DeafWire Edition – 10 February 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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Big change to help people with disabilities

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is making changes to help people with disabilities and mental health conditions find jobs. Access to Work grants for disabled people, including the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing community, help provide support for work-related needs with practical support, such as special equipment, travel costs, and sign language interpreters. While some parts of the system have gone online, there are still areas where a lot of paperwork is required. The current application process for Access to Work has received complaints for being too slow, causing delays, and making it difficult for people, such as a lack of sign language interpreters for Deaf applicants. Mims Davies, the DWP minister, said they and the government aim to have a fully online service by April 2024, allowing applicants to claim various grants where Deaf people can request for support, using the accessible platform.


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Recap of Deaf Australia Games

The Australian Deaf Games (ADG) celebrated its 60th anniversary in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, during January 13th to 20th, 2024. Organized by Deaf Sports Australia (DSA), the event brought together over 1,000 participants from Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji for 20 different sports. Kathryn Armfield, the Vice President of Deaf Sports Australia, shared that the Australian and Oceania Deaf Games are not just about sports. They are also a big celebration of the Australian Deaf Community. The hope is that everyone leaves with new friends and a strong sense of feeling good about themselves. The event included storytime, lessons, a movie night, lake cruises, a disco, and a closing ceremony on January 20th. 

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Changes to police flashing lights

The National Police Agency (NPA) in Japan is showing flashing red lights for police cars to make Deaf drivers more comfortable. Currently, all police cars use the same flashing lights, whether in an emergency or on patrol. Deaf drivers face the challenge because they don't hear sounds to know if police cars are in different situations. The change comes after the Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD), created in 2012, asked the NPA to change red lights on police cars. It will be different and easy for Deaf drivers to know if the police cars are patrolling or in emergency drives, such as rescue operations, crimes, or scene investigations. The NPA explained that the red light on top of police cars usually flashes every 0.50 seconds.


Using art to empower Deaf

In Rwanda, the Deaf community has faced challenges, particularly with unemployment.However, Prince Nahimana, who was born Deaf, has found a passion for art. He believes that art can be a powerful tool to overcome barriers within the Deaf community in Kilagi, addressing the challenges associated with disability. As the founder of Kilagi Art Gallery, Prince Nahimana encourages the Deaf to express themselves through various art forms, such as beadwork, pottery, and light art. The beautiful creations are then showcased in exhibitions and promoted through social media, resulting in many people purchasing their artwork. 


Film promotes inclusion in sports

Jordan's capital, Amman, is the backdrop for the local initiative, Masmou3, which is revolutionizing the online experience for the Deaf community in the country. The initiative advocates for the inclusion of sign language in school curricula. The movie, titled “Sukoun'' focuses on an 11-year-old boy dealing with hearing impairment, specifically his challenges in
sports like karate. This film holds significant impact for both the hearing and Deaf communities, shedding light on the hurdles faced by hearing-impaired athletes who often encounter marginalization in the
world of sports. The platform, consisting of 15 volunteers who also serve as content creators, is notable for its diverse backgrounds, with members either being hearing-impaired, proficient sign language translators, or individuals with a deep understanding of sign language representative of the initiative, emphasizes the platform's advocacy for the integration of sign language into school curricula, viewing it as a crucial step toward
dismantling communication barriers.

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