DeafWire Edition – 7 October 2023

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen


Former President Wrote Letter to Deaf Father

In 1988, an American Deaf man got a letter from then US president Ronald Reagan. The Deaf man was Lee Brody, who helped make communication by TTY possible for more people. The military and Western Union was upgrading their communications system and had many older TTY machines to retire. A Deaf electrical engineer and a Deaf dentist recognized a golden opportunity to repurpose these machines by adding electronics that could convert sound to text. A box could be connected to phones to send text between TTY machines, which was not wide available before. Now Deaf people could connect directly with important services, like schools, hospitals, libraries, and local police, fire and emergency call departments. The letter from Ronald Reagan congratulated Brody for his contributions to the Deaf community. “Your good efforts…have helped countless Deaf and Deaf-Blind people gain renewed ability to communicate with others, greatly enriching their lives.” Improvements continued – light flashers were added to alert Deaf people to incoming calls, then code and electronics bridged the gap between TTYs and computers.


Deaf Wrestling Championship Results

At the 7th Deaf World Wrestling Championship in Kyrgyzstan on September 10-11, Iran’s wrestlers did well but placed second in the competition. The Iranian team won three gold medals, one silver medal, and four bronze medals. Turkey did even better and became the champion. Kazakhstan got third place.


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Deaf Sets Up Travel Company

Elias Mardini, a Deaf Lebanese individual, established a tour guide agency in 2019 with the aim of showcasing the beauty of Lebanon. Elias initially worked as a cook, then a carpenter at a hotel, then a gas attendant, and lastly at a ski resort in Lebanon, which provided him with valuable opportunities to explore Lebanon’s various attractions. Elias recognized a unique opportunity. There were no other Deaf tour guides in Lebanon.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Deaf Youth file complaint

In Montevideo, 32-year-old Deaf youth named Rodrigo Couto requested a sign language interpreter from the Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay (BHU) in January to complete a procedure, but BHU initially refused to provide one. Through the Ministry of Social Development (Mides), he eventually obtained an interpreter, but Couto filed a complaint with the National Institution for Human Rights (INDDHH). INDDHH concluded that BHU violated the right to equality and non-discrimination by denying him an interpreter. BHU argued that it wasn’t obligated under the Uruguayan Sign Language Law, but INDDHH interpreted differently, stating that the law required reasonable accommodations to ensure accessibility. INDDHH’s resolution recommended that BHU offer sign language interpreter services. However, INDDHH emphasized that the violation wasn’t the lack of an interpreter at the institution but the refusal to make a reasonable accommodation for Couto. Rodrigo Couto shared that this wasn’t an isolated experience, as he had encountered accessibility issues in other public organizations in the past.


World Deaf Swimming Championships

The international World Deaf Swimming Championships tournament will take place at the Roca Olympic Park in Buenos Aires with 120 athletes from 26 countries participating. Juan Daniel López Maccio, president of the Argentine Sports Confederation for the Deaf (CADES) says “We are working very hard to make a championship that will be remembered. It will be an event with high visibility, an unprecedented tournament for everyone, and we will show the world that deaf people can also excel in sports.”

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