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Like most delegates, Tarryl Tamlin is grateful for the opportunity to represent his local at CUPE’s national convention. But as a deaf delegate, his perspective is unique.

Tamlin, from CUPE 2073 (Ontario Social Services), is a member of the Canadian Hearing Society, which offers services for deaf, hard of hearing and deafened people.

“We offer employment services, counselling on hearing loss, booking of interpretive services and an audiology department,” he says, through one of two sign language interpreters on hand at convention.

Since people with hearing disabilities continue to face barriers – in general and in the labour movement – Tamlin was glad that this year’s Ontario division convention at Niagara Falls passed a resolution for future conventions to provide interpreters, captioning and related services for those who need it. And of course, he’s grateful for the two interpreters in Winnipeg.

“I would have no access to others here,” he says, looking around the convention floor, “and they would have no access to me if we didn’t have these services.”