DAA News Network

International: International Week of the Deaf

Posted 24/9-10 at 17.48

International Week of the Deaf is celebrated from 20 to 26 September 2010 throughout the world by individuals and national associations of the Deaf. This year, the World Federation of the Deaf has encouraged its national members to focus on Deaf Education, which continues to be one of the most contested issues in the history of Deaf people.

To support this cause, World Federation of the Deaf is calling individuals to sign an online petition, New Era Document, which rejects the resolutions of the 1880 Milan Congress that banned the use of sign language from educational programmes for deaf children.

This is a call upon all nations and people of the world to remember history and ensure that educational programmes accept and respect all languages, including sign languages, and all forms of communication. The New Era Document was first presented and signed by hundreds of people in the 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) in Vancouver, Canada in July 2010.

To sign the petition, please visit: www.petitions24.com/wfd

Editorial comment: It only took 130 years to overturn this pernicious resolution, responsible for holding back the educational and employment opportunities of Deaf people. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that sign language began to revive. In the mid-1970s the Deaf Rights movements began to gain momentum, Britain's National Union of the Deaf (NUD) was formed and a growing number of Deaf activists campaigned for rights to sign language, education and Deaf identity. For an excellent account of the Milan Congress, its impact and the battle to have sign language recognised, see: http://www.milan1880.com/milan1880history/thelegacy.html



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