DeafWire Edition – 2 March 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Film shows diversity

“Echo” is the first Marvel movie led by a Native American cast. Sign language also has a part in the film. The main character of the film is Maya López who is played by Alaqua Cox. Cox was born Deaf and is an amputee. Maya was introduced in the Disney+ series Hawkeye as an antihero, but you don't need to watch this series first. Echo is designed as a five-episode standalone series. "I wanted to show people that amputees and people with disabilities can do anything," Cox said in the series' production summary. "Although I am Deaf and an amputee, I was able to do many of my fights and stunts and it was important to me to show my prosthetic leg and not try to hide it under clothes... I wanted people with disabilities to have someone they could look up to”.  The Disney+ show is the first to debut under the "Marvel Spotlight'' banner, a new category of Marvel shows focused on character-driven stories. 


Professional wrestler "Deaf Power"

Meet 'Deaf Power', a Nova Scotia professional wrestler who dreams big before his debut. Justin Marriott lives in Timberlea, a suburb of Halifax, and is a long way from making it to World Wrestling Entertainment. But he will take the first steps toward his ultimate goal Saturday night with his independent professional debut. Marriott, who goes by the ring name "Deaf Power," said he first developed an interest in wrestling when he was three years old. But as a potential competitor, he faced a challenge: he was born completely Deaf. Although his hearing impairment presented a challenge, Marriott was undeterred and began training in 2021 with Dartmouth's Kaizen Pro Wrestling. That's when “Deaf Power” was born. “I'm looking to inspire young Deaf people, give them someone to look up to as a role model. I want to show them that they can do anything they set their mind to… and believe in themselves,” he said. “

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New tool to communicate with Deaf drivers

The Regina Police Service in Saskatchewan, Canada has introduced a new inclusive communication tool aimed at improving communication during traffic stops. Led by the police department, the new strategy involves using a communication card that has icons and symbols representing common phrases used during traffic stops. This allows people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speak languages other than English to communicate without the need for spoken English. Mustafa Alabssi is a Deaf Syrian refugee residing in Canada who faced communication challenges when dealing with police officers. He had a significant role in inspiring this initiative. Using his experiences, Alabssi offered valuable perspectives that greatly influenced the creation of the communication card. 

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Martial arts introduced to Deaf school

The British High Commission has partnered with the Judo Academy of Trinidad and Tobago to introduce martial arts to the Cascade School for the Deaf in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. This initiative aims to promote inclusion and empower the Deaf community through sports. Martial arts, specifically judo, were chosen for their accessibility and adaptability to the needs of Deaf individuals.


Conditions of Deaf prisoners

Deaf prisoners around the world face many various challenges. Across Europe, discussions within the Council of Europe focus on improving the rights of Deaf prisoners. Despite this, many still face communication barriers and lack access to services. In England, a recent report from the British Deaf Association (BDA) highlighted ongoing struggles within the prison system. The report says that Deaf inmates often find it hard to understand what's happening and don't receive enough support to communicate effectively. Similarly, in the USA, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed lawsuits in Georgia due to unfair treatment of Deaf prisoners. They were denied providing interpreters and communication help, making it hard for them to understand their rights and access essential services.

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