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Accommodating Workers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The Employment Standard under the AODA requires employers to accommodate workers with disabilities. Employers can make the workplace accessible for workers who are deaf or hard of hearing if they learn about the kinds of accommodations workers might need.

Here we outline some ways that employers and colleagues can communicate with and accommodate workers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Workers will explain the communication methods that work best for them.

Read more at
https://aoda.ca/accommodating-workers-who-are-deaf-or-hard-of-hearing/

Surrey to Build World’s First Translation System for British Sign Language

The world’s first machine capable of turning British Sign Language (BSL) into written English is set to be built by the University of Surrey as part of a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

BSL is a language in its own right, with its own grammar, and it is very different from English. BSL uses several parts of the body simultaneously to fully express a range phrases, ideas and emotions.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/surrey-to-build-world%c2%92s-first-translation-system-for-british-sign-language/

Deaf Canadians ‘At Risk’ in Times of National Emergency

Other countries have on-screen interpreters during news broadcasts

When the next ice storm, wildfire or terror attack happens, Canadians who are deaf or hard of hearing will be in greater peril than others because most public notification systems are not accessible to them, experts say.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/deaf-canadians-at-risk-in-times-of-national-emergency/

World Federation of the Deafblind Launches Initial Global Report!

The World Federation of the Deafblind has launched the initial global report on the situation and rights of persons with deafblindness.

Representing between 0.2% to 2% of the population, persons with deafblindness are a very diverse yet hidden group and are, overall, more likely to be poor and unemployed, and with lower educational outcomes. Because deafblindness is less well-known and often misunderstood, people struggle to obtain the right support, and are often excluded from both development and disability programmes.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/world-federation-of-the-deafblind-launches-initial-global-report/

Firm Ordered to Pay $1.5 Million in Fees!

Koskie Minsky LLP is seeking leave to appeal an Ontario Superior Court of Justice order to donate $1.5 million of its legal fees to charity.

The order comes as part of the decision in Welsh v. Ontario, a class action lawsuit that alleges the Ontario government was negligent and failed in its fiduciary duties and duties to care for students at three provincially run schools for the deaf.

This failure, the lawsuit alleges, led to children, who often lived at the schools, being physically and sexually abused.

The appeal does not affect how much class members can receive, says Robert Gain, an associate at Koskie Minsky, who worked on the case.

WFD and WASLI Statement on Use of Signing Avatars

This statement from the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) is concerned with the way in which decisions on where and when to use signing avatars as a form of access to spoken or written content is being managed by public authorities. The difference in linguistic quality between humans and avatars is why WFD and WASLI cautions against the use of signing avatars as a replacement for human signers.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/wfd-and-wasli-statement-on-use-of-signing-avatars/

It’s OK To Look At Your Phone At A Broadway Show, If Your Hearing Is Impaired

Jerry Bergman is sitting in the audience at a Broadway matinĂ©e performance of The Band’s Visit. Despite the fact that a huge sign above the stage tells the audience in English, Hebrew and Arabic to turn off cellphones, Bergman is keeping his on so he can read closed captions while watching the show.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/its-ok-to-look-at-your-phone-at-a-broadway-show-if-your-hearing-is-impaired/

Grand Theatre Announces the World Premiere of SILENCE

mabel and alexander graham bell
By Trina Davies
Directed by Peter Hinton

On the Spriet Stage January 16 to February 3, 2018
LONDON, ONTARIO, December 22, 2017

The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce the world premiere of SILENCE, which brings an untold Canadian story to life on stage.

This inaugural production from the COMPASS New Play Development program features a cast that embodies the best in Canadian theatre with actors who are hearing, Deaf, and hard of hearing.

SILENCE is on stage January 16, with the opening night on January 19 which will be an open-captioned performance. The production was originally commissioned and developed through FUSE: The Enbridge New Play Development Program at Theatre Calgary. The Title Sponsor for SILENCE is Bell.

Grand Theatre Expands Accessibility for Deaf Community

For Immediate Release
NEWS RELEASE
LONDON, ONTARIO, December 18, 2017

The Grand Theatre announces expanded accessibility initiatives for Deaf and hard of hearing patrons. The Grand’s commitment to offering an accessible theatre environment spans from the introduction of open-captioned performances to additional American Sign Language-interpreted performances, and from enhanced front-of-house services to productions inspired by stories about historic figures who were deaf, as well as casting that includes actors from the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

“We met with members of the Deaf community, asked a lot of questions, had incredible conversations, and from there, we determined our next steps in building a more accessible theatre environment,” said Deb Harvey, Executive Director of the Grand Theatre. “We want to make more of our performances visually accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing patrons and offer the best possible theatre experience for everyone.

Low-Cost Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language Alphabet

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a smart glove that wirelessly translates the American Sign Language alphabet into text and controls a virtual hand to mimic sign language gestures. The device, which engineers call “The Language of Glove,” was built for less than $100 using stretchable and printable electronics that are inexpensive, commercially available and easy to assemble. The work was published on July 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Read more at
http://www.accessibilitynewsinternational.com/low-cost-smart-glove-translates-american-sign-language-alphabet/