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European Parliament Elections: Dr. Adam Kosa

adam%20kosa.jpgThe 2009 European Parliament Elections takes place in June.

Deaf lawyer, Dr. Ádám Kósa from Hungary will be standing at the forthcoming elections, as a candidate for FIDESZ. Wikipedia has information in English on FIDESZ (Hungarian Civic Union). Adam's official statement:

It would be a great honour and privilege to represent the interests not only of people with disabilities, but the whole nation as the first Deaf and sign language user to represent in the European Parliament.

A profile of Hungary's candidates can be seen on FIDESZ 2009. Adam also has a Facebook group, Adam Kosa for first Deaf European Parliamentarian! which has some links to other videos. Whatever your political affiliations, this should be celebrated and supported.

As a side point, the wider issue of the importance of disability within European elections has been highlighted by the European Disability Forum, with a a website Disability Votes Count. Here's a video by the same:

I commend the effort behind this, and any mode to drive a point across for the importance of diversity Diversity is crucial to any conversation (politics included), as privilege transforms assumptions. In other words reshapes what you think is the norm or perception, and this becomes a skewed sense of reality.

However, this information is available in various written languages. Is it not ironic for a website promoting access (andreceived funding for the same), there's no information available in signed languages?

In any case, we hope that you'll vote in the forthcoming elections and I know I'm rooting for Adam, even though (being UK based) I can't vote for him.

Comments (6)

Pity its the Euro, most Brits want rid of that. Nearest we got to it was Jack Ashley. I can understand why deaf activists want the euro angle, there being no way at all Britain would ever elect a signing deaf MP of any kind, have any ever stood for election ? Perhaps facebook where all the deafies hang out can put someone up themselves...

I'd put up to represent them :) How will deaf in the UK understand his signing ?

What about David Buxton? How about Stephen Dering - search FB for "I'm backing Stephen for Croydon".

Otherwise, have you heard of interpreters?

btw - the above kind of comment is why you don't get BSL using Deaf people to work with you / respond. Cos you come across as hostile! Mebbe something to think about?

How many deaf MPs are there? Does anybody know?

When Jackie Ballard was an MP she worked for the better representation of women in Parliament. Is it not reasonable to expect her to campaign equally hard for the same thing for deaf people? Are one in seven MPs deaf or hard of hearing?

Why is it always presumed to be good enough to have the relatives of deaf people in Parliament instead? Would it be all right if the entire House was male, but it's OK because they are all the relatives of women?

Of course not.

I want more Deaf and hard of hearing people in Parliament; proper representation means representing ourselves.

(We might not go crazy with those expenses claims, either.)

Internationally there's The Hon. Wilma Newhoudt-Durchen (South Africa Parliament - African National Congress), there's Helga Stevens (Belguim - NVA).

We still need a BSL using person in the UK for parliament though, apart from standing for election.

From Gallaudet, here's the commencement address of The Hon. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, an elected member of the South African parliament. She uses sign.

MM, wonder how she got elected since she signs? OMG! Hearies must go through sheer hell, and their drinks spiked before they got to the polling station. Better still, perhaps the results were rigged. All one big Deaf conspiracy. :-D

Dear Colleagues,

Following some critical questions in my earlier email in which I had personal declare my intention to challenge 2011 parliamentarian elections as first Deaf MP in Zambia since our beloved country attained independence in 1964, I have received a lot of questions as to why I want to contest this highest policy making rank.

I really feel cherished and encouraged when people like you come aboard and show camaraderie. I basically need your commonality in this emancipation struggle I have taken. It would even be more constructive if such information is passed to the other parties. Any token of financial aid will be of great value and will make my journey a success.

This aid will enable me print more t-shirts for the starting point which carries the message on front “Equalization of Opportunies and for the Rights of Deaf Persons" behind "Join Campaigns for First Deaf MP Since 1964, Disability is not Inability". This will make me sell my name and get geared so that by the time elections will be near the corner I will be in full throat. Financial support may be sent through this Account# 0830170315923 ZANACO Branch Kitwe, Copperbelt Province, Republic of Zambia.

Let me put it unambiguous that my intention to challenge 2011 parliamentarian elections is based on this background.

The circumstances of Deaf persons and disabled persons in general in Zambia as compared to those within the region are unpardonable. First and foremost, Disability is not incapability even if our society seems to believe that disabled people are a burden to society and themselves. We are not and we should not be. From the time of the Northern Rhodesia Federation for the Blind in 1959, Persons with Disabilities have been skirmishing for inclusion at all levels of society. Regrettably Persons with Disabilities have not accomplished something. What is even more disturbing to us Persons with Disabilities is the reality that even those interest groups who were only born yesterday have received more respect, concentration and inclusion than we Persons with Disabilities. It is frustrating and an insult to our intelligence and integrity as Persons with Disabilities.

Colleagues, our leaders are to blame for this faux pas and are held responsible to the contemporary plights of Persons with Disabilities in this country. One would expect that when important national issues are being discussed during important events, issues of is disability would be part and parcel of the agenda. This is not the case.

First and foremost, no one yearn to be disabled, if one had a preference in the matter definitely one would repudiate to be a disabled. It is not the preeminent of lives especially if one has to be considered to be ineffectual to the national development by reason of the disability. But nonetheless, when one is disabled, it is not the end of the journey. In other countries we have seen what disabled people can do and how they have contributed to their nation building when given the opportunity. Speaking for myself, I would be a very happy Deaf Persons as a Deaf Youth Rights Activist to hear our leaders talk about disability issues and consult, involves us at all level of national development.

All we get to hear about is how women should attain the SADC protocol on gender representation, HIV/AIDS, Youth programs, etc. Where disability issues are are cross cutting that they affect everyone?

When one studies the Bill of Rights one would learn that it pre-supposes that all human beings are born free and equal. One would visualize that if we truly respect International Human Rights Instruments, then this should actualized be treating everyone equally and this equality should be translated into equal participation.

If the Bill of Rights were properly followed and interpreted, Persons with Disabilities could not be where we are today in terms of marginalization and discrimination. The only few times when we Persons with Disabilities are given any concentration at all is when politicians are soliciting for votes in an election. Must we definitely be only important when elections are on track? Shouldn’t we be contemplation of even when no elections are coming? Most countries such as Europe, South Africa, Uganda, etc have realized that an inclusive society means inter alias having Persons with Disabilities running imperative and crucial office in their land and more so when these Persons with Disabilities are qualified.

The medieval type of myth on disability whereby Persons with Disabilities were perceived to be a bad omen and unproductive should be discarded from modern Human Rights Postulates. One major reason why Persons with Disabilities have not made any collision in this country is because we lack our own representation which is far from our slogan, “Nothing about us without us”. The men and women, who sit in our National Assembly as an example, are not disabled themselves. Even with the best intentions, these Honorable Members of Parliament (MPs) can not properly articulate disability issues the way a disabled MP would represent fellow Persons with Disabilities. As a result, so many Bills that are passed in our parliament even if they affect Persons with Disabilities are translated into laws without the contribution of Persons with Disabilities. The end conclusion is a raw deal!

The modern thinking is that an inclusive society, which also integrates Persons with Disabilities, is an indication of how much Human Rights are respected. It is actually a good Curriculum Vitae (CV) for any Government.

Given the rate at which the lives of Persons with Disabilities are deteriorating, one fears that soon we Persons with Disabilities could go into unconsciousness.

The major predicament here appears to be the fact that Persons with Disabilities are deemed to be second class citizens who should be marginalized and relegated to the lowest ranks of our societies. How many times have we seen able-bodied people drag our society into a mess and yet these are perceived to be the super humans? It is so amazing when one considers the human predisposition of always wanting to eliminate those deemed to be different at all levels of society.

Equality also necessitates that Persons with Disabilities are equal to every other citizen. The current unpardonable state of Persons with Disabilities in Zambia could have improved a long time ago if our leaders recognize that we Persons with disabilities are full citizens with full rights and potential and that we too should be part and parcel of good governance process.

Zambia belongs to all of us including us Persons with Disabilities and no single group of people should feel this country is their alone. Am I being emotional? Yes, am being emotional because other than the pain that comes with living with a disability, other human beings out there have decide to exacerbate this pain by making it even more complicated for us Persons with Disabilities. Am being poignant abhorrence because we disabled persons are anywhere near the corridors of decision making in Zambia. Yes, am very poignant infuriated because 44 years after struggle for independence no Disabled persons representative in Parliament, I still see deaf persons denied justice in our courts of law, disabled persons crawling on our street with no food, no education, no quality health care, no access to vital information for the Deaf due to lack of official recognition of Sign language and no meaningful and deliberate policy to improve our current misery. No amount of rhetoric will help if at the end of the day that rhetoric cannot put food on my table as a Deaf Person. You say to me that I am independent, that I am proud and free. Where is my independence, where is my freedom as a Deaf Person?

Persons with Disabilities need to be consulted on all issues affecting us. It is even better if we could be integrated into the Government machinery so that we are part and parcel of the “Value chain” of government.

The challenge is therefore for us disabled people ourselves to speak and speak loudly even sleeping at Parliament Building until we are heard. We should be ready to die and go to jail for this liberation struggle. We owe it to no one but ourselves to ensure we are liberated from the yoke of abject poverty, to give up our lives for this liberation struggle for the better lives of our future generation. One can not become an Obama unless one begins to realize that the victims themselves should fight these barriers for a sharp tomorrow. As President Obama put it clear YES WE CAN. Yes together as a united disability movement we can achieve our dreams and vision for a better tomorrow for all. Please come on aboard and join campaigns for First Deaf MP in Zambia since 1964.

I look forward to your moral, material and financial assistance.

Thank u so much in anticipation.

Yours truly,

Frank Musukwa jnr,
Deaf Youth Rights Activist Zambia,
P.O. Box 22596,
10101 Kitwe,
Southern Africa,
Mobile Cell: +260977 866459 (SMS)
Email: frankmusukwa2005@yahoo.com

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