Posted by jennifer gibson on Monday, June 13, 2016 Under: June 2016

The senseless tragedy in Orlando where 50 people were killed and 53 were injured as a result of a hate crime has left the world in shock. The shooting occurred at Pulse, at well known gay nightclub that was designed to be a safe and community venue. Over 300 people struggled to escape from the hail of bullets, many of them running so fast that their shoes fell off. Some were left behind and trapped, hiding in bathrooms in fear and surrounded by sounds of explosions. It turned into a hostage situation where the police and SWAT resorted to using explosives and an armored vehicle to smash the walls to rescue them. Witnesses have said that there bodies scattered everywhere, blood pooled across the floor and the phones on the bodies still ringing.

While it may seem like that the goal of this terror-induced mass killing was to create more hate and chaos, it turned into an act of compassion and solidarity with everyone coming together and joining hands. Volunteers have packed donor centers to donate blood to help the injured victims. People quickly gathered together around the world to stand united, forming a wall of love and support. It made us stronger and more defiant.

There is a greater sense of compassion, understanding and support towards others who may seem different or choose to stand up for their beliefs. Fear is what makes it difficult to do what feels right for them. All they want to do is be themselves without living in fear or shame of being scorned or ostracized by others. They need the freedom to follow their hearts and have pride about themselves.

What we're seeing today is a stronger sense of unity and support, a willingness to let us be free and honest about ourselves. The same applies to people with disabilities too, there's a better understanding and awareness towards people with Down Syndrome, those that are in wheelchairs, blind, Deaf or Hard of Hearing. There is a broader scope of appreciation and admiration for their courage and unique personalities. They don't let their disabilities define them and in fact, use it a sense of pride in regards to how much they've accomplished. They are setting an example to so many others in terms of how far they can go. Nyle DiMarco is a great example of breaking so many barriers by being the only Deaf winner in America's Top Model as well winning the Mirror Ball in Dancing with Stars. He considers himself as being fearless and that's the way it should be.

Image from

Dame Evelyn Glennie and rapper Sean Forbes are also another superb example of standing up for themselves and not letting fear hold them back. Both are Deaf musicians (they lost their hearing at a young age). Sean Forbes is a American rapper, utilizing sign language and visual representations in his music. His goal was to make his music accessible to everybody. He was crowned outstanding hip-hop of the artist of the year in 2013 at the Detroit Music Awards. He also the founder of D-PAN, Deaf Professional Arts Network. Evelyn is a renowned percussionist who performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and has received 80 international awards! Evelyn uses her body to feel the music, particularly the different vibrations that the instruments give off.

The two of them have joined together to discuss their unique styles of music, being Deaf, and their pride at being able to do what they love. Both are very excited to share their talents with everyone, they want to make their music a much more inclusive experience for those that are Hard of Hearing or Deaf.

Image by EvelynLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

You can view the video of the BBC interview here:
Or on Facebook at:

Want more? Go take a gander at another interview:

By the way, if you get a chance, go check out the BBC (UK) site called Two See Hear. It's filled to the brim with awesome stuff featuring content about deafness, hearing impairment, and cool people like Sean, Nyle, and Evelyn. There's also a nifty Doctor Who clip showing Behind the Scenes of the Making of Under the Lake with Deaf actress Sophie Stone.

I highly recommend watching that clip, you'll learn a lot more about what it took to include Deaf characters and incorporating sign language into the episode. This is one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who to date!

Doctor Who: The Making of Under the Lake:

In : June 2016 

Tags: "nyle dimarco" "dame evelyn glennie" "sean forbes" "orlando" "pride" "doctor who" 
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