Loud Shirt Day is celebrated in New Zealand on October 21. It is an unofficial holiday dedicated to raising awareness across New Zealand about children with hearing disabilities and impairment. There are only two major charities in New Zealand that have taken on the responsibility of managing children who are deaf or hard of hearing: “The Hearing House” and “Southern Cochlear Implant Programme.” Loud Shirt Day, in New Zealand, is the annual fundraising event from which these charities are raising the much-needed funds to continue to contribute to the management and rehabilitation of children who are deaf.
History of Loud Shirt Day
The history of hearing difficulty and hearing loss probably dates back thousands of years and for as long as humans have existed. Let’s talk about total deafness and the culture of people who live with it, known as ‘the Deaf culture.’
In modern or relatively modern history, deafness is centered on sign language and relationships among one another. Though some individuals see and treat deafness as a disability, people living with it simply consider themselves a language minority. Throughout the years, deaf people have been able to lead normal lives and function just as well as people who aren’t deaf, albeit with some extra work and adaptability. Quite a number of achievements have been credited to people who were deaf, the most famous being Ludwig van Beethoven and Thomas Alva Edison, who both made positively impactful contributions to modern human culture. Laurent Clerc, a Deaf educator, came from France to the United States of America in 1816, and together with Thomas H. Gallaudet, an American educator, helped establish the first permanent school for deaf children in the country.
The community of deaf people at the time was so recognized that there was a debate in the late 1850s about whether a separate deaf state should exist in the West. It was proposed that the deaf state would be a place where all deaf people could migrate, if they choose to, and live normal lives. The plan for such a state didn’t materialize.
In 1880, at the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf in Milan, Italy, hearing educators voted to adopt oral education and do away with sign language from the classrooms for deaf people. This method is intended to ease the integration of deaf children/people into hearing communities. And though there were initial arguments about whether the manual or oral method would favor deaf students better, most people now agree that the manual method is the preferred method of Deaf communication.
Loud Shirt Day timeline
Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer and one of the most iconic figures in the history of classical music despite being deaf, is born, in Bonn, Germany.
Laurent Clerc, a French educator and one of the pioneers of education for the Deaf in the United States, is born.
The first Congress on the education of the Deaf takes place in Paris, France.
The second congress on the education of the Deaf takes place in Milan, Italy.
Loud Shirt Day FAQs
What does a loud shirt mean?
A loud shirt has very bright colors or very large, bold patterns, making it unsightly.
Is hearing loss always permanent?
Most cases of hearing loss do not result in total deafness. A good number of cases are of partial hearing loss.
Where can I learn sign language?
Sign language classes are available at community colleges, libraries, churches, and organizations/clubs of the deaf, to name a few options
How to Observe Loud Shirt Day
Wear a bright shirt in solidarity
Wear a shirt with bright (loud) colors and show your support for Loud Shirt Day! It’s super easy. All you need to start is a LOUD shirt.
Learn sign language
Use this occasion to improve your communication proficiency with deaf people. Learn sign language.
Donate to a charity for Deaf children
Two main charities in New Zealand cater to deaf children, namely “The Hearing House” and the “Southern Cochlear Implant Programme.” You can support any one of them with your cash donations or voluntary service.
5 Facts About Deafness That Will Surprise You
Over one billion individuals risk hearing loss
Over a billion young adults across the globe are at risk of experiencing hearing loss or impairment.
Hearing loss is a gradual process
Hearing loss is such a gradual process that it may not be quickly or promptly detected or perceived.
Very few people believe in hearing aids
Many people do not believe in the effectiveness of hearing aids, and only one in five persons to whom one aid is recommended uses it.
Most times, hearing loss is partial
Most cases of hearing loss do not result in total deafness — very many cases are of partial hearing loss.
Musicians suffer greater risks of hearing loss
Because of the nature of what they do, musicians, particularly live performers, are at a greater risk of suffering hearing loss than those who are not musicians.
Why Loud Shirt Day is Important
We learn more about deafness
Loud Shirt Day allows people without hearing impairments to learn about hearing impairments. This promotes tolerance for and improves communication with deaf individuals.
It’s an opportunity to support deaf children
Loud Shirt Day avails us of the perfect opportunity to support children with hearing impairment. We are introduced to charities dedicated to caring for the deaf, and we’re encouraged to donate.
It elevates a worthy cause
Millions all over the world suffer from hearing impairments. Because of the awareness this day brings, thousands of people donate to the cause, and their gifts help centers in different states give deaf children sound and speech.
Loud Shirt Day dates