Strictly Come Dancing has seen Rose Ayling-Ellis make history after becoming the show’s first Deaf contestant, with a hearing loss charity opening up on just how much her stint has meant for the Deaf community.
Rose is taking the show by storm, having found herself near the top of the leaderboard in the first few weeks of the competition alongside partner Giovanni Pernice.
The actress left fans in awe last weekend after her Titanic-inspired routine for Movie Week acted as a massive reminder of just what a fantastic dancer she is becoming and it’s clear her participation is really inspiring others.
Metro.co.uk spoke to hearing loss charity Signal, who reinforced just how much Rose smashing it on the show means to a huge number of people.
Jo Rose is an Outreach Worker at Signal and a Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user who chatted to us with her interpreter, Abbie Knight, telling us the excitement of having Rose take part on the programme for the Deaf community.
She told us: ‘Everyone’s very excited with Rose, it’s the best thing on TV, it shows that there’s no barriers there.
‘You also see the interpreter that she’s got on set and just how people are trying to make sure it’s inclusive – that anyone can do it – which is brilliant.
‘Deaf people, we’ve simply got ears that don’t work, that’s it. We’re not different in any other way it’s just how we communicate.’
She went on to explain just how much support Rose has, adding: ‘Rose’s got the whole Deaf nation behind her all the way and it’s just amazing to see that nothing’s impossible.
‘Obviously to see on TV as well, the crew learning some BSL, the presenters etc. and the Deaf awareness is inspiring the Deaf community to go and try and achieve whatever they can, nothing is impossible.’
Rose recently shared with us how she had helped make the viewing experience better and more accessible for herself and others.
Despite always being a fan of the show, the EastEnders star found it difficult to watch with the subtitles used by the BBC.
She asked show bosses if an interpreter could be put on the programme, and was delighted when they agreed to her request.
Rose shared: ‘Obviously, for the launch show recently, last year and the year before, it always had live subtitles, even when it’s been recorded.
‘So I mentioned that to them and they realised that, so they’re like, “Okay, we’ll change the subtitles.”’
The star admitted: ‘I’m so happy. It means I can watch it. It means I can watch myself. I can’t watch it with live subtitles.’
She’s also been seen giving her other contestants tips on how they can help the Deaf community via other means, such as on their social media.
Several contestants and pro dancers from the show shared earlier on in the series how they started to add captions to their Instagram stories after Rose explained how beneficial this could be to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight at 7pm on BBC One.