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DeafWire Edition – 2 July 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES: 

Funding for Black Deaf Studies

Sorenson Communications, one of the United States’ largest communications product and service providers, announced a strategic partnership with Gallaudet University. Sorenson donated $3 million USD that will support the growth of the Centre for Black Deaf Studies, a vibrant hub for education, research, and support for our Black Deaf students and the community.

The CEO of Sorenson said, “we intend to demonstrate how integrating these values is intertwined with financial outcomes that are mutually beneficial to everyone in the ecosystem – students, employees, customers, suppliers, philanthropic supporters, and partners. We are fully invested in training the Black Deaf leaders of tomorrow.”

INDIA: 

Deaf boy saved, 104 hours later

In Chhattisgarh, India, a 10-year-old Deaf boy, Rahul Sahu, was playing in his backyard and fell into an 18-metre deep well. He was trapped for 104 hours. Over 500 people, including the police and armed forces, tried to rescue him. The rescue process was difficult because they struggled to communicate with Sahu since he was Deaf; the bad weather, dangerous snakes, and scorpions didn’t help either.

Rescuers inserted an oxygen hose into the well so Sahu could breathe and they also gave him a banana. Typically, people don’t survive a fall in wells in India. After 4 days, Sahu was saved by rescuers when they dug a tunnel 5 metres away, using cranes and earth movers to connect the pit with the well. He was taken to the hospital immediately to be monitored in intensive care.

JAPAN:

Accessibility at train station

JR Ueno Station in Tokyo, Japan collaborated with Fujitsu Ltd., an information and technology Japanese company to create a safer environment for Deaf people by converting announcements and even the sound of an approaching train into printed matter or sign language. 

Fujitsu got the idea from Deaf students when they visited a local Deaf school; they expressed the need for improved visual accessibility at train stations. Currently there’s a trial project underway with the announcements and train sounds by collecting microphones that are converted into text and onomatopoeic descriptions in real-time using artificial intelligence.

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BRAZIL: 

Deaflympics leaves behind debt

The 2022 Deaflympics was held in Caxias do Sul, Brazil has resulted in the organising committee not having any money left to pay vendors. Originally, Deaflympics was supposed to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro so they could use the 2016 Olympics facilities and get federal funding. The President of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, ISCD, decided to relocate the event to his hometown in Caxias do Sul, losing federal support.

ISCD relied on entry fees since the venue could host up to 6,000 people, however less than 2,400 showed up. Russian and Belaruian athletes were banned from participating because of the war against Ukraine. Other countries did not attend because of the pandemic. This left the committee in $2,350,791 USD debt, owing the hotel and tourism company approximately $780,000. The ISCD committee was informed they would not have the resources to invest in the event but they ignored the warnings and went ahead with it anyway.

INDIA: 

Wristband to alert danger

Students from Pulwama’s Islamic University of Science and Technology invented a small wearable wrist device called Situational Awareness and Alarming System for the Hearing Impaired, SAHHI, and it won’t cost more than Rs 1,500 ($20 USD). The device can pick up warning sounds and vibrate to alert the user about a nearby emergency.

The leader of the project said that Deaf people are least aware of an occurring emergency near them; they are usually physically hauled out from dangerous situations, but if there’s a speeding car or a violent situation, people first try to save their own lives than think about helping others. This is where the SAHHI device can be helpful.

UNITED KINGDOM: 

Vibrating suits at concerts

Vodafone, a British telecommunications company, collaborated with Music Not Impossible to create a vibrating suit for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people attending festivals. The vest consists of 24 vibrating actuators around the wrists, ankles, and torsos. The LED-flashing vest vibrates in time with the beat of the music.

Kyle Springate, a deaf festival-goer said that normally with crowds that big and loud, sounds get drowned out. Wearing the suit meant he could keep up with the songs much easier. When the crowd was going wild, he could feel it all the way up his spine, making him feel like a Superman.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

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DeafWire Edition – 25 June 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deaf community centre receives grant

The Maryland Deaf Community Centre (MDCC) received a $2.5 million grant to purchase their own permanent facility. The city of Frederick also donated $500,000, making it a total of $3 million. MDCC will be able to provide activities to Deaf seniors and local Deaf organisations; train care workers and offer ASL classes. 

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak advocated for adding the money to the city’s budget. She said that the facility won’t benefit only just the Deaf and hard of hearing community, but the entire community. MDCC has already found a location they like but they’re waiting to receive the money before announcing where it’ll be located.

SAUDI ARABIA: 

Invention for Deaf drivers

Renad Al-Hussein, a medical student at the College of Medicine at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia has developed a special sensor adaptor that sends sound frequencies to a device inside a car, identifying and displaying the description, image, and the colour of the sound source, visually, alerting the driver to any danger. 

Renad said that he came up with this invention after learning that some countries prevent Deaf people from driving because they are unable to hear. He says that this invention can help these countries become more open to allowing Deaf people to drive.

SINGAPORE:

TV series to help find a dream job

Elina Kuduro is a Deaf full-time GrabFood driver who works 11 hours a day, five days a week and is hoping for a career change. She successfully received a heavy vehicle driving licence however, companies that invite her for interviews found that walkie-talkies are a barrier for her.

Kurdo appeared on a CNA show, “Hire Me”; the show aims to help people with disabilities or health conditions to get their dream job.  During the show, she will receive coaching and support to be connected with potential employers. “Hire Me” will run on TV from June to September 2022.

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ITALY:

Deaf hotel owner passes away

On June 5th, Roberto Wirth, Deaf owner of a luxury five-star hotel in Rome’s City Centre, Hotel Hassler Roma, passed away at the age of 72. He studied at Cornell University in Milano, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Gallaudet University in the USA. In 1982, 

The hotel offers 87 unique and luxurious five-star rooms and suites along with spa treatments and to dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant. The hotel has been visited by Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Audrey Hepburn, and Princess Diana. Roberto received many awards and invested a lot in the Deaf community by establishing funds and scholarships.

NEW ZEALAND: 

$2.8 million for sign language support

A service in New Zealand that supports families of Deaf children learning New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) received funding of $2.8 million so that the service can continue for the next four years. This funding will allow the service to support 280 families per year by 2026.

Natasha Cloete, First Signs Team Leader explained that there is a huge demand for the First Signs service, and trying to grow the service is not possible with funding limits. But with this $2.8 million grant, they will be able to recruit more facilitators to support children in areas they have not been able to support, such as remote, rural areas of New Zealand. First Signs service received positive feedback from parents of Deaf children.

SOUTH AMERICA:

Teacher recognised for work with Deaf children & Work towards an inclusive society

Sidney Carolina Bernal, a 35-year-old teacher from Bogota, Colombia was recognised as the best teacher in Ibero-America. She created a project that focuses on technological tools that guarantee the educational inclusion of children with disabilities. Bernal’s project was named “Inclutec,” which is a combination of the words “inclusion and technology.”

Softys, a company in Lima, Peru, develops products and solutions for personal care. They collaborated with the Lima Region Deaf Association (Assoreli) to reduce social gaps for Deaf people and improve their quality of life. Training workshops to learn Peruvian Sign Language and Deaf culture were provided as the first step to make diversity and inclusion a reality. The goal is to improve Deaf people’s employability, social skills, and reduce communication barriers.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

Make news suggestion: news@deafdigest.net
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DeafWire Edition – 18 June 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Offensive comment on receipt

A Deaf woman, Ashley Vallejo, visited Dutch Bros Coffee in Waco, Texas for the first time. On her receipt, there was a note from an employee saying “most difficult customer ever.” On TikTok, she shared her hurt and frustration and asked the company to have patience with Deaf people instead of punishing them because they’re trying to order food, just like everyone else.

Dutch Bros coffee said they addressed the issue internally and reached out to Ashley to apologise. They stated that her experience was deeply disappointing, unacceptable, and against everything the company stands for. They also hope to work with her and the Deaf community to ensure they provide accessible service.

NORTH AMERICA:

Fighting for Deaf get driver’s licence & Faster access to interpreters at hospital

An Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, believes that Deaf people should be able to hold a driver’s licence. Gabriela Govea Lopez, PRI’s local deputy, is leading this initiative. The President of the Health Commission shared his full support on the issue, saying that 90% of the information received while driving is visual.

CHEO, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, now provides access to language interpreters to patients, their families, and physicians through Voyce – a healthcare interpreting service. CHEO’s Patient Experience Manager emphasised the importance of clear and concise communication especially since a growing number of the population don’t speak English or French as their primary language. Canada is one of the most diverse countries globally.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Deaf in dating show

Deaf representation on TV and stage has increased in the U.K. Rose Alying-Ellis won BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2021. Now, a 23-year-old model and dancer, Natasha Ghouri will be on ITV2’s “Love Island”, which is a reality dating show; she is the first Deaf participant of the show. Winner will get £50,000.

With the increased awareness and having a deaf participant on Love Island, Deaf viewers expected subtitles to be added. ITV2 didn’t add subtitles. Deaf viewers took to Twitter to share their frustrations about not being able to understand what was being said. ITV responded on social media, apologising for the disappointment and they will work on adding subtitles.

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WORLD:

WFD Congress 2023

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), a non-profit organisation working to ensure equal rights for 70 million Deaf people globally. In 2019, WFD held a general assembly and chose Jeju, South Korea to host the WFD’s 19th World Congress between 11 to 15th of July 2023. The theme is “Securing Human Rights in Times of Crises.”

About 5000 people from 130 different countries are expected to participate in the congress. Official language will be International Sign, Korean Sign language, English, and Korean. Registration opens on July 1st and ends on Sept 1st, 2022.

UNITED KINGDOM & RUSSIA:

Deaf bodybuilder medals in competition & Deaf poker tournament hosted

Daniel Ailey from London, UK is a Deaf bodybuilder; he recently won a silver medal in a FitX competition, hosted by FitX Bodybuilding Federation. He will participate in several more competitions soon. On Instagram, he mentions working out and nutrition are key to achieving the perfect body.

Recently, in Kaliningrad, Russia, there was a Deaf poker tournament. Poker is prohibited in Russia with the exception of two cities – Sochi and Kaliningrad. Even though there are more women players, the number of countries participating in the tournament has dramatically reduced because of political sanctions. 

GHANA: 

Schools inaccessible for Deaf

Dr. Wisdom Kawado Mprah, a University lecturer, is working to remove communication barriers for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Ghana by reforming national and educational policies. He said more than 90 percent of teachers in 17 schools, including a Deaf high school, aren’t able to communicate in sign language.

Dr. Mprah wants adequate training for teachers at Deaf schools. Training would include learning sign language, attitudes toward Deaf children, and how to teach them with a course on Deaf Education. He also said parents should take responsibility and learn to communicate with their Deaf children, along with treating them equally to their hearing children.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

Make news suggestion: news@deafdigest.net
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DeafWire Edition – 11 June 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES:

Apple's CEO visit

On Friday, May 13th, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook visited Gallaudet University in Washington D.C, to deliver a speech at the graduates’ commencement ceremony. During his speech, he told students that his piece of advice is to lead with your values throughout life. Tim had an ASL interpreter standing next to him on stage for the entire time.

 Apple and Gallaudet have a close relationship. In 2020, Apple provided each student and faculty member with an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Folio tablet case. The company also offered jobs to Gallaudet students. Cook said that Apple’s purpose has always been to create technology that enriches peoples’ lives and making it accessible to all.

CANADA: 

Police improves services

A Deaf woman in Vancouver, B.C. filed a complaint that she was not given access to communication during her arrest; the police made her minor daughter interpret. The U.S. Justice department reviewed the case and offered a settlement – the Vancouver Police Department was required to pay her $30,000 USD and had to update their accessibility policies.

 The Vancouver police also equipped their patrol cars and motorcycles with ‘visor cards’ to help communicate with Deaf people. Visor cards contain words and images so the police and Deaf people can easily communicate by pointing.

UNITED STATES: 

First Deaf to earn doctorate  

Emily Jo Noschese is the first person in her family and at the University of Hawaii to receive a full university education. She received her doctoral degree from the Department of Linguistics specializing in American Sign Language. In her university application, she wrote that ever since she was 10 years old, she dreamt of getting a Ph.D.

Emily attended Gallaudet University, graduating with a BA in ASL and an MA in linguistics. The linguistics department at the University of Hawaii accommodated her; she also created and taught ASL courses, which are now taught by other Deaf instructors.

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AFRICA: 

First Deaf Biology Graduate, “Deaftronic” technology business  

In South Africa, a Canadian-born woman is the first Deaf Biology doctoral graduate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal; she earned a Ph.D as a zoologist. She grew up with a passion for animals. She studies their lives and examines their muscles. People at her institution in South Africa really look up to her and recognise her accomplishments.

A Zambian man moved to Botswana because there was a child who struggled to communicate or hear because new hearing aid batteries were very expensive. The man decided to start a business, “Deaftronic” that focuses on Deaf technology. The company created a solar charger that comes with four rechargeable batteries. He won an award for the 2022 Builders of Africa’s Future.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Deafblind doctor

The United Kingdom’s first Deaf-Blind medical student, Alexandra Adams is studying to become the first Deaf-Blind doctor in the UK. When she was 16 years old, she was a patient at a hospital for 18-months due to medical reasons, and that was when she was inspired to pursue a career in palliative care or pediatrics after graduating in 2024.

 Alexandra said “My biggest challenges aren’t my disabilities. It is ignorance and stereotyping that make things hard. I’ve been blind my entire life and I’m able to adapt”. She lives alone, is very independent, and just gets on with it whether it be doing triages, taking blood, entering swimming competitions, or skiing. 

WORLD: 

Netflix to add languages

Netflix launched a new collection of shows with characters living with disabilities, titled “Celebrating Disability with Dimension.” It features over 50 shows. With over 1 billion people living with disabilities globally, Netflix grabbed the opportunity to share more inclusive stories. 

Netflix is adding Spanish, Portuguese, and French to their language support options for Audio Descriptions (AD) and Subtitles. This expansion only applies to Netflix Originals. Netflix’s Director of Product Accessibility is also a CODA – she said that Netflix partnered with members of the disability community to develop AD guidelines to make the service more accessible and inclusive. 

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This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

Make news suggestion: news@deafdigest.net
To Advertise: advertise@deafdigest.net
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DeafWire Edition – 4 June 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

GERMANY:

Deaf face barriers to getting a license

Deaf Germans have been able to get their driver’s license since the 1950s. It was quickly established that they are very good drivers because there’s no noise distractions. However, Deaf people have to get a certificate that proves they are “physically fit” to drive a vehicle. 

The driver’s license theory test consists of multiple choice questions. For those who aren’t fluent in German, this can be a barrier. Deaf people have to pay for their own sign language interpreter which costs EUR 75.00 per hour; medical examination certificates cost up to EUR 600.00. The German Deaf community feel this contradicts the UN Disability Rights Convention and that insurance should take care of the costs.

AFRICA:

Deaf couples outlawed

A village in Ghana, Adamobore, only 3% of its population are Deaf. In 1975, a decree banned Deaf people from marrying each other to prevent Deaf offsprings. One day, a Deaf woman was selling food in the village and suddenly threw up; a male relative realised she was pregnant and almost started hitting her because he thought a Deaf man was the father.

Now, the ban has been lifted. A team from the Ghana University is studying the village to learn more about how hereditary Deafness works and to remove the myth of Deaf people being cursed.

CANADA:

Outrage over hiring a hearing person

On April 25th, The Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) announced Richard Belzile as the new Executive Director. He did a lot of advocacy work for people with disabilities. The Deaf community expressed anger, confusion, and frustration because it is unclear if he is Deaf, hearing, or late-deafened.

A Deaf advocate, Alvin Witcher, said that when a Deaf organisation or agency hires a hearing person, it sends the wrong message that there are o qualified and capable Deaf Candidates. DeafDots, one of H3 World TV’s programs, contacted Richard for comments. He said that he would be “forwarding media requests to the Board.”

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ISRAEL: 

Member of Parliament demands support

Shirly Pinto, a 33 year old Deaf woman became Israel’s first Deaf lawmaker in 2019, representing 18.8 million of Israelians with disabilities. She uses Israeli Sign Language to communicate and uses an interpreter. She brought in all the issues related to people with disabilities and forced the government to take notice after years of nodding and ignoring them. 

Pinto threatened to take action against the government if they didn’t include disabled people in their budget. She is working on resolving issues related to incoming missiles because Deaf people can’t hear the warning siren and the app that’s supposed to alert them failed to alert right away, putting Deaf people’s lives at risk. Pinto is determined to change the future for the next generation.

UNITED KINGDOM:

MMA fighter secures sponsorship deal

A 27-year-old London-born Deaf MMA fighter Thomas Paull secured his first sponsorship deal with Another Round, the Personal Training membership subscription. Max Cotton, CEO of Another Round and former pro-MMA fighter said he rarely has seen anyone train with the same intensity as Paull and thinks he will make big waves globally.

Thomas learned how to fight as a kid to defend himself against bullies who picked on him because of his deafness. He said his fighting will do all the talking in the ring and that’s where he will earn some respect. He hopes to join the UFC and fight Connor McGregor and Paddy Pimblett. Thomas is currently ranked within the Top 10 Pro Men’s Lightweight Fighters in Europe.

ESTONIA:

Eurovision songs translated into sign 

Jari Pärgma, a member of the Board of the Estonian Sign Language Society and translator of Estonian Sign Language watched the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 and there was no sign language translation. In 2014, they provided sign language translation for songs only, not commentary. The show still wasn’t fully accessible.

For years, Jari emailed the Estonian Public Broadcasting – ERR -requesting the show to provide signed translations but never heard back. He decided to bring the issues to Twitter and a show called “Being. ERR finally responded and Jari gathered 20 volunteer interpreters to create music videos with sign language translation. ERR realised the project was popular, so they made it fully accessible.

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This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

Make news suggestion: news@deafdigest.net
To Advertise: advertise@deafdigest.net
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DeafWire Edition – 28 May 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES:

Investing in the development of Deaf people

Sorenson Communications, Amazon, and Microsoft are collaborating to support the development of ASL interpreter skills by offering mentoring experience to interpreting students and recent graduates. Experienced interpreters will be the mentors. Participants will experience what it is like to be a professional interpreter at Amazon and Microsoft. They also will get a chance to interpret whilst receiving immediate feedback on their performance.

Ariel Investments announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Sorenson; their first project is “Project Black” which is a strategic initiative to scale sustainable minority-owned businesses. The CEO of Sorenson, Jorge Rodriguez expressed excitement about the collaboration with Amazon and Microsoft to develop the next generation of ASL interpreters, supporting a more diverse and inclusive world.

BRAZIL:

Deaflympics results

73 countries participated in the 24th Deaflympics that was held in Brazil from May 1st to May 15th. There were 17 different sports and 209 events. At the end of the Deaflympics, Ukraine came in first place with 62 gold medals, 38 silver medals, and 38 bronze medals, totalling to 138 medals; second place was USA with 55 medals, and third place was tied between 4 countries – Israel, Thailand, Sweden, and Serbia with 1 bronze medal each.

H3 World TV sent its anchor and reporter, Memnos Costi and reporter Esther Vinas Olivo to Caxis do Sul, Brazil to cover the event. Videos of various events, ceremonies, and interviews can be found on H3 World TV channels.

WORLD:

New social media subculture, “#DeafTok”

The #DeafTok hashtag has over 1 billion views. TikTok is a social media app centred around short videos. At first, TikTok was not Deaf-friendly but by April 2021, TikTok decided to step up and make the platform more accessible for the Deaf community by adding auto-captions.

A Deaf TikTok creator, Scarlet Watters said she felt that her video “Deaf Ears in a Hearing World” opened people’s eyes to the inaccessibility Deaf users have to face. She also says that #DeafTok brings the Deaf and Hearing worlds together as with this awareness, Deaf people can finally have smoother conversations without barriers, making each other’s lives easier.

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UNITED KINGDOM:

Cinema association criticised

The UK celebrated Deaf Awareness week from May 2nd to 8th. The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) arranged for their movie screenings to be captioned for that week. Deaf people in the UK were disappointed that the captioning feature in theatres was only temporary and the UKCA has no plans of making it permanent.

The Deputy Director of National Deaf Children’s Society said, “Deaf Awareness Week is about celebrating deaf people and highlighting the issues they face. It’s not an opportunity for large cinema chains to pay lip service to accessibility with publicity-seeking gimmicks. Real equality is permanent, not temporary, and there’s still no clear plan to increase subtitling long term.”

INDIA:

Counsellor helps reunite Deaf couple

A Deaf married couple in India got into a heated argument that led to the wife walking out of the house, leaving her phone behind, and she headed to the railway station. A concerned onlooker saw her crying and contacted the Abhayam Gujarat 181 helpline. When the counsellors arrived, they struggled to communicate with the woman.

Police officers showed up to assist the counsellors in helping the wife. Four hours later, the police were able to get ahold of her husband; he immediately showed up at the railway station and his wife was not happy to see him. It took some convincing for her to agree to go home with him.

AUSTRALIA:

Deaf indigenous dance group

Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG) in Australia created a safe space for Deaf indigenous people to celebrate their culture with dances, to communicate freely, and to pay respects to elders, past and present.

DIDG practices their dancing on a wooden stage so they can feel the vibration of the drums and tapping of the sticks. They’ve performed at several events such as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee week. This was an opportunity to acknowledge the lived experiences, centuries of resilience, and ongoing contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

H3 Network Media Alliance
Toronto, Canada

Make news suggestion: news@deafdigest.net
To Advertise: advertise@deafdigest.net
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DeafWire Edition – 21 May 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED KINGDOM:

Sign language receives legal status

The British Sign Language Bill passed in the United Kingdom. The British Deaf Association confirmed that the BSL Bill received Royal Assent, which means it has become an act of Parliament. This will impact 151,000 Deaf people’s health, social care, and education.

Member of Parliament, Jamie Wallis posted on social media that the BSL Act received cross-party support and will recognize BSL as an official language of England, Wales, and Scotland. This is a step forward toward a more inclusive and accessible society.

SOUTH AMERICA:

Deaf man recognised for work, Landscaping service hires Deaf people

In Lima, Peru, a 66-year-old Deaf man named Carlos Suarez Llosa, was awarded recognition from the Labuor Order 2022 of the Public Company. He was recognized for serving 50 years in the Official Journal El Peruano and is the first Deaf person with the longest continuous work experience in a state company. 

In Catfish city, Colombia, a company called Oportunidades Disponibles (Opordis) has hired 8 Deaf people to provide landscaping services. They wanted to let people with “different abilities” come to work with them. This project offers landscaping, spraying, and mechanical cleaning services for green areas in different places. 

UKRAINE:

Deaf child waiting to escape Ukraine

In war-torn Ukraine, 5-year-old Deaf girl Alisa and her mom Yelyzaveta are waiting for permission to travel to the United Kingdom. Alisa’s visa was approved but they’re still waiting for her mom’s. They plan on going to the United Kingdom.

The UK Government confirmed that 71,800 visas had been issued to Ukrainians. However just one-third, 21,600 Ukrainians have arrived. Some have been granted permission and some are still waiting. This intolerable confusion and delay is causing extra stress upon the refugees.

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WORLD

Children's books inspired by CODA

Inspired by the movie “CODA”, many authors are publishing books to show children what it is like being Deaf or CODA. In the book, “Proud to be Deaf”, a 7-year-old girl named Ava speaks directly to her classmates and invites them to get to know her community and learn sign language phrases. 

Sian Heder, director for “CODA,” explained that she wants people who have never met a Deaf person or seen sign language, to see Deaf people in a normal, everyday environment, and to break the stereotype that Deaf people approach life in a monolithic manner.

AUSTRALIA:

Challenges accessing an Auslan tutor

An Australian family is struggling to provide support for their 5 year old Deaf daughter, Tilly to learn Auslan. Her mother, Jane thought once Tilly’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding was approved, things would get easier but it didn’t. 

Teachers from the Deaf community have a minimum of two hours per lesson, which would eat up Tilly’s NDIS budget quickly. Two hours is too long for a 5 year old. Jane’s mother tried to use the Internet to teach Tilly, but is concerned that the signs could be wrong and that would affect Tilly’s ability to sign correctly. Brett Casey from Deaf Connect suggested they learn from a Deaf Auslan user.

CHINA:

Deaf-owned cleaning business

Deaf people in Heifei City started a cleaning company after the founder, Hu Min, struggled to find a job. The company is named “Longwei,” which means “Deaf can also make a difference.” They struggle at the beginning due to discrimination from clients, but eventually proved themselves capable with the high-quality service they provide.

A national sample survey of people with disabilities stated about 27.8 million people in China are Deaf and hard of hearing. The country has set up a goal to create 1 million jobs for people with disabilities from 2022 to 2024 to promote disability and equality.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 14 May 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

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UNITED STATES:

Apple’s CEO visits Gallaudet

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, will deliver Gallaudet University’s 152nd Commencement Address on Friday, May 13th. A Gallaudet student, Molly Feanny, posted a video on Twitter, inviting Tim Cook to speak at the University and he responded, “I’d be honoured! See you there!”

Gallaudet and Apple have had great cooperation to help to increase the value of sign language, equality, and inclusion for the Deaf community. Through their collaboration, “Connected Gallaudet” was established, in which all Gallaudet students and faculty were provided with MacBook Pro M1 notebook computers or iPad Pro tablets.

MALAYSIA:

Deaf artist paints massive wall

Lim Anuar is a full-time Deaf artist, born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With more than 25 years of experience, he is now working on a massive wall mural that highlights Kuala Lumpur’s history and heritage. It takes him several hours a day to paint and sometimes has to use a forklift because the wall is high.

He hopes to become a lecturer of Art and Design for Deaf people in academic institutions. His goal is to create public awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities as equal and capable.

NORTH AMERICA:

Sorenson expands to Puerto Rico, Deaf girl performs with Coldplay

Sorenson opened a Spanish and American sign language interpreter service in Puerto Rico. Their goal is to hire 100 qualified interpreters who can work from home or from an interpreting centre in Puerto Rico. Lance Pickett from Sorenson said they look forward to a strong and lasting relationship.

Coldplay, a rock band, performed at a concert in Mexico City and surprised the audience when they invited a Deaf fan, Enory Garcia, to come up and sing in Mexican Sign Language. After Emory’s performance, Chris Martin, the band leader, gave her a hug.

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INDIA:

Fifteen years on a motorcycle across India

Deaf motorcyclist, Archana Timmaraju has travelled 50,000km throughout India on her motorcycle over 15 years. Since many women have been raped, abused, and kidnapped in India, it makes it harder for women to travel alone; she wanted to show women that even though it’s harder, it’s not impossible.

Archana realised no other Deaf Indians travelled regularly so she wanted to set an example for her community. Unfortunately, in India, Deaf people aren’t allowed to get their motorcycle licence and Archana, who’s hard of hearing, is hoping to change this.

UNITED STATES:

State quits Deaf National association

The Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD) has disassociated themselves from the National Deaf Association (NAD) because NAD opposed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida. Board didn’t even vote. Deaf community expressed disappointment in FAD.

Former FAD Board member, Chris Wagner, spoke out against the organisation. He said the vote doesn’t count. Chris demanded a full apology from FAD and to allow for the full FAD board to have an open dialogue on the topic with full transparency.

EUROPE:

Deaf dentist becomes an eye doctor, Deaf youths open Deaf-friendly bar

Tatjana Binggeli, from Switzerland, is a Deaf woman who left her career as a dentist to go back to University and study ophthalmology (eye care). She became a successful eye surgeon. Tatjana also established the Swiss Association of the Deaf.

In Italy, in the city of Pescara, the KALOPSIA bar has recently opened. It was founded by a young traveler Lillo Petrucci, along with his sister and girlfriend. Deaf and hearing people gather in his bar to relax and enjoy a cocktail. The drinks are made by Deaf bartenders.

UNITED STATES:

“The Old Fogeys Treasury” cartoon book released

Davideo Productions has released a 356-page cartoon book, “THE OLD FOGEYS TREASURY.” The book has over 600 cartoons about the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities. The strips employ humour, social and political commentary, and plain craziness. It features published cartoons from 2001 to 2017, including earlier works by a Deaf creator, artist, and writer David H. Pierce.

The book is available in both paperback and hardcover versions. For information, go to Davideo Productions website at www.davideo.tv.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 7 May 2022

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UNITED STATES:

Sign language in The Simpsons

On April 10, The Simpsons TV show created their first Deaf character, Monk Murphy, the Deaf son of saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy. Monk is played by John Autry II, a Deaf actor. The author of the episode said the storyline reflects her life experience – father loves Jazz and her brother is Deaf.

The Simpsons characters have four fingers which makes incorporating ASL tricky. Autry said, “​​this can impact change for all of us. It’s about Deaf and hearing characters coming together. It’s part of history.”

UNITED STATES:

ASL Interpreter at the Grammy Awards

An American singer, actress, and Grammy nominee, Olivia Rodrigo walked down the Grammys 2022 red carpet with an ASL interpreter.

Marlee Matlin, an Oscar winning Deaf actress, thanked her on social media for this step to accessibility, saying “Thank you ⁦@oliviarodrigo for having an ASL interpreter with you on the red carpet! You ROCK!”.

AFRICA:

Technology donated to Deaf students, Deaf community left out of 2022/2023 budget

Huawei, a technology company, in Ghana has donated 125,000 worth of ICT gadgets and equipment to the Mampong Akuapem Senior High Technical School in the Eastern region to help Deaf students learn with modern technology. Donationincluded 7 HD projectors for digital instruction, 2 65-inch television sets, 2 public address systems, 20 desktop PCs, and 20 pairs of office desks and chairs.

The Malawi National Association for the Deaf (MANAD) has voiced dismay and outrage that the Deaf issues were not addressed in the Government’s National Budget Speech for 2022/2023. Now the Deaf community has to campaign for more sign language interpreters and teachers to be trained and an improved school system.

“THE OLD FOGEYS TREASURY” CARTOON BOOK RELEASED

Davideo Productions has released a 356-page cartoon book, “THE OLD FOGEYS TREASURY.” The book has over 600 cartoons about the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities. The strips employ humor, social and political commentary, and plain craziness. It features published cartoons from 2001 to 2017. It also includes earlier works dating back to 1973 by creator, artist, and writer David H. Pierce, who has been profoundly deaf since birth. With Pierce being a longtime member of the Deaf community and an award-winning veteran broadcast television producer and distributor of sign language programming, Pierce provides a unique perspective in his cartoons.

The book is available in both paperback and hardcover versions. It will make its official premiere at the first annual Deaf Authors Book Festival being held at Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas on May 6 & 7, 2022. For information, go to Davideo Productions website at www.davideo.tv.

UNITED STATES:

Two Deaf authors publish a book

Two Deaf authors have written and published books, “Deaf Utopia” by Nyle DiMarco and “True Biz” by Sara Nović. DiMarco is a model, dancer, activist, actor, producer, and now a writer. The book is an intimate look into his life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

“True Biz”, written by Sara Nović, is an ASL expression that means “real talk”, “really” or “seriously”. Sara is a writer, translator, creative writing professor, and Deaf rights activist. The book is about a teenage girl with a cochlear implant who has never met a Deaf person before; she went to a Deaf school and learned ASL.

FINLAND:

Deaf people deprived of fertility

Forced sterilizations and abortions performed on Deaf people in Finland is being investigated for injustices against Deaf people. The study found that a total of 7,530 people in Finland, mainly women, were sterilized for racial hygiene reasons under the Sterilization Act which was in force between 1935 to 1970. The law authorized forced sterilization without the consent of the person being sterilized.

Participants in the study shared stories about their loved ones receiving an abortion or sterilization without being aware of this, and they could not defend themselves. Sign language was basically banned at the time and there was no interpretation service.

UNITED STATES:

Deaf teen wins poetry contest

Trayshun Holmes-Gournaris, an 18-year-old student from Oregon School for the Deaf, won the state’s poetry contest. He competed against 10 other students in the school’s Poetry Out Loud program. He chose three poems, one was “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou. He said “Black people have this constant struggle to be free, and the “Caged Bird” sings for freedom, but it can’t get it because it’s within the cage.”

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 30 April 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
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UNITED STATES:

Gallaudet University installs solar panels

Gallaudet University and other surrounding buildings will start using solar energy through a community solar panel by autumn 2023. A distributed clean energy and microgrid platform will be built across rooftops and parking garages, combined with a cooling, heating, and power system.

This helps to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century, reduce the university’s utility costs, and to provide enough electrical needs for the campus. 

WORLD:

“CODA” Oscar win inspires Deaf people

“CODA” winning Best Picture at Oscars left Deaf communities around the world feeling like doors are finally opening for them now the world can see that Deaf people can do anything. They hope that this awareness about Deaf people will continue to grow. 

Sean Forbes, a Deaf hip-hop artist, said, “It just goes to show that anybody with a disability can overcome and succeed.” He hopes to go to the Grammys to be recognized on the same stage for his musical work.

UNITED KINGDOM:

First relay-intralingual interpreter

On March 31st, a Deaf London man, Ezio Savva became the first person in the United Kingdom to become a fully qualified and registered relay-intralingual interpreter. The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people (NRCPD) are looking forward to expanding Deaf Professionals on the registry.

RSLI Relay – Intralingual sign language interpreters are Deaf professionals who work with Deaf people with specific or complex language needs, such as a learning disability, mental health condition, or limited language development.

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PAKISTAN:

Deaf teenager "Pride of Pakistan"

An 18-year-old Kashaf Alvi became the first Deaf Pakistani to receive Microsoft’s Certified Associate badge and the Pride of Pakistan award. Since Pakistani universities don’t provide courses in sign language, Alvi is preparing to apply to study in Sweden.

Zaigham Rizvi, chairman of the Sir Syed Deaf Association, says there is a lack of scientific terminology in Pakistani Sign Language, which makes it difficult to interpret scientific courses in sign language. This led Alvi to write a book about his challenges, “The Language of Paradise.”

CHINA:

Deaf university students drops out

Deaf students at universities in Macau are dropping out of their studies due to the impact of COVID-19 requirements around mask-wearing because it presents significant difficulties. Nerissa Lau, the director of the Macu Deaf Association said transparent masks in classrooms should be the standard practice.

In Macau, around 700 Deaf students are enrolled in higher education which is considered a lower number than normal. To build a more inclusive society, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) and the Macau Deaf Association signed a partnership agreement to incorporate sign language in a Social Services degree course, with a focus on education and research.

ZIMBABWE:

Government pushes for equality

The government of Zimbabwe is working towards improving and maintaining the rights of people with disabilities, and for them to be treated equally under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

In 2019, the Public Service Commission in Zimbabwe hired a total of 703 disabled people. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) also introduced the use of sign language to spread information in its broadcasting. The government said the country is fully committed to improving the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities.

New DeafLaugh – Season 3

Pranks with Deaf people who love video calls!

See all DeafLaugh episodes at

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This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafDigest has resumed service

ANNOUNCEMENT:

DeafDigest has resumed service

Starting next week, DeafDigest will send a weekly “DeafWire” edition to all DeafDigest subscribers. Click here for details on DeafDigest plans.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 23 April 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen
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UNITED STATES:

ASL interpreters at White House

Elsie Stecker, a Deaf interpreter, and Lindsey Synder, a hearing interpreter have been
appointed by President Biden as full-time American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at the White House.

Stecker and Snyder work together many hours a day, preparing, reading the news, and studying the White House schedule. When the news goes live, Snyder listens and interprets for Stecker. Stecker then signs it in front of the camera.

INDIA:

Deaf sisters among top 100 in exam

Deaf twin sisters, Lakshmi and Parvathy, did excellent on their Indian Engineering Services (IES) exams. Parvathy placed 74th and Lakshmi 75th.

They went to a mainstream school. Due to being Deaf, the sisters did not join any IES teaching classes and they studied through reading textbooks as well as received tutoring from their brother Vishnu.

UNITED STATES:

Winning lawsuit against hospital

In 2018, a 60 year old Deaf woman, Rose Adams, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease.
The clinic refused to provide a sign language interpreter and medicated her without her consent – she had no idea what was going on.

She filed a lawsuit against the hospital. U.S. District court ordered the hospital to pay a $16,000 fine to an organization that provides services to people with disabilities. The organization helps Deaf people access interpreters for job interviews, weddings, funerals, and etc.

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CANADA:

Festival provides accessibility

Canada’s only Deaf theatre festival, “SOUND OFF” was held in Edmonton and virtually. There was an improv collection – they held workshops and discussion panels.

The festival made a huge impact in the Deaf theatre community. The Festival’s Artistic Director said even though a lot of hearing folks react awkwardly to Deaf Culture, opportunities still increased and more awareness was spread.

SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina wants to demolish Deaf school, controversial Peru video goes viral

There’s a Deaf school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Government wants to demolish it and create a museum instead. Students, teachers, and parents pleaded with the government to not demolish the building because of its rich Deaf history. Building is falling apart and the government won’t provide maintenance.

In Lima, Peru, a controversial video went viral on social media. The video was created by two YouTube video hosts. They laughed and commented on two Deaf women who experienced harassment and sexual violence. This is serious because 7 out of 10 women experience sexual harassment nationally and in Lima, it’s 9 out of 10 women..

NORTH AMERICA:

Deaf Mexican Football Player, World Deaf Curling Championship in Canada

José Miguel Luna was born deaf and is fluent in Mexican Sign Language. He was the first Deaf football player and is now a motivational speaker. He wants to show people how to overcome their barriers.

The World Deaf Curling championship was held in Banff, Canada. 10 teams gathered from
Canada, the United States, Korea, Poland, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Alberta Deaf Sports
Association raised money to bring Ukrainian athletes to Banff.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 16 April 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

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UNITED STATES:

"CODA" to become a stage musical

Deaf West Theatre (DWT) in cooperation with Vendôme Pictures and Pathé Films will produce the film “CODA” into a theatrical stage musical. DWT artists are both hearing and Deaf and will use ASL with spoken English to create visual movement with voice.

Philippe Rousselet from Vendôme Pictures said that they have been humbled and honoured to watch ‘CODA’ grow from Sundance, through its premiere on Apple TV+ and awards buzz this season. More detailed information about the musical, team, and cast will be announced later as the search is still on.

THAILAND:

Deaf man climbs dangerous tower

A Deaf man climbed 10 metres to the top of a tower in Thalang, Thailand. Rescue workers struggled to get the man to get back down safely, so they laid out safety pillows around the tower just in case he fell or jumped.

Family members of the Deaf man were able to convince him to climb down safely. His cousin said the Deaf man hears voices in his head and that’s what prompted him to climb to the top of the tower.

SCOTLAND:

Experiencing flying a plane

Two Deaf children Brooke and Josie, both aged 12, got to experience flying a plane. The Royal Air Force Air Cadets set up an initiative called ‘Flying Ages’, through which the girls got the opportunity to actually pilot the plane. 

The young girls had the chance to pull back on the control column and feel the aircraft rising. They also experienced turning, flying level, climbing, and descending. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund provided funding to this cause to give young people with disabilities the experience of flying airplanes.

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EUROPE:

Deaf meditation, Miss Trans-star International

There are Deaf meditation specialists – three women from Sweden studied the human body, communication with the cosmos, and mediation. They host live broadcasts called “Global Meditation of the Deaf” which can be done anywhere in the world.

Veronika Svetlova, a Deaf woman from Russia participated in the “Miss Trans-star International” contest that was held in Barcelona, Spain. She won the “Miss Beyond the Crown” and “Miss Popular Vote.” Her outfits were made by a Deaf designer, Patrick Monaco. Winner of the contest was a hearing participant.

WORLD:

Snapchat releases fingerspelling lens

Snapchat released a new accessibility feature that enables the camera to capture and display fingerspelled letters through Augmented Reality (AR) Lenses.

Snapchat’s internal Deaf-formed group “Deafengers” worked together with SignAll to bridge the communication gap between Deaf and hearing people. The Lenses are available to all users and can be accessed via Snapcode or by searching for Fingerspell Username, Randomizer Fingerspelling, or Random Words in Lens Explorer.

DUBAI:

Deaf-owned restaurant

A Deaf man from India, Mithlaj Palthil, opened a restaurant in Dubai called karak Ccino Prime – they serve multi-cultural food from America, Italy, and Turkey. He works at the cash counter and is responsible for the bills while his cousin manages other parts of the business. 

KarakCcino is located near popular tourist destinations, the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Frame, and Burj Khalifa. The hearing staff learn sign language so customers can get full access to communication.  

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafWire Edition – 9 April 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

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UNITED STATES:

Deaf History Month

Every year in April, Deaf people in the United States celebrate National Deaf History Month (NDHM). It was first introduced by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 1997. The American Library Association (ALA) worked with NAD to help spread awareness about the celebration of NDHM.

Many Deaf people are still fighting for equal rights in their daily lives as they continue to face barriers in workplaces, classrooms, cinemas, and many other places.

UNITED STATES:

Troy Kotsur and CODA win Oscars

Troy Kotsuar is the first Deaf man to win an Oscar award for Best Supporting Actor in “CODA.” Winning an Oscar gives winners an “Oscar Effect”, which is something that gives actors a 20% boost in their payments in their next role; the effect can last for several movies or their entire career.

The “CODA” film won all three of its nominated categories – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The cast received a visual applause from the audience.

SOUTH AFRICA:

Non-signing Deaf school teachers

Teachers at the North West Secondary School for the Deaf in Leeudoringstad are teaching Deaf students despite not knowing sign language and this affected the students’ quality of education. Only one student out of five passed the 12th grade exam in 2021.

South African Language Board (PSALB) visited the school, they were shocked to discover this. They will urge the Department of Education to ensure that the teacher assistant hired will have knowledge of sign language to make sure learning will be easier for Deaf students.

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AFRICA:

Miss Rwanda Pageant, Signed Podcasts

A Deaf woman competed in the Miss Rwanda pageant. This was the first time Deaf contestants were included. The judges were blown away and had no idea that Deaf women could compete in pageants.

An interpreter in South Africa recognized that podcasts for hearing people aren’t accessible to Deaf people, so she gave two Deaf women the opportunity to sign podcasts of Deaf people’s experiences.

DENMARK:

Four Deaf men sent to prison

Four Deaf men in Denmark have been convicted of fraud during the period 2013 to 2017. They abused a law called the Personal Assistance Act. The men misused the money from the government that’s supposed to cover interpreting services for their personal gain – about 30 million Danish Krones  (4.7 million USD).

The judge decided to send the Deaf men: Anders Witt Gadkjaer, Simon Bak, Jannick Jakobsen, and Jeppe Winther Vestenaa to prison, and also added to their sentence that they must pay for the charges of this case.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Sign Language Bill update

Members of the Parliament in the United Kingdom have been debating a British Sign Language (BSL) Bill to recognize BSL as an official language of England, Wales, and Scotland. The BSL Bill started in the House of Commons and needs to pass all stages of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading. 

Rose Alying-Ellis said BSL should be made official because it has no legal protection as is. The current status is a big problem for the Deaf community because if they go to a doctor’s appointment and ask for an interpreter, they’re not referred to one, so they end up relying on their child or family member to translate.

This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).

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DeafDigest – 18 January 2022

Barry Strassler, editor, publisher, and founder of DeafDigest has died.

Barry with Sweetie
Barry with Sweetie

Barry, a 1966 graduate of Gallaudet University, began DeafDigest in the 1990s. For him it was a labor of love. Barry had written for and edited a myriad of publications for deaf people. He began writing sports when he worked for the Buff and Blue and the Tower Clock as a student at Gallaudet. He worked on publications for the National Association of the Deaf and he wrote for the Silent News. He looked into every issue–especially sports–and he remembered everything he saw.

Barry loved stories about deaf people and the deaf community, and he wanted to share them. He made up his own rules about sharing. Barry would read the news, glean its sense, are put it in his own words. He avoided names. For him what was significant was what happened to “a deaf person,” or a “CODA,” or  “an interpreter,” or a “hearing person.” And he would never print news if he felt it made deaf people look bad.

His goal wasn’t information sharing so much as staunch and profound advocacy.

In reporting on the achievements of young deaf and hard of hearing athletes in mainstream schools, Barry realized that he could help these students become aware of Gallaudet and at the same time help Gallaudet recruit talented students. He enthusiastically became a recruiter behind the scenes, passing information back and forth to and from the athletes and Gallaudet.

When he was honored by Gallaudet and inducted into its Hall of Fame, a speaker noted that Barry had helped recruit 30 mainstream players–half of the Gallaudet football team. In baseball, he had connected Gallaudet with the player who had been Conference Rookie of the Year, and in basketball, he had “found” the first team all conference point guard.

Barry was perhaps ahead of his time in recognizing that athletes, even as students, had rights. Once when a team member was denied decent shoes, he walked with him to the athletic director’s office. “Are you telling me,” he reportedly said, “that you are going to deny this Gallaudet student a chance to play because you will not buy him shoes?” The athletic director must have been embarrassed–the student got his shoes.

Barry wrote the acclaimed Gallaudet Football Centennial Book and a recent book on the history of basketball at Gallaudet. He always said that he wrote sports because he could “not play sports.” But he wrote sports because he loved sports, and he loved telling people about the remarkable athletic achievements of deaf players. Writing sports, like DeafDigest, was a passion and a commitment. It was based in his belief–not just that deaf people can do anything–but that that deaf people can do anything as well or better than anyone else–and the world should pay attention.

Barry also loved his family. He loved his daughter, Kelly, his daughter and son in law, Rachael and Matt and their son, Dominic, and his wife, Cathy, and his dog, Sweetie. And he cared about his deaf nieces Gittel and Toby and about Toby’s son, Natie.

 

  • Appreciation is expressed for the information in this article that came from a speech given during Barry’s induction into the Gallaudet Hall of Fame. 
  • Barry owns the domain of DeafDigest until 2024. This domain may be purchased for this time period for a donation to Gallaudet University Sports.

 

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