DeafWire Edition – 6 July 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

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Deaf dance group celebrated

The Deaf Indigenous Dance Group (DIDG) in Australia is a proud Deaf First Nations dance group. They are now being celebrated at the State Library of Queensland through a free showcase called "Deaf in dance." This event will run until 16 March 2025, and feature a collection of photos, artworks, and stories that highlight the group's cultural and artistic impact. With a history spanning over 27 years, DIDG has become nationally known for its vibrant performances at various cultural and arts events across Australia. The showcase includes tactile artwork by Kalkadoon artist Bree Buttenshaw and black-and-white photographs by Sean Davey and Aisha Kenton, who spent a year capturing the group's rehearsals and performances.


Expansion of accessible tours

Amsaan Accessible Tours (AAT) in Dubai is an example of inclusive tourism for Deaf and Hard of Hearing travelers. They have just announced new travel destinations in Spain and Greece. With offices in the UAE and the UK, AAT aims to create barrier-free travel experiences for Deaf individuals around the world. They offer a range of services, including Deaf-friendly accommodations and accessible tours led by Deaf guides using various sign languages. They also have an exclusive mobile app that provides essential travel information and accessibility maps in sign language, ensuring that Deaf travelers have all the information they need for a smooth journey.

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* Regional Reporter: Oceania (international)
* DeafGPS Researcher & Program Host (international)
* Senior Writer, Associate Producer (Canada)



Deaf fired for sleeping on job

A Deaf man from New Zealand, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared his harrowing experience of being fired from an IT company due to his disability. After starting his new job, he attended an induction meeting on his third day, which he was told was going to be for an hour, but instead lasted all day without any communication support. The man says that he had requested support such as a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreter prior to the meeting, but was not given any. As he struggled to follow the presentation, he fell asleep and was told off by the CEO. By Friday, he was unexpectedly terminated for allegedly not meeting work standards, although he had only done induction training and administrative tasks that week. He says that he later discovered through a co-worker that his disability was the true reason for his dismissal. With the help of his mother and an employment lawyer, he challenged the company to prove that his termination was discriminatory. They eventually settled, but the experience left him with significant emotional and financial burdens, and impacted his confidence in his work and university studies.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Positive community impact

Pepsico Venezuela is encouraging volunteering through its “Pep Positive” (Pep+) initiative, focusing on education, community development, and reforestation. Recently, their team visited the Juan Pablo Bonet School, which specializes in children with deafness, to renovate its facilities and build furniture from recycled materials. This activity is part of the “Una Sonrisa a la Vez” program, which involves employees from various areas in community projects. They collaborated with Dividendo Voluntario para la Comunidad, an association supporting corporate social responsibility. 


Eliminating barriers for Deaf

In Quito, several institutions presented a profile proposal for the position of professional Sign Language Interpreter and Guide Interpreter for Ecuadorian Sign Language-Spanish to the Ministry of Labor. This initiative, led by the Defensoría del Pueblo, Fenasec, Conadis, Anilsec, the Instituto CRE-SER, and PUCE, aims to guarantee equality and non-discrimination for the Deaf community. The goal is to incorporate these professionals into all public institutions to eliminate communication barriers between hearing and Deaf individuals. Although the Constitution and the Organic Law on Disabilities recognize Ecuadorian Sign Language, the State has not adequately progressed in its implementation. The institutions request that the Ministry of Labor issue a Ministerial Agreement to include this position in the General Classification System of Public Service Positions. Jorge Banet from PUCE emphasized the importance of this profile to support the profession.

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