September 2022

EUD Board members will be travelling to Prague, Czechia for the board meeting - this will be the first meeting since we held the elections during our General Assembly in May 2022. It will be held across two days - Saturday, 10th September to the midday on Sunday, 11th September.

EUD President, Sofia Isari, and EUD Vice President, Ronit Laquerrière-Leven, will be hosting a Deaf Women's Tea Party on 9th September. It will be hosted at the School for the Deaf on Holečkova Street, Prague from 4 to 7pm.

EUD and the Czech Republic Union of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (UDHH) will be holding a meeting on 10th September at 6pm. It will consist of a general discussion about the situation of deaf lives across the EU and its legalisation. 

More information about those events can be found under UDHH's Facebook page.

More information on Tea Party
More information on Seminar

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) was the first international human rights instrument that recognised sign languages as equal to spoken languages, and it obliges national governments to promote, protect and recognise sign language rights.
The  UN  CRPD  is  a  fundamentally  important  tool  when  advocating for  the  official recognition of national sign languages, and deaf people rights. Article 21 of the UN CRPD specifically calls its State Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information  and  ideas  on  an  equal  basis  with  others  and  through  all  forms  of communication of their choice, including by accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, as well as recognising and promoting the use of sign languages. Article 30 of the UN CRPD also specifically highlights that deaf people are entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.
Many National Associations of the Deaf used the UN CRPD as an advocacy tool at national  level  when  advocating  for  the  official recognition  of  their  national  sign language(s)  in  their  countries  or  when  improving  access  to  sign  language  rights. However, not all national laws are equally strong which leads to a lack of access to fundamental rights. Accordingly, EUD is organising this webinar to share good practices on how to advocate for an ambitious implementation of the UN CRPD for deaf sign language users and to discuss how the UN CRPD must be used as an advocacy tool at national level.
This webinar will be available in International Sign and spoken English. It will also provide live captioning in English.

Concept note
Webinar registration

There is a growing global dialogue on the importance of data on persons with disabilities. In order to progress towards an open, fair, and inclusive society for all persons, including persons with disabilities, there is a pressing need for data collection and disaggregation by disability. Although there is momentum towards more data collection in the EU, further efforts are needed in order to develop and mainstream evidence-based approaches to disability advocacy, and policymaking. High-quality and reliable disability data are needed to understand the real situation of persons with disabilities in order to identify gaps that are not addressed through policies.
Currently, in the EU there are no exact statistics on people with different types of disabilities.  This, for instance, does not allow us to know how many people with different disabilities are not in the labour market or education. A lack of data can be a large obstacle in disability inclusive policymaking and programming. It also increases marginalisation and failure to address the challenges and discrimination encountered by persons with disabilities. Reliable, correct and robust data, disaggregated by disability type, is necessary for building an argument for inclusion of each disability group in the EU. It is essential for advocacy as it enables Disabled Persons organisations to make comparisons between persons with disabilities and persons without disabilities, and thus identify inequalities.
In this webinar, EUD would like to highlight the importance of the collection of EU-level data, disaggregated by disability type, which would play an important role supporting evidence-based advocacy, and policymaking. Specifically, there will be a focus on the deaf community, in terms of the barriers faced, providing examples of the types of data that are required but also how to go about this, as well practical examples provided.
This webinar will be available in International Sign and spoken English. It will also provide live captioning in English.

Concept note
Webinar registration

Access to labour market for deaf persons in the EU

Access to work and employment is a fundamentally important right. The empowerment through employment, self-employment or entrepreneurship is essential to the well-being of deaf persons and their full and active participation in societies and the economy. However, participation of persons with disabilities in employment remains low. Accordingly, EUD has developed policy recommendations on “Access to the Labour Market for Deaf Persons in the EU”.  

Within the EUD policy recommendations, a breakdown of Article 27 UN CRPD is provided, explaining the meaning of each of its legal obligations for deaf people, including some examples of what this would look like in practice. For each legal obligation, the information collected in the survey - developed by EUD on labour market access for deaf persons and disseminated among the National Associations of the Deaf - is used as the basis for the policy recommendations that can be utilised to inform the authorities at national as well as EU level when further addressing the unemployment of persons with disabilities in the EU. Finally, an overview of the EU level policies and initiatives is given, in terms of how best they can be used to further implement the legal obligations under Article 27 UN CRPD. 

Read more

EU Accessibility Summit

This summer, EUD attended the EU Accessibility Summit which took place across 2 days – 31st May to 2nd June 2022. The Summit was hosted by the European Disability Forum (EDF) and sponsored by Microsoft. Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, opened day 1 of the Summit with the statement “Accessibility is a precondition for participation in society.” Commissioner Dalli also highlighted that the Commission plans to launch an EU resource centre in 2022 - AccessibleEU, which will provide information on accessibility across centres and is a flagship initiative under the EU Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030. You can find out more about Day 1 below. 

Day 1

EU Accessibility Summit Day 2

Day 2 of the Summit hosted a number of interesting panels and discussions, EUD attended an In-conversation discussion about the EU and US in comparison in terms of their technological and policy developments, as well as a panel discussion about the application of the European Accessibility Act (EAA). You can find out more about these in the article below. 
Day 2

EUD Accessibility Summit - Side Events

Alongside the main sessions of the EU Accessibility Summit, a number of side events were also held. EUD attended the event on “end user involvement – how does the feedback mechanism work in real life?” as well as on “the European Accessibility Act ‘to maximise the foreseeable use’, but how?” If you are interested to learn more, follow the link below to the articles. 
Side Events

European Semester – Country-Specific Recommendations

On 23rd May 2022, the European Commission published its Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) as part of the European Semester Process, within the Spring Package. The EU Semester is an annual cycle where the Commission analyses poor performance on certain policy issues (primarily economic and social) in the Member States. The Commission then delivers its CSRs to the Member States which explain how they can better align their policies with the objectives and rule agreed at EU level (in the Commission's Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy). The recommendations focus on what the Member State can realistically achieve over the next 12-18 months. Member States are expected to take immediate action on these recommendations.  
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SignON will host a workshop in European Parliament on 28 September 2022

The SignON consortium is organising an event in the premises of the European Parliament, in Brussels, in collaboration with Adam Kosa, Member of the European Parliament. The National Associations of the Deaf from the countries of which the sign languages are involved in the SignON Project are invited.
This will be an opportunity for the SignON partners to present about the project and about the work with deaf communities throughout the co-creation process. It will also be an excellent time to discuss the challenges that we are facing. In a second step, the SignON Consortium will interact with representatives of the different deaf communities to discuss current and future needs and concerns regarding sign language technology and how we can address them together, now and in the future.
Sofia Isari
EUD President

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