This was forwarded to me via the Florida  Association of the Deaf 

Legal Seat – Helsinki, Finland 

An International  Non-Governmental Organisation in official liaison with 
ILO, WHO and the Council of  Europe, established in Rome in 1951 

PO Box 65, FIN-00401 Helsinki,  FINLAND 
FAX: +358 9  5803 572 
_www.wfdeaf.org_ (  

18-24 July  2011, Durban,  South  Africa 
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), its  Members and the 2,100 
participants from 125 countries at the XVI World Congress of the World  Federation 
of the Deaf in Durban, South Africa, 18-24 July  2011. 
Recalling the statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human  
Rights in the Opening Ceremony of the World Congress, “participation is a 
key  human rights principle. However, without adequate access to sign language 
 interpretation, bilingual education and recognition of sign language, 
there are  important barriers” to the full enjoyment by deaf people of their 
human rights,   
Reaffirming the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights 
of  Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto,  
Article 3: respect for  difference and acceptance of deaf persons as part 
of human diversity and  humanity, 
Article 9: enabling persons  with disabilities to participate fully in all 
aspects of life including access  to information and communications 
including provision of professional sign  language interpreters, 
Article 21: recognising and  promoting the use of sign languages, 
Article 24: ensuring that  the education of deaf children is delivered in 
the most appropriate languages  for the individual and in environment which 
maximises academic and social  development and employing teachers who are 
qualified in sign  language, 
Article 25: ensuring deaf  persons have the right to the enjoyment of the 
highest attainable standard of  health without discrimination, 
Article 30: recognising the  right of deaf persons to take part on an equal 
basis with others in cultural  life including the recognition and support 
of sign languages and deaf  culture, 
Recalling also that deaf women and girls are often subject to multiple  
discrimination and emphasizing the need to incorporate a gender perspective in  
all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental  
freedoms by persons with disabilities, 
    1.  Reaffirms the need to  promote quality deaf education and calls 
upon governments to take active  measures: 
    1.  to promote policies that permit deaf  people of all ages to develop 
as multilingual and multicultural persons and  to promote their social and 
emotional  development; 
    2.  to protect the right of deaf people to  be educated in sign 
    3.  to emphasize the need for research-based  best practise models in 
deaf  education; 
    4.  to ensure appropriate support in  inclusive settings, including 
professional sign language  interpreters; 
    5.  to employ in the schools teachers who  are qualified and fluent in 
sign language including deaf teachers, to  promote the cultural and 
linguistic identity of the  deaf;

    1.  Urges the  promotion of sign language and deaf  studies 
    1.  to encourage and promote the recognition  of sign language as a 
fundamental human right for all deaf people including  infants and children; 
    2.  to promote research into sign languages  and deaf cultures; 
    3.  to promote the many unique positive  contributions of deaf people 
that can be offered as benefits to the wider  society;

    1.  Emphasizes the need  for constant attention to the needs of deaf 
communities in developing  countries, particularly in Africa, and urges  
members and governments: 
    1.  to empower deaf associations in  developing countries with 
particular attention to the strengthening of  organisational capacity; 
    2.  to emphasize the active role of deaf  associations in 
capacity-building and leadership programmes for developing  countries; 
    3.  to work and cooperate with the  Secretariat of the African Decade 
of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) in  order to ensure the participation 
and inclusion of deaf people in disability  programming processes in Africa.

    1.  Reaffirms that deaf  people have full equality and enjoyment of 
their human  rights 
    1.  to ensure that a positive image of deaf  people as a natural part 
of human diversity be promoted  worldwide; 
    2.  to develop information and training for  national deaf associations 
on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons  with Disabilities (CRPD), 
the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of  Discrimination Against 
Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of  the Child (CRC) to ensure 
that deaf women and girls are empowered in all  areas of their lives; 
    3.  to train deaf communities around the  world in their rights under 
the  CRPD; 
    4.  to ensure that governments adopt the  CRPD and its Optional 
Protocol to enable deaf people to enforce their rights  under the CRPD; 
    5.  to ensure that information on sign  language development for 
children with cochlear implants be provided to  parents, and that WFD create a 
position paper on cochlear  implants; 
    6.  to promote early identification and  family-centred early 
intervention including sign language and exposure to  deaf culture to ensure optimal 
access to social and academic  success; 
    7.  to promote research in conjunction with  WFD into improving access 
to health care for deaf people around the  world;

    1.  Calls on deaf  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) 
persons to actively promote  their right to freedom of association and to 
protection as any other person  and to include deaf LGBT in WFD programmes of 
empowerment, capacity-building  and self-pride;
    1.  Urges the  strengthening of the field of sign language interpreting 
through professional  interpreter training programmes and interpreter 
mentors, and to promote  research on the effect of professional sign language 
interpreters in inclusive  education and the consequences on the quality of 
life of deaf  students;
    1.  Strongly urges the  promotion and development of access to mental 
health services for deaf  children, youth, adults and the elderly, and to 
initiate and encourage  research into mental health models for deaf  
    1.  Affirms the  importance of the recognition of children of deaf 
adults (CODAs) as  multilingual persons with a significant contribution to their 
families, their  schools and local communities, and to promote national 
CODA  organisations;
    1.  Encourages the  promotion of sign language and deaf culture 
training to parents of deaf  children;
    1.  Urges the  availability of appropriate services to deaf senior  
    1.  Encourages  full use of the latest technological advances to 
enhance access and  communication for all deaf  people;
    1.  Reaffirms the  importance of appropriate services for deafblind 
people to ensure their full  participation in society;
    1.  Strongly encourages its  members to form strong ties with their 
national deaf youth movement and to  support youth activities in their 
respective  countries.


Alysse Suzanne Rasmussen, MA
ASLTA Certification:  Qualified

TeachASL _www.teachasl.org_ ( 
IDI Administrator, RID Sponsor
President,  Florida ASLTA, _www.faslta.org_ (  
Chairman, Lulu G Lemery Foundation for Arts & Expression,  Inc._ 
www.lemery.org_ (