In December EUD launched the 5th book of the series UN CRPD implementation in Europe – a deaf perspective.
The new EUD book focuses on UN CRPD Article 9: access to information and communication for the deaf. In a first attempt to deepen the interpretation of Article 9 (1) (b) of the UN CRPD, in 2018 EUD published a position paper on the accessibility of information, communication, and knowledge. Then, in September 2019, to expand and refine this initial interpretation and highlight further angles and applications of accessibility, EUD invited authors from different domains of expertise and experience to contribute to its book. But rather than focusing exclusively on Article 9, the book aims to highlight the connections between Article 9 and other articles of the UN CRPD. To explore a range of deaf perspectives and possibilities that relate to this synergy, the volume is organised into seven interlinking and overlapping themes.
The first theme, which has an introductory chapter and three main chapters, explores the legal frameworks for accessibility in the UN CRPD and the EU. The second theme highlights how the sense of urgency that came with the COVID-19 pandemic became a catalyst for new initiatives facilitating access to information and communication. The third theme focuses on the access to social and mental health services and represent the intersection of Articles 9 and 25 on the right to health care, and Article 17 on the right to the protection of physical and mental integrity. The fourth theme of the book is that the accessibility of information and communication can also be approached from an intersectionality perspective. The fifth theme relates to justice and employment, and its four chapters exemplify Article 9’s links with two other Articles of the UN CRPD, namely Article 13 on access to justice and Article 27 on work and employment. EUD also advocates for access to audiovisual content and information, emphasising that high quality is necessary to ensure meaningful access for the user; this is explored in the three chapters that make up the sixth theme on audiovisual media services. The seventh and final theme is on accessibility, artificial intelligence, and technologies. Investment in new technologies, including those based on artificial intelligence, are a major focus of the EUD’s advocacy due to their role in the realisation of access to information, communication, and knowledge.
By including diverse contributions ranging from research articles to policy contributions and examples of good practice from NADs, EUD book endeavours to introduce a deaf sign language perspective into the debate on Article 9 UN CRPD while stimulating further advocacy and exploration of different angles of accessibility. The interactive pdf version of the book optimises its accessibility for the EUD’s main stakeholders, i.e. users of visual languages, by showcasing visual resources and short videos.