DeafWire Edition – 20 January 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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Sharing the uniqueness of ASL and LSM

The languages used in Latin America has a significant difference to the English language. The Spanish and English languages have several universal elements (which are common throughout the world) and have thousands of differences in each country. The same theory is applied to compare (ASL) and Mexican Sign Language (LSM). Estefani, who is a young Deaf Latina, created a TikTok to educate everyone about the differences. Estefani explains in depth the linguistic differences of ASL and LSM. Estefani wanted people to learn the nuanced  differences Sign Languages have. 


Limitations to access

Director Myles Murphy at Newfoundland and Labrador Association for the Deaf expresses concern about the lack of interpreters in the area. They currently only have 5 ASL interpreters. This Deaf advocate says that is hindering seniors' access to services. Murphy says the lack of accessible services is leaving seniors isolated in the health care system. Myles Murphy says the biggest problem is Canada's lack of American Sign Language interpreters, which has hit the province especially hard. The NLAD is only aware of five interpreters in the province, for about 100 people who need their services. The people are spread out over a very large area, which creates significant problems for people living in personal care homes (nursing homes, stays), for example, where medical care and social programs are essential. 


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70th-anniversary celebration of the first Deaf school

The Georgios Markou School for the Deaf in Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus celebrated its 70th year during 2023. It has evolved from a school with 22 students when it opened in October 1953 to become an integral part of the Cyprus Deaf community providing education, programs and services for individuals with hearing loss in collaboration with government entities. Children communicate in either sign language or talk orally relying on lip-reading and pronunciation. Some children also have cochlear implants. To help students secure jobs, the school develops individual plans with the support of social workers and enlightens prospective employers on what is needed to employ a Deaf person. They meet and conduct sessions periodically with the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to Intersign, the deaf and hard of hearing population in Cyprus is an estimated 39,840.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Partnership for Deaf inclusion in the workplace

Teleperformance and the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in the Phillipines signed a Memorandum of Agreement in December. As part of the agreement, both groups would work together to launch a comprehensive program to train Deaf interns and equip them with the necessary tools for their integration into the workforce. Teleperformance, an offshore contact center that serves world's largest companies with customer care, technical support, consulting and analytics and other services. This agreement is the latest in Teleperformance's commitment to deaf inclusion. In the past they hired people with disabilities and dedicated Filipino Sign Language (FSL) interpreters for corporate events. 


25th-anniversary celebration of Starbucks

Starbucks Malaysia celebrated its 25th anniversary in December. “With every cup, with every conversation, with every community– we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection” - reflecting the true essence of their journey in Malaysia and the world. They recently opened their 400th store in Malaysia which is a drive-through with warm interior and eye-catching art pieces to create a welcome atmosphere. During its 25 year journey, Starbucks Malaysia opened the world's first Starbucks Signing Store in 2016 not only to serve coffee but fulfills dreams, provides a career path, and create a safe space for the Deaf community. In addition to the first Signing Store in Bangsar Village II, Starbucks collaborated with local Deaf associations and launched additional Signing Stores in cities of Penang and Kuching. 

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