DeafWire Edition – 16 September 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Lack of access to info about wildfires

The British Columbia Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness did not have ASL interpretation when wildfires raged through B.C., resulting in an uproar from the Canadian deaf community. In a statement, the Canada Deaf Grassroots Movement said it’s relieved that at least 12 people with hearing loss were evacuated from Kelowna, despite “the glaring omission of American Sign Language from the B.C. government’s live streamed updates on the crisis. While closed captioning was available during public announcements, CDGM says that is not sufficient for Deaf people who use ASL as their primary language. The uproar resulted in the B.C. Ministry providing ASL interpreters the next day. Dr. Joseph Murray, president of the World Federation of the Deaf, who wrote on social media earlier this month saying that “access in national sign languages must be built into official government emergency preparedness plans.”


The 5th World Orienteering Championship

The 5th World Deaf Orienteering Championships were held in Stockholm, Sweden during 29 August to 05 September 2023. Although anticipated, the 1st World Deaf Junior Orienteering Championships were canceled because not many people signed up. Because of the low number of registrations from young people, there was a meeting between Mr. Jarosław Janiec of ICSD, Mrs. Olga Dula from ICSD, and Mr. Frej Freedman from the Organizing Committee to review this and plan on how to improve this for future championships. Athletes from countries Ukraine, Denmark, Czech, Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Ghana and many more participated in this international sporting event.


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No access to referendum

Leslie Footscray is a man from the First Nations, and he cannot hear. Leslie didn’t know about a big vote called the “Voice referendum” until he saw a T-shirt. The shirt had the word “yes” on it with symbols on it reflecting the process of voting. At an event, he asked his advocate, Sue, about the shirt. Sue explained that on referendum day, Australian adult citizens will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the proposed law altering the Constitution to recognize the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. It will ask “do you approve this proposed alteration?” If the answer is “yes,” the constitution would be rewritten to state that the Voice “may make representations” to the Parliament and executive government “on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” Leslie is worried because other people who are Deaf might not know about the vote either. He thinks they should get the chance to vote too. He uses Auslan to communicate with others.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Tragedy hits deaf bowling team

A member of Taiwan’s Deaf Bowling Team encountered severe breathing complications during a flight returning from Dubai to Taipei after a successful stint at the 2023 World Deaf Bowling Championships in Munich, where the team clinched two golds, two silvers, and four bronzes. The situation escalated when the team member lost consciousness inside the plane’s bathroom. Although immediate first aid was rendered by a flight attendant, and assistance of a doctor from Cathay General Hospital who happened to be on the same flight, after a relentless 40 minutes of emergency medical care, the bowler showed no signs of life. In an official statement, Sports Administration Deputy Director-General, Fang Jui-wen, expressed his profound sadness over the incident, stating that both he and the Chinese Taipei Deaf Sports Federation Secretary-General, Chao Yu-ping, met the team upon their return to provide immediate support.


Starbucks Malaysia collaborates with Sarawak Society for the Deaf

Minister of Women, Early Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, spoke at the launch of the Kuching Starbucks Signing Store in Vivacity Megamall in Kuching. She said this partnership with Starbucks Malaysia and Sarawak Society for the Deaf (SSD) aims to empower the deaf community, giving them equitable opportunities and recognizing the differently abled. She emphasized that community empowerment is vital for local development. Fatimah lauded the collaboration, saying it goes beyond government assistance, calling for more local and non-governmental entities to intensify their support towards the differently abled. This is the first Starbucks Signing Store in Borneo, third in Malaysia, and the 20th worldwide. This powerful collaboration sends a clear message about the importance of inclusivity in society.

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