Friday, 22 July 2011

Deafness and Extra Costs: The Legitimacy of Domestic Compension Schemes - Richard Sahlin

The presenter introduced himself as a teacher and researcher. He has looked at disability rights and the compensation that governments have given.

There is a strong link between deafness and poverty, which could be due to lower income and extra costs. Globally the states have a different set of domestic measures. The presenter looks specifically at the situation for deaf people in Sweden. Deaf people are faces with extra costs which is due to the result of being deaf, such as interpreter costs since these costs are not always covered by the government.

There could be capital costs, such as a flashing door bell at home. These are available when you are at home and subsidised by your government, but not when you are traveling and staying at a hotel for example. There are also recurring costs such electricity (more lighting), phone calls (longer calls because of the text relay service), higher insurance costs (for example car insurance).

Human costs could be sign language interpreting, proofreading, health and medical counseling. And also animal costs, such as a hearing dog, who will assist you in your daily life. There are also additional travel costs for special international deaf events. Indirect costs can also occur, such as income loss or missed information (for example announcements through the speakers at the super market for special offers).

The presenter questions how we can assess these extra costs. The deaf person could assess his or her own extra costs. The government can also do this assessment and compare this with the costs of an average hearing person.

Some countries have a compensation scheme, a disability benefit, so the Deaf person can cover some of their extra expenses that way. These measures are taken to create economic equality, but at this moment we can not say that deaf and hearing persons now have economic equality.

There are restrictive dilemma's in the countries, such as there is always limit to the budget. If we look at the UNCRPD, art. 28, it states that Deaf people should have equal access. It does not say though how poverty should be solved in this respect.

The compensation scheme should be available as long as there is still inequality between deaf and hearing persons in society.

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