DeafWire Edition – 29 April 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


TV Show About Deaf Murder Case

The TV show on NBC, “Accident, Suicide, or Murder” had an episode about Mavrick Fisher and the murder of Grant Whitaker. Both Deaf young men shared a vision about building a Deaf community around a communal farm project that resulted in a violent disagreement that ended in Whitaker’s death. Fisher fled to Mexico and one week later, Whitaker’s body was found. Fisher was extradited to the United States. The autopsy ruled the death a homicide. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and vehicle theft. He was sentenced to four years and served 19 months before he was released on March 24, 2021.


Smartwatches offer lifeline for Deaf Ukrainians

The Ukrainian Society for the Deaf (UTOG) has created channels on the Telegram messaging platform to inform people of air raid alerts which Deaf people can receive on their smartwatch. Deaf people face many challenges during the war including audible air siren alerts. Residents evacuating from the southern Kherson and the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions told UTOG they struggled at checkpoints as they could not hear orders on loudspeakers at railway stations. UTOG says they are vulnerable to shelling because they cannot hear air sirens sounded over loudspeakers or on phone applications. In January, a 27-year-old Deaf woman was pulled out from the rubble after she used her smartwatch to tell her mother she was alive following a Russian missile strike which killed 45 people. UTOG has been asking the government to help improve access to the smartwatch which can cost up to a few hundred dollars.


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Deaf push to end exclusion from juries

Brent Phillips, 43-year-old Deaf father of two in Victoria was selected for jury duty in 2014. He was excited but the courts excluded him when they found out he was Deaf. Evidence shows that people with disabilities can participate effectively as jurors with proper support in place, but most Australian courts don’t allow an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreter in the jury room. The United Nations has also found the failure of Australian courts to provide Auslan interpreters violated the rights of Deaf people.

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Deaf crowned winner

Eight women and eight men competed for the crown at the Miss and Mister Deaf England 2023 contests in London. In one competition, they wore designer outfits made of jeans. Deaf model and soccer player Jamie Clarke was one of the hosts.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Deaf presents at Human Rights meeting

Timo Roviesa was a deaf delegate at the 49th Statutory Meeting of the European Youth Advisory Council in Strasbourg. He presented his perspective on the rights of persons with disabilities and a report on ensuring and strengthening accessibility and rights of youth with disabilities. He met with several heads of the Council of Europe departments on topical issues including the rights to sign language.

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