DeafWire Edition – 8 June 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen



Legal action against cinemas

Going to the movie cinemas is a simple pleasure for many, but for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Australia, it can be challenging. A group is challenging Hoyts Cinemas in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. They want all movies at Hoyts in Victoria to have open captions. Cinemas currently use Capti-View, a small device that shows captions. However, many in the Deaf community say Capti-View is unreliable and outdated. Philip Waters, general manager of Deaf Victoria, explains that Capti-View often has issues like dead batteries and a flimsy arm stand, making it hard to use. Many cinema staff aren't trained to help with these devices either. 



First sign language book

On Friday 31st May, Woodford International School hosted a special event to celebrate a significant milestone for the Deaf community in the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands Deaf Association (SIDA) unveiled the first children's book written in Solomon Islands Sign Language Pijin. The book, titled "Going to the Market," is a story about a Solomon Island woman buying vegetables and fruit for her family. What makes this book unique is that it was both written and illustrated by two Deaf Solomon Islanders, Lilly and Jonathan. 

Looking for a job? See Jobs Center for job openings.

* Regional Reporter: Oceania (international)
* DeafGPS Researcher & Program Host (international)
* Senior Writer, Associate Producer (Canada)




Using VR to improve speech

Scientists are using Virtual Reality (VR) games to help profoundly Deaf children improve their ability to localize sounds and understand speech. This innovative approach is part of a project called “Bears – for Both Ears” and is aimed at children with bilateral cochlear implants. Profoundly Deaf children often need major interventions, such as cochlear implants, to experience being able to hear. Lorenzo Picinali, an audio engineer from Imperial College London, explained that computer games significantly enhance the effectiveness of these interventions. By immersing children in VR games, scientists aim to train their brains to better identify the location of sounds, which in turn helps them understand speech more clearly.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Airlines focuses on project for Deaf travellers

In Bogotá, Avianca and the National Federation of the Deaf of Colombia will implement a pilot project at El Dorado airport aimed at optimizing the experience of passengers with deafness through communication in Colombian sign language between these individuals and airline personnel. For the execution of the project, the Servir platform will be available at the airline's special assistance counter, as well as in boarding areas. The service will be available from May 6, and its pilot status will be maintained for three months while details are refined for the final delivery of this service. It is a completely free service and will operate from Monday to Friday from eight in the morning to seven in the evening, and on Saturdays from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon.


AI supports with translation

In Lima, The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) announced that it has developed the first dictionary of this type, which, in its first stage, gathers 750 words from Spanish with their correspondence in Peruvian sign language (LSP). A new virtual dictionary, designed with artificial intelligence, translates from Spanish to Peruvian sign language and is available for free for people with hearing disabilities or anyone who wants to learn this language. The user enters words such as "hello," "friend," "eat," "walk," or "dog" into the search engine, and immediately, short videos appear showing how to express these concepts through signs. But that's not all, thanks to an artificial intelligence mechanism, this dictionary allows recognition of up to 38 signs in LSP and provides their version in Spanish, and it is also designed with a scalable nature, allowing for the gradual introduction of new signs. 

Copyright © 2024 - DeafDigest. All Rights Reserved.