Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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New PM scrambles with accessibility
The Australian Deaf community brought up concerns about the lack of accessibility during government press concerns. Sign language interpreters at press conferences aren’t visible on social media and that needs to change. The Prime Minister’s office stated they’re committed to providing accessibility to all Australians.
Sheri Beaver felt that the Prime Minister shouldn’t have to be reminded to be accessible to all Australians, including those who use Auslan. She also said that if accessibility doesn’t come automatically, they will remain behind other nations such as the United States and New Zealand where there are sign language interpreters at leaders’ daily press conferences.
Government promotes sign language
Malaysian Sign Language (BIM) was developed in 1998 and accepted as an official language in 2008 by the Malaysian Government and they use BIM to communicate with the Deaf community. There are around 60,000 BIM users. Government staff members will undergo three-month sign language training.
Earlier this year at the Deaf Empowerment Workshop 2022, where there were 50 participants from over 20 associations and government agencies, advocates urged the government to make BIM an elective subject in school. In September 2001, the government asked early childhood education institutions to provide early exposure to sign languages at a workshop ‘Voices to be Heard.’
UEDY celebrates one year & 10th Clin d’Oeil Festival
A Deaf organisation, UEDY – Ubuntu European Deaf Youth – celebrates its one year anniversary. They raise, educate, and empower BIPOC Deaf youths from all over Europe. UEDY hosts seminars, teaching about anti-racism, and other motivational topics for BIPOC people.
Earlier this month in Reims, France, the Clin d’Oeil Festival took place at a new venue. Everything was nearby, including a theatre, cinema, exhibition, an open-air stage, dance floor, lecture room with master classes, a food court with Deaf chefs, and a swimming pool. More than 10,000 Deaf people from all over the world attended.
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DeafBlind man builds home
Brian Gubb, a 63-year-old Deaf-blind man built an “Earthship” house for himself, his family of five children, and grandchildren. It cost Gubb $28,000 USD to build the house; he used natural and recycled materials, such as an old car and a large truck tires filled with soil, and walls made from coloured glass squares from old bottles. His house also has recycled hot tubs filled with spring heated water. The house is named, “Kan do it.”
In 2007, Gubb lost his sight from an optic nerve stroke. He can only see shapes and lines; to use his smartphone, he needs to pull it close to his eyes. Gubb works full-time building custom wooden crates and pallets and does additional work as a ground-keeper.
Device for Deaf cyclists
A student at Brunel Design School in the United Kingdom created a new device, “Sonear”. It uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor traffic, letting the user know when a vehicle is in their proximity by delivering small vibrations to the back of the head. As cars get closer, the tingling vibration increases, allowing the cyclist to “feel” the car’s proximity to them.
Divine Okoroji, a 22-year-old, was born deaf in one ear. He stated that he never used to cycle on the road because he felt like he was getting into positions where he was having near-misses. He hopes the device will give Deaf and hard of hearing people more confidence on their bike. Okoroji hopes to work with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf to develop it into an attractive commercial product.
Mexican Sign Language, Deaf Canada art exhibit
Mexican Sign Language (LSM) became official in 2005 and is commemorated every year on June 10th. In Quintana Roo, the municipality of Benito Juárez was the first to provide LSM interpretation during live broadcasts of government official announcements as well as training of LSM for citizens and public servants. There are around 85 people in the government who have been involved in this. The goal is to improve communication and accessibility in the area.
Students in Canada created art based on their Deaf and hard of hearing experiences. The “Deaf Shame to Deaf Same” exhibition is at the Regina Public Library, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their art is presented in many different ways – through a series of dioramas, photographs, and written descriptions. The art illustrated their feelings of isolation and humiliation to acceptance and belonging they found in the Deaf community.
This DeafWire EDITION is presented by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization producing TV programs in International Sign (IS).
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