DeafWire Edition - 13 August 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


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.


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.


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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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.


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.


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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