How often do we come across disabilities that are alien to us yet hold a great deal of importance for the men and women they affect? In a society in which empathy is long lost, it’s important to treat people with disabilities equally rather than isolating them for not falling within the box we have labeled as ‘normal’. There are too many variants of the word ‘normal’ in this day and age and it’s vital to be inclusive and tolerant, even supportive, of those who may be different from you.
The Voice of Silence is a short, one-minute video shedding light on people who have impaired hearing. The video calls out our view of deafness as a deficiency rather than a separate linguistic context, language and culture. It shows how a family impaired of hearing is still able to smile, crack jokes and admire each other’s company despite not being able to hear.
Talking exclusively to Something Haute, fashion designer Amir Adnan said, “Communication is not restricted to language. My senior most designer has been working closely with me for the last 5 years. The reason he was hired was due to his exceptional talent. If he did not let silence stop me from entering into his world, then I don’t see why he needs vocal language to enter into mine.”
Partnering with Network of Organizations Working for Persons with Disabilities Pakistan, (NOWPDP) a disability inclusion initiative, Amir Adnan aims to show people that the disabled are not to be pitied, or sidelined as inept; they have the ability to lead a fulfilling and happy life. And, we would only realise this if we didn’t just hear, but listened. He took up this initiative when he brought several hearing impaired individuals – working as part of his design team – out on the runway during his Fashion Pakistan Week SS18 showcase called Beast and encouraged the audience to clap in sign language.
It’s time we join hands and grow more inclusive towards people who are different from us because we will only be able to bring about change if we have the passion to understand, accept and embrace our differences. That’s when we will truly move forward as a society.