DeafWire Edition – 30 September 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Deaf people experience wildfire

On August 8th, wildfires swept across Maui, forever changing the lives of the hundreds of thousands residents on the Hawaiian island, including Deaf people. Maui used to have a lot of wetlands, areas with a lot of water and plants, but over time, these lands became dry because they were turned into farms, baseball fields, and places for houses. Also, because of strong winds and no rain, the fire was able to spread quickly. When the fire came, many people did not know because the warning systems, like sirens and text messages, did not work properly. People tried to leave, but the roads were blocked because of dangerous live wires on the roads. So, they had to find other routes. H3 World TV reached out to Scott Cohen, a member of Maui Deaf Friends, a grassroot organization in Maui.


Looking for a job? See Jobs Center for job openings.

* Are you looking to be part of something special in the field of mental health and Deafness? – Charlotte & Wilmington, NC
* Jobs @State Center Community College District, Central Valley, California
* Regional Reporter: Oceania (international)



New signs linked to climate change

A project at University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Sensory Center involves creating an online glossary of the terms with video to show the signs clearly. These terms are then shared with the community for review and adoption. BSL, like other languages, changes over time, growing in some directions, shrinking in others. Since 2007, the University of Edinburgh has been busy inventing new science signs in British Sign Language, and have added over 7,000 signs to date. The project is partly funded by the Royal Society, a long-established, widely respected scientific organization that recognizes the value of science communication in the Deaf community. Some of the people working in the project are scientists who became frustrated with the lack of BSL vocabulary in their work, and the tedious work of fingerspelling terms with no signs.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Video Interpreting Service expands to sporting events

A company, Sign Now is expanding interpreting services to sporting events, including soccer. The CEO of Sign Now, Timer Levy, wants Deaf Israelis to have access to 24/7 on-demand sign language interpretation through the Sign Now app. Sign Now’s new service is estimated to reach 90 million Deaf people. In August of 2022, Tomer Levy met with FIFA executives in Europe. After a successful meeting, Sign Now provided sign language interpretation for 64 games on streaming service “FIFA+”. That went so well that Sign Now wants to expand to all major sporting events by giving companies that host sports the opportunity to provide Sign Now services to Deaf viewers. Sign Now provides interpretation in American Sign Language (ASL) and International Sign. In Israel, they interpret using Israeli Sign Language (ISL).


Violations of Disability Rights

In 2016, a report was released in England by the United Nations that said there were “grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights due to austerity and welfare reform.” Austerity and welfare reform are when government spending is cut to help balance England’s national budget. The report said that those spending cuts are impacting the lives of Deaf and disabled people in the UK. Despite clear evidence that things are getting worse for Deaf and disabled people, the UK government did not prioritize spending on programs that assist living standards for Deaf and disabled people. According to a recent report, 20% of Deaf and disabled people in the UK do not get enough food or water, and don’t have adequate access to bathing. Some don’t have the help they need to go to the bathroom. Welfare has been cut so deeply that according to a recent BBC investigation, 60,000 Deaf and disabled people found themselves in debt when they didn’t get the support they needed. Another 632,000 Deaf and disabled people in England are at risk if the government is unable or unwilling to reverse the cuts they’ve made to public services.

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