Thursday 21st September:
The theme for day 4 of International Week of Deaf People highlights- Putting Deaf People on the Agenda. On this day, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) calls upon national governments, international institutions, research centres and policymaking bodies to centre deaf people in their work.
Article 24 of the Convention obligates States Parties to ensure the right education for all persons with disabilities. Through a successful inauguration of Article 24, the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community will be facilitated. Ultimately, the education of those children who are deaf, blind or deafblind will be fully ensured. In turn, the most appropriate languages and means of communication for the individual will be delivered, something which maximises a child’s social and cognitive development. Through this maximisation, deaf people will have full access to a thorough and inclusive education, a step forward to placing more deaf individuals on the agenda.
To further extend the opportunities for deaf children, the United Kingdom’s government has published an improvement plan to develop and improve special educational needs support in England. According to the National Deaf Children’s Society, the plan intends to provide a more dignified experience for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The plan pledges that the Department will guarantee enough Teachers of the Deaf, in order to maximise the potential options and pathways for deaf children and young people. The implementation of a new apprenticeship pathway for specialist teachers of children with sensory impairments has the potential to create a positive difference. Namely, schools will be granted access to government funding for the training of apprentice Teachers of the Deaf. Overall, the plan sets out for 90% of children to achieve expected standards in reading, writing and maths in primary education by 2030. This is an ambitious goal considering the previous 44% achievement; however, it is something which must be delivered to ensure that full inclusion is more consistently met. Through pushing for this plan, policies in government that concern deaf people are being focused on.
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) outlines that under the CRPD, all countries have a duty to indorse legal recognition of their national sign languages. The federation released a list which outlined a list of 77 countries that have achieved Sign Language Legislation. The legislation and framework adopted by these countries will encourage a deeper understanding of national sign languages as part of the linguistic ecology of the country (Murray 2020). In turn, deaf people can maximise their human rights.