Update March 2007

01 Apr 2007

EUD Members News

Former EUD Board member Wolfgang CZEMPIN passed away

On 22 February 2007 former DGB (Deutscher Gehörlosen-bund) President and former EUD Board member Wolfgang CZEMPIN passed away at the age of 88.

Wolfgang CZEMPIN was President of DGB from 1973-1988. It was thanks to his endless efforts that 575.000 signatures were collected in a petition in 1981 which led to subtitling of the “Tagesschau”. He was also responsible for getting the German TV programme “Sehen statt Hören” broadcasted and for the introduction of the text telephone.

DGB and EUD want to commemorate Wolfgang CZEMPIN for his tireless efforts (all on voluntary basis!) for the Deaf Community.

Our sympathies go to his family.

Source: DGB

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Estonian Sign Language recognised

Good news for the Estonian Deaf community!!!

We have been informed by the Estonian Association of the Deaf that their Estonian Sign Language has been recognised in legislation as the official language of the Deaf community on 1 March 2007.

Congratulations to the Estonian Deaf community!!!

Source: WFD news

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Finnish Film Festival

The Finnish Association of the Deaf will organise a first film festival for Finnish people.

On 22 September 2007, the Finnish Association of the Deaf and Ateneum Art Museum will show international and domestic pieces of action in sign language in Helsinki, and several cities. There will be short films, documentaries, animation, movies, or music videos of high quality. Anything for all eyes of any age!

The goal of the festival is to raise awareness about our mother tongue (sign language) and to create opportunities for Deaf people to show their work. This will as well motivate the Finnish people to create their own pieces of work after seeing what is out there beyond the borders.

So, if you are a filmmaker or know anyone who is, and are interested in showing your work, this is the right place. The deadline for submitting the pieces is 1 st August 2007.

For more information, please contact Dawn Jani BIRLEY (dawn-jani.birley@kl-deaf.fi)

Source: email from organisers

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EUD News

EUD seminar programme now online!

EUD will organise its annual seminar which is titled “Equal Opportunities for All” on 4 th May in Berlin.

Please look here for the seminar programme and the registration form.

Prior to the seminar, EUD will organise a workshop on “Public Affairs and Lobbying”. This workshop (3 rd May) and the General Assembly, which will be held on 5th-6 th May, will be closed meetings, only open to EUD members. The workshop programme is also available online.

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EUD Executive Director, Mark WHEATLEY present at the International Contact Seminar "New Trends in Educating Deaf People

European Culture Society organised an International Contact Seminar - "New Trends in Educating Deaf People" on March 21-25 at Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The purpose of the seminar was to strengthen co-operation between the organisations who are dealing with Deaf people. Also bringing together individuals that operates at the same fields in order to make contacts, develop projects and ideas.

Mark WHEATLEY was invited to open the Seminar and to lecture about EUD and funding on European level. He gave a presentation about the history of EUD, the influence of EUD on European Social Policy and the priorities of EUD. Then moved on to the whole scope of funding at European Level including Pre-Accession Assistance, External Assistance, Regional Assistance, Natural Resources and Community Programmes. And also concentrated on FP7 (7th Framework programme for Research and Technological Development) including strategic objectives, the purposes of collaboration. Explained about Work Programmes and Calls for Proposals in depth, stressing the importance of 'European Added Value'. And also fielded the questions from the audience, ranging from interpreting support to applications for funding from the European Commission.

There were delegates from Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. They gave presentations about barrier-free education, experiences of Deaf lecturers, activities of the centre of sign language, e-learning education and best practices in Deaf education. And also held discussions about the topics which were informative to the delegates.

EUD would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers for inviting Mark WHEATLEY to open the seminar and lecture about issues that are important and relevant to the Deaf organisations and people who are involved in the field of Deaf education in the Slovak Republic.

Written by Mark WHEATLEY, EUD Executive Director

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Call for interns at EUD office during summer 2007

EUD is happy to welcome one or more interns during the summer period. If you are interested in this opportunity, please do not hesitate to send us your application letter and CV.

Please note that this is a voluntary internship. Unfortunately EUD has no budget to reimburse travel costs or accommodation costs.

The EUD office is located in Brussels, Belgium.

Applications can be send to Karin VAN PUYENBROECK, EUD Administrator: kvp@eudnet.org.

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EDF News

EDF campaign: One million for Disability – make disability discrimination history

The EDF signature campaign aims to collect at least 1 000 000 citizens’ signatures to combat discrimination in all aspects of the lives of disabled citizens in Europe.

The European Union must respond to the call of at least 1 million citizens.  This is stated in the draft European Union Constitutional Treaty. We must not miss this opportunity to raise our voices.

The campaign “One million for Disability” runs from 23 January to 3 October 2007.

On 4 October 2007, the signatures will be officially handed out to the European Commission and the European Parliament. At the same time, a gathering of disabled persons, their families, friends and allies will take place in Brussels, in the heart of the European Institutions area.

Please visit the campaign website: http://www.1million4disability.eu/campaign.asp?langue=EN

(information is available in different languages).

For more information on this campaign please also read the article in EUD Update January 2007:http://www.eudnet.org/update/online/2007/jan07/jan07.htm#edfn_01

Source: www.1million4disability.eu

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European Union News

European Parliament - Pilot programme of traineeships for people with a disability

The European Parliament, in liaison with the European Disability Forum, has launched the Pilot programme of traineeships for people with a disability. During the first application period in autumn 2006, 74 applications have been received, which resulted in 10 trainees with a disability starting their traineeships in the EP on 1st March 2007.

The second round of the applications started 15 March 2007.

The European Parliament is offering paid traineeships to people with a disability, as a positive action measure aimed at facilitating the integration of disabled people in the workplace. These traineeships are open both to graduates of universities or equivalent institutions.

The main purpose of this programme is to offer a number of people with disabilities a meaningful and valuable work experience, and an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the activities of the European Parliament.

For links to the texts published on EUROPARL, click here.

Source: EDF Weekly Flash 08/2007

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Disability Intergroup meeting to discuss the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and Multiple Discrimination

Article 13 Intergroups of the European Parliament met to discuss the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and Multiple Discrimination. The Intergroups on Ageing, Anti-Racism and Diversity, Disability, and Gay and Lesbian Rights have united their efforts to organise a joint meeting on 15th February 2007. It was actually the first time that all the four groups focusing on anti-discrimination have come together.

"It is absolutely crucial we understand that combating discrimination is a part of defending the fundamental rights for all. Discrimination doesn 't harm just harm the victim; it harms the whole of society," Claude MORAES, MEP, jointly representing the Intergroup on Anti-Racism and Diversity, and the Intergroup on Ageing explained, "Whilst we 'll be doing our part to increase awareness amongst European lawmakers about the different issues raised by the joint meeting, we also need an equal commitment on the part of the Member States. Member States need to show political will and leadership in the face of intolerance."

The joint Intergroup meeting raised the MEPs awareness on the progress of the European Year. Focusing on multiple discrimination, the Intergroup meeting was also an opportunity to highlight the fact that in many circumstances, individuals are not only discriminated on the basis of just one ground of discrimination, but on the basis of multiple grounds of discrimination.

The Intergroups further highlighted their commitments to addressing the gaps in legislation not only due to its limited applicability outside of the workplace, but also because it doesn 't recognise the reality of multiple discriminations.

"We 're hoping to convey with a common voice the importance of the European Year as more than just a means to raise employment levels in Europe," Richard HOWITT, on behalf of the Intergroup on Disability added, "In the Article 13 grounds of discrimination, many people are also victims outside of the workplaces."

Source: EDF Weekly Mailing 07/2007

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Deaf News around Europe and the World

The best Deaf cinema arrives at the World Congress of the WFD

Tens of films directed, interpreted and written by Deaf creators and artists are already in the hands of the Organising Committee of the 15 th World Congress of the WFD. In the upcoming weeks it will face the challenge of selecting those who are to play a part in the Congress.

The films received so far belong to all genres: documentaries, animation, drama and comedy. In order to make a correct selection of the tapes, the Committee has appointed an expert group who will view and decide on the best films, and will schedule those to be screened during the 15 th Congress. This will allow participants to enjoy a representative sample of the most brilliant Deaf and signing cinema even seen.

According to an initial assessment made by these experts who are viewing the films, they show a very high level. How true it is that Deaf-made cinema has undergone a great progress in these years, both as regards its quantity and as regards its quality; however, it has been hardly disseminated among the general public because it is based on schemes made by Deaf amateurs and, in addition to this, there are not suitable channels to make it known yet. It will precisely be the 15 th World of the WFD that will introduce these pieces of work to thousands of Deaf people, while it allows establishing bonds and commercial relations among different Deaf film-makers and artists worldwide.

Source: Press release by CNSE

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International Conference: Linguistic rights of the Deaf: governmental support, research and the use of sign language (22-23 May 2007, the Russian Federation, Moscow)

The International Conference “Linguistic rights of the Deaf: governmental support, research and the use of sign language” is organized by the All-Russian public organization of Persons with Disabilities the “All-Russian Society of the Deaf” (VOG) with the support of the World Federation of the Deaf, the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, the UN Information Centre in Moscow. Among the participants are representatives from international organizations, ministries and departments of the Russian Federation, scientists and experts.

All-Russian Society of the Deaf has been working since 1926. Its aim is to represent and protect interests of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens’ of the Russian Federation, their social rehabilitation and integration in society.

All-Russian Society of the Deaf has regional branches in 77 entities of the Russian Federation. More than 250 000 Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens ask the All-Russian Society of the Deaf for help in solving various social problems every year.

In 2005-2006 the VOG representatives, as part of state delegations, participated in 6 th, 7 th and 8 th sessions of the UN Ad Hoc Committee that elaborated the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 23 January 2007 the “All-Russian Society” was recommended for granting a consultative status with ECOSOS at the meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

The President of All-Russian Society of the Deaf Valery RUKHLEDEV is Member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Board, Head of WFD Regional Secretariat of Eastern Europe and Middle Asia and member of Board on Disabled People’s affairs with the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and of Board of Social Insurance Find of the Russian Federation.

The VOG believes that, as the period of economic and political situation in the country improves it is time for the state to pay special attention to the problems of implementing civil rights, ensuring full and normal life and real integration of Deaf people into society be raising the level of education, professional training and employment.

Up till now the problems of communication and access to information remain the most acute for Deaf people when dealing with health and social security agencies, departments of internal affairs, legal proceedings, administration of justice, the Ministry of Emergencies, as well as when exercising their voting rightS, solving everyday problems and receiving education. Therefore, a special role of sign language in the life of deaf person is emphasized. International law recognizes the necessity of state support, research and the use of Sign Language.

An international meeting of the members of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Board and the World Federation of the Deaf Regional Secretariat of Eastern Europe and Middle Asia (WFD EEMARS) took place in Moscow on 3 October 2006. Representatives of the regional branches of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf participated in this meeting.

The participants of the meeting basing on the existing international agreements on the rights of Persons with Disabilities, which specify the role of Sign Language and the necessity to protect and encourage the linguistic rights of the Deaf at a state level, and underlying the need for solving the problems in the recognition and official use of sign language have decided to hold an International Conference to address these issues. The participants of the meeting requested the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation and the All-Russian Society of the Deaf to organize such event.

The international Conference at such level on the above-mentioned issues is held for the first time in the Russian Federation. Working languages will be: Russian, English and International and Russian Sign Languages.


  • Sign Language and Legislation;
  • Sign Language and Education;
  • Research of Sign Language;
  • Problems of interpreting service.

Main goals:

  • to inform the society of the significance of Sign Language in Deaf people’s life.
  • to stimulate the implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Council of Europe Action Plan for People with Disabilities aimed at improving the quality of life of people with limited abilities, achieving their maximum integration into all spheres of life, ensuring their access to information and services, raising the level of education, their integration into social life, strengthening the concept of equal opportunities with other citizens and non-discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • to increase international cooperation in the rehabilitation and integration of the Deaf.
  • to sum up the accumulated experience on research and use of Sign Language.
  • to emphasize the need of state support of Sign Language.
  • to work out practical recommendations for state bodies.
For more information please contact the organizers by email: deaf_russia@mail.ru

Source: Press Release by All-Russian Society of the Deaf

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Other News

An invitation to a study visit: Deaf and Hard of Hearing in educational systems in Europe

General information

Deaf and hard of hearing in educational systems in Europe is a study visit within the Arion programme.

The organisation of Arion follows the calendar of the Academic year. The European Commission publishes in January a new programme announcement for the next academic year. As the Arion study visits are a decentralised Action within the SOCRATES programme, it means that the selection of applications, as well as contracts and payments are managed by a National Agency in each participating country. Applications for Arion study visits must be submitted to the National Agencies.  

Description of our organization

Zavod za gluhe in naglušne Ljubljana (The Ljubljana School for Deaf) is the main Slovene educational institution for deaf and hard of hearing children and youngsters. At the Ljubljana School for the Deaf children between the ages of one and twenty are educated.

Description of our study visit

The Ljubljana School for the Deaf is the organizer of the study visit which is going to take place in March 2008.

The theme of the study visit is going to be the General study of education systems and evaluation of educational systems focusing on the education of deaf children and youngsters. The invited participants are trainers, principals and other experts in the field of deaf education and deafness.

The organizer is going to present the education of the deaf at all levels: pre-school, primary and secondary education and education at the university level. We would like to share our experiences with special schools for the deaf and with the integration of the deaf into regular schools. The second part of the visit is going to consist of the comparison of the educational 
systems in Slovenia and countries which participants are from. We want to emphasize that our educational aims and problems are often similar – despite national differences we all work with the deaf. We would like to focus on the European educational practice and on finding ways to better literacy, better knowledge of national sign languages and better knowledge of national 
languages. We are expecting a few deaf experts in that field accompanied with their sign language interpreters. Slovenian deaf teachers and the representatives of the deaf community are going to join us as well.

Beginning date: 03.03.2008

End Date: 07.03.2008

Languages: English, National Sign languages

Application procedure

Every participant needs to:

  • Look at Arion Study Visit Catalogue 2006/07, Theme 1 - General study education systems
  • Find our study visit ( Deaf and hard of hearing in educational systems in Europe)
  • Contact National agency of your country
  • Fill in the application form
  • Note in application if you are a deaf or hard of hearing person for double funding - to cover costs for interpreter (the agency does not cover work of interpreter)
    • All informations about National agencies, application form at:http://www.studyvisits.net/ (look at Study Visits Catalogue 2007/08, Theme 1 – General study education systems)

For more information please contact: Ziva Peljhan at: ziva.peljhan@gmail.com or visit www.zgnl.si

Source: Email from organisers

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