terptree: Fairer access for deaf people

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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Fairer access for deaf people

The UN Enable convention has been slowly coming into force around the world. More than 50 contries have signed it since 2007, with the UK becoming the latest on Monday 8th June 2009.

Governments who have signed and ratified the treaty are bound to carry out the following provisions for the deaf community:
b) Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.
The convention also ensures that deaf students have access to teachers qualified in sign language. The full terms of the article on education can be found here.

The article on Freedom of expression and access to information states governments should improve access by:
b) Accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative
and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, modes and formats
of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities in official

Other articles of the treaty are listed at the UN Enable website.

The convention will not affect deaf people in the UK too much but it will mean real change for millions of deaf people around the world in countries which didn't have previous legislation in place to ensure fair access and equality for disabled people.

N.B Quick Hat Tip to Islington Deaf Campaign

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