Deaf community comes together to raise key issues at International Deaf Summit
The four-day International Deaf Summit in Goa saw the presence of over 1,500 experts from around the world. Deaf educators, parents, audiologists, psychologists, and linguistics shared the latest technologies and strategies that will help advance India’s deaf community.
From top politicians like Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to deaf educators and parents’ groups, the International Day Summit 2020 in Margoa held over the weekend, saw a well-represented participation from the deaf community in India and the world.
Mr Sawant said his government was committed to resolving issues faced by the deaf community in Goa.
The government will pay special attention for the betterment of hearing-impaired people in the state. We are trying to provide adequate facilities to the special schools in Goa. I will look into the demand for higher secondary for these special children. – Pramod Samant, Goa Chief Minister
Over 1,500 experts at International Deaf Summit
NGOs present took the opportunity to draw attention to the issues faced by the deaf community as well as the larger disabled population in Goa in accessing pre-university and higher education. Making sign language official would help address these gaps.
“Sign language must be made official in Goa”, says Navnath Khandeparkar, Chairman, Goa State International Human Rights Association. “Many deaf children in the state are deprived of an education because there are not enough special schools for them. Sign language should be promoted in the larger by the government by opening an institute for teaching the language. This will encourage the larger public to learn”.
Larger awareness regarding sign language needed
“There are many gaps due to lack of sign language interpreters in Goa”, added Advocate Harsha Naik, Committee Member, Deaf Association of Goa. “Sign language must be mandated by the government. Everyone should learn sign language so communication for the deaf community becomes easier”.
Some of the other issues raised were gaps in access to basic services. “Getting driving licenses is still hard for the deaf community”, points our Naik. “Traffic police and all government officials should be sensitised about the rights of the deaf community”.
The sexual harassment faced by the deaf community was raised by Prithi S Soni, Founder, Deaf Can Foundation (DCN). one of the organisers of the International Deaf Summit. Soni said the government must take stronger steps to help them in such instances.