COVID-19 caught Deaf Communities uninformed and scrambling to launch new venture so Deaf people aren’t left behind again.
[14 SEPT 2020] – An email and web-based delivery platform launched this week provides critical information to Deaf and hard of hearing consumers in today’s uncertain times. This DeafDots community media tool bridges accessibility through “Alerts & News” reports and announcements streamed in American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) – the primary languages of Deaf Canadians. Viewers can choose from ASL or LSQ, and select English or French captions.
[ASL Signer: Jordan Sangalang]
“DeafDots Alerts & News reports on events and activities that have an impact on Deaf Canadians, filling a void in Canada’s Deaf Communities” says Gary Malkowski, DeafDots Outreach & Government Relations Manager, “Until now their only primary access had been through closed captioning. For many Deaf Canadians, ASL or LSQ is their primary language, not English”. The DeafDots launch coincides with this month’s celebration of International Day of Sign Languages (United Nations-Sept 23), and International Week of the Deaf (World Federation of the Deaf-Sept 21-27).
The DeafDots signed and captioned service, is a collaboration of efforts by H3 World TV, an international Deaf media organization based in Toronto who is handling news reporting, ASL translation and video production, with Cineall and TraduSigne, both Deaf-owned businesses in Montreal handling LSQ translation, video production and captioning.
This community media tool is an effort to increase and improve distribution of messaging essential information and push the bar to expand flow of information to Deaf Communities in Ontario and across Canada. DeafDots will report on activities and news updates from local, provincial, territorial and national mainstream, and specialized agencies serving Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians. The DeafDots platform will share relevant bulletins from Accessibility Standards Canada, Accessible Canada Act updates, annual United Nations International Day of Sign Languages, Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), federal and provincial agencies, and accessibility service providers.
Sign Language Interpreting Associates Ottawa Inc. (SLIAO) is the first major sponsor of DeafDots. “SLIAO is thrilled to sponsor DeafDots and support their objectives of filling a communication void for the Deaf and hard of hearing community. As a Canadian interpreting organization, SLIAO supports ASL and LSQ users getting their information first-hand in their native language. SLIAO is excited to see that DeafDots is leveraging technology to distribute information to Deaf Canadians in their primary language.”
The Deaf population of all walks of life is 37,100 Deaf ASL or LSQ consumers, 374,100 Deaf and 3,741,000 hard of hearing Canadians according to Statistics Canada and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC). This does not include secondary DeafDots audiences – family members of Deaf people, associates and professionals that interface in Deaf Community markets, agencies, service providers, organizations and government entities that serve Deaf communities directly and indirectly.
Businesses and agencies can connect and communicate with Deaf constituents through DeafDots. Anyone can subscribe, follow or view its Alerts & News at www.deafdots.ca, or “DeafDots” at YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Gary Malkowski, DeafDots Outreach & Government Relations Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Rosenbaum, Project Director, email@example.com
“International Week of Deaf” – 21-27 September 2020 – World Federation of the Deaf
“International Day of Sign Languages”, United Nations – 23 September 2020
H3 Network Media Alliance – “H3 World TV” – http://www.h3world.tv
Cineall – http://www.cineall.tv/
TraduSigne – https://tradusigne.ca/en/home/
DeafDots Sponsor: Sign Language Interpreting Associates Ottawa Inc (SLIAO) – https://sliao.ca/