1. How did you come to know about Deaf Active Online?
Through the UK Deaf Sport website, I found Deaf Active Online, which advises paid Deaf coaches on fitness online and I have my own business, too. Usually, I ask Deaf people over 50 years old if they want to take part in my online exercise. I told them to come with us and have a taster session to see whether they would like it. I started setting a specific schedule for regular fitness and various sorts of exercise according to age group after they enjoyed the taster session. I have been doing it with UK Deaf Sport for over a year.
2. How useful have you found accessing Deaf Active Online?
I certainly find it easier and more accessible to use Deaf Active Online. It offers a chance for Deaf people all throughout the UK to do online activities. For instance, Deaf people struggle with communication and awareness at the gym. However, Deaf Active Online makes it easier because some of them are familiar with other deaf people and want to feel part of the group and increase their confidence.
3. What are the other benefits you have seen from accessing Deaf Active Online?
When I was doing Deaf Active Online on Zoom, I saw deaf people coming on Zoom regularly to show their commitment and to keep fit. Also, they pass it on to their friends/family that are deaf to come try out my session, like a snowball effect. You know, like, start with a small snowball and when you roll it gets bigger. That is good because more deaf people come to my class and ask me what diet I should consume and what training works for certain muscles. After the session, I sometimes discuss one on one with the participants. Either way, I prefer talking to the participants as a group and it depends on who needs further assistance.
4. Have you found any barriers when accessing online exercise? What are these?
Yeah, there are some barriers. When Deaf Active Online initially went public last year, it was tough for many elderly deaf people because no one knew how to use zoom and it was their first time. I had to use my additional time to assist older individuals with using Zoom. Also, not many older deaf people know how to use Eventbrite to buy tickets to access my online session, but for younger people it was easier for them. I had to use my initiative to email the older deaf people to join my online session, and that was easier through emails or contact through Facetime.
5. What advice would you give to people that are looking to take part in an online activity programme like Deaf Active Online?
I would say keep going and get fit by using deaf active online. The pandemic will eventually get better and with Deaf Active Online, you will meet other deaf people and be part of the community. It’s good because you can look after yourself, be self-disciplined and motivated.