Ursula is passionate about access to captioning, a proud user of New Zealand Sign Language, and a member of the Deaf community in Tāmaki Makaurau where she lives with her family. Ursula works at Ko Taku Reo, Aotearoa’s national school for deaf and hard of hearing children where she works to provide and uphold the use of New Zealand Sign Language within education.
Watch her story above or read it below;
Kia ora, my name is Ursula. I was born hearing but became deaf when I was 10 months old after contracting meningitis. When I was growing up, I had no access to TV media. It was hard to sit and watch TV. I would hear my hearing family laughing. I would pretend to understand, but in reality, I never understood. When I finally got access to captions, I would watch heaps of shows to make up for lost time. Even today, I love watching movies with captions. I just love it! I would absolutely refuse to watch a movie on TV that didn’t have captions. It’s so important, it must have captions. Over time, captions have improved. Previously, captions used to appear with really big text taking up half the space on screen. I couldn’t see and missed out on what was happening behind the text. But nowadays, the captions are smaller and stand out more. The white text with black borders we have now is much easier to read. Everything on Netflix is captioned, that’s so great.