In May 2020, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) produced a video in Tunisian Sign Language with English subtitles to explain the impacts of and ways to protect against COVID-19 to Tunisians who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. The video features Deaf Tunisians as actors who are members of the Tunisian Electoral Sign Language Lexicon, “My Sign, My Voice,” working group. An English transcript is available below.
Narrator: When our dream grew bigger, we are no longer afraid. We are going forward with the project and we [are] proud of our achievement. We are the project “My sign, My voice” and we will continue our dream and continue our path, all equal. But in one moment, everything was taken from us – our joy, our laughter, and the fear came back to us and the confusion returned to our faces. Not only us, but the whole world was changed. Yes, but we in Tunisia, what should we do? Give up and do nothing? We should beat the coronavirus. We are confined at home, but we kept on working, planning, writing and continuing our work on our project, “My sign, My voice.” “My sign, My Voice” is our family. We have to be cautious and follow the health measures and advice. This virus is dangerous and a serious thing and we have to be careful. I’m like you, staying at home, and I don’t go out very often. [If I] go out, [I don’t] shake hands or hug other persons. When I return home, I wash my hands well and sterilize everything. The Ministry of Health is always insisting on TV that we have to protect ourselves and we should wash our hands frequently. We should stay at home and, if we have to go out, we should wear face masks, sterilize our hands with sanitizer and try to avoid crowded places. Doing that, we will protect ourselves from COVID-19. Do you know it’s true that the project “My Sign, my Voice” brought us together, but this crisis, coronavirus, has increased our unity and opened our eyes on many persons who are serving us with their hearts and souls. We want to tell every doctor, every soldier, every policeman, and every Tunisian, with God willing, with you, Tunisia will have a better future, hopefully.