The lives and challenges of deaf children assumed full focus at the Botanic Gardens, Port of Spain, on Sunday, when director Candice Lela Rollingson shot scenes for her upcoming film which seeks to highlight the plight of the hearing impaired while empowering and motivating them to realise their full potential.
Newsday joined Rollingson along with Qushiba La Fleur, executive officer of the TT Association of the Hearing Impaired (Dretchi), as they featured ten hearing-impaired children for a short film entitled Born Free at the Gardens.
Rollingson said the tone of the film followed other similar projects she had done in the past to raise awareness on people living with disabilities and diseases and felt it was necessary to have children with disabilities tell their own stories.
“I published an article through the University of the West Indies’ social work programme which proved that positive films can lead to a long-term behaviour change but we have to continuously reinforce these stories and this narrative.
“We want to find young people who are struggling to find a voice and that is how we were able to team up with Qushiba La Fleur and Lateitia Dickson from the We Care Deaf Support Network.”
Rollingson said the film was intended to motivate youths of all backgrounds and was confident that it would motivate those in authority to do their parts in better accommodating people with disabilities.
La Fleur said she was happy for the opportunity to showcase the abilities of hearing-impaired children and felt the film gave them an opportunity to realise their creative potential.
“We got involved in this project to show that a deaf child just like any other child has rights and we want to highlight what those rights are and probably highlight how we can address some of them, because the children themselves will be talking about their experiences.”
The film will be launched on February 2 and will be showcased at Digicel Imax.