Are you Aware?
At VZP we provide articles and content to highlight the importance of using captioning, subtitles for you.
But we are also advocates of education and community building and this September is Deaf Awareness month. The culture surrounding the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is often misunderstood. Educating the Mainstream hearing audience and filling in the knowledge gaps will ultimately create stronger bonds and enlightenment.
Just some of the many goals of Deaf Awareness Month:
· Celebrate the numerous and diverse accomplishments of the Deaf community
· Understand the Deaf culture and that cultural Deafness can differ from medically defined deafness
· Highlight the unique everyday challenges the Deaf and Hard of Hearing face
· Learn about the different types and degrees of hearing loss
· Realize that hard of hearing and deaf individuals are capable and often very adept and skillful. They are not, by definition, handicapped or disabled.
We will delve further into these aspects in our future content. But first, how did Deaf Awareness Month begin?
The first International Day of the Deaf was first celebrated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in 1958.
The movement of deaf awareness was accelerated and brought further into the public limelight by Mary Jane Rhodes. A mother to a Deaf son, Rhodes was a determined activist and began using the expression “deaf awareness”. She produced a lot of early literature on the topic and was actively involved with the Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf.
In 1974, she was recognized by the Washington D.C. Public Library for her efforts. In 1979, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) joined the World Federation of the Deaf in promoting the International Week of the Deaf. It was decided that it would be held during the last full week of September.
In 1996, a group within the NAD sought to change the name of Deaf Awareness Week to Clerc-Gallaudet. It was named after Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, the two pioneers of American Sign Language and Deaf education in the U.S. Furthermore, the group sought to expand Deaf awareness further by expanding the week into a full month. They got the NAD to adopt the measure and September was chosen as Deaf Awareness Month.
The following year, in 1997, the first ever official Deaf Awareness Month took place. On this 20th Anniversary of the first Deaf Awareness Month, the plight of the Deaf isn't forgotten. The Deaf community is becoming more intertwined into society with each passing day.
Contact VZP to find out more about how you can equip your company and video products to accommodate the 70 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing people worldwide.