Deaf takeover at BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Deaf takeover at BBC Radio Gloucestershire

For the month of June, BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Jon Smith has been giving up an hour of his evening show to give Gloucestershire residents an opportunity to share their stories. On Thursday 13th June, local deaf charity GDA was invited to host the very first deaf-led radio show.

GDA’s Project Development Manager, Reg Cobb, himself a Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user, took to the airwaves at 9pm welcoming listeners through his BSL interpreters Sarah and Adrian. For the following hour, Reg discussed his experiences of being Deaf and reflected on the services GDA offers to support the thousands of children, young people and adults who have been born deaf and are BSL users, and those who have become deaf through illness or age.

In order to make the show accessible to BSL users across the county, the show was streamed live on the BBC Radio Gloucestershire Facebook page. To date, the broadcast has been viewed over 21,000 times and gathered positive feedback from members of the Deaf community as well as hearing listeners.

One viewer said “Awesome to give the deaf community an opportunity to see a radio show and talk about deaf issues.”

While another listener on Twitter commented “If anyone asks whether Deaf people really can do *anything*, tell them about the time a Deaf man hosted a radio show.”

GDA’s CEO, Sharon Bryant said “GDA celebrated its centenary year in style last night by making ground breaking history as we were the first deaf charity to host a radio show! Reg Cobb did a fantastic job leading the way and I am very proud of all of our GDA team who supported this event. It was a real challenge for us to make a live show accessible to everyone we support given it is a medium not usually associated with deafness. We generated a huge amount of interest both locally and nationally and very much hope this will the first of many opportunities to improve access to information for deaf people.”

To watch the show in BSL click here.