Sarah Adedeji is a Black Deaf young female who lives in London and raises awareness about inaccessibility through using various platforms such as TikTok, Instagram reels etc. to get her point and view across to abled people. 

This month, I had the privilege of talking to Sarah Adedeji about inaccessibility in the world we live in today and how the world only favours hearing/abled people. 

Sarah Adedeji, is a 21 year old British born Nigerian female who studies audiology at Middlesex University, North West London in search of understanding the causes of deafness and how we can be more accessible in todays world. Sarah was born with a hearing condition which overtime reduced her ability to hear. At age 3, Sarah became moderately to profoundly deaf which changed her and her families way of living and interaction. Sarah being deaf from such a young age affected her speech which caused a delay in talking and pronunciation etc. 

Sarah’s biggest inspiration is her late father, who encouraged her with personally traits and also to keep going and never give up in anything she does or wants to do. In Sarahs own words, “My biggest inspiration is my dad because we share the same personality traits: kindness, generosity, open-mindedness and being wise. Every single conversation we had, there golden nuggets of wisdom being imparted. So I took those personality traits for myself and impacted people in these kinds of ways as well being an example” As well as that, Sarah mentioned that “you’ll see the results of your hard work if you keep going and stay focused”

Sarah uses social media as a way to encourage, inspire and educate others about Audiology and Deaf Awareness and also changing the hearing/abled ways of many in order to accommodate those who are deaf. In March 2021, Sarah started an instagram series called ‘Wisdom Wednesdays’ with a fellow deaf friend Kirsty Jade. The reels touch on different topics such as: Deaf Anxiety, audism and Internalised audism etc. Sarah was also contacted by a YouTuber through a mutual friend, whose page is Develop with Amina. Amina was specifically looking for a black deaf female to sign for her YouTube channel. As pictured above, Sarah also had the amazing opportunity to translate from English to British Sign Language at Deaf Rave, September 2021. 

In July 2019, Sarah got cochlear implants which completely changed her hearing life forever. The transition from standard hearing aids is a big step that requires a lot of thinking and consideration and it’s not something you should jump into if you don’t understand the possible side effects that could possibly come with the transition. When I spoke to Sarah, she mentioned that get getting these implants was a confidence booster and that it made her much more assertive. However, it also made her more mindful of her hearing fatigue, which was something that she disregarded when she had standard hearing aids. The implants have enabled her to take more care for hearing and fatigue instead of pleasing hearing/abled people. 

There are positive and negative experiences when it comes to everything in this world. This is the same with accessibility and in Sarah’s case accessibility when it comes to her deafness. “When it comes to people acknowledging & accommodating my deafness, it’s something like equity; not equality but equity where I am on equal ground and I’m being treated fairly - not the same as others but in a manner of fairness where I can access the same information my hearing peers are accessing. When this doesn’t happen, and my deafness is disregarded, it’s something like invalidation and being made to feel insignificant. I’m being neglected the chance of being on equal footing as those around me, regardless of it being just social interactions or it being in a professional environment. Being in this situation is very harrowing.”

Sarahs overall message to those who have the authority when it comes to accessibility and audiology is that “Deaf people are the experts”. Those who are in power can’t continue to go to secondary sources to gather information on how to be accessible but instead go to the primary source which are deaf individuals from all over the world.