This Discussion took place on place on 6th March 2020 at Boulevard Theatre in Soho. The workshop was titled "What can mental health workers and Deaf artists do together to improve care for Deaf people? My breakout session took place after lunch, where there was a mixture of Deaf and hearing participants.

In response to my question, participants gave the following responses;

- Confidence can be an issue for Deaf people in an environment where the vast majority of people are hearing.

- There need to be more forms of empowerment and opportunities for the Deaf. This can be through training programs. Scotland had a training program called Combined BSL and actor training. However, there are more job opportunities in London and Wales. There are other training opportunities that can be provided in spaces such as The Hub (they have an April intake), Graeae Theatre (Deaf and Disabled led, Jenny Sealy is the founder. Now an accredited course), RADA (based in Russell Square), ensemble, Criptic, DPac.

- Get in touch with Theatre companies that have more Deaf awareness and access, places such as Leeds playhouse, theatre royal Plymouth, taking flight - (integrated theatre in Wales), Ramps on the Moon - (Show to take place in Stratford, May 2020), New Wolseley Theatre, Stratford East

- Adapting workloads

- Can auditions be adjusted to provide an equal playing field?

- There are so many complications for Deaf people - more support is required.

- What is the identity of that Deaf person; are they BSL users? Oral users? Both? Small "d", big "D"?

- There needs to be a shift in perceptions of Deaf people

- Completing actor training at the earliest possible stage in life (youth training). There needs to be a base level of knowledge.

- Funding is a big issue! Funds needed to pay for support/access. Difficult to employ interpreters

- Connecting with high profile performers who are Deaf. More role models are needed. A few examples of these are Brian Duffy, Paula Garfield, Nadia Nadarajah. Contact can be made via social media(Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), email, apprenticeship schemes, and networking events.

- Having allies who raise awareness on your behalf i.e. hearing actors, directors, campaigners and activists. If your peers know or understand BSL, this can have a positive impact on interactions. This can create access, breaks the ice, builds relationships and rapport.