Thursday, December 12, 2013

CRPD and the Fake Deaf Interpreter

At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, with 100 world leaders very near him, a man with a solemn, fixed expression, made hand and arm gestures. Few of us knew he was making no sense. Those that did, desperately tried to alert authorities, but were unable to get the man removed from the podium area. This was an embarrassing situation. Most television networks picked the story up days later.  In this coverage often security risk and breech were highlighted. What about the thousands of people in South Africa who are deaf? In the U.S. we have captioning. I do not know whether the event was captioned by any or all those covering it here, but I do know our TV remotes have that "CC" button. From now on, I am going to check, every time I watch a major event.

If we ever needed a reason to ratify the CRPD, this unbelievable, blatant example of discrimination, is one of them. If discrimination like this can a occur on the world stage and no one did anything about it, just think what goes on in every day life when no cameras are around? If we ratify the CRPD we will have a seat at the table when others are deciding on standards for interpreters for the deaf. If not, we will be on the sidelines and perhaps no one will pay attention to or hear us.

The U.S. interpreter community has strong standards and protocols. We could share these with the world, so what happened at the Mandela event, never happens again. We owe it to the people who watched in silence and horror, who were prevented from experiencing the moving tributes to Nelson Mandela in real time, to ratify the CRPD. Please contact the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and tell them to mark up the CRPD resolution to advise and consent now.  

Chairman Menendez: 202.224.4744
Ranking Member Corker: 202.224.3344

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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