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Unformatted text preview: Deaf people in Russia: a disabled or linguistic minority? minority? March 05, 2009 Brief viewpoints into the history of the Deaf society in Russia Communism was prevalent in USSR. During this time there were also no disabled people. disabled
The government didn’t recognize sign language. The Russian sign languages had clandestine status. Russian Deaf people were considered third-class people Deaf class who brought shame to Soviet society. who Deaf people tried not to “annoy” that society. Russia admitted democratic standards Russia
Doctors, parents, teachers, etc. most of whom are hearing continue to view deafness as an ‘impairment’ Russian Deaf took the opportunity to travel around the world… around The participation of Deaf people in public life on an equal footing with hearing people in the USA, Belgium, Sweden. Belgium, Russian reality is very different from this ideal… Russian Deaf people understand that they are creators, preservers and users of the signed languages. preservers The recognition of sign Language The
“People who are deprived of linguistic human rights People may thereby be prevented from enjoying other human rights, including fair political representation, a fair trial, access to education, access to information and freedom of speech, and maintenance of their cultural heritage.” (Skutnabb-Kangas&Phillipson 1995:2). cultural Legal recognition of a language will give a minority space to think and desire and plan and achieve the many other things its members think they need or want. Basic security in the form of language rights will influence educational and other most relevant practices deeply. (Krausneker 2003:11) The Russian Constitution recognizes linguistic rights of very small groups. linguistic
Professor A.A. Kibrik from the Institute of Linguistic said that the Kibrik from position of small language groups is recognized in Russia. The Russian Constitution recognizes linguistic rights of very small groups and these linguistic minorities must, according to the Constitution, have state support. Constitution, It is incomprehensible why this situation is not extended to include RSL (Russian Sign Language), used by tens of thousands of people, possibly by more than 100 thousand. We cannot see equality between Deaf people and people with normal hearing. The All-Russian Organization of Deaf The Russian must work with all parts of state in Russia towards recognition of sign Language. Language.
Linguistic diversity enriches any society, any state. The position of interpreters will not change without state support; their special training will not happen and Deaf people’s access to the majority society will be blocked. people access There are many talented Deaf people who are able to study at a university, and they must guaranteed access to education and, consequently to appropriate work placement. It is essential that both hearing and Deaf people have equal employment opportunities. (Helga Stevens) (Helga ‘Linguistic Minority’ and ‘disability’. and
It has been a matter of debate whether Deaf people form a linguistic minority group or are to be defined by their hearing loss, i.e. their “disability’. The controversy whether Deaf people are disabled or linguistic minority exists with regards to sign language users, not only in everyday discourse but especially in official, legal contexts and matters of the state. Deaf people as a linguistic minority Deaf
This view is supported by the historical fact that Deaf have formed groups and have been organized internationally since the early 19th century and also the fact that group membership was, and is, based on language competency (or lack thereof) and not on the hearing deficit. hearing Deafness as a disability. Deafness
This view is supported by fact that Deaf sign Language This users are excluded from certain services and information based an their physical disability to hear – jjust like other groups of people with disabilities. ust For Deaf people to have access to full information requires sometimes more than a sign language, such as acoustic signals that must be transformed into visual signals. That means there is an aspect of full access to information that lies outside the realm of language. information Conclusion Conclusion
The European Union of Deaf (EUD) were faced with a The dilemma over the two concepts: Deaf people viewing themselves as a cultural and also acting as a linguistic minority. To solve this, they removed the exclusivity of the two concepts. the But deaf people encounter barriers and suffer from a lack But of access and are therefore also “disabled”. (EUD 1997: (EUD IOff) IOff Thus, it can be concluded that Deaf sign language users Thus, are a linguistic minority and also a group of people with and also disabilities. disabilities. Problems of recognition of sign languages languages
Many countries which treat Deaf needs merely within the Many framework of disability ignore the linguistic aspectsframework maybe because they simply do not “fit in”. maybe Within disability frameworks there is often no space, no tools, no terminology and no expertise to deal with a linguistic minority. Reducing sign language users and their needs to a matter of disability does not account for their needs, on the contrary. their Bibliography: Bibliography:
The status of Sign Languages in Europe. Thorsten Afflebach. Afflebach Towards equal citizenship through Sigh Languages. Helga Stevens. Towards The way to integration via Sign Language. Nikolay Chaushian. Nikolay Protection and promotion of Sign Languages and the rights of theiir r Protection users in council of Europe member states. Verena Krausneker. Verena Lingustic rights of the Deaf. 2008. Lingustic ...
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- Spring '09