I knew Derek Lever was a power-mad jerk, but the information I received today is just too much to ignore.
A little background: at the Genii Bash in Orlando, I knew that two deaf magician, including Simon Carmel (a well-respected scholar) would be attending. I arranged for an interpreter to sign for them at all events at their discretion, and seated them in a way that would be advantageous so that it would not disturb others in the audience, yet allow both the deaf magicians and the interpreter, Margaret, the opportunity to see what was happening.
Derek Lever has informed John Gapp, who is the President of the Society of World Deaf Magicians, that he would not provide an interpreter, that he refuses to allow Mr. Gapp to ask any of the lecturers if they have any objections to an interpreter being allowed to attend, and the email to Mr. Gapp is filled with the usual various nasty language, threats and so on that Derek Lever has become infamous for including "Breaching this code of practice will
result in action being taken against you."
Nice way to treat those who don't have the advantage of being able to hear.
I will print John Gapp's letter to Derek Lever below. You should make YOUR feelings known about Lever's despicable behavior by emailing him at email@example.com
. I have already been banned from the convention, so unlike so many others, I have nothing to fear from Mr. Lever and his insensitive, repulsive, and juvenile behavior.
Here is John Gapp's letter in response to Lever's email tirade:
Dear Derek Lever
Thank you for your email.
I do not understand your comments and actions, yes I understand your house rules, thats why I asked in a nice way if this could be possible.
I was acting on behalf of all Deaf Magicians worldwide, as I am their President this would also help those hearing magicians who are having slow hearing loss, this could apprear to you and your committee some day as we all grow older.
To hand a personal letter, which you would have a copy, and to explain in person would be more effective.
I do not understand your comment that I am going to approach artistes and lecturers at Blackpool Convention, if they approve of an Interpreter and sign language during their perfomances, prove to me that I said that.
Yes I did say on a forum that I HAD IN THE PAST spoke to artistes and lecturers in U.S.A. and other Covention Organisers and no one objected, they always made us welcome. never did I say it was at Blackpool.
Mr Lever prove to me that any artiste or attendee have any objections to our Sign Language being translated by an Interpreter for us Deaf Magicians.
It is very sad and I dont know why, you are the only one objective person to our sign language over the past years, yet some of your own committee agrees with us.
As I have said to you many times in the past, we only need interpeters at Lectures of our choice, not at Gala shows, or anywhere in the Convention, just the lectures, I do know in the past you had an Interpreter translating German into English as he could not speak English, so what's the difference?.
It is also very sad that you have resorted to threats against me, this of course would backfire against you, as I too could take serious action against you.
However, it is not my wish to resort to that action, I would be very happy to meet and sit down with you to sort a peaceful solution on behalf of all Deaf and Hard of Hearing Magicians, with an Interpreter of course, as I am sure there is a missunderstanding on your part. just give me a date and time.
President : Society of World Deaf Magicians