Great British Bake Off makes history as they cast first deaf contestant

Great British Bake Off make history as they cast first deaf contestant (Image: CHANNEL 4)

Great British Bake Off will see it’s first deaf contestant take part in this year’s competition with hopes of getting the iconic Paul Hollywood handshake.

Bake Off judges Prue Leith and Paul are learning sign language to pass on their critiques – as one of this year’s contestants is deaf.

It is the first time the amateur version of the popular Channel 4 show has had a deaf baker. But there have been mixed results as judges rise to the communication challenge.

Filming on the latest series began last month and producers are determined the unnamed contestant does not feel isolated.

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How to Train a Deaf Dog

Dog training, photo by Gary Yeowell and Getty Images

Deaf dogs can make great pets. They adapt to their hearing loss quite well because a dog’s primary sources of communication are body language and scent. You might notice that when two dogs greet each other, they communicate all kinds of signals to each other without using any sound.

While barking and growling are additional ways dogs send messages, they aren’t their primary method. So in training, too, verbal language isn’t necessary. In fact, dogs pay more attention to cues in our body language and facial expressions than to what we are saying to them.

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Deafness ‘falls between the cracks’ of insurance DEI

James Bruner, courtesy by Insurance News

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are a talent pool that few insurance companies actively dip into. But one program is looking to change that.

The Maguire Academy of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) at Gallaudet University has produced 46 graduates since it started in 2015.

Thanks to strong partnerships with national companies like Philadelphia Insurance Companies, The Hartford, Selective, Gallagher, and Marsh, Gallaudet’s RMI program has been able to plant its graduates in different insurance career paths. Many now work as underwriters, retail and surplus lines brokers, analysts, and claims professionals.

As the program grows, it needs to partner with more insurance organizations to provide opportunities to its graduates, according to James Bruner (pictured top), executive director at Gallaudet’s RMI program.

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SDFF Film Submissions due by Oct. 31, 2023

SDFF Film submissions begin now till Oct 31, 2023, see links for more details

Submit your film for SDFF 2024!

Calling all Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of hearing filmmakers. We want you!! Whether you’re a returning creative or looking to bring your project to the screen for the first time, all levels are welcome. Monetary awards will be available for each genre winner: Documentary, Drama, Thriller/Action, Comedy, and Other.
*There is no limit to the number of submissions per filmmaker.
Navigate to the link in our bio to see the rules, terms, and submission details.
The submission link is open now and closes Oct. 31st.
Submit your film by Oct 31, 2023:



Running Wild Recap: Deaf Actor Troy Kotsur Goes Over a Cliff with Bear Grylls

Troy Kotsur and Bear Grylls on Running Wild, courtesy of the National Geographic

Troy Kotsur is ready for Bear Grylls to teach him what it takes to face off with nature as the two embark on an adventure in the Scottish Highlands on this week’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge (Sundays on National Geographic at 9/8c). Both Troy, the first deaf man in history to win an Academy Award, and Bear, a veteran survivalist, must learn how to communicate with each other during their time together. 

“Taking a guest into the wild that can’t hear is a first for me, and it’s going to be challenging for both of us,” Bear says as he helicopters to meet the Coda star.

Troy, using sign language, likens the experience to his early days in acting. “I really struggled in show business, and it really felt like I had to survive,” he explains. “I really have to remember what it’s like to go through a tough experience again. And maybe that’s why I’m here.”

Troy admits he’s curious how he and Bear are going to communicate and get along while out in the wild. “We’ll have to see what happens,” the actor signs, joking he’ll make their interpreter face the challenges first to “see if he survives” and then follow behind.

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