The 2010 ICED Organizing Committee opened the 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf in Vancouver, Canada with a long-awaited sweeping repudiation of the 1880 Milan ICED resolutions.
These resolutions banned sign language in educational programs for deaf children, resulting in deprivation of access to quality education and minimal equality in life for Deaf citizens all over the world.
The Vancouver ICED 2010 Organizing Committee and the British Columbia Deaf Community (BCDC) collaborated on the statement, “A New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration” which rejected the Milan resolutions, expressed deep regret for the detrimental effects of the Milan resolutions, and promoted the acceptance of and respect for all languages and forms of communication in educational programs.
The New Era Accord begins with the statement of working with national governments to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which states that sign language is a human right and that education includes full acquisition of language, academic, practical and social knowledge.
The other statements include endorsement of the resolutions adopted by the World Federation of the Deaf at its 15th Congress in 2007 including equal and appropriate access to a multi-lingual, multi-cultural education; inclusion of Sign Languages as legitimate languages equal to the nation’s spoken languages; the inclusion of Deaf people in all aspects of education from the very onset; and the promotion of human rights for all.
After Joe McLaughlin, member of the Organizing Committee, read the Statement of Principle and Accord for the Future to the plenary audience of about 750 participants, there were emotional cheering and standing high-fives ovations in response to this significant dawning of a new era of human rights and alliances. Participants at the ICED Congress and the BCDC were invited to sign the document.
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The above film presents the International Signs version of “A New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration” which replaces ICED Milan 1880 Resolutions by rejecting them and lists several callings upon Nations of the world to take heed of requests by both the global educational community (International Congress on Education of the Deaf) and the global Deaf community represented by the B.C. Deaf Community, Canadian Association of the Deaf, and the World Federation of the Deaf.
Translated by Institute for German Sign Language and Communication for the Deaf at University Hamburg, Gebardenwerk, Hamburg, Germany.