Sign language, a necessity for an inclusive society

This September 23 marks the International Day of Sign Language, the date on which the World Federation of the Deaf was established in 1951. That is why, from September 19 to 25, the International Week of Deaf People (SIPS-2022) is being celebrated with the slogan “Building inclusive communities for all”, for a quality education that trains and promotes authentic values ​​of the Cuban deaf community (Language-Culture-Identity).

Organizations such as: the National Association of the Deaf in Cuba (ANSOC), the National Center for the Improvement and Development of the Deaf (CENDSOR)… are involved in a group of activities that highlight the achievements made in these communities, in addition to promoting and raising awareness of their rights in society. Supporting them is necessary to break down communication barriers.

The contest “My signed world” or “My world in sign language” is called in the modalities of painting and photography aimed at deaf people aged between 6 to 12 years; from 13 to 17 years old; from 17 to 25 years old and over 25 years old. The delivery period will be until September 25. The works must be sent with a visible image to the address: , or via WhatsApp adding phone numbers: 52883543 or 52868880.

Hearing university students of all ages can participate in the categories of drawing, photography and literature, with the title “Deaf people in current Cuban society.”

each work must reflect: name, surnames, age, province, municipality, study or work center. University students should clarify the career they are pursuing. Only one work per contestant will be accepted. The results will be announced on the CENDSOR social networks during the last week of September.

As part of this event and at the initiative of Animated ICAIC, a pioneer in the inclusion of subtitles and sign language in animated productions, a magical meeting took place last Monday 19 between students of the René Vilches special school and this entity. The occasion filled the guests with emotions who interacted, between costumes, photos and joys together with the Cascabel children’s project directed by the Cuban artist and puppeteer Rigoberto Rufín.

of the tour

Maikel Chávez, playwright, screenwriter and leading actor of this meeting declared: “What happened was magical, the students guided by their teachers left in buses from the school to the Studies. When they arrived at the lobby of the institution —as if by surprise—, their faces lit up”. The little ones were received by the director of the Esther Hirzel Studios. She spoke to them slowly, while they read her lips to understand everything. Hirzel was accompanied by the sign language interpreter Massiel Suárez who intervenes in the animated productions with this modality carried out in the Studios. The production team and actors were present; Armando Alba, deputy director of production; Nilza González, psychologist and professor at the Faculty of Psychology and coordinator of the sign language initiative in Animated ICAIC…

After the reception, they enjoyed animated projections with sign language and subtitles in Spanish, in addition to the amusing dramatization of Maikel Chávez (Pipo pipo) and Federico behind the screen.

One of the most exclusive and well-received moments was the guided visit to the sets of filming of the Studies where the students were instructed on the process of making the second chapter of “Stories for Federico” entitled “El pastel de la mona Jacinta” that includes sign language and subtitles in Spanish under the direction of Isis Chaviano and excellent production team.

the workshop of stop-motion of Pol Chaviano was not left behind, the students learned details of the creative process of works made with this technique. They all looked surprised.

Maikel expressed: “And what better gift, than to see how the little ones were encouraged to sing Federico’s song with sign language! Love must be the language with which we all speak. The animated productions of the Studios took this initiative of the inclusion of sign language and subtitling for an inclusive society. So that our children understand that love is the fundamental basis and support that can lead us to become better people, better human beings, better families”.

On September 24 and 25, with the support of Animated ICAIC, chapter 1 “the painter chick” from the series “Stories for Federico”, the invitation being open for the whole family.

Institutions such as Cuban radio, especially Radio Progreso; National Council of Houses of Culture, Cuban Editions of Artex, the National Council of Performing Arts — where Federico emerged in 2008 — are included in this beautiful transmedia project. Federico also travels to neighborhoods and communities in transformation, houses for children without family protection, houses of culture… He has had a very good impact on boys, girls, youth and adults, being remembered over and over again.

If you haven’t heard Pipo pipo and Federico yet, I invite you to tune in to their funny stories from Monday to Friday at 5:00 pm on Radio Progreso, along with thousands of listeners from Cuba and other latitudes.

The beginning of the International Day of Deaf People on September 19, pierced a pleasant memory in the young playwright Maikel Chávez, creator of the character of Federico. He felt enormous satisfaction acting for and for the little ones. “Today I still have a heart full of so much emotion pounding, to see those euphoric children, to see that there were no language barriers, that we can unite from the heart. As an actor, I shed my ego and put myself according to what our audiences need. It’s very emotional.” Maikel projected his intention to learn sign language and reach the public that need it. “Art renews and gives the desire to continue and move forward.”

And this is how this project comes from the research and needs of society, to focus and contribute fresh ideas that promote an inclusive society that achieves the desired magic and smile. As Federico says “Dreams are so fragile that the flapping of a zunzún’s wings can break them but the magic and the spirit of the dreamer can always save them”.

Sign language, a necessity for an inclusive society