Five years after the adoption of the Strategy the situation for deaf people has still not improved sufficiently and there is still a long way to go to ensure full inclusion for all.For deaf people, accessible information and communication is the key issue to ensure full inclusion and participation in society. This is provided for by and information in Sign Languageand Sign Language interpreting for example. But as evident from the survey amongst EUD’s members, this is far from a reality for most deaf today. For example, in half of the EU Member States no information in Sign Language was given in the previous election to the European Parliament, and in almost one third of the countries, no information was given prior to their national elections. This clearly shows how deaf people are excluded from the most essential part of the democratic process. In two thirds of the countries, deaf people are not entitled to full interpreting at the work place. There are unfortunately many more examples of discrimination occurring on a daily basis preventing deaf people from enjoying life on equal basis as everyone.

The main obstacle that needs to be addressed is the legal recognition of Sign Language in each country, as this is the key to start the circle that would lead to more resources and quality education of Sign Language teachers and interpreters so that the supply equals the demand. There is also a need for political will to fully guarantee that human rights are being followed, that systems are created where the cost for interpreting does not fall on the individual person or organisation but rather that it is provided as much as needed.

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