The European Union of the Deaf have celebrated their 30 year anniversary after it was founded in 1985 on 11 November. We have embarked an amazing milestone this year so thus we have celebrated with a conference in the European Parliament being hosted by the deaf MEPs, Helga Stevens and Ádám Kósa.
The topic of the conference earlier today were focussing on the reasonable accommodation and gave the attendees the chance to explore the definition of that concept from a deaf’s perspective. It was opened by Helga Stevens MEP and spoke about reasonable accommodation and how access to sign language interpreting in employment and education is important and also linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This was followed by Ms Ildikó Pelczné Gáll, the vice president of the European Parliament, who took the floor with her straightforward points on what the European Parliament have previously worked on this with the two resolutions on sign language, one from 1988 and one from 1998.
The keynote speaker, Emmanuelle Grange from the Head of Unit, Disablity and Inclusion from the European Commission have greatly contributed towards the conference and were also paneled by Dr. László Gábor Lovászy, Ms Astrid Eichstaedt, Dr. John Bosco Conama and Prof. Dr. Christian Rathmann.
After the closing session with final remarks from Dr Ádám Kósa, MEP, it were closed with the satisfaction of the 150 attendees.
There were various representatives were attending by several organisations especially from the deafness, hard of hearing, Deafblind sector across the global.
EUD, Ádám Kósa and Helga Stevens invited the delegates of the EUD`s members of their National Associations of the Deaf from the EU Member States.
The political participation were very active from the delegates’ end, by organising private meetings with over 40 MEPs from 14 different countries after the conference. The primary goal of the meetings with the MEPs to press on the issues on the legal recognition of sign language, the UNCRPD, the upcoming European Accessibility Act and lastly the EU Disability card.
When the delegates arrived in Brussels on Tuesday 10 November, they had a tour of the European Parliament.
The political participation of the delegates of the NADs has reflected very well towards the EUD`s aim and vision. And for the 150 attendees to take in consideration regarding the reasonable accommodation’s concept. The knowledge will be used as a tool not only to make policy makers aware of the needs of the Deaf Community but also to give Deaf leaders the knowledge to acquire the correct concept of the reasonable accommodation.