St Vincent Brewery Arielle Ollivierre, contestant #5, in the upcoming Miss SVG 2022 pageant, is spearheading a campaign for greater awareness for the hearing impaired.
The campaign is Ollivierre’s GECCU Miss SVG Community Service Project, which is being held in the lead up to the show next month.
“My focus is on advocacy for the disabled (hearing and speech impaired): different but able, silently signing and striving,” Ollivierre said.
“Imagine if one person per household knows sign language and that person is able to communicate with someone else who is hearing impaired. Imagine if our teachers receive basic sign and disability training to be able to communicate with students effectively or if front line workers like cashiers, receptionists, nurses and police all know how to sign,” the contestant further stated.
She said she has decided to use her concern for the hearing-impaired community and the opportunity that the pageant presents to use this one-week project to raise awareness in her community, Stubbs, and the public.
The week of activities were launched on Sunday with a fun day at Stubbs Playing Field. There was cricket, dominoes, health checks, sale of food and drinks, musical entertainment and lots of activities for children and patrons.
The funds raised at that event will be donated to the National Society of Persons with disAbilities on Friday, which is also International Sign Language Day.
On Monday, public servants benefited from a sign language session held at the Ministerial Building, in Kingstown.
“The participants were very enthusiastic about learning the language because the opportunity equipped them with an additional communication tool, which would enhance their customer service experience,” Ollivierre said in a press release.
On Tuesday, Ollivierre and her team visited St. Clair Dacon Secondary School and Stubbs Primary School on a mission to plant a seed in the young minds regarding communications through sign language.
“The students were very excited during the one hour session and demonstrated a heart-warming enthusiasm for a second session slated for Thursday.”
On Wednesday, it will be the turn of the nurses at the Stubbs Poly Clinic and officers at the Stubbs Police Station to be training in sign language.
The training is provided by Terrence Davis National Society of Persons with disAbilities. Davis has been teaching for more than 26 years.
On Friday, an exhibition under the Post Office gallery in Kingstown will give disabled people an opportunity to showcase their work and to teach members of the public many of the frequently used sign language expressions.
The week of activities will culminate on Saturday, when Team Arielle will visit the homes of eight hearing-impaired people in Stubbs “to recognise their abilities and to present them with gift baskets.
“#5Team Arielle is extremely thankful to all the persons who have and continue to support this disability awareness campaign: Different but Able, silently signing and striving,” a press release said.