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Studio 05 Institute of Fashion in partnership with Forch Communications and Projects hosted a Hearing-impaired workshop, in recognition of World Hearing Day (3 March 2020). This is an annual awareness movement on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, whilst also promoting ear and hearing care across the world.

On Wednesday 4 March 2020, students were invited to attend the workshop and participate in a variety of interactive games that placed them in the shoes of hearing-impaired people. In acknowledgement of the Fashion Design courses we offer to hearing-impaired students Studio 05 organised this day to form a connection between the hearing-abled and hearing-impaired people. Students were brought a bit closer by learning more about each other and interacting through fun and educational games.

A game that captured the most attention was one whereby students had to act out a scenario without the use of their voices. The results were both hilarious and educational and placed the hearing-abled students into situations the hearing-impaired students face daily. The saying “you don’t know a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes” - became very evident!

As the host of the workshop Miss Fortune Madlala explained, an environment is what disables a person and not the physical aspects of that individual. We as people, need to step out of our comfort zone and learn to embrace and support the hearing-impaired community.

As the workshop progressed it touched on different segments of deaf culture, such as the value placed in not using the word “disabled”. This implies “less than” as if the person is lacking something. So, by removing the label we are taking away the stigma that is attached to it. When you are deaf, your perspective of communication is different, thus your view of the world is also different. This can be an advantage and enables you to experience the world with a freshness and uniqueness.

Studio 05 would like to thank Forch Communications and Projects for their co-operation and time. Forch Communications advocates in transforming lives by assisting groups or individuals to achieve their maximum potential, and we learnt valuable lessons about how limitations can be overcome and how to support those we may not fully understand.

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