Born Jayne Elizabeth Fletcher, on the 30th November 1983 and grew up in Wolverhampton, Jayne was born 3 months premature; Deaf, with the doctors giving her only a small chance of survival.
35 years later this is her story…
Jayne was born into a hearing family, who have no experience of deaf culture, identity or the language, they believed that Jayne would be fine and fit into normal hearing world and that she would get by . . . .
Jayne struggled for years to battle mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, suicide attempts and self-harm, which she believes to be mainly due to communication issues, as so few people around her signed.
Jayne spent a lot of educational years being denied access to courses that she had wanted to study such as music, due to her "disability". Her daily life incurred numerous barriers as there is very little access to information for people whose first language is BSL (British Sign Language). The impact of her announcing that she was gay, also resulted in her being bullied, not only for her deafness but also her sexuality.
Jayne had extremely low self-esteem and confidence and hid herself away, learning lyrics to songs and translating them into sign language. This is what she feels she owes her life to, as through her darkest days, the music kept her going.
When Jayne was 16 she was selected and performed on stage with Ronan Keating from Boyzone at the Wembley Arena, London to sign 'When You Say Nothing At All'. Ronan Keating is Jayne's personal pop idol, and so when she was picked to sign Ronan's songs at one of his concerts, it was a dream come true.
Jayne became a solo artist, and is now regarded as one of the UK's leading SignSong performers, known as the celebrity "Fletch@" and performs to audiences of hundreds. Jayne loves SignSong because through the medium of music and her performance, it enables her to feel that she can connect with others whilst promoting Deaf awareness.
Jayne previously ran a Deaf & hearing integrated youth theatre called "Words, Signs & Vibes", Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, that brought together a vast range of young people together to act and perform whilst celebrating disability and diversity.
Jayne's lifetime ambition is to teach celebrity singers how to sign their songs, and aims to inspire hearing people to learn sign language. Raise Deaf awareness and prove that, Deaf people CAN do anything except hear.
Jayne's enthusiasm and determination to never give up and overcome barriers in her way has meant that she has been nominated for some prestigious awards.
· Jayne won Princes Trust Regional award - 'Young Achiever of the Year 2012' and attend the UK finals in London where she received her award from Prince Charles.
· 2013 and she became 'Young Ambassador for Princes Trust, Include Me Too and Walsall Deaf Children's Society.
She was also shortlisted to the final 5 out of 55,000 for 'The Pride of Britain Awards 2013.
More recently Jayne has been working alongside Sign Health Charity in promoting the Sign2Sing campaign that is becoming increasing more recognised throughout the UK.