The European Union of the Deaf (EUD) Welcomes the Historic Inclusion of Real-Time International Sign Interpretation during the State of the European Union Speech by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen in Strasburg today!
The European Union of the Deaf (EUD) celebrates the unprecedented initiative to include International Sign interpretation in real-time during Ursula Von Der Leyen’s State of the European Union speech. This unprecedented move signifies a pivotal step forward for the recognition of the rights and inclusion of deaf people as full citizens of the European Union.
“We view this as a monumental moment in the history of the EU’s legislative and policy discourse,” said Sofia Isari, President of EUD, “It sends a strong message that the European deaf community is an integral part of the European Union, deserving of full access to information, communication, and participation in line with the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The provision of International Sign interpretation is a long-awaited first step”
This move validates the years of advocacy work EUD has undertaken in collaboration with the European Disability Forum to make the EU more accessible to deaf people.
A Welcome First Step, But More Needs to be Done!
While we welcome this crucial milestone, a lot more is yet to be done! The EU should not limit itself to International Sign interpretation. “The European Union disposes of a very rich linguistic landscape with 24 official spoken languages and 30 national sign languages. The EU is accessible to all its hearing citizens through their national spoken languages. It is not for deaf people. This must be addressed to reach true equality and inclusion” added Ronit Laquerriere Leven, EUD Vice-President.
EUD is currently advocating for the legal recognition of all 30 EU National Sign Languages as EU official languages, alongside the 24 official spoken languages. We are committed to supporting the European Union in becoming accessible and inclusive to everyone, including deaf people. This starts by legally recognising our preferred languages: our national sign languages.
For more information on the EUD policy work towards the legal recognition of EU National Sign Languages, please contact Mr Alexandre Bloxs, EUD Policy Manager, at [email protected].