ICED – did they apologize or didnt they?

lots of talk about the ICED opening ceremonies yesterday

the ICED 1880 resolutions declaring the incontestable superiority of speech were REJECTED yesterday

Viva Natural Sign Languages – ya hoo and amen

Alison Bryan of the UK and the Stop Eugenics Campaign tweeted this:

ICED, 19 July 2010 passed the following (rough text):

“…The resolutions of the 1880 congress in Milan:
In 1880, an international congress was held in Milan to discuss the education of the deaf. At that time, the members passed several resolutions that effected the education, and the lives, of Deaf people around the world.

The resolutions:
1. removed the use of sign language from educational programmes for the deaf around the world
2. Contributed detrimentally to the lives of deaf citizens around the world
3. Led to the exclusion of deaf citizens in educational policy and planning in most jurisdictions of the world
4. Prevented deaf citizens from participation in government planning, decision making and funding in areas of employment training, re-training and other aspects of career planning
5. Hindered the abilities of deaf citizens to succeed in various careers and has prevented many of them from following their own aspirations
6. And prevented the opportunity for many deaf citizens to fully demonstrate their cultural and artistic contributions to the diversity of each nation

Therefore, we reject all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan conference in 1880 [about 35 seconds of applause!]

I think there will be more cheering at the end. I’ll start again

– all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan conference in 1880 that denied the inclusion of sign language in educational programmes for deaf students. Therefore, we acknowledge and sincerely regret the detrimental effects of the Milan conference. And therefore, we call upon all nations of the world to remember history, and ensure that education programmes accept and respect all languages and forms of communication. Thank you.”

This rejection is BIG and IMPORTANT way OVERDUE so kudos to ICED and the BC Deaf Community for all their work on this as well as CAD, WFD, AFA and NAD. If im missing anyone – give me a gentle whack on the head.

Now the question of the day is:
does the “sincerely regret” qualify as an apology?

ICED chair Claire Anderson told AFA in her letter re: our request for a formal apology from ICED:

“The impact and decision of the Milan (1880) Congress to ban Sign Language from schools for the Deaf has clearly had a marked affect on the education and indeed the lives of Deaf students. We can all agree that this decision was, quite simply, wrong. it polarized the field of Deaf Education, introduced a contra-productive dogma and limited free choices of individuals and organizations. More importantly from a human and social/emotional aspect, it has been devastating for many Deaf people, their families and the Deaf Community.”

In the letter, Anderson has some explanations about the structure and function of ICED that perhaps seem to indicate why they feel they can not issue a formal apology for ICED 1880 resolutions. AFA’s response to this claim are below her letter (scroll down).

I me self am hopeful that the recent proclamations at ICED will be accepted by ICED as a formal apology and that there will be a ripple effect to other organizations and institutions seeing a need to reject oral / aural only doctrine.

Deaf cultural values are to be direct and clear so hopefully the ICED folks will say – yep that is an apology and we can all celebrate

Time to put their $$ where their mouth is, no lipservice please, put a bit of teeth into that proclamation to show just how sincerely they regret their roots to oral / aural ONLYism

hope springs eternal



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: This Week’s Harvest – Sun 18 July 2010 « DeaFreed

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