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This is International Week of the Deaf

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
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From September 21 to 27, OPSEU along with organizations and individuals around the world celebrate the contributions of people who are deaf.  

Many people may not have family members, friends, or colleagues who are deaf. As a result, assumptions can be made about their ability to undertake everyday tasks and responsibilities. People may even feel uncomfortable when someone reveals they are deaf. This lack of acceptance leads to discrimination. 

“International Week of the Deaf is a way for the public to learn more about people who are deaf and the ways they contribute to their families, communities, and workplaces,” says OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “OPSEU supports inclusive rights and accessible services for all Canadians!” 

While recognizing individual abilities, this week also highlights the human rights of people who are deaf, and how those rights support their access to information and communication. 

Some of these supports are: sign language (with interpretation for communicating with non-signers), video relay service (VRS); teletypewriter (TTY) technology, writing, emailing or texting, speechreading, real-time captioning (RTC) for live events, closed captioning (for TV or movies), and computerized note taking. 

Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (OADA), people have the right to access these supports at school, work, from customer service providers, and from any other organization producing information. 

Finally, people use communication supports when they volunteer, enjoy leisure activities, and socialize with friends and family.  

When people have access to the supports they need, they can contribute fully to their families, communities, and workplaces. 

For more information visit: https://www.aoda.ca/international-week-of-the-deaf/