DeafWire Edition - 24 September 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

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Deaf sensitivity training

Algonquin Area Public Library in Illinois, United States has started a new diversity program series covering Deaf sensitivity training. The series will focus on communication access, cultural sensitivity, and respect of identities. Zaineb Abdullah, the Vice President of Deaf Planet Soul, says the lack of high-quality Deaf education is the reason for low literacy rates among Deaf people.

Zaineb hopes to remove the stigma against hiring Deaf people and to encourage people to learn American Sign Language, ASL, at Deaf-centric events. She will explain that learning ASL from hearing social media influencers should be avoided as some of them are incorrect.


Deaf actress on Netflix

Netflix’s popular British comedy-drama TV series “Sex Education”, recently announced that their upcoming season will feature a Deaf actress named Alexandra James. She will play the role of Aisha. She previously starred in BBC “Three’s the Break.” The show is about the lives of high school staff and students as they contend with various personal dilemmas.

Alexandra went to drama school in Manchester where she received a degree in Acting for Live and Recorded Media. The actress posted on Instagram about her new role, sharing her excitement, “I am so honored to be joining the Sex Education family.” The next season is speculated to come out sometime in 2023.


Sign Language Act review

The New Zealand government is taking further steps to protect the New Zealand Sign Language Act, NZSL. Deaf people living in New Zealand have the opportunity to consult on reviewing this Act. At the moment, there are about 23,000 NZSL users and 5,000 Deaf New Zealanders.

New Zealand’s Disability Issues Minister, Poto Williams, hopes this action will reflect the Government’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with the Deaf community. It is expected Deaf people will take leadership roles. She also wants input from Deaf Māori and their family about how the Act could better reflect their culture.


Deaf girl finally gets visa

The family of a Deaf Ukrainian girl, Elizabeth, fled the Ukrainian-Russian war and have been waiting for a visa to enter England. The UK Home Office has finally made a decision about their visa application and they were granted permission to  move to the United Kingdom to stay with their sponsor, Georgia Stuart.

The UK Government announced that Ukrainian refugees will have access to the National Health Service. Georgia prepared the house for the family – her friends chipped in and donated toys and clothes. She is a former English teacher and is prepared to help the family learn English.


Deaf job interview cancelled

Dayeon Jeong from Korea was diagnosed with deafness at the age of two. She recently graduated with a certificate in web design and moved to a new city in hopes to find a career. She submitted her resume to 250 companies and only heard back from one. Once the company found out Dayeon was Deaf, they cancelled the interview. 

Dayeon felt angry and powerless. She said she felt dumbfounded and offended, pointing out the unfairness in the job market for disabled people in South Korea. Most jobs for people with disabilities are part-time or at minimum wage. Disabled women are the most affected – only 22% are employed.


Deaf Doctor in administration & Accessible technology

Karin Janeth Quijada Lovatón from the Faculty of Administrative Sciences of the National University of San Marcos is the first hard-of-hearing person to complete her thesis and obtain her doctorate in administration. She studied education with a speciality in hearing in language to be able to teach Deaf children. She explained she received a lot of support from the teachers which made it possible for her to graduate.

A Carlo Chile company in Santiago, Chile, opted for technology to improve its service channels and implemented a video call system for people with hearing disabilities. They aim to contribute to the digital inclusion of the Deaf community and have already trained 120 executives to learn sign language throughout the country at its virtual branch. 

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