Invitation for Dimity to join the Deaf Community to celebrate Deaf Festival 2011

Source: NSW Deaf Society Media Release - Wednesday 12 October 2011

“Deafness is a scourge that can be eradicated and consigned to history just like polio...” this quote by Dimity Dornan, founder and clinical director of the Queensland Hear and Say Centre in her acceptance speech for Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year has appalled many deaf people.

For deaf people, the ratification by the Australian Government of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability heralded a new age of opportunities for recognition of the language and culture of the Deaf Community. Unfortunately, the attitude shown by Dr Dornan in the devaluing of diversity sends a negative message to deaf people that they are “broken” and need to be fixed via technology.

“The Deaf Society of NSW has extended an invitation to Dr Dornan to come along to Deaf Festival 2011 on Saturday 15 October at Parramatta”, says Sharon Everson, Deaf Society CEO. “I am sure she would be surprised and delighted to see the happy and well adjusted people who will be attending, some of whom use hearing aids, have had cochlear implants, some who use Australian Sign Language (Auslan), but all of whom are justifiably proud with their identity”.

“Our Deaf Awareness Training can also assist hearing people to learn more about the Deaf Community and assist them to understand and value diversity. We welcome enquiries from professionals and members of the general public”, Sharon added.

The Deaf Society encourages anyone who may be interested to learn more about deafness to join us on the banks of the Parramatta River this Saturday 15 October to celebrate Deaf Festival, an official event for National Week of Deaf People.

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