Just think. What if you woke up tomorrow and had suddenly become deaf? Wouldn’t your life be turned upside down?
You would face daily discrimination and prejudice in your educational life. Co-students who don’t talk to you, tutors who can’t be bothered to make sure you are coping, a lack of communication support.
Let’s have equal access to education. TICK
You would face daily discrimination and prejudice in your working life. You’re bullied, passed over for promotion, colleagues won’t take the time to get to know you, you’re not given training or communication support, new employers don’t want to know.
Let’s have equal access to employment. TICK
As a result, you would probably face living on a low income. No money, no funny.
Let’s have rights to social protection, long-term care, and independently living in the community. TICK
You would face daily discrimination and prejudice in your social life. You are intimidated when retail staff give you a hard time because you’ve brought your Hearing Dog into their shop, you can’t join in the exercise class because the tutor won’t look at you so you can’t lip read them.
Let’s have equal access to leisure activities. TICK
You would face discrimination in just getting to your workplace, employment place or leisure activity. Train arrivals are announced over the tannoy, a group of deaf people are not allowed onto an aeroplane because it isn’t deemed safe, you’re kicked off the bus because the driver doesn’t want a Hearing Dog on his bus.
Let’s have accessible public transport and accessible public buildings. TICK
You might be involved with the police and unable to communicate because they don’t have an interpreter. Or they misinterpret your sign language as aggressiveness and arrest you.
Let’s have equal recognition and protection before the law. TICK
Entirely fed up now? How about relocating to another EU country? How do I do this? What about the red tape?
Let’s have the right to access information, communication technologies and services. TICK
And did you know, more than 200,000 disabled Europeans are forced to live in closed institutions without basic human rights. You can’t even have your own picture on your wall or choose what you would like to do today …
Let’s have the right to access products and services on a daily basis. TICK
How would you cope with your new deaf world?
The European Union has the responsibility to work for and protect the rights of all its citizens, with no distinction. TICK
Check out the European Disability Forum. Their signature campaign aims to collect at least one million citizens’ signatures to combat discrimination in all aspects of the lives of disabled European citizens, because the European Union must respond to the call of at least one million citizens. This is stated in the draft European Union Constitutional Treaty.
We must not miss this opportunity to have our say
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.
Read EDF Declaration on disability rights in Europe HERE