27 November to 1 December 2017

Between 27th November and 1st December 2017, Regional Director and Deputy Director of WFD RSA participated at the ESCAP HLIGM to discuss matters regarding the Asia Pacific Don behalf of the WFDRSA. The events took place in Beijing, China.

Aside from the HLIGM, WFD RSA held a side event during the HLIGM. The one-hour side event titled as “Language Matters: Sign Languages and Linguistics Rights as Core Components of Inclusive Development” was held at the venue of ESCAP’s High-level Intergovernmental Meeting during the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities in Beijing, China on 27th November 2017.

It is with our great honour to have worked together with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and The Nippon Foundation (TNF) to organize the panel discussion in the side event. It’s a great learning and exchanging experience for all the participants at the side events both hearing and deaf included.

To share on the importance of Sign Language from different parties, representatives from Japan presented on the promotion of legal recognition of Japanese Sign Language, whereas representative from South Korea gave a speech on the history of the legislation of Korean Sign Language Act as well as the future challenges in South Korea. Besides, representative from the New Zealand Government also shared a video message on the linguistic right of deaf people in New Zealand and current situation of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

The UNESCO delivered an interesting speech with an actual example on the situation of people who speak in endangered languages in the world.

The Nippon Foundation, at the same time, explained the rationale of the Foundation for promoting the concept of sign language as a natural language for the Deaf in Asia and the Pacific region. Together with The Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, they introduced the Asia Pacific Sign Linguistics Research and Training Program (APSL), its objectives, latest developments and long-term vision.

The side event finished successfully with participation of approximate 70 audiences.

On behalf of WFD RSA, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for everything UNESCO and TNF as well as ESCAP have kindly extended for the organization of the side event.

Last but not least, ESCAP is considerate to provide International Sign interpretation and CART Captioning for the purpose of accessibility for deaf participants during the HLIGM. We appreciate such an arrangement and we look forward to future activities with accessibility for all kinds of participants in the future.

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