Madrid (EFE).- Remote assistance adapted to deaf elderly people, accessible emergency and health services, sign language from childhood or eliminating the barriers that prevent them from working in certain positions. These are some of the demands of deaf people to which more than a million Spaniards belong.
“We want to live in a just and democratic society in which the rights of all citizens have the same value”, they declare in the manifesto of the State Confederation of Deaf People (CNSE) for the International Day of Deaf People, which celebrates this Saturday, September 24.
Throughout the week, people with hearing loss carry out activities to make visible the barriers and prejudices that still prevent them from participating fully in social and professional life.
Like those who lived during the pandemic, the Filomena storm, the eruption of the La Palma volcano or in the forest fires this summer. These are emergencies in which people with deafness have had difficulty accessing notices, information about what is happening or instructions that have been given to the general population for their safety and protection. .
“Let the whole world hear it”
“Can you imagine living in risky or emergency situations and not knowing what is happening, what to do or how to protect yourself? This is how more than a million deaf people in Spain experience it”.
Thus begins the campaign launched this Wednesday by the Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf People (Fiapas) “Let the whole world listen to it”, which this year is dedicated to emergency situations. With the slogan “An urgent commitment”, the initiative shows in a shocking video the vulnerability, the difficulties and the risks that people with deafness experience.
The families wish to make known the measures and means of auditory support and access to information so that they are taken into account in the forecasting and planning of means and actions in an emergency situation.
“When we call 112, the center knows what phone number is calling and where we are,” explained Leonardo Marcos, director general of civil protection and emergencies at the Ministry of the Interior, during the presentation of the campaign. However, he admitted that the system is only prepared for voice communications. His department is therefore working with Social Rights to see how to integrate the latest technological advances that improve accessibility.
From the ONCE Foundation, José Luis Martínez Donoso called for the development of an emergency plan for people with disabilities. Jose Luis Aedo, president of Fiapas, called for resources that take into account the needs of all deaf people, such as captioning in the media or sign language interpretation services.
Facades in blue by sign languages
Iconic buildings from hundreds of countries will illuminate their facades in turquoise blue, the color that identifies the deaf community this Friday, September 23, International Day of Sign Languages.
There are more than 300 sign languages in the world and 66 countries legally recognize their national sign languages, including Spain -Spanish and Catalan-.
But recognition is not enough, warns the CNSE, which explains the urgency of approving a regulation that develops the law (2007) by which sign languages are recognized in Spain. The objective is to ensure their presence in all areas and to help put an end to the ignorance and prejudices that still persist about these languages.
Also that it be incorporated into the Spanish Constitution, into the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and into any legislation. “Sign languages are a human right and as such they must be protected and promoted”, asserts its president, Roberto Suárez. “His recognition is useless if we are deprived of his exercise,” he adds.
For this reason, the confederation of deaf people asks to normalize the learning and use of sign language among deaf children, providing these students with bilingual centers with interpreters and specialists in this language.
According to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), there are 1,230,000 people with hearing loss of different types and degrees. Of these, almost 98% use oral language to communicate and 2.2% (27,300) use sign language.