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DeafWire Edition – 3 December 2022

DeafWire Edition of DeafDigest

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

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Interpreter sues organization

Keith Wann, a sign language interpreter sued a non-profit organization, Theatre Development Fund (TDF) for terminating his contract because of his skin color. Wann was contracted to interpret the “Lion King” performance which he accepted. Then several days later, he received another email cancelling the contract after they realized it was not appropriate to have a white interpreter represent Black characters. This story went viral with angry responses from Deaf and hearing people saying Wann should not have accepted an assignment for an all-Black performance. Wann and TDF have since come to settlement.

INDIA:

New Deaf school

When Ramandeep Kaur and her partner found out their daughter, Jaisman, was Deaf, they decided to move from Melbourne, Australia to Batala, India to be closer to other family members. After unsuccesfully enrolling their Deaf child in private schools, Ramandeep learned sign language and has opened a school in their home to welcome other Deaf children. The name of the school is “Jaisman’s School for the Deaf Kids” which currently has 30 students.

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NEW ZEALAND:

Fundraising for accessibility

Kara Technologies which creates content accessibility using a sign language avatar, has raised $1.3 million NZD ($815,000 USD) in seed funding to further develop use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), motion capture and neural network algorithms to present sign language more accessible to Deaf people in the media.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Council rejects interpreted call

A Deaf person named Bridge in Chicago posted on her Instagram account when her local council hung up on her relay interpreting service phone call. “I feel broken into little pieces,” she shares, “This happened to me today; truthfully, this happens almost every day in most of the places I need to call. It’s extremely hard to be on a video call trying to explain myself through an interpreter, and we still need to deal with certain people telling us to “speak”. The relay interpreting provider informed the Chicago Council (CC) of this situation. The City of Chicago has not responded to our request for comment on this situation.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

THE NETHERLANDS:

New Deaf-owned cafe

Two Deaf people in Groningen who have known each other since high school, decided to turn their love for coffee into running a coffee business. With 105,000 EUR raised on a crowdfunding platform, they launched “Luhu” on 1 October 2022. The café is inside the Deaf Clubhouse on Munnekeholm Street.

PERU:

Deaf have right to complain through sign language interpreter

New law allows Deaf people to process complaints with help of sign language interpreters. Bill 2075/2021 CR was approved unanimously by the Commission of Social Inclusion and People with Disabilities. Now Deaf people will have less barriers when they need to make a complaint.

COLOMBIA:

National Theatre provides accessibility

Teatro Colón, the country’s National Theatre celebrates its 130th anniversary. It provides accessible cultural spaces including free guided tour with sign language interpreters. Sara Luengas, advisor for Training and Mediation of Audiences of the theater has said “Through exercises, games, discussions, conversations, active listening and sensory explorations, participants can approach opera, dance, music, and theater in this type of space.

 

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 – 26 November 2022

DeafWire Edition of DeafDigest

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

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deaf Magician Couple

Matthew Morgan was interviewed by VoyageSTL about his success as a magician. It all started when he learned a coin trick from his grandfather who worked at a carnival at one time. Matthew’s first paid jig was performing at a church when he was just 11 years old! He has performed in all 50 states and 45 countries and met his wife at 2002 World Deaf Magicans Festival in Moscow, Russia! He says it hasn’t been a smooth road and the biggest challenge recently has been the COVID-19 pandemic where his magic business suddenly was all shut down. He and his wife Liliana, who also performs, are still trying to finetune online activities on Zoom.

WORLD:

Zoom improves accessibility

Zoom, an online video-calling platform, has added a new accessibility feature that allows users to assign sign language interpreters by clicking a “Sign Language Interpretation” button which informs all users that sign language interpreters are included in the meeting or webinar. The zoom user then clicks the button to see the interpreter.

GHANA:

Vodafone launches SuperCare

Vodafone, a telecom company has reintroduced a customer support line for Deaf students at Mampong Senior High Technical School for the Deaf. It is part of Vodafone’s strategic plan to make their platforms inclusive and accessible.

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UNITED KINGDOM:

Deaf boy attacked

The guardian of Reece, a 11-year-old Deaf student is demanding action from the police after Reece was attacked by two students from another school, Blythe Bridge High School which has taken ownership of this situation and taken disciplinary action. Since that incident, Reece feels unsafe going to the bus stop and is experiencing panic attacks.

SOUTH AFRICA:

Fake sign language interpreter

Another fake sign language interpreter has emerged in South Africa! It occured during South Africa POlice Minister Bheki Cele’s presentation where the interpreter signed unintelligibly and used fake gestures. This went viral. There will be regulations that punish someone who falsely interprets when sign language becomes an official South African language (SASL). This proposed amendment was published in May 2022 for public comment.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

UNITED KINGDOM:

New life-saving service

Richard Webb-Stevens, a Deaf motorcycle paramedic works for the London Ambulance Service. He says users of British Sign Language (BSL) can access 999 emergency services anywhere in the UK by downloading the “999 BSL” app which can connect to emergency servicesincluding ambulance, police and fire services. It can also connect to an emergency sign language interpreter.

NEW ZEALAND:

Deaf girl appeals to stay

A Deaf woman, Claire, whose name is changed for safety reasons, was taken away from her 16-year-old mother at birth in Apia, Samoa. After staying at different homes and experiencing abuse, household slavehood and being denied education, she reunited with her biological family in New Zealand. She appealed an deportation order after her NZ visa expired. The tribunal ruled Chloe can remain in New Zealand to live in a safe and loving environment.

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 – 19 November 2022

DeafWire Edition of DeafDigest

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

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Lawsuit against School District

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments from Deaf Michigan Miguel Pérezman who is suing his former school district for failing to give him a proper teacher who knew how to use sign language during the 10 years of teaching and for passing his subjects when he had no knowledge of the subjects itself.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Teeth removed unknowingly

After the dental clinic in Washington state failed to arrange a sign language interpreter as requested by a Deaf patient who had an emergency dental appointment, the dentist removed 7 teeth removed without fully understanding the dental treatment she needed. She filed a complaint and the clinic agreed to make improvements to make sure their Deaf customers have access to interpreters and to pay $45,000 USD to the woman for her suffering.

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IRAN:

Hosting 2024 Asia Pacific Deaf Games

Kish Island in Iran will host the 5th annual Asia Pacific Deaf Games in 2024. They are expecting at least 3,000 athletes in 20 different sports including soccer, futsal, volleyball, basketball, martial arts, chess, Greco-Roman wrestling, and freestyle wrestling.

AUSTRALIA:

Double Minority event

A Deaf Auslan tutor, Nobou Hara, who lives in Perth, WA is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the local rugby team, and the Deaf community in Australia. He was born into a hearing family in Japan before moving to Australia 14 years ago. On November 24, he will give a 45-minute presentation at Beechboro Public Library about his experience as a Deaf gay man at work, rugby and more.

The Old Fogeys Are Back!

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

CANADA:

Interpreting Agreement for Royal Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint arranged American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) interpreters for four boutique and facility tours to the general public on October 15th. Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint said, “We are committed to making its facilities accessible to all visitors and customers.

UNITED KINGDOM:

TV leaders spotlight on Deaf

Bridge06, an advocacy organization, and Hot Coals Productions co-hosted “About Time!” event to bring attention to broadcasters, commissioners, casting agents, producers and other key roles to improve and give opportunities for the Deaf and disabled community. Corporate guests accepting the invitation had to commit to either cast a Deaf as a lead or co-lead actor, develop a new title around a Deaf, and improve the opportunities for Deaf talent.

RUSSIA:

"Deafskills" attracts 500 people

In Ufa, Russia, the “Deafskills” championship from October 20-22 was attended by over 500 people. For 3 days hearing and Deaf experts judged entrants in areas including medical analysis, tourism and an adaptive sports coach. The motto of the championship is “Deaf people can do everything”.

SWEDEN:

Orebro is Sign Language Capital!

The city council in Orebro is known as the sign language capital. Many people including hearing people actively using sign language including professionals in various fields. Out of the city’s population of 156,000 people, 13,000 can use sign language – almost 10% of the residents! There you can see a policeman, a librarian, a salesman, a builder, who all know sign language.

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 – 12 November 2022

DeafWire Edition of DeafDigest

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

SPAIN:

Police learn sign language

The Association of Deaf People of Arrecife and Lanzarote (APSAL) in Spain are teaching police officers sign language. These members of the Arrecife National Police force work on the island of Lanzarote, Spain. More than 100,000 people living in Spain use Spanish Sign Language (LSE), and for 20-30% of them it is their second language.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Smart glasses for Deaf

XRAI Glass has launched dark glasses with built-in microphones for Deaf people to “see” words spoken to them in real-time. Augmented reality technology is used to convert audio sounds into captions and voice recognition identifies who is speaking and translates different spoken languages in to subtitles. . XRAI Glasses plans to add more features to the glasses, like detecting voice tones and accents.

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AUSTRALIA:

Access to learning Auslan

Kellyanne Rosalion, a hearing mother of a 7-year old Deaf child is disappointed there i no where for her and her husband to improve their Auslan skills. The lack of Auslan support means that Auslan becomes less used in households with Deaf children. A petition is currently underway to improve current access to Australian Sign Language in the city of Canberra. Last reported, it had 536 signatures.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Makaton confused for BSL

Deaf people in UK are feeling anger and frustration and not willing to sit back and allow hearing people to misrepresent or abuse sign language. They are angry with the “Makaton signing system” being labeled as British Sign Lnaguage (BSL). akaton is a language program that combines signs, symbols and speech to give different options for children and adults with different range of communiation difficulties. Deaf twins Hermon and Heroda posted a video criticizing the Makaton signs British singer Olly Murs used in a video. This prompted Olly to take the video down from his social media account and apologizing.

The Old Fogeys Are Back!

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

BELGIUM:

100 years of Belgian Deaf sports

Deaf athletes, coaches, sports leaders and volunteers have estanblished an exhibit to celebrate 100 years of Belgian Deaf sports. which was hosted i Mechelen from Otobet 16 to November 2n. The Belgian Deaf Soports Committee also released a book on 100 yers of Belgian Deaf sports which is available for 50 euros.

RWANDA:

Rwanda Sign Language not yet recognized

Rwanda is one of 48 countries that agreed to the United Nations document supporting Disability Rights. Many of these countries have succesfully had theri sign language recognized by their countries except Rwanda. The Rwanda Deaf Community and Rwanda Deaf Association continues to lobby the governent to recognize their sign language. In a country with statistics that indicate 70,000 Deaf people in Rwanda!

CONGO:

Deaf trained in mushroom production

The Challenge Futura Foundation has trained a group of Deaf people in mushroom production. They hope that these Deaf people will go on to train others within the mushroom farming industry and earn money for themselves. Trainers have claimed that the Deaf people put in a lot of effort in growing mushrooms, a work ethic that will lead to being successful business owners. Mushrooms thrive in hot weather.

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 – 5 November 2022

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Bikeboom Deaf cycling event

In October, Deaf people gathered in Bentonville, Arkansas for the 2nd annual Bikeboom Deaf cycling event. This three day event also raises funds to support Deaf athletes in mountain and road race events. Bentonville is known as the Mountain Bike Capital of the World.

MALAYSIA:

Malaysian Sign Language development

Dr. Anthony Alexander Chong has contributed to the Malaysia Deaf Community for 40 years in various capacities as activist, advocate, educator, facilitator, speaker and researcher. He said most Deaf organizations in Malaysia provide welfare services but do not contribute to development of Malaysian Sign Language (BIM). He has made it his goal to get involved and wants to see BIM used in both everyday life and in the formal education system.

The Old Fogeys Are Back!

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

INDIA:

Deaf stall owners

A Deaf couple in Nashik runs a small food stall serving panipuri – water and fried puffed crisp dough balls which is a popular street food in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. They prepare the food at home and serve them at their food stall. After posting a clip of their food stall got nearly 4 million views, their Instagram account grew to 427k followers!

ARGENTINA:

Rugby World Cup Championship

The governemnt of Cordoba province says they plan to extend their support for the next Rugby World Cup Championships which will be held in April 2023 in Cordoba. Both the Official World Deaf Rugby Facebook page and the ICSD website has not yet listed the dates of this Championship.

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

UNITED KINGDOM:

Treatment of Deaf patient investigation

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has fined University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust £8,000 for its inadequate treatment of a Deaf patient. The UBH staff did procedures on the Deaf patient over a five month period without permission from the Deaf patient or his family as the staff thought the Deaf man was not able to make decisions himself. Bernadette Hanney, the CQC’s Head of Hospital inspection said, “They should have made much more effort to communicate with him in a way that he understood, every time”.

INDIA:

False information on Sign Language

The Deaf community in India have expressed outrage at a report “Literature Review on Sign Language Generation” which says “The deaf and dumb community use sign language to communicate. Sign languages have a very limited set of words.The grammar is difficult to understand.” Sibaji Panda, Director of Happy hands School for the Deaf feels the authors have no understanding of sign language and Deaf people and felt very disheartened to read it.

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 – 29 October 2022

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

Denied marriage license lawsuit

A Deaf couple, Joel Alfaro and Yusela Silvente were denied a marriage license when they showed up at a courthouse on their 10th anniversary. The staff at the Clerk of Court said the couple needed to bring a sign language interpreter. They have filed a lawsuit for discriminating under the Americans with Disabilities Act even though Clerk of Court’s website states interpreters are provided!

IRELAND:

Gender transition journey

Yasmine Young, a Deaf transgender was born a boy but always knew that something wasn’t quite right with her identity and came to terms. She credits the internet as a godsend and that the world has become aware of transgenders. She is the first Deaf openly transgender woman in Ireland and started her YouTube channel to share her experiences after her friends kept telling her. She said it was societal attitude that made her move to London where she feels transgender people and transitioning re more socially accepted.

The Old Fogeys Are Back!

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

SOUTH AFRICA:

Convo in South Africa

Convo Relay, a Deaf-owned sign language interpreting business in the U.S. has expanded their services to South Africa where they will operate a National Relay Service. Convo also has services not only in the U.S. but in Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

IRAQ:

Deaf boy moves due to death threats

Religious extremists often threaten to kill disabled children so the family of a 6-year old Deaf boy, Lawand Hamad Amin escaped from Iraq and spent one year in a tent at a refugee camp in France before arriving in the United Kingdom. The UK however did not grant asylum so the family returned to Germany where a lawyer launched a petition which gathered 10,000 signature and eventually was told they could stay in the UK. Lawand is learning British Sign Language (BSL) at the Royal School for the Deaf.

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UNITED KINGDOM:

Deaf presenter on ITV show

Deaf chef Yvonne Cobb appeared in the studio kitchen on ITV’s “This Morning” program to make chimichangas, her favorite dish. “I’ve been very honored over the years that many young children and older Deaf people are feeling more confident in the kitchen as a result of my cookery school classes”. The Daily Mail news website says the segment got positive feedback for promoting inclusivity and awareness.

WORLD:

Coldplay gives out Subpacs

Coldplay, a British rock band is working to make their concerts accessible and are giving out SubPacs to Deaf fans. SubPacs is a bass system that uses tactile audio for the user to feel the beat. It is described as hugging your body while transferring deep bass to create a physical, full-body experience. It costs $300-$350 USD each. The idea came from Coldplayer lead singer Chris Martin when he got a SubPac as a Christmas gift from his actress girlfriend Dakota Johnson.

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 – 22 October 2022

DeafWire Edition of DeafDigest

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen

at https://h3world.tv/shows_name/deafwire/

UNITED STATES:

Raising Funds for unique pop-up Deaf book

Deaf author Becky Gage has prepared a book that uses pop-ups to display eight Deaf jokes/Zap jokes visually. Illustrations will be done by Sal Sanchez. a Deaf illustrator. The book has QR codes showing Deaf ASL signers. They are trying to raise the remaining money through Indiegogo needed to produce 1,000 books. More information can be seen at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pre-order-book-how-much-do-you-know-about#/

UNITED KINGDOM:

Speech by Deaf contestant

Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, the first Deaf contestant to win “Dancing with the Stars”, made a powerful speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival about being a Deaf person working in television. She is fed up with being the token Deaf character and believes that Deaf stories are ready to go mainstream and can be done together. She also urged TV broadcasters and streamers to add subtitles to all their programs.

The Old Fogeys Are Back!

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon

SWEDEN:

No interpreter after a car accident

Filip Skovin was shocked when an ambulance arrived after a car accident without an interpreter even though his manager called SOS Alarm to have an interpreter on site. The regional council, Västrä Götalandsregionen responded to the complaint and outlined their procedures which would be via video remote call so that an emergency interpreter could be sent if necessary.

UGANDA:

First 'Sign TV'

Susan Mujaawa worked with a team of Deaf African journalists to set up Signs TV Uganda. Witha studio in Kampala, they made their first broadcast in April 2022 admist the COVID-19 pandemic and currently operate on Saturdays due to financial, technical and staffing constraints. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 136 million people in Africa have some degree of hearing loss.

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SCOTLAND:

Celebrating Deaf Heritage

Several short movies made by Deaf filmmakers in British Sign Language (BSL) with English subtitles were shown in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Inverness, and at the Filmhouse Edinburgh. One of the movies was “Scotland, Forgive Me” which was shortlisted for a prize at DeafFest 2022, “Kilmarnock, Their Story” highlighting the Ayshire Society for the Deaf, and “Deaf Creatives” portraying Scotland’s Deaf artists. Creative Director and Chief Executive at Solar Bear, a theater company, Jonathan Lloyd, said, “Deaf Heritage is a celebration of stories from the past, present and future of Scotland’s Deaf community.

INDIA:

Promoting Deaf cricket

Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA) has partnered with INOX Leisure Ltd (INOX) which manages film theaters in India to show IDCA’s “Dare To Dream” film on their screens and lobby displays. INOX’s CEO Roma Balwani said INOX Leisure’s partnership with the IDCA marks a key milestone in their endeavor to maximize the potential and provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities and increase visibility for Deaf cricketers.

ARGENTINA:

Deaf Organizations Claim Recognition of Sign Language

The Argentine Confederation of the Deaf (CAS) and more than 53 associations and institutions of Deaf people across the country gathered in front of the National Congress to claim the official recognition of the Argentine Sign Language (LSA) as natural language of Deaf people. The Disability Commission of the Chamber of Deputies agreed that recognition of Argentine Sign Language would be sought according to what was proposed during the meeting by deputies Dina Rezinovsky (PRO) and María Masin (Front of All).

COLOMBIA:

Minister appoints first Deaf director of School

Alejandro Gaviria, Minister of Education, has appointed Geovani Meléndres as the new director of the National Institute for the Deaf (Insor). Gaviria, who is a linguist with a Mater’s degree in intercultural communication, ethnic education and diversity, becomes the first Deaf person in Insor’s 67-year history! He says “It is a great pride and responsibility to assume this challenge that constitutes an enormous advance for the country’s Deaf community.”

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 – 15 October 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

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UNITED STATES:

Hearing interpreter 'stole' Deaf role

Kunguru Ni Kukiwa, sister of Deaf actor Jahmai Davis accused on Facebook that a sign langage interpreter who interpreted her brother’s audition was “robbed” of an acting role. One person started a petition on Change.org which had collected 362 signatures by press time. Jade Bryan, a Deaf filmmaker said on Facebook it was unprofessional and a violation of the Interpreting Codes of Conduct.

IRELAND:

Impact of economic crises on Deaf

My Way Access, a Deaf organization in the United Kingdom says economic crisis hits Deaf and disabled people the hardest. Many are facing choice between electricity for warm home or having food to eat. Research shows they spend an average £585 pounds more than hearing people. The agency says the UK government needs to revise the benefits system.

SLOVENIA:

International History of Deaf

The conference theme was “Deaf people in the shadows of the breaks and ruptures of the 20th Century: 1917-2000”. It was held at first in Slovenia then moved to Crotia. Many stories about Deaf people were told in person and via zoom.

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CZECH REPUBLIC:

Racing in Karting

One track for auto racing passed the European Championship (EDKC) among the Deaf in karting. Sixty participants representing 7 different countries took part. Most of the victories went to the German participants.

WORLD:

Celebrating Deaf Awareness

Different organizatons, agencies, businesses and clubs hosted events to celebrate Deaf Awareness Month and International Deaf Week in September. The Internatonal Day of the Deaf which was first observed by the World Federation of the Deaf in 1958, grew to become a week-long Deaf Awareness Ceelbration now called “International Week of the Deaf” celebrated annually during the last full week in September.

NEW ZEALAND:

100-year-old Deaf club

There are 13 Deaf clubs across New Zealand. One of the oldest clubs, the Deaf Society of Canterbury which was founded with 8 members in 1922 celebrates its 100th anniversary. The club currently has 400 members! One of the biggest changes in the club over the years was the drop in sports groups with the focus now being more on inclusive social and craft events.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Deaf take government to court

On September 23, the International Day of Sign Languages, 276 Deaf people sued the UK government for not providing sign language interpreters during televised COVID-19 briefings. Campaigner Lynn-Stewart-Taylor says the lack of accessibility during the pandemic made the Deaf community feel “excluded” and “like an afterthought.”

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 – 8 October 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deaf on Dancing with the Stars

Dancing With the Stars, DWTS, a reality TV dance competition, announced that Daniel Durant, a Deaf actor from “CODA”, will be one of the contestants in the upcoming season 31. Daniel is the third Deaf contestant to appear on DWTS after Marlee Matlin (2008) and Nyle DiMarco (2015). 

Daniel will be dancing with Britt Stewart and their team name is “Team Sign to Shine.” Daniel said he has a little bit of dance experience from when he performed on Broadway in Deaf West Theatre’s “Spring Awakening.” Dancing with a professional is a whole new world, he explained. DWTS is currently running weekly on Disney+.

CANADA:

First Black Deaf to get PhD degree

Dr. Jenelle Rouse is the first Black Deaf Canadian to receive a Ph.D. She studied Applied Linguistics in Education at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Rouse is an educator at a bilingual school for the Deaf and an advocate for the broader acquisition of sign language.

Dr. Rouse said after she defended her thesis, the committee said “Congratulations, Dr. Rouse!” She was in disbelief and shock but was so proud she finally accomplished this milestone. She added it took her about three weeks to get used to her new salutation as Dr. Rouse.

UNTIED KINGDOM:

Low grades among Deaf students

The National Deaf Children’s Society has called on the UK government to use its review into Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, SEND, to improve long-term support for Deaf children, including an investment in more Teachers of the Deaf. An analysis of last year’s General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCSE, revealed that Deaf children received a grade lower than all the children for at least the seventh year running.

A lack of Deaf awareness in school created barriers for students accessing their lessons. Teachers refused to switch their cameras on for online lessons during lockdown, which meant Deaf students were unable to hear or lipread. There is a legal requirement for qualified teachers to hold relevant mandatory qualifications when teaching classes for students who are Deaf. The ‘SEND’ proposal aims to change the culture and practice in mainstream education to be more inclusive.

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AFRICA:

Concerns for access at Deaf school & New app to create accessibility

In Tzaneen, South Africa, a Deaf school called “Yingisani” is immersed in the wilderness where the area is prone to fire. Hearing schools are prepared to evacuate quickly if there’s a fire alert, but that’s not the case for Deaf students at Yingisani. Santam, a financial services group, supported the school by installing smoke alarms attached to sirens, control panels, and strobe lighting systems. The school is advocating for learner’s access to safety and evacuation alerts.

Kenyan entrepreneur, Luke Kizito, created an “assistALL” app that will help Deaf people connect to the digital world. It’s a sign language interpretation mobile app to facilitate with the click of a button communications between Deaf people with businesses, banks, employers, and hospitals. So far the company has seven people working directly on the project and wishes to expand to 500 interpreters.

PAKISTAN:

Deaf community connected to the world

ConnectHear, an app that provides sign language interpretation services, already has more than 10,000 users around the world. It is seen as an innovative accessible technology that can support and empower the Deaf community in Pakistan. The app received positive feedback – many said their call was picked up within a minute and is helping eliminate communication barriers.

Azima Dhanjee, CEO and co-founder of ConnectHear and a Child of Deaf Adult, CODA, said she was the interpreter for her parents and when she was not available to help, her parents faced barriers, leaving them missing out on opportunities. It bothered Azima to see her parents being left out and not able to communicate independently – this inspired her to create ConnectHear.

MALAYSIA:

Deaf advocates for school

Adeline Goh, a 40-year-old Deaf woman from Malaysia, said she didn’t receive much education when she was young. She didn’t know how to sign or understand the words written by her teachers on the blackboard. When she did her homework, her mother would help her correct words and sentences but wasn’t able to explain it in sign language. Adeline decided she didn’t want Deaf children to struggle the way she did so she became a preschool teacher.

Not all preschools in the country have teachers who know sign language, causing many Deaf kids to be left out. The school now may be closing down due to lack of financial support. Teachers at Taska Jaya use their free time to attend courses and workshops to improve their skills in educating and guiding Deaf children. The school hopes to raise RM200,000 ($45,000 USD) to keep it running.

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 – 1 October 2022

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UNITED KINGDOM:

Cadbury promotes BSL

Cadbury, a British chocolate manufacturing company, and the National Deaf Children’s Society, NDCS, partnered up to raise awareness about Deaf culture and British Sign Language, BSL. Many hearing people don’t know how to communicate and include a Deaf person in everyday conversation. Cadbury created finger-shaped chocolate-covered biscuits as part of their campaign.

Cadbury plans to release short video clips of how to sign phrases in BSL, for example how to ask someone if they would like a cup of tea. All of their videos are captioned. The campaign is called, “For Fingers Big and Small” – it aims to encourage the nation to learn BSL.

NEPAL:

Sign language inspires artwork

Pratigya Shakya, a Deaf artist from Nepal, incorporates sign language and his Deaf experience into his artwork to show Deaf culture, inspiration, and belonging. He works with his own hands, adding hand shapes and visualisations that represent the barriers that the Deaf community faces. His artwork spotlights communication issues Deaf people face with hearing people.

One of Pratigya’s art pieces is of a doctor placing his hand on a little boy’s forehead, thinking he has a fever when it was actually his stomach that was hurting. Pratigya also created a visual handbook to teach sign language. He drew facial expressions using eyes, ears and noses, to help hearing people learn some basic signs. Pratigya received positive feedback from the Deaf community.

WORLD:

International Week of Deaf People

International Week of Deaf People is celebrated annually across the world during the last full week of September. This year’s theme was, “Building Inclusive Communities for All.” In the same week, International Day of Sign Languages was celebrated with the theme, “Sign Languages Unite Us.”

Since 2016, the United Nations General Assembly recognises September 23rd as the International Day of Sign Languages. Some countries organise celebrations while others host training and workshops to raise awareness about the Deaf community and its culture. The World Federation of the Deaf said, “this event aims to unite the world, its citizens, communities and societies through shining a blue light on sign languages.”

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UNITED KINGDOM:

Queen's death impacts Deaf

September 8th 2022, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral in Scotland at the age of 96. This has deeply affected the United Kingdom as the country is mourning the monarch’s death. Elizabeth’s death has also impacted the Deaf community and many Deaf organizations have paid their tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.

The British Deaf Association released a statement in sign language saying that Her Majesty served the crown and country for more than seventy years with selfless and steadfast dedication, earning the respect and affection of the Deaf community in the UK, the Commonwealth, and around the world. The Royal Family has a historically strong association with the Deaf community. Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, Princess Alice of Denmark and Greece, was Deaf from birth.

GHANA:

Hospital lacks sign language interpreters

The Ghana National Association of the Deaf, GNAD, called out the Ghana Health Services for the absence of sign language interpreters in government hospitals because they are denying Deaf people access to quality health care. When Deaf people face barriers in communicating with doctors or nurses, they are not able to fully explain their health conditions and end up receiving inadequate care.

Without sign language interpreters, some Deaf patients have been wrongfully diagnosed or prescribed the wrong medicine. During a workshop on drug and substance abuse prevention for the Deaf community, participants brought up the issue; some of them struggled with drug addiction because of miscommunication and abandonment. This needs to be quickly fixed to ensure the Deaf community does not feel neglected.

VANUATU:

Projects for Deaf community

Rachel Miles and Rebekah Schumacher from the United States of America and Canada spent a few weeks in Port Vila working on several projects to support Deaf people living in Vanuatu. They are experts in sign language and education for Deaf students. They have been supporting the Ministry of Education and Training, MoET, on the creation of a digital dictionary with signs gathered from adults in each province of Vanuatu.

Rachel and Rebekah also spent two weeks at Pikinini Playtime working with their seven Deaf students and special needs teachers. This was the first time the group of Deaf children was educated together. Now they have teachers in each classroom able to sign with the Deaf students. Rachel said that this newly recorded Vanuatu Sign Language will be a gift to all the people of Vanuatu.

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 – 24 September 2022

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deaf sensitivity training

Algonquin Area Public Library in Illinois, United States has started a new diversity program series covering Deaf sensitivity training. The series will focus on communication access, cultural sensitivity, and respect of identities. Zaineb Abdullah, the Vice President of Deaf Planet Soul, says the lack of high-quality Deaf education is the reason for low literacy rates among Deaf people.

Zaineb hopes to remove the stigma against hiring Deaf people and to encourage people to learn American Sign Language, ASL, at Deaf-centric events. She will explain that learning ASL from hearing social media influencers should be avoided as some of them are incorrect.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Deaf actress on Netflix

Netflix’s popular British comedy-drama TV series “Sex Education”, recently announced that their upcoming season will feature a Deaf actress named Alexandra James. She will play the role of Aisha. She previously starred in BBC “Three’s the Break.” The show is about the lives of high school staff and students as they contend with various personal dilemmas.

Alexandra went to drama school in Manchester where she received a degree in Acting for Live and Recorded Media. The actress posted on Instagram about her new role, sharing her excitement, “I am so honored to be joining the Sex Education family.” The next season is speculated to come out sometime in 2023.

NEW ZEALAND:

Sign Language Act review

The New Zealand government is taking further steps to protect the New Zealand Sign Language Act, NZSL. Deaf people living in New Zealand have the opportunity to consult on reviewing this Act. At the moment, there are about 23,000 NZSL users and 5,000 Deaf New Zealanders.

New Zealand’s Disability Issues Minister, Poto Williams, hopes this action will reflect the Government’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with the Deaf community. It is expected Deaf people will take leadership roles. She also wants input from Deaf Māori and their family about how the Act could better reflect their culture.

UKRAINE:

Deaf girl finally gets visa

The family of a Deaf Ukrainian girl, Elizabeth, fled the Ukrainian-Russian war and have been waiting for a visa to enter England. The UK Home Office has finally made a decision about their visa application and they were granted permission to  move to the United Kingdom to stay with their sponsor, Georgia Stuart.

The UK Government announced that Ukrainian refugees will have access to the National Health Service. Georgia prepared the house for the family – her friends chipped in and donated toys and clothes. She is a former English teacher and is prepared to help the family learn English.

SOUTH KOREA:

Deaf job interview cancelled

Dayeon Jeong from Korea was diagnosed with deafness at the age of two. She recently graduated with a certificate in web design and moved to a new city in hopes to find a career. She submitted her resume to 250 companies and only heard back from one. Once the company found out Dayeon was Deaf, they cancelled the interview. 

Dayeon felt angry and powerless. She said she felt dumbfounded and offended, pointing out the unfairness in the job market for disabled people in South Korea. Most jobs for people with disabilities are part-time or at minimum wage. Disabled women are the most affected – only 22% are employed.

SOUTH AMERICA:

Deaf Doctor in administration & Accessible technology

Karin Janeth Quijada Lovatón from the Faculty of Administrative Sciences of the National University of San Marcos is the first hard-of-hearing person to complete her thesis and obtain her doctorate in administration. She studied education with a speciality in hearing in language to be able to teach Deaf children. She explained she received a lot of support from the teachers which made it possible for her to graduate.

A Carlo Chile company in Santiago, Chile, opted for technology to improve its service channels and implemented a video call system for people with hearing disabilities. They aim to contribute to the digital inclusion of the Deaf community and have already trained 120 executives to learn sign language throughout the country at its virtual branch. 

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 – 17 September 2022

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WORLD:

One in ten words wrong in auto-captions

Researchers at two universities in the United States said that an average of one in ten mistakes in auto-captions are found in many leading video conferencing and social media apps. The number increases if the speaker’s first language is not English due to their accent. Hearing people wouldn’t accept unintelligible audio. Deaf people who rely on captions need equal access.

One of the researchers, Dr. Christian Volger, built an auto-captioning system called GoVoBo. The GoVoBo website states it delivers accessible, equitable communications for all. They collaborated with a non-profit project to get volunteers to speak in second languages, teaching the technology how to understand other accents.

NORTH AMERICA:

Deaf owned restaurant opens & Inaccessible education for Deaf girl

Lillouie Barrios, a Deaf man, and his hearing husband, Victor Covarrubias, opened a restaurant named “Pah!” at the end of June in the United States. Pah is an ASL slang term meaning “finally” or “successful.” The restaurant serves pub grub with a twist. Lillouie said, “I want to share our culture with people who listen, but it’s also something that other people can recognize.”

In Canada, inaccessible education is the reality for Deaf students like Allison Chandler, who rely heavily on the support of educational interpreters. Allison’s mother, Heather, said that if arrangements aren’t made before school starts, Allison will stay home. In grades 2, 3, and 4, Allison had an educational interpreter but not a Deaf professional, restricting her from gaining full access to the classroom. The educational interpreter only filled in the blanks for Allison as she learned the language.

UKRAINE:

Deaf refugees face obstacles

After escaping from war, a family with a six-year-old Deaf girl is struggling to live a normal life. They’re stuck in a refugee complex in Italy because of visa issues with the United Kingdom government. A woman offered to sponsor the family after they contacted her through social media.

Oksana, the mother of the six-year-old Deaf girl Elizabeth, wants to move her daughter to safety so she can get quick access to medical health. Elizabeth was about to get a second cochlear implant but had to leave before that happened because of the war. Oskana expressed frustration, saying the family might move to Switzerland if they don’t get a response from the UK government soon.

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NEW ZEALAND:

Sign language taught in marae

New Zealand Sign Language, NZSL, is one of the two languages officially recognised in New Zealand. In April 2006, NZSL joined the language of the country’s indigenous population – Māori. A Deaf resident, Eddie Hokianga is developing sign language teaching programs in 20 different marae locations with the Deaf Action New Zealand organisation. A marae is a communal and sacred meeting ground.

Kim Robinson, the Chairperson of Deaf Action New Zealand, stated that she thinks by placing sign language classes in maraes, they’re feeding the language back to the community. There are approximately 4,600 Deaf New Zealanders and 20,000 people use NZSL as a form of communication.

EUROPE:

Deaf owner of hotel dies & Deaf sports club host children’s camp

Roberto Enrico Wirth, a Deaf man who owned several hotels, died this summer. He was 72 years old. He is the founder and president of the Centre for Help for Assistance Centre for Deaf and Deafblind Children. Since 1992, Roberto has collaborated with the American-Italian organisation to provide annual awards to Deaf educators of the Deaf-blind.

In Lithuania, Kaunas Deaf Sports Club “Tyla” organised a sports camp in August for children between the ages of 3-8. Parents accompanied their children and participated in lectures about psychology. The campers performed various fun tasks and were congratulated with medals and presented with gifts.

NIGERIA:

Reviewing the Disability Act

Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, DWAN, is demanding more recognition for their community from the Federal Government. DWAN requested for the Disability Act to be reviewed and access through sign language interpreters be provided in public places. DWAN said that Deaf women need support for health care facilities, schools, businesses owners, and to create an inclusive community for Deaf women.

Hellen Anurika Beyioku-Alase, from DWAN, stated that Deaf women in general face violence and subjugation from men, discrimination in employment, and zero/poor access to health care and education. The Disability Act review would force every office of government to implement what is in that law, which would ensure that Deaf women are rightly represented.

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 – 10 September 2022

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IRELAND:

Airbnb host discriminated

A disabled woman, Jade, is a host on Airbnb, an online vacation rental marketplace. In a TikTok video, she said she has a doorbell with flashing lights and when the guests arrived at her home, they refused to touch the doorbell. The guests demanded Jade remove all disability aids from her home or that she leaves. Jade offered a refund but the guests refused because she didn’t warn them about her disability.

Airbnb replied to the host saying that she had two options, “One: no longer be disabled, no longer use a disabled doorbell…or, the second option is to fully refund the guests, let them stay here for free, and sincerely apologise for my disabled doorbell.” Jade said the TikTok escalation team told her not to publicly share any more updates about the situation.

UNITED KINGDOM:

First Deaf Barbie doll

Rose Ayling-Ellis, first Deaf contestant and winner of “Strictly Come Dancing”, shared that Mattel will release a Barbie doll with hearing aids. When Rose was a little girl, she would draw hearing aids on her dolls so they would look like her. The United Kingdom sells a variety of inclusive dolls – Barbie with a prosthetic limb, another in a wheelchair, and a Ken doll with vitiligo.

The Deaf Barbie dolls were released on August 18th. Mattel, Inc. said the Barbie brand believes in the power of representation and they are committed to continuing to introduce dolls that reflect the diversity kids see around the world. The company also mentioned the importance of encouraging children to play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them celebrate inclusion.

UGANDA:

Deaf sports receives funding

In Uganda, the Maskaka School for the Deaf’s football and netball players are preparing for an upcoming national tournament. The school’s sports department received 8 million shillings (around $2,000 USD) in donations. The school opened its doors in 2005 and provides primary school education to 122 Deaf students.

The school focuses on one activity per year due to financial limitations. This year, they are pritorising the football and netball teams. ICEA LION Assurance Company Ltd donated new shoes and socks. They’ve been supporting the school since 2018 because they believe such activities boost children’s confidence and the donor believes in their talent.

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UNITED KINGDOM:

132 years of the British Deaf Association

The British Deaf Association, BDA, celebrated their 132nd anniversary on July 24th. In 1980, Francis Maginn founded the BDA in Leeds under the name of The British Deaf and Dumb Association, BDDA. In 1971, BDAA removed the word “Dumb” from its name. 

BDA works directly with Deaf BSL users, promoting and protecting British Sign Language, campaigning for equal rights on a national level, and they empower Deaf people to achieve access to their local public services. In celebration of BDA’s 132nd anniversary, they asked their supporters to run, walk, or dance for 132 minutes, climb 132 steps, bake 132 biscuits, or fingerspell the alphabet backwards 132 times.

DUBAI:

Deaf businesspeople improving accessibility

Wissam Alli, a Deaf businessman from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said growing up in the hearing world was difficult but used that as a motivation to start a business to improve accessibility for the Deaf community. Wissam and his business partner, Ahmed Yahya, created an educational platform that helps Deaf people improve their technological skills.

Wissam believes that coding is an essential skill and wants to get Deaf children familiarised with programming. His business will provide different levels of courses suited for beginners, intermediates, and advanced learners. Wissam and Ahmed are currently in the process of opening an office in Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai.

SOUTH AFRICA:

Deaf people face unemployment &  Deaf woman shares story

The Deaf association in South Africa is concerned that over 70% of Deaf people of the population are unemployed. They decided to contact hearing companies to ask them to hire Deaf people and trained them how to accommodate Deaf people into their workplaces. Many Deaf people lack education which creates barriers. The Deaf association wants the hearing community to stop demeaning Deaf people and provide them with opportunities. 

In Congo, a Deaf woman, Kerean Miygolo, had a difficult life because of the war. Growing up, she always kept to herself, however her teacher recognised her ability to write and encouraged her to write poetry. She wrote a poem, describing how repressed her life has been in Congo and was applauded for sharing her life with the public.

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 – 3 September 2022

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deafblind cyclist tours across America

A 61-year-old Deafblind cyclist, Dick Hagan, completed the TransAmerican Bicycle Trail. He rode nearly 5,000 miles from Virginia to Oregon in 85 days, from April 29 to July 22. Hagan rode over 50 miles per day, taking breaks in hostels or tents. He said the overall experience was more mentally draining than physically challenging. 

Hagan didn’t ride to spread awareness about Deaf-blindness; he rode because he’s passionate about cycling. He was diagnosed with Deaf-blindness at 10 when he realised he couldn’t see in the dark; his vision deteriorated and he became officially blind in 2017, at age 55. Hagan hopes to do a few more cycling tours, but might have to move to indoor cycling if his vision worsens.

FINLAND:

Signmark on "Dancing with the Stars"

In 2016, Nyle DiMarco, a Deaf model and activist won “Dancing with the Stars.” This year, Finnish rapper, Marko Vuoriheimo, known as Signmark, is hoping to repeat this victory. He is the first Deaf dancer in the “Finnish Dancing with the Stars” competition and his partner, Anniina Koivuniemi won last season with Ernest Lawson.

Marko said his biggest challenge will be his lack of dancing skills and will have to rely on Anniina for guidance. He added that he is competitive and hard-working. They currently use a sign language interpreter to help them communicate but Marko hopes that he and Anniina will be able to figure out how to communicate on their own.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA:

No state-run Deaf schools

Pilar Biolog, a teacher and founder of the La Fe school for the Deaf children in Equatorial, Guinea, a Central African country, said that there are no state-run Deaf schools in the country. There are also no official resources, guidance, specialised units for Deafness, or mental health services for Deaf people. Instead, there are three Deaf centres that are either run by a charity organisation or privately initiated. 

The lack of government support worsened La Fe school’s struggles – no money for building repairs and water leaks; and they are no longer able to provide school bus services, which leads to children staying home because parents can’t afford a taxi ride. Biolog also took seven children into her home because of parental abandonment and isolation. A mother of a Deaf student donated land and Biolog hopes to build a boarding school.

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SCOTLAND:

Edinburgh Deaf Festival

Edinburgh, Scotland hosted the Edinburgh Deaf Festival from August 12 to 19th. It celebrates Deaf culture, language, and heritage through performances, Deaf karaokes, stand-up comedy, and BSL book club discussion. DeafRave provided entertainment with laser lights, music, and deaf DJs.

Philip Gerrard, one of the festival organisers, said there has been a huge shift in societal attitudes and increased Deaf awareness. Historically, access for Deaf people at Edinburgh’s festivals has not been great. Troy Kotsur’s Oscar win, Rose Ayling-Ellis’s Strictly Come Dancing win, and Tasha Ghouri from Love Island normalised sign language and paved the way for progress.

VIETNAM:

Deaf demand access to emergency info

The Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network, DiDRR Network, in Vietnam, is demanding access to emergency information to make sure that no one is left behind when natural disasters happen. In 2020, Tropical Storm Linfa hit Vietnam, hearing people were alerted through radio, news, and text messages and were able to protect themselves. Deaf people were left behind.

After the storm, there was more information about financial support for older people, poor people, and those with disabilities, but many Deaf people were unaware of this. Deaf Vietnamese are often overlooked because they don’t have the same resources as hearing people. In January 2022, the government organised a meeting to promote inclusivity for disabled people in natural disasters but didn’t invite any Deaf-led organisations to participate.

AUSTRALIA:

Speech with sign language interpreter

David Pocock, a newly appointed Senator in Australia, delivered his first federal speech with an Auslan interpreter, Mandy Dolesji, interpreting behind him on a large TV. Senator Pocock said it was important for everyone to be more inclusive. Originally, he wanted the interpreter to stand next to him on the floor in the Senate but the government and opposition denied his request.

Disability advocates criticised the government and opposition; Deaf Australia said the refusal to have an interpreter next to the Senator is very concerning and lacked proper accessibility. They pointed out inclusion and accessibility is never a certainty in political settings. In the Senator’s speech, he stated his strong intentions to make the Australian parliament more inclusive.

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 – 27 August 2022

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

DeafNation World Expo

Since 2003, DeafNation Expo has been hosting trade shows for, by, and about Deaf people. This year, they held their world expo event in Las Vegas. DeafNation showcases a variety of programs like exhibitions, workshops, entertainment, sporting activities, presentation, and networking.

DeafNation believes that free entry tickets bring a diversity of participants who can share the culture, needs, language, and information of the Deaf community. 2022 Expo events will take place in different cities: Kansas City, Austin, Atlanta, Rochester, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Las Vegas. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Deaf actor in new Disney+ series

Troy Kotsur, an Oscar-winning actor, will star in a new Disney+ series. The show is based on the true story of the California School for the Deaf, CSDR, Cubs’ 2021 football season – the team went undefeated and got all the way to the California State Championship. Troy will play the team’s coach.

In this new series, the cast, writing, and production team will include artists from the Deaf community. Troy will also be the executive producer along with Marlee Matlin. Several other Deaf people, including John Maucere and CSDR alumnus, will be part of the production.

RWANDA:

Pleads for sign language training

Members of the Rwanda National Union of the Deaf, RNUD, requested healthcare providers to learn sign language to help reduce communication barriers and ease access to seeking medical services. Lack of privacy is also an issue because of a third person involved – the sign language interpreter.

There are over 70,000 people in Rwanda with hearing and speech loss. Deaf women and girls are at higher risk for adverse health outcomes compared to their hearing counterparts. Studies show that because of communication issues, Deaf patients visit their healthcare providers less. RNUD is working on getting at least 80% of midwives and nurses to take sign language classes.

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INDIA:

Deaf man paints Prime Minister's journey

Abhijeet Gotani, a Deaf artist from Assam, India painted Prime Minister, PM, Modi’s journey starting from when he was a young boy. Abhijeet travelled to Guwahati to meet with the government officials; he explained he wanted to gift his artwork to the PM in person.

Abhijeet and his mother went to Delhi to meet PM Modi in person. His mother interpreted for him. When the PM patted Abhijeet’s back, thanking him for the amazing artwork, his mother saw his eyes shining with happiness. Abhijeet said that this was a dream come true.

SINGAPORE:

The Redeafination dance group

A dance group in Singapore called “The Redeafination” was formed in 2008 and is currently made up of five Deaf dancers.  The Redeafination participated in a music video of the National Day Parade, NDP, showing that being Deaf is challenging and rewarding in equal measure. The dance group was founded by two hearing dancers but over time it became Deaf only.

One of the dance group members, Sharifah, explained that the public thinks that Deaf people don’t enjoy music because they can’t hear it when it’s actually the opposite. She said that the lack of awareness about Deaf culture in the country pushed the group to educate the public about Singapore Sign Language and the barriers Deaf people face.

INDIA:

Deaf wood carver

Muhammad Yusuf Muran, a 55-year-old Deaf man from Kashmir, India, carves special sculptures out of luxury walnut wood, continuing a 200-year-old family business. He works for 9 hours almost everyday in his small workshop. He marks the wood with a pencil first, then uses a chisel and hammer to carve.

The length of time for each piece varies; a traditional hookah sculpture took him three weeks to complete, but the status of Saint George of Lydda took him 5 years. Muhammad’s son, Saqlin, said people used to take advantage of his father, paying so little, so he and his cousins opened a shop to sell to customers directly, profits increased and the family’s finances improved.

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 – 20 August 2022

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United States of America:

Deaf motorcyclist receives $3 million

Gregory O’Connell, an American Deaf motorcyclist, was injured after a truck collided with his motorcycle in 2018; he had a broken leg that required many surgeries and a punctured lung. Gregory sued the trucking company for $20 million; however, the company disagreed and said $750,000 would be sufficient.

Bob Simon, one of Gregory’s lawyers, said the trucking company initially offered $50,000 to close the case then later offered $1.6 million before the trial. The jury in California listened to both sides, heard testimonies from experts, and analysed evidence before deciding to award Gregory $3 million. 

UNITED KINGDOM:

£16,000 stolen from DeafBlind man

Lewis Roles, a 32-year-old caregiver from Norfolk, England was arrested for stealing more than a total of £16,283.30 from his 74-year-old client between June and September 2021. The client is Deaf and Blind with limited mobility. 

The client trusted Lewis with his bank account PIN number. When the client expressed concern that his account balance was going down, Lewis helped him change his PIN number; and afterward, Lewis would creep into the client’s bedroom while he was in bed to misuse his bank cards. The court sentenced Lewis to prison for 20 months.

UNITED KINGDOM:

No interpreter access for five days

Patsy Palmer, a 60-year-old Deaf woman was in the Royal Free Hospital in London, England for six days without a sign language interpreter. She had no way of communicating with doctors, nurses, or anyone; and she had no access to information about what’s happening to her, her health, or her treatment. 

On her second day at the hospital, a remote interpreter was booked but a weak internet connection caused the video feed to freeze. On Patsy’s last day there, she was supposed to have a meeting with the medical staff, but the interpreting company said bookings must be made two weeks in advance. Patsy’s daughter said this is a breach of basic human rights.

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ISRAEL:

Accessible World Cup 2022

An Israeli start-up company, “Sign Now” is aiming to make the FIFA World Cup 2022 accessible to the Deaf community. The company became widely known after providing sign language interpreters for the Eurovision Song Contest. Sign Now has evolved into an app that connects Deaf people to sign language interpreters. The app offers a variety of video call options and is free for the Deaf community.

Tomer Levy, the CEO and founder of Sign Now, said they want to help Deaf people to be a part of society. Accessibility will be provided for thousands of people attending Qatar from all over the world and about 50 million Deaf people watching the World Cup on TV. Currently, the company is helping Deaf Ukrainian refugees.

PUERTO RICO:

Handmade soap business

Jessica Rodriguez, a Deaf woman from Puerto Rico, owns a business named JeZoe, which offers all-natural beauty, cosmetics, and personal care products. JeZoe specialises in handmade soaps. They have a wide variety of products to fit each individual person’s skin needs.

Before opening JeZoe, Jessica took classes to learn how to make soaps, lotions, and lip balms; there were no sign language interpreters and she had to make do with writing, gesturing, and visual aids. After a successful booth sales at Gallaudet University, she decided to create an Etsy shop. Jessica said her goal is to teach Deaf young people about business and to foster confidence.

CAMBODIA:

Deaf development program faces cuts

The only organisation in Cambodia that serves the general needs of the Deaf population suffered from funding cuts and had to let go of 11 staff members. Starting in 1997, the Deaf Development Programme, DDP, set up three centres to work with Deaf people and their families to assist them with integrating into society and achieving independence.

There are more than 51,000 Deaf people in Cambodia. DPP’s mission is to empower Deaf people to develop education, language, employment, and their community. One of the co-directors of DPP said there are prejudice and discrimination toward the Deaf community and that there is almost no help from the government.

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 – 13 August 2022

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IRELAND:

Deaf participant on reality TV

Tasha Amber Ghouri, a British Deaf woman, first Deaf participant in the British version of Love Island – a reality dating TV show, received a lot of hateful comments about her Deafness. Ellen Keane, an Irish Paralympic swimmer and a Dancing With the Stars, DWTS, participant, said “there’s so much ableist hate.” Based on her experience with DWTS, everything is staged and edited by producers to create drama.

Tasha is a model and a dancer; she has a cochlear implant. On the first day of the Love Island show, she informed everyone else that she’s Deaf and wears a cochlear implant. A contestant said if she didn’t say anything about it, he wouldn’t have known. Viewers speculated whether Tasha was really Deaf since she could hear and speak well.

NIGERIA: 

Support for Deaf pageants

A beauty competition in Nigeria, ‘Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria’, MBDGN, received support from The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NCPWD. Janet Fasakin, the event organiser, said that after about 20 years, Nigeria will finally participate in World Deaf Pageants for the first time – Miss and Mister Deaf World and Miss and Mister Deaf International.

MBDGN wants to bring public awareness about the Deaf community while spotlighting Deaf women and girls around the world. They aim to promote Deaf rights through fashion, beauty, and glamour. Janet thinks that the exposure would promote the recognition and adoption of sign language as an official language. The NCPWD and MBDGN are collaborating to make this happen.

NORTH AMERICA:

Festival not accessible & Accessible weddings for Deaf people

In Montréal, Canada, a Deaf man from New York, Tom Williard, was denied live captioning at the Just For Laughs festival. He put in a request for accommodations three months in advance but was turned down. The festival offered an interpreter, which Tom felt wasn’t good enough. Just For Laughs blamed logistical and technical issues for their failure to provide accommodations but Tom said the technology is readily available. The festival refunded Tom’s ticket and will reimburse him for hotel costs.

Ten weddings have recently been celebrated in Mexican Sign Language at the offices of the General Directorate of the Civil Registry of Atizapán de Zaragoza in Mexico. In 2019, the State of Mexico Civil Registry started a project and trained 15 officials to perform weddings in Sign Language; the goal is to train all 245 officials in the State for full inclusion.

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JAMAICA:

Deaf teen flies a plane

Roland Grant, a 16-year-old Deaf student in Jamaica, is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a pilot; he received flying experience from one of the country’s leading flight institutions. Roland initially struggled at first due to lack of teachers competent in Deaf education.

Christopher Gooding, the Director and Co-founder of the Aeronautical School of West Indies, learned about Ronald’s story and decided to give him the opportunity to experience co-piloting a flight. Roland said that he was nervous. Before the flight, his instructor guided Roland through checking the oil, flaps, and brakes by using hand signals to communicate. Gooding wanted to make sure Roland’s experience went as smoothly as possible.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Futsal team forced to self-fund

England Deaf Futsal, an indoor soccer league, announced the Football Association, FA, decided not to fund the Deaf Women’s Futsal Team without notice. The team is completely devastated and will have to self-fund if they want to take part in future futsal competitions; they created a GoFundMe – they hope to raise £15,000. The women and men’s teams plan on going to Italy in October to represent England.

A spokesperson for FA said they decided to refocus its funding on Deaf football to formalise the 11-player team competition pathway because it ensures there are three major competitions every four-year-cycle, a World Cup, European Championships, and the Deaflympics.

EUROPE:

Sign language made official & Scandinavian Deaf festival

In Belarus, the President recently approved a package of laws on the social protection of disabled people. One of the laws included the adoption of a new status for the Belarusian Sign Language at the legislative level. This is the first time this has happened in Belarus and it was achieved by the support of the convention of persons with disabilities.

In Stavanger, Norway, a festival of the Scandinavian culture of the Deaf was held from July 26th to 31st; the theme was “Sign Language – Here, There, and Everywhere.” This was in conjunction with the Day of the Deaf in Scandinavia, which started more than 100 years ago. At the festival, there were lectures on various topics including the rights of Deaf people, LGBTQIA+, theatre, and master classes.

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DeafWire Edition – 30 July 2022

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 

Walmart violates disability law

Walmart, an American operator of discount stores, was accused of violating a disability rights law when refusing to provide a work coach to a DeafBlind employee, Paul Reina of Beloit, Wisconsin. When a new manager was appointed, Paul, after working for 16 years, had to start from scratch and resubmit all the necessary paperwork. Walmart cut him off.

The jury awarded Paul $200,000 in compensation and $5 million in punitive damages. Walmart, however, still denies they were wrong and claims that the employee could not perform the essential duties of his job either with or without reasonable accommodations.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Gallaudet security licence expired

Patrick Rader, Gallaudet University’s Field Manager, announced that the University broke the law. Since October 2021, Gallaudet’s Department of Public Safety, DPS, did not have an active licence to provide security on Gallaudet Campus. While waiting for a renewal, campus officers cannot wear uniforms or badges or drive marked vehicles. 

The DPS will work with the Metro Police Department to provide support in the event of incidents. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, DCRA, will fine Gallaudet for not having the proper paperwork and they should not be providing any type of security services at all.

ISRAEL: 

Face masks a barrier to learning

Giselle Nissenbaum, a 23-year-old Jewish-American Deaf teacher in Israel, shared that face masks have caused communication barriers at work. Due to COVID-19 regulations, they had to wear face masks at school, which made it impossible to read lips which made teaching difficult. She decided to teach her students Israeli Sign Language to solve the issue.

Giselle volunteers at the Community Centre for the Deaf in Rishon Lezion where Deaf seniors teach her sign language and she teaches them American Sign Language. Giselle became a teacher as part of the Masa Teachers program with Israel Experience, which offers a 10-month fellowship for college graduates who want to make a difference.

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FRANCE: 

Festival Clin d'Oeil

Between June 30 and July 3rd, more than 20,000 people gathered in Reims, France to attend the 10th Clin d’Oeil Festival. The festival was first started in 2003 by Rémois David de Keyzer. Clin d’Oeil is currently the only major festival in the world that celebrates sign language with all the diversity of its culture and art forms.

This year, South Korea was selected as the guest country to showcase Deaf culture. In 2019, Canada was the guest country. There were educational and artistic workshops, street entertainment, theatre and music performances, film competitions, professional and artistic exhibitions, and a Deaf party. Oscar-winner Troy Kotsur from “CODA” was also in attendance.

SOUTH AFRICA:

Deaf barista at Hilton Hotel

Deaf-owned business Employ & Empower Deaf (eDeaf) connected a Deaf woman, Phumzile Mazibuko, with Ciro training to help her become a professional barista at the Hilton Hotel. She went through training for three months and was immediately offered a job. Phumzile said she gets along great with customers and the sign language chart to order drinks have helped.

Nicky Bezuidenhout of eDeaf said over 80% of Deaf people in South Africa are unemployed and the company seeks to change that alarming statistic. There are many government incentives on offer to sponsor training for Deaf people and it’s eDeaf’s role to ensure the integration is smooth and placements are set up for success.

IRELAND: 

Bank refuses to use interpreter

In Ireland, a bank refused to communicate with Sofiya Kalinova, a Deaf woman, through a sign language interpreter when she contacted them about having difficulties with her online banking password. The bank manager said the bank cannot do anything because the interpreter was a third party and told Sofiya to come into the bank with proof of ID to resolve the issue.

Sofiya wrote several complaints to the bank which were unsuccessful. Her argument was that a sign language interpreter is an essential aid to the Deaf person in the same way as a guide dog is for a blind person. The Free Legal Advice Centre represented Sofiya in the matter. She won the case and was awarded  €8,500 in compensation.

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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If you are going to DeafNation World Expo in Las Vegas…

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

If you are going to DeafNation World Expo in Las Vegas...

See our spokesperson Anselmo DeSousa discuss “Social Media: Linking the Deaf World”!

WHEN: Thursday, August 4

TIME: 10.30am EST

WHERE: Bally’s Hotel & Casino, DeafNation World Expo Exhibit Hall
3645 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

H3 World TV is parent organization of DeafDigest. We hope to see you there!

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DeafWire Edition – 23 July 2022

DeafDigest stories are signed and closed captioned

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UNITED STATES: 

Deaf contestant on show

Hayden Kristal, a Deaf comedian and queer activist, is on America’s Got Talent, AGT, as a contestant. AGT is a reality show where contestants compete on live broadcast for $1 million dollars USD; acts range from comedy, dancing, magic, stunts, and other genres. Hayden did comedy and had an ASL interpreter with her.

Hayden was born into a hearing family in Auburn, California and she faced communication barriers. Her comedy was inspired by Drew Lynch and DJ Demers. Hayden has been a fan of AGT for a long time, so having the judges send her to the next round was a dream come true; she said she feels like she has already won. 

UNITED STATES: 

Software for accessibility

Sign-Speak is a real-time American Sign Language, ASL, translation software on your smartphone or laptop that recognizes sign language and translates it into spoken language, and vice versa. Companies can communicate with their Deaf and hard of hearing clients and staff. The software was invented by Nicholas Kelly and Yamillet Payano, and Nicholas Wilkins.

Sign-Speak was tested in a New York zoo and a pizzeria in Washington, D.C.. About 90 people a day used the software at both locations and this allowed the businesses to better serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Customers didn’t have to write back and forth. Payno hopes Sign-Speak will be launched at some businesses this year.

UNITED KINGDOM: 

Fake sign language training

Social media pages and websites for fake British Sign Language, BSL, training courses teach inaccurate signs. “Signalong” posted numerous videos in gibberish sign language, causing an outrage in the British Deaf community. Signalong responded to the complaints, saying they received advice from members of the Royal Association of the Deaf, RAD.  

RAD posted a video, stating that the organisation never endorsed or is in any way affiliated with Signalong. As a result, Gavin Lilley established a “BSL Watchdog” group – they posted a video on its Facebook page, explaining that their intention is to share and report fake/scam sign language training, fake charities, and organisations that claim to teach BSL. 

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AUSTRALIA: 

DeafBlind artist receives a grant

In 2014, Joe Monteleone, a 60-year-old Deafblind artist was forced to retire from working in public service after 32 years because his Usher syndrome got worse, so he turned to art. Joe has tunnel vision and cannot see in the dark. He creates linocuts – a design carved on a block of linoleum. He tried painting and drawing but found it difficult since he cannot feel it, linocut is tactile. 

After only 5 years of creating art, Joe received a grant from the City of Melbourne to create a linocut of a local landmark. He chose Flinders Street Station – a regular meeting point for Deafblind people. It took him more than 800 hours to complete the artwork and it will be on display in Federation Square in January 2023.

UNITED KINGDOM: 

Deaf woman humiliated by pub

After a funeral, a Deaf woman, Sally Arathoon, her husband, Scott, and some family members  visited the Wheatsheaf Wetherspoon pub in Ellesmere Port, England. Sally has Ménière’s disease – an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo. When she went to the bar to order a second alcoholic beverage, she was denied service and accused of being drunk since she “spoke too loud.” 

Scott said Sally had an anxiety reaction from the accusation even though she tried to explain to the staff that she’s Deaf and cannot hear the volume of her voice. They left, humiliated and upset. The pub’s spokesman said they cannot comment on the incident since it’s currently being investigated but they would be happy to speak to Sally and Scott directly.

SOUTH AMERICA:

Driver licences for Deaf & Sign language interpreted concert

In Bogotá, Colombia, after three years of collaborative work between leaders of six organisations, Deaf people are now able to get a driving licence. The Deaf community is thrilled. The decision was based on a study that found hearing limitations have no impact on the rate of driving accidents and skills, however Deaf drivers need to have a sign on their car, informing others that they’re Deaf. 

In Lima, Peru, the Ministry of Culture successfully carried out an accessibility project that allowed Deaf people to attend a concert at the Gran Teatro Nacional. Daniela Prado, the national singer, used a combination of Peruvian Sign Language, LSP, and a series of visual tools to enhance the experience for the Deaf community. The new practices and sensations were created so that all people can enjoy music together and the emotions it generates.

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 July 2022

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AUSTRALIA:

New PM scrambles with accessibility

The Australian Deaf community brought up concerns about the lack of accessibility during government press concerns. Sign language interpreters at press conferences aren’t visible on social media and that needs to change. The Prime Minister’s office stated they’re committed to providing accessibility to all Australians.

Sheri Beaver felt that the Prime Minister shouldn’t have to be reminded to be accessible to all Australians, including those who use Auslan. She also said that if accessibility doesn’t come automatically, they will remain behind other nations such as the United States and New Zealand where there are sign language interpreters at leaders’ daily press conferences.

MALAYSIA: 

Government promotes sign language

Malaysian Sign Language (BIM) was developed in 1998 and accepted as an official language in 2008 by the Malaysian Government and they use BIM to communicate with the Deaf community. There are around 60,000 BIM users. Government staff members will undergo three-month sign language training.

Earlier this year at the Deaf Empowerment Workshop 2022, where there were 50 participants from over 20 associations and government agencies, advocates urged the government to make BIM an elective subject in school. In September 2001, the government asked early childhood education institutions to provide early exposure to sign languages at a workshop ‘Voices to be Heard.’

EUROPE:

UEDY celebrates one year & 10th Clin d’Oeil Festival

A Deaf organisation, UEDY – Ubuntu European Deaf Youth – celebrates its one year anniversary. They raise, educate, and empower BIPOC Deaf youths from all over Europe. UEDY hosts seminars, teaching about anti-racism, and other motivational topics for BIPOC  people.

Earlier this month in Reims, France, the Clin d’Oeil Festival took place at a new venue. Everything was nearby, including a theatre, cinema, exhibition, an open-air stage, dance floor, lecture room with master classes, a food court with Deaf chefs, and a swimming pool. More than 10,000 Deaf people from all over the world attended.

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NEW ZEALAND: 

DeafBlind man builds home

Brian Gubb, a 63-year-old Deaf-blind man built an “Earthship” house for himself, his family of five children, and grandchildren. It cost Gubb $28,000 USD to build the house; he used natural and recycled materials, such as an old car and a large truck tires filled with soil, and walls made from coloured glass squares from old bottles. His house also has recycled hot tubs filled with spring heated water. The house is named, “Kan do it.”

In 2007, Gubb lost his sight from an optic nerve stroke. He can only see shapes and lines; to use his smartphone, he needs to pull it close to his eyes. Gubb works full-time building custom wooden crates and pallets and does additional work as a ground-keeper.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Device for Deaf cyclists

A student at Brunel Design School in the United Kingdom created a new device, “Sonear”. It uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor traffic, letting the user know when a vehicle is in their proximity by delivering small vibrations to the back of the head. As cars get closer, the tingling vibration increases, allowing the cyclist to “feel” the car’s proximity to them.

Divine Okoroji, a 22-year-old, was born deaf in one ear. He stated that he never used to cycle on the road because he felt like he was getting into positions where he was having near-misses. He hopes the device will give Deaf and hard of hearing people more confidence on their bike. Okoroji hopes to work with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf to develop it into an attractive commercial product.

NORTH AMERICA:

Mexican Sign Language, Deaf Canada art exhibit

Mexican Sign Language (LSM) became official in 2005 and is commemorated every year on June 10th. In Quintana Roo, the municipality of Benito Juárez was the first to provide LSM interpretation during live broadcasts of government official announcements as well as training of LSM for citizens and public servants. There are around 85 people in the government who have been involved in this. The goal is to improve communication and accessibility in the area.

Students in Canada created art based on their Deaf and hard of hearing experiences. The “Deaf Shame to Deaf Same” exhibition is at the Regina Public Library, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their art is presented in many different ways – through a series of dioramas, photographs, and written descriptions. The art illustrated their feelings of isolation and humiliation to acceptance and belonging they found in the Deaf community.

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 July 2022

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UNITED STATES: 

Hearing leader of Deaf Centre resigns

Greg Kellison has recently stepped down from his role as Executive Director of Deaf Services Centre in Worthington because of the organisation’s toxic culture and back-stabbing staff members. In March this year, many Deaf people went to the office to protest against Kellison’s hiring since he refuses to learn sign language or meet the community; they wanted a leader who knows sign language and is from the Deaf community.

Before Kellison became the Executive Director, he was the CEO and board’s assistant, focusing on growing revenue and stability of the organisation. He resigned only after four months on June 30, 2022. His resignation letter stated, “ no amount of financial finesse or managerial leadership can fix an agency determined to do itself in. The culture is toxic, many of the staff are petty and vicious, and no amount of financial or managerial leadership can fix the culture”

UNITED KINGDOM: 

Deaf Association damaged

The charity office of the Cumbria Deaf Association in England has been damaged by intruders who threw rocks into the window, broke the metal shutter into pieces, kicked in doors, and attempted to burn it down. Additionally, computer equipment was stolen, and rooms that they had rented out now cannot be rented out due to the damage, which will cause a loss of income. 

Caroline Howsley, the General Manager, said “ “You can imagine our shock and disbelief that someone would go to so much effort to break in and cause so much damage. We are insured, however, that doesn’t cover the emotional cost to our staff and Deaf community, many of whom consider the Kendal centre their second home”. The association is working to recover from this setback.

SOUTH AFRICA: 

Defrauding Blind & Deaf Society

Ruvanya Ramiah and her husband Ayush Rambally were found guilty of fraud and theft charges after they stole a total amount of R13 million – almost $800,000 USD. Ruvanya was a financial officer at the Deaf and Blind Society from March 2012 to February 2019. She had access and control to the society’s bank accounts; some of her duties included paying salaries and general payments.

Ruvanya would pay herself large amounts of money from time to time, sometimes twice a month. She was accused of making fake payments to suppliers and created fake receipts, but the money was going to her husband’s account. At court, Ayush admitted he knew his wife was breaking the law and he took the money anyway. The fraud case was sent for review which will take place on the 4th of August. Until then, the couple will stay in custody.

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GHANA: 

Soccer player supports Deaf school

A 28-year-old Dutch soccer superstar, Memphis Depay, recently went on a vacation in Ghana. While vacationing, he helped with renovating the bathroom facilities at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind. He also donated sporting equipment and other items to the Deaf students. 

He created the Memphis foundation to provide support for Deaf and blind children and to establish more schools for them. Memphis Foundation says on their website that they picture a world in which Deaf and blind young people can fully participate and are completely welcome in their community, where they can show their talents and dream their dreams. Memphis’s connection to Ghanda is through his father, who was born there.

GERMANY: 

Protest for equal participation

In Germany, Deaf people still face barriers in employment, study, equal access, and political participation. Steffen Helbing, a Deaf German politician, and his fellow campaigners protested for more inclusion and participation in front of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament. He said that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Deaf community should receive equal participation in society and that German Sign Language should become a recognized language.

Multiple protests by Deaf Germans fighting for their fights include 10,000 Deaf people protesting in 2013 in Berlin, in front of the Federal Parliament. In 2021, one man participated in a hunger strike for almost a week – he sat outside his tent in front of the Federal Chancellery throughout the duration of his protest.

NEW ZEALAND: 

Petition for closed captions

Hope Cotton, a 17-year-old student activist from New Zealand, started a petition to get media companies include closed captions on videos. There are 880,000 New Zealanders with hearing loss who are struggling with inaccessibility. Hope said captions should include transcription of dialogue, sound effects, and any other important audio information.

When the “Dancing with the Stars” finale was advertised, it stated that the episode would be captioned, unfortunately it wasn’t. Hope and her family were disappointed; she ended up reading a book instead. New Zealand is one of the few countries where closed captioning is not required. Hope has gathered more than 500 signatures for her petition so far.

New DeafLaugh – Season 3

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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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DeafWire Edition – 2 July 2022

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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).

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DeafWire Edition – 25 June 2022

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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).

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DeafWire Edition – 18 June 2022

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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).

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DeafWire Edition – 11 June 2022

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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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DeafWire Edition – 4 June 2022

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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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DeafWire Edition – 28 May 2022

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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).

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DeafWire Edition – 21 May 2022

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Pranks with Deaf people who love video calls!

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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

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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

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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.