Diversity Week 2016

Sunday 04 December 2016 to Wednesday 07 December 2016

The British Council arranged a series of events and activities from 4 to 7 December 2016 with a special focus on International Day for Persons with Disability. In developing some of the activities for Diversity Week 2016, the British Council contacted BRIDGE Foundation who worked with the British Council in ‘A Different Romeo and Juliet’. A Different Romeo and Juliet was a 75-minute theatre production. This was a truly unique project in a way that it was performed in its entirety by 14 highly talented artists with disability. Natasha Israt Kabir, President and Founder of BRIDGE Foundation delivered a presentation about some facts about working with deaf and disability at the Dhaka University campus office.

The ultimate objective of the presentation was to address the issue of deaf people since they do not get equal opportunity across the society. Another interesting part was sign language training led by a deaf facilitator Tayfur Rahman. This was arranged so that colleagues can actively participate and can learn their own sign names. All the participants highly appreciated the session, particularly mentioning about the importance of highlighting the deaf community which is often neglected due to communication difficulties. After the workshop, colleagues from different departments also expressed their interest in having them as temporary staff.

The final activity for Diversity Week was observing silent hour during lunch time. Colleagues had to communicate with other colleagues without using spoken words, rather using sign language. This was done to raise awareness about the deaf community which is most of the time ignored even in the disability sector as they cannot be identified easily. 

Code of Conduct training was organised in all the offices of Bangladesh during Diversity Week 2016. Photographs and paintings were displayed that was done by the deaf participants. There was a quiz competition to test colleagues’ knowledge and the British Council approach to EDI and 155 colleagues from South Asia region participated in the Diversity quiz – all of whom demonstrated a good knowledge of their own part of the world and of their neighbouring region.
 
Overall, Diversity Week 2016 was observed with great enthusiasm and excitement.