As an independent consultant and speaker, I am not able to attend events and to give presentations there as often as I would like to. It’s an important way for me to be able to learn from other speakers, to network with other professionals, and to meet potential clients. It is hard enough to be an independent consultant, it is much harder for me to be an attendee with hearing loss. I’m often being excluded and feeling frustrated due to communication access barriers that event organizers could easily remove by providing quality communication access services such as live captioning or sign language interpreters or both. Some event organizers are more than happy enough to provide those services but most do not.
Hope 2016 was good for you. I wanted to share some highlights of this year.
September is Deaf Awareness Month that is celebrated worldwide every year to spread more awareness about deafness and hearing loss. There are about 620 million of deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide (out of total population of around 7 billion) – about 50 million of them in USA (out of total population of around 320 million) and about 13 million of them in Russia (out of total population of around 146 million).