December 2022

Report on European Day of Persons with Disabilites Conference.

The European Commission organises this annual conference, in partnership with the European Disability Forum, to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This 2-day event brings together more than 400 policy-makers, high-level experts and disability advocates. There is wide participation of persons with disabilities. This year, it took place from 24-25th November in Brussels. They were an action packed two days of discussions, Q&A sessions, and, coming together with the wider EU disability community, in person, for the first time in 3 years! The EUD Board represented the deaf community of the EU by raising the key barriers faced in terms of access to employment, education, and protection from violence and discrimination. 

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EDF's Deaf representatives of the conference

Dr. Humberto Insolera
EDF Executive committee of the European Disability Forum (European Union of the Deaf)

Read more about Dr. Humberto Insolera

Elias Tebibel
Chair of EDF Youth Committee (European Union of the Deaf)

Read more about Elias Tebibel

Louise Danielsson
Member of EDF Women's Committee (European Union of the Deaf)

Read more about Louise Danielsson

Comment on Inclusive Education made by Ronit Laquerrière-Leven

During the Q&A discussion of Session 1, EUD Vice-President Ronit Laquerrière-Leven
raised an important point that for deaf young persons, sign language environments, as well as early access to sign language through family, are essential.

Question on the EU's recognition of its national sign languages asked by Ronit Laquerrière-Leven

In the 2nd session of the event, EUD Vice-President, Ronit Laquerrière-Leven asked about the EU's recognition of national sign languages, to which the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities replied that they have recommended that the EU match its Member States and officially recognise national sign language at the EU level.

Question on the upcoming EU common number for victims of violence against women (116016) asked by Sofia Isari

During the final Q&A session on violence against persons with disabilities, Ms Sofia Isari, EUD President, asked: deaf victims have issues calling for help due to communication barriers, amongst others. How have you considered the deaf victims of gender-based violence? And as for the upcoming EU common number for victims of violence against women – will it be accessible to deaf women in the EU who need support or help? e.g. sign language.

Ms Isari also added that EUD is a partner of the JUSTISIGNS2 project which is undertaking research within the deaf migrant, refugee & asylum-seeking community to investigate experiences of domestic, sexual & gender-based violence.

Meeting with the Commissioner Helena Dalli

On 24th November 2022, the EUD Board had the opportunity to meet with EU Commissioner for Equality, Ms Helena Dalli, where they emphasised the importance of the EU recognising all its national sign languages at EU level. This is part of deaf persons' human rights & should be an EU priority.

General Comment no.8 article

Last month, on 13th September 2022, the new WHO European framework for action to achieve the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities 2022–2030 was approved. This new Framework has four objectives: universal health coverage; the promotion of the health and well-being of persons with disabilities; the protection of persons with disabilities during public health emergencies and the creation of an evidence base on disability and health. 

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Sofia Isari
EUD President
Ronit Laquerrière-Leven
EUD Vice President
Paal Richard Peterson
EUD Board Member
David Buxton
EUD Board Member
Andy Van Hoorebeke
EUD Board Member

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