Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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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.
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.
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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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.”
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.
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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