The International Week of the Deaf took place from 19 to 25 September, where the International Day of Sign Languages (Friday 23 September) and the International Day of the Deaf (Saturday 24 September) stood out. This year, the main action of the deaf community has been to demand from the government a set of measures that allow their inclusion
Recognition of sign languages is essential. EFE/ Jesús Diges
Coinciding with the International Week of the Deafthe State Confederation of Deaf People (CNSE) and its associative network, have joined the international deaf community, represented by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)with the aim of claiming a series of measures that they intend to promote.
the measures governments have been asked to be agile when it comes to implementing them and to start building a society based on inclusion where this group has the same opportunities and rights as the rest of the population.
In Spain, according to data from the INE (EDAD Survey, 2020), there are a total of 1,230,000 people with a hearing disability of different types and degrees.
What measures have been required?
The CNSE has published a manifesto through which it has made public the different claims they are requesting.
Education and access to information
The confederation advocates for the creation of a regulation specific about the sign languages Spanish, which ensures its presence in all areas, and which, in addition, is incorporated into the Spanish Constitution, the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages, and transversally to any legislation.
“Sign languages are a human right and as such, they must be protected and promoted,” he explained Naiara Larrakoetxea, spokesperson and general secretary of the CNSE.
As well as guarantee the access to an inclusive and quality education for deaf students, requesting that sign language begin to be used from an early age, with the aim of being able to normalize the learning and use of this language among deaf children.
They also claim one network of bilingual centers and one increase in resources so that these students can always count on interpreters and the technical help they need.
In addition to one greater access to institutional information and communication with public administrations, both in sign language and in written texts.
As for the health sector, the access and standardization of the emergency services (112). It is important to include direct care in sign language, provide specific care for deaf women who are victims of gender violence and accessible teleassistance for deaf and dependent elderly people.
Also promote accessible health services in sign language and other visual communication systems, both in face-to-face settings and in telemedicine and emergency health care.
Working conditions and benefits
Regarding the employment situation, they urge for promote insertion, promotion and labor inclusion from deaf people to ordinary companies and the public administration.
That the work places be adapted to the need of the community, including continuous training in sign language, as well as a recognition and improvement of the working conditions of deaf people specializing in sign language.
Finally, they apply for a increase in aid to the organizations of the associative movement so that they can continue attending to deaf people, making their needs visible, and asserting their rights.
How to create a more inclusive society?
The spokeswoman of the CNSE has expressed: “what is needed in society is that deaf people themselves should be heard. There are times when people try to give you facilities, solutions, that you don’t need. It is essential to listen to what we want and what we need, and above all, to respect it.”
Each person who is part of the community has different characteristics and needs. Therefore, it is imperative that knowledge about the deaf community is fostered; through talks, workshops, to try to eliminate this paternalistic view that is exercised towards the collective.
As the expert has explained, it must be transformed into a vision of a linguistic minority, since they have their own language that must be recognized and respected.