DeafWire Edition – 11 May 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

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Medical errors

Andrew Wiley, a 47-year-old Deaf man, faced a stressful situation at a hospital in the United Kingdom (UK) when he almost underwent testicle surgery without fully understanding the risks involved. The hospital's failure to provide an interpreter left him struggling to communicate with medical staff. Andrew visited Kent and Canterbury Hospital to discuss a benign cyst on his testicle. Despite his wife's prior requests for an interpreter, no one was provided for the appointment. Andrew, a British Sign Language (BSL) user, had to rely on lip-reading and written notes to communicate with doctors, which he says was challenging and left him feeling rushed and misunderstood.


Deaf journalist shares story

March 3 is World Hearing Day, an annual day dedicated to promoting global awareness about ear and hearing care. Kenyan Deaf journalist, Edna Kaidni, took this opportunity to promote awareness about Deaf culture and share her story of becoming a Deaf journalist. Edna says that she became Deaf at a young age. Her friends and family all learned sign language so that they could continue communicating with her. She says that their commitment to learning sign language helped her develop a positive sense of Deaf identity and provided a positive environment for her. She believes that it is important for Deaf children to grow up in an environment where sign language is embraced, both at home and in school settings. She said, “This lays out the foundations for Deaf people to grow and thrive”.

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New signs for Deaf students

The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand, have been working with Deaf school, Ko Taku Reo, on a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) glossary project to enhance accessibility in tertiary education. The project aims to review signs used in various subjects and discuss new vocabulary, ensuring Deaf students have accurate and consistent language throughout their academic journey. Disability Resource Manager, Rosemary Petersen, explains that Deaf students at AUT have in the past not been able to learn the specific terminology or jargon associated with their subject, because there wasn’t a sign for it.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Protest for better access at school

In Bogotá, over 100 students protested due to the lack of sign language interpreters in the educational community of Isabel the 2nd school in the Kennedy locality. Parents denounce that their children have been unable to attend classes due to the lack of hiring interpreters proficient in sign language. Nevertheless, schools still demand that students find strategies to catch up. One student indicates that only one interpreter is provided in the morning and another in the afternoon, which is insufficient for other courses that also require an interpreter. They say. “I feel frustrated and tired, which is why we have come to peacefully protest for our rights”.


Hospital employs interpreter

In Quito between 8 and 10 hearing-impaired individuals attend weekly to San Francisco General Hospital of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS). Because of this, the hospital has incorporated the support of a specialized professional in sign language interpretation for several months. The point of that is to provide clear guidance and instructions before, during, and after medical attention so they have utilized the expertise of a staff member to offer this new service to patients and their families. 

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