Vancouver Congress of 2010 Updates

Hello all,

A blog from United Kingdom was published in DeafRead, Grumpy Old Deafies this morning (July 20, 2010) with additional information from International Congress on the Education for the Deaf in Vancouver, BC Canada when the public apology announcement was made yesterday.

Please go and read this website, and there were witnesses who have seen/heard the public apology been made. The ‘rough’ transcript written by Senan Dunne of a formal apology statement that was announced. Dunne was at the ICED conference.

Therefore, we reject all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan conference in 1880 [about 35 seconds of applause!]

I think there will be more cheering at the end. I’ll start again – all resolutions passed at the ICED Milan conference in 1880 that denied the inclusion of sign language in educational programmes for deaf students. Therefore, we acknowledge and sincerely regret the detrimental effects of the Milan conference. And therefore, we call upon all nations of the world to remember history, and ensure that education programmes accept and respect all languages and forms of communication. Thank you.”

It was not the first time that apology was requested, it happened in Rochester, NY in 1990 which was rejected. Perhaps it would be a good idea to review the ICED conference minutes about the previous attempts that was made.

Once you made a public apology, therefore you cannot take it back or repeat the same mistakes. Grumpy Old Deafies succinctly writes:

An apology is just that, to be given gracefully and received the same. A recognition of such is a statement that history should not be repeated. The absolutely crucial thing is: you cannot apologise then go out and continue to make the same blunders you just apologised for. To do so, that’s not an apology. The impact on this, educators internationally need to reflect on and no child anywhere should be denied sign language.

Thank you for reporting this, and anyone from Vancouver, BC Canada attending to the ICED conference can chime in with additional information?

One video clip showing the ‘overview’ of the conference, not specifically the apology statement. Peter Deelman produced this video clip.

ICED 2010 Vancouver from peter deelman on Vimeo.

We are *very* interested!

Amy Cohen Efron

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3 comments on “Vancouver Congress of 2010 Updates


Now that we have the apology and the overturning of the Milan 1880 edict, we’d need to roll up our sleeves to improvise the deaf education, to make it more successful. No deaf children are alike, so it’d be an unique challenge.

It makes me think. At the time of the 1880 Milan conference, educators were already distinguishing between “mute”, “half-mute” and “deaf but not mute” students–i.e. those who were born deaf, became deaf after the age of speech but still in childhood, and those who became deaf after having education.

Whatever were those people thinking? Did they, even then, think that all children could be educated the same by oralism? Was the aim to eliminate sign language itself?

In the 1880s when antibiotics and medicine were not as advanced, there certainly were many, many more deafened by illness older children than born deaf. Oral methods then would have worked for more children than they do today.

Perhaps the educators of Milan were thinking of hard of hearing and late deafened children and were not even thinking of congenitally deaf at all or considered them not important.

I don’t think it matters if they were late deafened. Even late deafened were affected by it because their communication is cut off. Sure, they can remember being hearing and can speak, but they were still isolated especially when there were hardly any technologies for them to help them hear.

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