Nigel Howard starts his presentation by mentioning the 1880 Milan convention. At the Milan convention 8 resolutions were passed by the hearing educators.
Since that time for a 130 years had a major implication for education of deaf people. The implications are:
- Debilitation of identity (weakened)
- Enervation of voice (deprivation)
- Attenuation of community (fragmentation)
- Relegation of language (inferior)
- Subordination of people (subservient)
- Patriotisation (disrespectful)
- Infantilsation (treat like a child)
- Simulacrumisation (image / representation of majority)
Several times it has been tried to reject the resolutions from the 1880 Milan convention, in 1980 in Hamburg and later in New York. But these attempts were unsuccessful.
The British Columbia Deaf community took steps forward make another attempt to reject the Milan convention. This resulted in a proposal that was put forward to the ICED conference 2010 in Vancouver..
We considered beforehand how we wanted the rejection to be formulated, the options were either a formal regret or an apology. Since it was not a legal document, a regret was acceptable form. So, on 19 July 2010 the declaration was put forward at the ICED conference in Vancouver.
The declaration incorporated two proposals:
We asked if all person would reject all the resolutions taken at Milan 1880 and secondly we asked them to regret the implications of the Milan resolutions.
For the future we proposed:
- that the UN principles would be adhered to and that deaf people have the possiblity to decide.
- that all nations include sign languages of their Deaf citizens as legitimate languages.
- that nations will facilitate, enhance and embrace their deaf citizens as participants in society
- that nations refer all identief Deaf infants to regional and national organizations of the Deaf, schools and btain programmes for the Deaf
- call all nations to make every effort to ensure that their Deaf citizens obtain information about their sign language and culture (?)
This proposal was put forward to the ICED and signed by four persons:
- Claire Anderson, chairperson of the ICED 2010
- Wayne Synclair,
- Markku Jokinen, WFD president
The next step will be decided upon by the deaf persons themselves, therefore a meeting is scheduled at 4 on this topic.