TORONTO, CANADA – 29 November 2012 – H3 Network Media Alliance, an Internet media broadcasting network, has launched its inaugural programming lineup covering current affairs, cultural events, and educational content in International Sign for Deaf viewers around the world.
With as many as 130 “deaf sign language” around the world according to Ethnologue: Languages of the World, International Sign (IS) allows Deaf people to communicate with each other through use of universal signs that follow general concepts. This international auxiliary language is the official language of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), and used at international meetings and sporting events such as the World Federation of the Deaf Congress and the Deaflympics.
H3 Network Media Alliance, with its origins in broadcasting special events, responded to an extraordinary circumstance in February 2011 that prompted them to expand its mission. Athletes and fans were already enroute to the 2011 Deaflympics Summer Games in Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia when all events were abruptly cancelled. The H3 crew, already onsite, quickly went into action broadcasting daily reports with breaking video footage of incomplete facilities and exclusive interviews with Deaflympics and Organizing Committee representatives, Slovakian city officials and stranded Deaflympics athletes – exclusively in International Sign.
Responses from viewers and community leaders to these special daily reports on the cancelled Deaflympics was overwhelming and set new direction for expanded H3 programming in International Sign. With International Sign, H3 aims to empower and unify members of Deaf communities around the world including developing countries with limited access to programming in their local sign language. The World Federation of the Deaf estimates that over 70 million Deaf people live in our world today.
Current affairs is at the heart of H3’s new programming line-up – providing news reports on world developments, and also reports about and within the Deaf community. Harnessing the power of information – bringing knowledge on what other countries are doing and how Deaf people are managing everywhere – is a gigantic step towards unifying our worldwide community.
H3, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2009, has reported from key sporting events, the Deaflympics and World Federation of the Deaf events in Canada and abroad, and was a part of the DeafNation World Expo in Las Vegas last July. Viewers can sign up to receive weekly H3 Program Update emails at www.H3.tv.