Global accessibility — a commercial drawing attention

samsung-adSamsung partnered with a group of local Turkish neighbors to overcome the barriers a Deaf man had in their neighborhood, and a video of that man’s reaction to all the sign language around him has gotten on the viral train in the last month. If you ask me, that video deserves all the attention it’s getting.

In the video, Muharrem is initially – and understandably — confused by the abundance of sign language surrounding him. The part where it’s revealed that all those people in his neighborhood learned sign so they could communicate with him is the part when my eyes start filling up with tears.

It wasn’t him crying that made my heart sing. It was the fact that a major corporation recognizes that there needs to be accessibility equality throughout the world. This video has been shared over 4 million times, and that really warms my heart. The message of awareness and accessibility is out there.

This year Americans celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other countries may have good intentions about disability law, but, from what I can tell, they just aren’t quite there yet – they are not moving along quite as quickly with accessibility laws.

It was only last year that Canada got the okay to move along with Video Relay Services, and right now Australia is fighting to provide funding for services to give Australian children who are deaf access to learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

Full accessibility to everything is still a dream all over the world for people with disabilities, and a world completely accessible to a Deaf person is something those of us in the Deaf community dream of every single day. I sense that dream is within reach for us here in America, but it’s a long trek for others in other countries.

I hope the popularity of this video from Turkey is a step forward in the right direction in recognizing we need better accessibility laws, accessibility resources and awareness across the globe.


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