CAD Summer / Fall 2010 Report By Doug Momotiuk, President

News & Events

CAD Summer / Fall 2010 Report By Doug Momotiuk, President

November 16, 2010

CAD wrote a letter expressing concern about the Attorney General of Ontario hiring unqualified ASL-English interpreters for court cases. We recommended skills screening, and a policy of hiring appropriately qualified interpreters who specialize in legal interpreting.

I attended the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) Conference in Ottawa. A Joint Agreement was signed by the CAD, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, and AVLIC. Then we met to discuss several issues including the lack of community interpreters, and lack of qualified interpreters in educational settings.

The Annual General Meeting was held in Vancouver on July 12-13, 2010. We thank Sarah Hrycenko (chairperson) and her team of volunteers for successfully hosting the Deaf Canada Conference on July 12-17, 2010 in Vancouver. Everyone enjoyed seeing the heritage and diversity of Deaf people and speeches/workshops on the theme of “In Solidarity, We Act”.

CAD invited Wayne Sinclair to make a special presentation on the “New Era Agreement” at our AGM. On July 19th, an audience of nearly 800 delegates at the International Congress of Educators of the Deaf (ICED) witnessed the signing of the Agreement by four representatives: Claire Anderson (ICED), Doug Momotiuk (CAD), Markku Jokinen (World Federation of the Deaf), and Wayne Sinclair (BC Deaf Community). The Agreement rejects the Milan 1880 resolutions which banned the use of Sign language in educational programs for deaf children; expresses ICED’s regret at the damage; and accepts and respects all languages including Sign languages and all forms of communication.

Darin King, Minister of Education, announced the closure of the Newfoundland School of the Deaf (NSD). This action violates the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, and the New Era Agreement, both of which confirm the need for Deaf schools and Sign language education. The CAD demanded that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador take immediate action to reserve the decision on the closure of the NSD.

For Deaf Awareness Week, the third week of September, CAD promoted five points including the recognition and promotion of the use of Sign languages (ASL & LSQ), the affirmation of the right of Deaf children to Sign language in education and to their own Deaf schools, and the implementation of Video Relay Service.

We supported calls for a national infant hearing screening test. It is important that newborns be quickly identified as Deaf or hard of hearing and be provided with a support structure as early as possible. Deaf experts provide valuable assistance in recommending and implementing languages including Sign language.

We also supported changes to the eligibility requirements of deaf people with cochlear implants for the disability tax credit. The CAD has always said cochlear implants do not make deaf people into hearing people, therefore they should be eligible for the tax credit.

Marie-Josee Blier from Ottawa and AOSF (Association Ontarienne des Sourds Francophones) was elected to the position of CAD Secretary. She will serve until the AGM in June 2011. Congratulations to her and welcome to the CAD Board of Directors!