September 23 is the The International Day of Sign Languages and this year’s theme is “We Sign For Human Rights,” highlighting how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work together hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign languages in all areas of life.

People who are hearing impaired face considerable challenges, especially in countries like Lebanon which has yet to ratify the U.N Convention On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The challenges range from widespread discrimination, marginalization, exclusion, and violence, at the hands of a range of State and non-State institutions and individuals, in the home and outside. Even during the COVID pandemic, the Lebanese government completely ignored the rights and needs of people with disabilities.

BBC Arabic shared an interview with Lebanese Joe Richmany, who tells us about the workplace struggles deaf people face, as well as the degrading and humiliating jobs they are offered. Joe is also unable to secure funds to get a new pair of hearing aids which cost $3000. Added to that, the most recent economic crisis has made things worse for him and his family.

I am trying to reach out to Joe see how we can help him acquire these new hearing aids. In the mean time, if anyone can help, please feel free to reach out.