DeafWire Edition – 16 December 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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Deaf-led film nominated

Fable Deaf is a movie directed by Jo Weber and Chrystene Ells. They worked with Deaf Crows Collective to make a story about the challenges Deaf people face globally. Jo Weber, a Deaf teacher, noticed problems within the Deaf community, such as disagreements, group conflicts, or fights. They made this movie to tell everyone about these challenges when groups don’t get along. With a big team, they made it look and sound amazing. They filmed it in Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan, at the John Hopkins Regina Stage. They started making movies because they wanted more people to see their stories of Deaf culture. Making the movie was hard, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when everyone wore masks. But they learned how to communicate and work together with Deaf people. The movie won awards at different film festivals and in Saskatchewan. It shows that movies about Deaf people can touch everyone’s hearts, even without using words.


Deaf thrives with sign language interpreter

Lawmakers in Namibia want to make sign language as important as other languages in the country for Deaf people. Deputy Minister Jenelly Matundu believes recognizing sign language officially will make things fairer for Deaf people. Matundo says it’ll help them understand and talk with others. Matundu also wants sign language interpreters to be there for Deaf people during important meetings in Parliament. It follows the country’s rules for supporting people with disabilities.


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Opportunities for Deaf

In South Africa, the Natal Deaf Blind Association in Durban, are striving to improve the lives of Deaf and Deafblind persons in South Africa by advocating for better conditions. They have started a sewing project because there are many Deaf individuals who stay at home, don’t know what to do with their lives, and struggle to find work. So they devised a 12-week initiative in which participants enrol in a sewing project for free in order to learn how to sew and operate a sewing machine. The association collaborates with the company and invents the idea to do the sewing, and after the course, they are able to set up their own business based on the training they have received.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Skating sport

Uganda developed an ice skating initiative for Deaf people that does not use shoes but rather a skateboard. The Uganda Deaf Association collaborated with the French embassy on this project. The goal is to promote the lives of Deaf people through skateboarding so that they can have a good time. They were instructed and inspired to participate in this sport. The deaf population in Uganda was pleased, and they enjoyed being together, and this is similar to them earning money for participating in this sport. They intend to incorporate this sport into the Deaf Olympic Games in order to gain recognition for the sport they play there.


Deaf Ukrainians seek to 'de-Russify' sign language

The Ukrainian Society of the Deaf (UTOG) is changing how Deaf people talk in sign language in Ukraine. They are working on removing signs influenced by Russian Sign Language (RSL), also known as Russianisms, to make Ukrainian Sign Language (USL) more about Ukraine’s history and culture. They’re also making it easier for Deaf people worldwide to understand by using International Sign Language (ISL). Around 38,000 people, including UTOG, are part of this effort, helped by 17 experts with approved signs list, including American Arkady Belozovsky. Some Deaf Russians on Facebook and Telegram don’t agree that RSL influenced Deaf Ukrainians.

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