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Back to School: Fostering Inclusive Communication and Deaf Awareness

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.

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A Journey from Hope to Positive Change

In a world where struggles are not uncommon, there are individuals who emerge with a vision fueled by passion and hope. SignAble Vi5ion is one such endeavor, born not out of mere passion, but a profound desire for positive transformation in the lives of the Deaf community and beyond. This blog narrates the personal journey of the visionary behind SignAble Vi5ion, how they evolved from witnessing struggles within their family and friends to striving for positive change that could impact the world. Their wish to create a practice of inclusive communication that meets the needs of Deaf individuals and those faced with communication barriers while benefiting everyone became the driving force behind this inspirational endeavor.

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Embracing Inclusivity: Breaking Barriers in the Workplace

August 2nd, a date that marks the passing of yet another year in my life. As I celebrate my birthday, I can’t help but reflect on the things that remain unchanged over the years. One significant aspect that continues to persist is the barriers faced by disabled and deaf individuals in the workplace. Despite progress in various fields, some hiring practices still deny opportunities to those who communicate differently. It is disheartening to see that ignorance and misconceptions about disabilities still prevail. However, it is not a time to lose hope; change is possible, and it starts with raising awareness and providing the right training and knowledge to create an inclusive environment.

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Exclusionary Practices at Conferences: A Call for Full Access and Authentic Inclusion

This disparity in access perpetuates an exclusionary environment, where minority individuals, including those who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and disabled, are tokenized, left to feel like an afterthought rather than equal participants. As an advocate for inclusivity, I firmly believe that conferences should strive to provide comprehensive support, breaking down barriers to participation for everyone.

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How Customized Training and Resources Can Improve Your Team’s Communication

Hi there, I’m Leah Riddell and I specialize in providing customized training and resources to help businesses and organizations improve their inclusive communication practices in the workplace. In this blog post, I’ll share my insights on the importance of inclusive communication, the challenges Deaf employees and those who communicate differently face, and how I can provide training and resources to help your team build character and better communicate with one another.

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Trail Etiquette

Spring is here but it sure felt like summer over the weekend. I want to talk about trail walks, how it is important to be courteous and mindful of others around you. As a Deaf person who enjoys walking on trails with my dog (my family comes sometimes). I understand the importance of being mindful and considerate of others around me. Since I cannot hear bike bells or verbal cues, I’m always extra vigilant and aware of my surroundings.

One thing I do to ensure that my dog is on a leash and I stay on the right side of the trail is to use a keyword. We trained my dog to respond to the word “clear,” which means that we need to move over to the side more and let someone pass. This has been a useful tool in ensuring that we don’t get in anyone’s way, a bike rider or runner in our path from behind or in front of us and can easily communicate our intentions.

Being Deaf on the trail can present some unique challenges…

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Meat and Bread

I want to talk about after the conference when my husband and I explored Vancouver downtown. We decided to have lunch, discovered a unique simple business name display and was intrigued by their menu. Meat & Bread on Robson street. We were looking forward to a sandwich which sold out with the people before us. A nice man named Colin appeared and started signing to the best of his ability. Explaining what was available.

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Translating Music in Sign Language

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.

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2022 Message

Hello, I am wrapping up the year 2022 this week for a much needed two week tech free holiday to spend time with cherished family and friends.

Funny how it seemed only yesterday that I retreated to reflect on the year 2021. I treasure this time of the year because it gives me a rare opportunity to conduct an inventory of my motivations and values; my relationship with my family, friends, and colleagues; and, my work. But, it is also a time to assess my learning curve and to identify areas of improvement. I cherish the moment because it is the time of the year when I get to compose my year-end review of the year, not just a catalogue of the chronology of my activities, but also my heart and my business soul.

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Access at the theatre

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.