The WFD in Saudi Arabia and Switzerland

The WFD in Saudi Arabia and Switzerland

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The WFD was active last week representing deaf interests at different international conferences.

WFD in Saudi Arabia

The WFD President Colin Allen attended the 5th International Conference on Disability and Rehabilitation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 3 – 5 April, 2018. As one of the keynote presenters, he addressed the topic ‘Full Access to Deaf Education through Sign Language’. This presentation outlined the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Agenda 2030 – Sustainability Development Goals with a particular focus on deaf education for deaf children and deaf adults. It also highlighted the implications for sign linguists, teachers of the deaf, sign language interpreters and their local associations and governments.

After the conference, Allen also led a Deaf leadership workshop for members of the Saudi Deaf Community. The workshop offered insights into the work of the WFD, particularly the work towards achieving equality for Deaf Human Rights. Allen shared his experience regarding the importance of collaborative relationships, and participants had the opportunity to discuss the role of the Deaf Association and the critical leadership role of deaf board members. The workshop also celebrated the linguistic, artistic, social, political and cultural contributions and accomplishments of deaf people, focusing on the recognition of sign languages and the rights of deaf people around the world.

WFD in Switzerland

The WFD board member Kasper Bergmann participated in the WHO consultative meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on the forthcoming World Report on Hearing, which will be launched in March 2020. During the two-day meeting, the participants agreed on the outline and structure of the report, which is expected to also look at the communication barriers deaf and hard of hearing people are facing. Bergmann represented the WFD and promoted the linguistic rights of deaf people around the world.