European Days of Disability. Day Two
Today is the second day of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference. The theme that will be addressed is ‘From inclusive education to integration in society and economy’
We are pleased to see Sanja Tarczay, President of the European Deafblind Union (EDbU) as one of the panel speakers covering the issue of inclusive education.
Markku signing “promoting the linguistic identify of the deaf community”
Another panellist was Adoración Juárez Sánchez, a director of a Spanish mainstream school that has a number of deaf students enrolled. I had the opportunity to pose a question to Ms Sánchez. I opened my intervention with references to two UNCRPD Articles: 24 that encourages the linguistic identity of the deaf community, along with article 30, which states that deaf culture is to be embraced and fostered. My question was: does the school have a teaching approach, curriculum and resources and materials that reflect the intent of those articles in the UNCRPD regarding deaf culture and identity.
Markku signing “how does these articles related to your school activities, curriculum, the teaching of sign language and deaf culture that the children receive. So again, how are those UNCRPD articles realised at your school?”
The response wasn’t specific, as there was no mention of how the school aligns those articles of the UNCRPD in their work. There was mention of deaf club, two deaf teachers on staff and interpreting, but my question was not answered at all.
Now focussing on the Access City awards. The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, and EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, announced the winners of the 2016 Access City Award.
This year's finalist countries were: Kaposvár (Hungary), Milan (Italy), Toulouse (France), Vaasa (Finland) and Wiesbaden (Germany).
The winner of 2016 Access City Award is: Milan (Italy).
We drew near to the end of the two day conference, when the final panel concluded the event. We were left inspired by having Helga Stevens, Member of the European Parliament deliver a rousing closing. She reminded all that deaf children rights to quality education must not be left languishing and need to be addressed. We relish having that type of support from the European Parliament.
We were delighted to see the integral involvement of the EUDY and EDbU in the program as speakers during the conference. Not only that, deaf delegates took a very active role in participating in the Q&A