DeafWire Edition – 9 April 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Deaf History Month

Every year in April, Deaf people in the United States celebrate National Deaf History Month (NDHM). It was first introduced by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 1997. The American Library Association (ALA) worked with NAD to help spread awareness about the celebration of NDHM.

Many Deaf people are still fighting for equal rights in their daily lives as they continue to face barriers in workplaces, classrooms, cinemas, and many other places.


Troy Kotsur and CODA win Oscars

Troy Kotsuar is the first Deaf man to win an Oscar award for Best Supporting Actor in “CODA.” Winning an Oscar gives winners an “Oscar Effect”, which is something that gives actors a 20% boost in their payments in their next role; the effect can last for several movies or their entire career.

The “CODA” film won all three of its nominated categories – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The cast received a visual applause from the audience.


Non-signing Deaf school teachers

Teachers at the North West Secondary School for the Deaf in Leeudoringstad are teaching Deaf students despite not knowing sign language and this affected the students’ quality of education. Only one student out of five passed the 12th grade exam in 2021.

South African Language Board (PSALB) visited the school, they were shocked to discover this. They will urge the Department of Education to ensure that the teacher assistant hired will have knowledge of sign language to make sure learning will be easier for Deaf students.


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Miss Rwanda Pageant, Signed Podcasts

A Deaf woman competed in the Miss Rwanda pageant. This was the first time Deaf contestants were included. The judges were blown away and had no idea that Deaf women could compete in pageants.

An interpreter in South Africa recognized that podcasts for hearing people aren’t accessible to Deaf people, so she gave two Deaf women the opportunity to sign podcasts of Deaf people’s experiences.


Four Deaf men sent to prison

Four Deaf men in Denmark have been convicted of fraud during the period 2013 to 2017. They abused a law called the Personal Assistance Act. The men misused the money from the government that’s supposed to cover interpreting services for their personal gain – about 30 million Danish Krones  (4.7 million USD).

The judge decided to send the Deaf men: Anders Witt Gadkjaer, Simon Bak, Jannick Jakobsen, and Jeppe Winther Vestenaa to prison, and also added to their sentence that they must pay for the charges of this case.


Sign Language Bill update

Members of the Parliament in the United Kingdom have been debating a British Sign Language (BSL) Bill to recognize BSL as an official language of England, Wales, and Scotland. The BSL Bill started in the House of Commons and needs to pass all stages of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading. 

Rose Alying-Ellis said BSL should be made official because it has no legal protection as is. The current status is a big problem for the Deaf community because if they go to a doctor’s appointment and ask for an interpreter, they’re not referred to one, so they end up relying on their child or family member to translate.

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