Connecting Canada One Stitch at a Time for National Deafblind Awareness Month
Throughout June, large trees, fronts of buildings, fences, and lampposts in community spaces across the country were decorated with vibrant knit and crochet squares – a form of street art known as yarn bombing – to raise awareness during National Deafblind Awareness Month.
June is National Deafblind Awareness Month, a time when many around the world celebrate and raise awareness about deafblindness. It is the birth month of Helen Keller, one of the most internationally recognized people with deafblindness. Each year, members of the National Deafblind Awareness Month Working Group, who are service providers and people with deafblindness, come together in June to make a wave from coast to coast in Canada.
This year, they connected with regions from countries like Africa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, to name a few, to take part in the global yarn bombing movement. In its second year, yarn bombing is a largescale tactile arts awareness initiative of Deafblind International’s (DbI) Communication Committee, also known as ComCom.
In Canada, Canadian Deafblind Association (British Columbia and New Brunswick), Canadian Helen Keller Centre (Ontario), Centre Jules-Léger (Ontario) CNIB Deafblind Community Services (Ontario and Saskatchewan), Connect Society (Alberta), DeafBlind Ontario Services (Ontario), Sensity (Ontario), Programme surdicécité – Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille and CRDP Raymond Deward (Quebec), as well as the Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind (Manitoba) participated.
Each colourful and tactile yarn bombing installation was made up of many knit and crochet squares created by people with deafblindness, intervenors, friends and family, local knitting clubs, along with community members.
Yarn bombing fostered connections and united a community with individuals, service and advocacy groups in the field, and the wider global public.
Additionally, landmarks across Canada were lit up in blue to commemorate June as National Deafblind Awareness Month. Check out the Deafblind Network of Ontario website for a full list of yarn bombing locations across Canada.
Stay tuned as the National Deafblind Awareness Month Working Group and DbI begin to plan and lay the foundation for next year’s awareness initiative! Details will be posted on National Deafblind Awareness Month’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @nationaldeafblindawareness).