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Press Release from FIADDA Tuscany

Whilst searching the web last night, I found this FIADDA Toscana onlus (Tuscany) a Press Release [PDF] (in Italian) on why it was encouraging people to say no to LIS. This is what it comes out as if you run it through Google Translate (so keep this in mind, but the spirit of it is there):

FIADDA Tuscany onlus
Italian Families Association for the Defense of the Rights of Deafness
Via delle Porte Nuove, 33 - 50144 Florence
tel. / fax 055-3289950 - SMS 339-2497469

An initiative illogical choice retrograde

On 13 April 2011, the Social Affairs Committee of the House began consideration of the proposal Law of 4207 (and similar), which recognizes the LIS - Italian sign language - as the language for all purposes and promote its use.

It is very difficult to recognize a language if it is not associated to a community, even spread geographically, but it is incomprehensible how one can define a community based on Common physical presence of a deficit!

The bill promotes the acquisition and use of a sign language gesture passed now by the facts, the results obtained thanks to advances in medicine: neonatal screening, prosthesis or cochlear implant (re) enable speech today to allow deaf people to adequately learn the Italian language and to integrate fully into the social life of their country.

The Italian legal system, in particular with the Law 104/92, it is very advanced level world, with assistance and protection in favor of handicapped people, including those who require the LIS as a means of communication. The real problem is putting into effect the provisions of these rules. Our legislation was not in fact still be able to ensure sufficient territorial distribution of services necessary for the treatment of childhood deafness, despite examples of excellence in this field. Therefore many families have been and still are exhausting forced to travel or even relocate to allow for appropriate intervention health and enabled their children, with all the social and economic costs involved.

In this situation the Italian today decided to focus on and invest in the future of a language of date and will disappear naturally, and even encouraging its use imposing it with the coaching of teachers and educators in LIS schools to children from the very first order, that is just at an age where there is a greater need for an important health intervention and speech therapist and then put at risk the results.

It is also difficult to believe that the bill will not impose new or higher costs for finance public: the heterogeneous distribution of deaf people - 0.04% of the Italian population, 90% with hearing parents - on the national territory will require the creation of a large number of "interpreters LIS "or the reopening of the old special school for" deaf ", with obvious consequences in terms of exclusion.

In conclusion, the FIADDA Tuscany is very concerned that after the recognition of LIS there is only one mechanism to maintain functional deaf people in a state of dependency for the mere purpose economic and power. Deaf people should have full rights and, first of all, the integration as a prerequisite for their growth and emancipation.

Florence, April 14, 2011

FIADDA Tuscany (ONLUS) - Headquarters: Via delle Porte Nuove 33-50144 Florence
cod. fisc. 94116150486 - enrolled in the Regional Volunteer with Act No. 1185 of 02/05/2005
FIADDA (ONLUS) - National President: Banner Street, 175-00188 Rome
Tel / fax. 06 45492150 - e-mail: info@fiadda.it

The main FIADDA website is under construction but there's a bit about them here and pasted below (keep in mind it is outdated - 2005 - but it gives you a flavour of who they are):

FIADDA was founded in 1973 and later spread throughout the Country. Nowadays it can be found in every Italian region.

At a national level it works through a great number of branches sharing common objectives and, at a European level, it is a member Fepeda (Fédération Européenne des Parents d’Enfants Déficients Auditifs) and member of the E.D.F. (European Disability Forum) Board.

Moreover, since July 2000, Fiadda is the seat of the Management and Secretariat of Fepeda.

Since 1986 the Manager of Fiadda, Mrs. Silvana Baroni, is a member of the Permanent Observatory established by means of a Ministry Decree in the framework of the Italian Ministry of Education, for policies concerning the integration of the disabled into mainstream schools.

Since 1990 she also takes part in a Committee set up by the Presidency of the Cabinet at the Ministry for Social Affaires.

In 1994 Fiadda has worked in the framework of the Helios Programme and in the same year it started also the Split programme in the Tide project, regarding the technological research supporting disability, in co-operation with the French association Anpeda and national and European Universities.

Recently, through the Deafnet Project, Fiadda tried to set up a national strategy, supervised by the young deaf, in order to offer new inputs to the association, according to the modern needs.

One thing that really strikes me:
1. They are a parent organisation, thus they will have a deaf child. Parents normally want the best for their children.
2. If the first statement is correct, why are parents rejecting so harshly advice from people THE SAME as their child? To do so, they are also rejecting their child. Perhaps they think that their child, although deaf, is oh so different?!
3. Why do hearing people take it upon themselves to think they know best. Substitute with British history in India, etc. It is called colonalisation, people. Except many are unable to see it, due to whistles, bells and whatnot.

So effectively: Deaf Italians want to own their experience, and want LIS recognised. It is called being political, standing on own two feet and owning your experience. Parents (of deaf children!) come along and kind of start scoulding adults! No you can't have that, sit down and do as you're told. Be a good boy. Ah, paternalism and patronisation at its finest.

To see just how absurd all this is, as a parallel, imagine a parent having a LGBQT child. Instead of being guided by the child and the community around it, it starts on a whole lets take power from you quest. Yep, that's exactly how far behind Deaf rights can be.

I am tweeting about this on @Deaf, follow me there is you want more regular updates. Use the hashtag LISSUBITO if you're joining in the conversation.

And if you've not signed the international petition, you can do so here.

See also:
Deaf Londoners Preparing for the Protest at the Italian Embassy
Press Release from the Irish Deaf Society: Vigil at the Italian Embassy, Dublin
Note from Terry Riley, Chair BDA to those Protesting
Press Release from the Belfast Protest in Support of the Italian Deaf Community
Italian Embassy Events on Wednesday 25 May 2011
How You Can Support the Italian Deaf Community
Letter to the Italian Parliament from Dr Steven D. Emery
Protest at the Italian Embassy in London this Wednesday
Letter to the Italian Embassy in Dublin by Dr. John Bosco Conama
Italy might as well say: Deaf People use Monkey Language!
International Petition to Support Italy & UK Protest

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