:: Mishka Zena | NAD Got It Right!! ::

NAD Got It Right!!

Update from Ottawa Protester:

Rally went very well. We had 300 people show up, this is a good number for this community which invludes ASL/LSQ members. 75 Centre Jules Leger students (CJL is a French immersion Deaf school in Ottawa) showed up and they gave a moving speech about how they wanted better signing skills from their teacher and for many people to learn LSQ so both worlds could communicate, too.

Paul Dewar, a MP from the Parliament (federal leverl) spoke to the crowd on the UN’s Treaty on Disabilities.
A Deaf parent of two deaf children spoke out, a rep from the Canadian Assoc for the Deaf spoke out, there were numerous chants “Deaf Ontario United”, “ASL/LSQ curriculum”, “ASL/LSQ equality”.

Christine Roschaert and Genevieve Deguire did amazing jobs as mistresses of ceremonies, both narrated in asl/lsq.

In Belleville at the SJW deaf school, 50 students walked out of their class and were reprimanded by their principal…. to community service… by teaching hearing people ASL??? this is a great punishment LOL

In Toronto, I was so shocked at the display of apathy. The Greater Toronto Area has approx 1,000 Deaf people, as well as south and mid Ontario, should have summed up to around 2,000 people.. but only 300 showed up??? ahh.

Anyway…. lets see what the poli-ticks say. tactile luv.

NAD Supports Deaf Children’s Right to Sign Language:

Remarks by NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins, read by NAD Chief Executive Officer Nancy J. Bloch at the rally.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) joins with the Ontario Association of the Deaf, the Canadian Association of the Deaf, and the deaf and hearing community in Canada, the United States, and around the world to support the language rights of deaf and hard of hearing children in Canada.

Language is a fundamental human right. The Canadian government, through its establishment of anti-sign language policies, is denying the right of deaf and hard of hearing children to language.

Particularly egregious is the policy that parents may choose to obtain a cochlear implant for their child, or they may choose sign language, without the option of choosing both. Such a prohibition against choosing both is contrary to evidence based best practices, the right of parents to make choices for their children, and plain common sense. For the full article click on: http://www.nad.org/site/pp.asp?c=foINKQMBF&b=2724111


CBS News: Ontario’s sign language education falls short, protesters say

Deaf children in Ontario’s are falling behind at school because the province doesn’t properly accommodate children who rely on sign language, argued protesters who rallied outside the Ontario legislature Friday.

In particular, they said, education in American Sign Language and its French counterpart LSQ (langue des signes québécoise) falls short.

“At this point there are absolutely no minimum proficiency levels for teachers, [or] for interpreters that are working within mainstream classrooms,” Ontario Association of the Deaf president Wayne Nicholson said at the Toronto rally. 

She added that the number of children has been declining because technology such as cochlear implants are allowing many children born deaf to hear, and that poses a challenge. For a full story, click on: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/05/11/ot-deaf-070511.html

Ottawa: Advocates for deaf sound off at protest

Advocates for the deaf are hoping their message will be heard loud and clear on Parliament Hill today…… According to organizers, 93% of Canadian deaf children are enrolled in oral education programs, but more than half will drop out by the time they reach high school.

Less than 2% of deaf people earn a university degree. In the last two years, the number of students enrolling in post-secondary institutions has been cut in half. For more, http://www.ottawasun.ca/News/National/2007/05/11/4170809-sun.html


Videoclip of D.C. Protest in Front of Canada Embassy:

Various protesters shared their opinions about the policy. Included in the tape is NAD speech. It’s definitely worth watching!  My only regret is that I wasn’t able to show up in the protest, but my spirits were with them. )

Commentary: What left me speechless is that the media covering the protests both in Ontario and Ottawa didn’t understand the significance of mandatory AVT with Cochlear Implant Program.  Nothing was mentioned about this controversial policy of compulsory AVT for Deaf children eligible for cochlear implants. The reporters totally missed the boat. Or did they? Did they show their support to Dept of Ministry’s philosophy by conveniently omiting this signifcant tidbit. Don’t they understand the loss of parental rights when the they opt for a certain medical procedure and be blocked from exercising what they feel is the best approach for their deaf child, communication-wise?

Kudos to NAD for  its eloquently speech written by Bobbie Beth Scroggin and signed by Nancy Bloch at D.C. protest.  Its message demonstrated the basic conflict between the AVT therapy and the child’s human right to a language.  I hope deaf protesters in Canada will share this speech with these clueless Canadian reporters. MZ

E-mail contact: mishkazena@aol.com

Copyright Mishkazena (TM) 2007

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