We want quality education for deaf learners!

24 September 2018

On the 25th of September we are celebrating the third anniversary of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While realisation of 17 goals is important for all, implementation of SDG 4, which aims at ensuring quality education and equal access to all levels of education and vocational training, is particularly important for people with disabilities.

The 23rd of September is the International Day of Sign Languages and we are highlighting that the realisation of SDG 4 and quality education is not only achieved through removal of physical barriers for persons with disabilities. It is crucial to take into account different perspectives to what the inclusive and equitable quality education is in order to ensure it provides opportunities for all and leaves no one behind.

Quality Education for deaf learners means:

  • They have the right to be taught and to express themselves bilingually in their national/regional sign language as well as the written/spoken national/regional language, especially in early childhood education, primary and secondary school.

  • Materials in the national/regional sign language must be provided as well.

  • Curricula should also include the subject “deaf culture” to allow deaf learners to develop their cultural identity.

  • Deaf learners have the right to be taught by teachers who are proficient sign language users, including deaf professionals, to provide learners with linguistic role models.

  • Deaf students are taught in groups of deaf peers to ensure their social inclusion in school.

From a deaf perspective, quality education for deaf learners that ensures these requirements can be provided in a variety of settings, including inclusive education and deaf schools.

Education is the key that will allow many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved. It is essential to take into account the individual differences and situations of children while realising SDG 4 to make sure quality education provides with environment that maximises learners’ individual academic and social development.

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