DeafWire Edition – 30 December 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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Deaf player in Squid Game The Challenge

Player number 393, Jackie Gonzalez, from the USA, is a Deaf contestant who appears in Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge, a real-life game based on a television show called Squid Game. In this competition, players go through intense elimination challenges, with the sole winner taking $4.56 million USD. Filming took place in London from January to February 2023, with additional filming in her hometown in March. Jackie has always been a fan of reality shows and wanted to be on one, but she felt it wasn't possible due to her Deafness. However, witnessing more Deaf people on reality shows inspired her to pursue her dreams, and "Squid Game: The Challenge" finally gave her that chance.


VRI App connects Deaf to police in 30 seconds

The city of Calgary, Canada has partnered with Deaf and Hear Alberta to start a new Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) service for citizens and local police. The service aims to provide ASL access to law enforcement within 30 seconds through a mobile app. The service can be used by citizens to contact police and also by police to talk with citizens during, for example, a traffic stop. Before VRI on demand became available, the usual process was the police would request an in-person interpreter, a dispatcher would check with a list for interpreter availability, and an interpreter would be sent where they’re needed. This could take 2-4 hours. This arrangement saw limited use - just 5 times in the two years before VRI service began.


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New cafe inclusive of all

'The Able', a cafe in Yangon is pioneering a deaf-friendly environment and is entirely staffed by hearing-impaired individuals from service staff to chefs. The concept, inspired by similar eateries abroad, is the brainchild of co-founder Myo Kyaw Thu. 'The Able' is not just a cafe but a movement, aiming to integrate the deaf community into mainstream society and offer employment opportunities. It's a place where customers engage with staff using sign language, learning more about deaf culture. The cafe's main chef, Ye Lwin Oo, brings over a decade of culinary experience. His journey, from discovering his hearing impairment to mastering sign language and culinary skills, is a beacon of inspiration. 'The Able' offers an array of Burmese and Thai fusion cuisines in a cozy setting, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Government backs Deaf Community

In a groundbreaking initiative, Muntinlupa City through Mayor Ruffy Biazon and the City Council is set to sign a crucial agreement with the International Evangelical Church of Alabang's Deaf Ministry. The agreement focuses on offering sign language training and securing qualified interpreters, ensuring effective communication for the deaf population. This move by the Muntinlupa City government is a testament to their commitment to uphold the rights and facilitate the participation of the deaf community in the city's progress. The city's Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office plays a vital role in this initiative, curating targeted programs for the deaf. 


Colorful accessible communities project

Employees at PPG, a paint company based in Poland, volunteered to spend more than three weeks helping and supporting the Institute for the Deaf in Warsaw, Poland, as part of their COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® program. They painted walls and doors and prepared colorful flowerpots. They also painted colorful sign language pictures around the place to make it more inclusive and informative. The volunteers also changed some room layouts to be wheelchair-friendly for all students and visitors. These changes not only improve the surroundings look better but also aim to help people communicate and better understand each other.

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