Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Deaf not left out of TS Harvey updates, but do better

FILE - Sign Language Interpreter and Owner and Founder of Signature Interpretations, Bonnie Leonce

FILE - Sign Language Interpreter and Owner and Founder of Signature Interpretations, Bonnie Leonce

Members of the deaf community in Barbados got video Advisory updates on the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, but more needs to be done in the future as the hurricane season continues.

“I would like the public at large to understand that the Deaf rely on visual communication and when that is absent then everything breaks down.

“We can improve by making sure that we use social media for the greater good and that information is clear and specific. Also, with the technology out there to place text on videos, it would be good to see more commercials and other types of videos being furnished with this kind of communication whether it be open or closed captioning. ”

This from Sign Language Interpreter and Owner and Founder of Signature Interpretations, Bonnie Leonce who uploaded two videos for the deaf to keep abreast of the situation.

However, Leonce also told Loop News:

“Kudos go out to Kerry Hinds [the Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM)] and Danielle Skeete [Programme Officer] from DEM who were instrumental in getting the info out there and even to me personally.”

Asked about how the deaf persons felt yesterday when the first advisory was issued by the Barbados Meteorological Services at 11:00 am, Leonce said:

“They were unaware of a lot that was happening since they didn't have access to some specifics.””

She said that even in terms of the close of business times and the last bus notice,“The times were irrelevant to the deaf community as access to specifics for them were non-existent.”

With such an active hurricane season ahead, her word of advice to employers were, “Hopefully they communicate via text/Whatsapp with their deaf employees.”

 

Noting the 12:00 pm resumption of business today, Leonce added, “All I can hope is that they [the deaf] saw my last FaceBook post, and employers would I'm sure  understand the delays coming into work today for all their staff, especially those within the disabled community.”

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