We organised the 56th International Week of the Deaf Celebrations 2013 on ‘Equality for Deaf People’ on 28th September, 2013 at Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi. There were about 165 deaf members from all over NCR participating in the Workshop. We had invited the special lecturers Mr. Sibaji Panda (International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK) & Ms. Melisa, Lingustic (Jawahar Lal University, New Delhi).
The workshop started with the welcome note by Mr. A. S. Narayanan, Secretary of NAD. Mr. Sibaji Panda took a session on Equality for Deaf People to deaf audience. It was an interactive session taking in participants’ view on equality and to identify what all is needed to achieve equality and explaining how to work on the list to be a citizen at par with others.
Ms. Melisa talked on the deaf issues focusing on the linguistic aspect. A deaf community is also a linguistic minority that uses Sign Language for communication. She shared a brief insight of her research with the school system using Indian Sign Language which was still rare and hard to come across.
This year’s theme focuses on equality for deaf people, amongst deaf people and promoted by deaf people. Equality for Deaf People recognises contributions by deaf people to global prosperity, human rights of all deaf people, and preparation of deaf communities for future challenges.
Equality for Deaf People celebrates the linguistic, artistic, social, political and cultural contributions and accomplishments of deaf people. This theme also focuses on recognition of sign languages and the rights of deaf people around India. Focus on Equality for Deaf People also prepares us to look towards the future with a clear vision with renewed energies for creating positive change in local communities worldwide.
International Week of the Deaf provides an excellent opportunity to share and discuss ways to promote collaboration on equality for deaf people based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).