DeafWire Edition – 25 February 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Students reading to horses

Eight Deaf students from the New Mexico School for the Deaf are attending sessions at My Little Horse Listener, a non-profit therapy organization that encourages people to connect with horses through activities to strengthen relationship-building skills. The founder of My Little Horse Listener, Liz Delfs explained that horses live in a nonverbal world, so they depend on hand signals, saying it is fascinating how the horses and children interact with one another in sign language. During the therapy, Liz taught Deaf students how to get comfortable with horses and how they communicate with people without using words, as well as how each of the animals has its own unique personality.


First signing Starbucks store

Starbucks Corporation, an American multinational chain of coffeehouses, opened its first signing store in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 2, 2022. More than 150 people applied to work at this store. Customers can order food and drinks by either signing or on a writing tablet. This signing Starbucks store in Jakarta marks the 17th signing store around the world, and it is filled with the signature artwork by Deaf artist Indira Natalia, who painted a 4m high mural art on the wall titled “Inclusion and Diversity Community Spirit”.


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ASL Instructors – University of Rochester
Senior Director Outreach Consortium – NTID
Clinician, DHH / Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Charlotte, NC
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Therapist, HH Wilmington, NC



High Numbers Of Deaf Refugees

More than 500 refugees from Ukraine have come to Iceland since the beginning of this year including an unexpectedly high number of Deaf or hard of hearing. The Hlíðarskóli school in Reykjavík has received several of the Deaf and hard of hearing refugees and reports that of its 602 students, 28 are refugees and 8 of these refugees are Deaf or hard of hearing children, and five of them are from Ukraine. Eyrún Ólafsdóttir, a teacher in Hlíðarskóli’s sign language department says Icelandic and Ukrainian sign language differ greatly but these are not the only languages spoken – there are students who also use Arabic Sign Language, Russian Sign Language, Lithuanian Sign Language, and Spanish Sign Language. Gylfi Þór Þorsteinsson, Director of Refugee Reception at the Icelandic Red Cross does not know why a higher proportion of Deaf and hard of hearing refugees are coming to Iceland than other countries.


Convo four month Relay pilot

Convo South Africa has teamed up with MTN South Africa, the largest mobile network operator in Africa on a four month telecommunications pilot with 100 Deaf and hard of hearing people. With 2.8 million Deaf people in South Africa, Braam Jordan, the co-founder of Convo International who received the Silver Award from the president of South Africa in 2019, hopes the MTN project will be expanded and implemented across South Africa so Deaf people can have access to telecommunications.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Deaf women learn to cook and sew with hope to start businesses

Although research has been done on variety of disability and barriers that disabled people face, there is a concern of the trend of abusing Deaf women who are shut out of labour markets and excluded from society. Half of them are victims of sexual abuse. Some non profit organizations are offering Deaf women a lifeline by training them in cooking and sewing to empower them to start their own businesses.

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