’t like it, if it doesn’t fit in with what a hearing person thinks I should be able to do, well that’s tough. This is me. I’M DEAF. DEAL WITH IT.

See Hear are researching identity issues between the deaf and Hard of Hearing. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Angela Spielsinger on the See Hear team angela.spielsinger at

Angela would like some stories on experiences of Hard of Hearing people who were brought up in mainstream education and their preferred method of communication is oral, this resulting in issues of feeling torn between two worlds, where they felt they couldn’t fit into either the deaf or hearing world.

Many people are not aware what it means to be hard of hearing, so See Hear want to research this for future possible stories. They are looking for stories that are based on past experiences or issues occurring today.

If you want more details, please contact Angela.


29 12 2007

A friend was not happy at missing the last See Hear programme and that a repeat was not shown during the following week, as it was christmas week. She emailed the BBC on the 27th to complain. She got a reply today. Wow, they reply intelligently, they don’t fob you off, and they work on Saturdays!

Dear Mrs X

Thank you for your e-mail regarding ‘See Hear’.

I understand you have been unable to access the 19 December edition of the programme and would like to know if there is any other way you can watch it.

I am pleased to inform you that the festive edition of this programme is scheduled for broadcast on 09 January at 01.25am. As this will be broadcast during the BBC One ‘Sign Zone’, it will appear in the late night listings for Tuesday 08 January. I would add that an edition of ‘See Hear’ is also broadcast at 01.25am on 03 January during the ‘Sign Zone’.

I would suggest for future reference that you book-mark both the BBC ‘What’s On website and the ‘Radio Times’ homepage as both are the most accurate and reliable sources of information on all BBC scheduling:

I hope that this goes some way in clarifying the situation and I would like to assure you that we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thank you once again for taking the trouble to contact the BBC with your concerns.


James Kelly
BBC Information
Have your say about the complaints process in the BBC Trust’s current public consultation –