AG Bell signed on to a letter of support for the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA). This coalition comprises 15 national organizations representing consumers who are deaf and hard of hearing, educators and educational administrators for children who are deaf and hard of hearing and the professionals that support them:
The CRPD seeks to ensure that countries across the globe provide people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else in order to live full, satisfying and productive lives. While the CRPD language is in line with AG Bell’s mission of “Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking,” AG Bell recognizes that the document does not fully address the specific needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing who choose a listening and spoken language outcome.
AG Bell encourages those states who ratify the Convention to be mindful of the changing dynamic of the community of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly the increasing number of individuals who use listening and spoken language. AG Bell asks participating states to address the growing acceptance of listening and spoken language as a viable option for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing by supporting access to advanced hearing technologies and to qualified professionals.
AG Bell’s position on this issue was developed in accordance with our organization’s procedures on public policy position statements. Working through our Public Affairs Council, all legislative and regulatory issues are screened and evaluated. The Public Affairs Council represents AG Bell’s constituents of parents, professionals and adults with hearing loss. From this process, position statements are developed and approved by the association’s board of directors. For questions about AG Bell’s position statement on CRPD, please contact Susan Boswell, director of communications and marketing, at email@example.com.