Saturday, 3 June 2017

Deaf athlete funding cut...

Image result for deaflympics australia
"Funding is for disabled and the deaf aren't..."   (so why aren't they in the main event and claiming inequality there ?). 

DEAFENED people ARE eligible, glad someone knows when disability actually IS.  Must be a bummer to deaf culture to find that recognising that ID is going to affect their ability to claim 'disability' funding.   Can't have it both ways...... Now can we sort out Deaf 'art' funding too ?

With the global showpiece event for deaf sports, the Deaflympics, just around the corner, elite deaf athletes in Australia are reeling after a cut to federal funding. 

Goannas basketballer Jordan WoolmerHannah Britton pushes through her 20th lap at swim training at an indoor pool in Melbourne's east. But rather than receive loud orders from her coach, the directions are in hushed tones and hand signals, instructions written on a poolside whiteboard.  Hannah has been deaf since birth and communicates using sign language.  On dry land now, she explains that she's in her element when underwater.

"Swimming means everything to me. I've always been a water baby. I'm always the first person in the pool, and the last person out," Britton said. Last year Hannah set a new Australian deaf record in the 50-metre breaststroke and next month she's off to the Deaflympics.

The tournament attracts over 3,000 athletes from more than 40 countries. It predates the Paralympics by 36 years and is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.  It's an important event for elite deaf athletes, who see themselves as members of a linguistic and cultural minority, not as disabled.

Comment: "I'm proud to be a deaf athelete ... I just wish we had financial support.  Sam Cartledge is one of Australia's top athletes: he also happens to be deaf. The champion basketballer reveals just how hard it is to make in Australia as a deaf athlete.
"I consider myself a role model for younger deaf people," Britton said.

"My swimming can encourage them to strive towards anything they dream of. I want them to feel confident in the opportunities for young deaf swimmers, including competing at the Deaflympics and maybe even the Olympics."

But it's a struggle for elite deaf athletes like Britton to keep their head above water.  They're not eligible for the Paralympics as there are no categories for deaf athletes without a disability.

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