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McMaster Students Union

McMaster Hearing Society

1) Highlight the challenges that students in the hard-of-hearing and Deaf communities experience in the front of accessibility,

2) Share actionable steps on how McMaster students can be allies and support the Student Accessibility Services in their advocacy efforts, and

3) Bring awareness to the value of learning American Sign Language and its importance in bridging the communication gap through interactive sessions with ASL peer-educators. We are proud to say that our advocacy efforts have been successful on the above metrics; for instance, we have made active efforts to organize American Sign Language (ASL) awareness workshops and campaigns, prepare online resources addressing pertinent issues in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community at McMaster, provide a safe space for those in the community to voice their concerns, and work with McMaster entities to provide a more accessible education experience. In particular, we work in close association with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to bridge the gap between Hearing and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students through our policy discussions and recommendations. We are dedicated towards opening up conversations surrounding the challenges faced by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals at McMaster and providing resources for not only those individuals, but the wider student body. Amidst this pandemic, our team’s dedication to our club goals have not changed because we because we recognize how the pandemic has exacerbated several issues: lack of closed-captioned resources; absence of information in visual/accessible formats; lack of easily accessible transcriptions; barriers to accessing educational support and mentorship; and many more. Raising awareness about these issues and providing Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community members a platform to voice their concerns is crucial if we want to foster an inclusive and equitable McMaster student community.