As the summer season draws to a close, the anticipation of a new school year fills the air. While the back-to-school checklist typically revolves around backpacks, notebooks, and pencils, it’s equally crucial to consider the diverse communication needs of students and raise awareness about deafness within our school communities. Every child deserves an education that provides equal access, and creating an inclusive environment is a fundamental step towards that goal.
Last Saturday, S5WAVES – a local Kingston grassroots organization I founded reached a new milestone as we hosted our highly anticipated third Awesome Ice Cream Social. This year’s event was not only a delightful gathering but also an artistic showcase and a heartwarming display of community support. From the talents of four artists displaying their artwork to the captivating performances of two Kingston Circus Art performers and two Deaf storytellers, the Ice Cream Social became a resounding success that left us captivated and filled with gratitude.
Have you been following all the news on Justina Miles? Everyone is stunned by her performance as I am to Rihanna’s songs. The first Black female SuperBowl halftime ASL performer did amazing and garnered lots of media attention that she deserves.
Like all languages, American Sign Language (ASL) is a means of communication but also a means of art expression. Music is inclusive and it is meant for everyone to enjoy. Yes, we do enjoy music! There is absolutely no reason to deprive Deaf people from experiencing a good time. We are always pushing for access. Three different roles play this out to give us, the Deaf community, an experience.
Read more about the differences of ASL interpreter, ASL performer and ASL artists.
You never know what’s going to happen until you ask.
Few weeks back I wanted to treat my husband to a comedy for his birthday and saw that the Kingston Grand Theatre was having a show that looked intriguing. One problem, I wanted to be able to enjoy the show too! I emailed the theatre to ask if interpreters can be provided knowing how short notice it was.
Have you ever seen Squid Game? Do you remember the dalgona cookie challenge? How each player had to patiently and methodically lick or prick their way against the countdown before they were eliminated for good? Can you imagine being trapped in a life-threatening situation forced to play a game that may determine whether they survive?
Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients often end up in situations like these, where they are trapped by necessity and circumstance. They show up to the emergency room or to their doctor’s office and are not provided the communication access they need so they can discuss their needs or decisions, often leading to miscommunication, misdiagnosis and mistreatment.
In the last few years we have learned so much of what has happened and is happening in our country. How it affects people livelihoods. We learn about Every Child Matters, Black Lives Matter. Gay Pride and more. We learn to do better not to repeat history and educate to end hatred, I hope.
A friend wrote me discussing the latest concern, “People really need to realize it is difficult to find a cis-gendered, heterosexual abled white male in our national history who isn’t problematic. Stop honoring them! They have been honoured! Focus on the people who have been erased or ignored!”
This is regarding the Royal Canadian Mint honouring Alexander Graham Bell not doing their homework. The researchers at the mint have an obligation to dig deeper and be curious about the people they clear for this honour. Google his name and controversy before declaring his worth.
Did you watch The Amazing Race Canada Tuesday evening???
Did you see biggest secret I kept since April, the race occurred at my old alumni Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf (SJW) in Belleville, Ontario. The show used my ASL alphabet chart!!! I am so honoured to have my illustrations with my logo displayed on the amazing show.
The term “Better Hearing and Speech Month” leaves an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Every May this event is celebrated and meant to bring awareness about communication disorders and hearing health. I realise that was last month, but I’ve been sitting on this thought and trying to find a way to express it in a way that makes people receptive to hearing me out. I can’t help but feel that this celebration is negative towards all deaf people or those who communicate differently. It is in my experience that society’s expectations of its citizens are that we are to speak perfectly, hear fully and live well free of deafness. For the purpose of clarity I’m referring to audiology in this blog.
I am not asking permission at the seat of the table. I am pulling up my own chair, to bring you awareness about the issues important to certain individuals to have a voice.
There has been an increased recognition of diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations or institutions. They have adjusted their policies to have proper representation in their workplace. Women and visible minorities, people with disabilities have been often included in the policies. That has not been the case for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafened.
Have you had a Deaf customer come in and faced an unfortunate conflict? You may have felt frustrated that you couldn’t help resolve an issue due to lack of communication. So you decided you wanted to know more about deafness and a bonus, learning sign language. Where do you go to seek such services? SignABLE