European Commission’s thematic consultations on the post-2020 European Disability Strategy
8 December 2020
Regarding the lack of accessibility of information and communication in International Sign of the EU’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In light of the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) is deeply concerned by the lack of accessibility of information provided by the European Institutions when responding to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The EU leaders must lead by example ensuring that the information about the COVID-19 outbreak and European Union’s response to it is accessible to all of the citizens in the EU, including to the deaf EU citizens who are sign language users.
EUD reminds that the EU is legally committed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) to ensure full access to information under UN CRPD Articles 9 and 21, especially during the times of emergencies as such.
Therefore, EUD urges the European Commission and all relevant EU leaders to make their announcements available in International Sign. EUD sees this as a matter of high importance and requests the televised or streamed (whether live or pre-recorded) announcements related to the coronavirus outbreak to be interpreted in real time into International Sign with sign language interpreters being on screen and clearly visible the entire time of the broadcast, as the EU has a legal obligation to make its communications, announcements and information accessible to all.
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