DeafWire Edition – 21 October 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Deaf dancer achieves his goals

Jason Wong Yiu-Pong is a Deaf dancer who studied at Hong Kong Design Institute. At first there were no sign language interpreters for him. He advocated and advocated, and finally, sign language interpretation services were arranged. He first found his love for dance at 20 years old. Although he could not hear music, he felt it through vibrations. He won third place at the Beauty Pageant in Thailand in 2022 where he also prepared outfits and performances within a short time and learned International Sign.


DeafBlind professor represents disabled community

Fukushima Satoshi is the first Deaf-blind professor in the world. He studied in a university, which had never happened before in Japan. Then, he became a full-time professor. His mom, Reiko, who has always been there for him, wrote a book, ‘Satoshi wakaru ka’ about their life together. A movie was made about Fukushima’s life. Fukushima is currently head of the Japan Deafblind Association and represents Asia in the World Federation of the Deafblind and advocates for a world where everyone is treated equally, no matter if they are a woman or belong to a minority group.


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* Policy Analyst, VDDHH, Richmond, VA
* Clinical Assistant Professor, UNC at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC



Deaf Miss Samoa competitor bullied

Miracle Afele becomes the first Deaf young woman to compete in the 2023 Miss Samoa Pageant, a historic milestone for the Deaf Community in Samoa! In her day job, Afele runs the Miss Samoa Association of Sign Language Interpreters organization and teaches Deaf people and their families how to communicate using sign language in Samoa. Many people have said that Afele was inspirational for being a Deaf role model who has broken barriers to be part of the pageant. However, others have criticized the organizers of the pageant for letting a person with a disability participate. Some have even used mean and degrading comments towards Afele, but this has made her even more determined to win the pageant.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Accessible travel app

Amsaan Accessible Tours (ATT), a touring company in Dubai that promotes inclusivity and equal opportunities for Deaf tourists traveling in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is collaborating with The First Group of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to encourage and promote accessible hospitality across transportation, accommodation, healthcare, recreational entertainment and visa support. ATT has developed a mobile application that is accessible in sign language to allow Deaf tourists to travel with comfort. Their aim is to allow Deaf tourists to connect and explore in a supporting environment with 24/7 access to interpreters for effective communication and fast solutions.


AI interpreter at gaming event

A digital avatar, Xiaomo is a virtual sign language interpreter created by Alibaba Cloud who interprets spoken Mandarin to Chinese Sign Language. An upcoming event, the Asian Para Games, will be hosted during the last week of October in Hangzhou, China. Xiaomo will provide interpretation during the game to make the event accessible to Deaf people. Xiaomo is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deaf people can simply use the Alipay app on their devices to ask Xiaomo for information, including directions, event schedules, and even to seek medical help. Zhang Bang, an engineer with Alibaba Cloud says that it took nearly two years to develop the algorithm for Xiaomo and to build the dataset that contains 25,000 signs.

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