Book Launch: Deaf Citizenship
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Book Launch: Deaf Citizenship Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Citizenship and Group Rights Launch of DVD in BSL, and a presentation of group rights research findings by Dr Steven D. Emery Thursday 31 st March 2011, Friends Meeting House, London
  • 2. With thanks to… The Leverhulme Trust
  • 3. The Opening
  • 4. Opening
    • The night of the long ‘thank you’
    • The Citizenship DVD/Book precedes the research on group rights – so I start there
    • Narrative on Citizenship leads to group rights research
  • 5. The Citizenship DVD/Book
  • 6. The DVD/Book – dedications
    • Keith
    • Derek
  • 7. DVD/Book – the birth
    • Context: The historical time that was 2002
    • We marched and blocked the roads – an important celebration
    • A scholarship was devised and born: ‘what does the concept of citizenship enable us to understand about the Deaf community’s relationship to the world’?
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  • 16. DVD/Book – the birth
    • A scholarship was devised and born: ‘what does the concept of citizenship enable us to understand about the Deaf community’s relationship to the world’?
  • 17. DVD/Book – initial inspirations
    • Professor Graham H. Turner
    • Professor Keith Faulks
    • Professor Ian Levitt
    • University of Central Lancashire – funding
    • A special thanks to Lynne Barnes for support with locating accessible funds
  • 18. DVD/Book – the path followed
    • Who am I to do this research?
    • Deaf people’s citizenship status in mainstream society
    • Question: Engage with philosophers or those who have PhD’s in lived Deaf lives?
  • 19. DVD/Book – the next big thank you
    • The gatekeepers
    • The research consultation group
    • The research group participants and individuals
    • The ‘elite stakeholders’
  • 20. DVD/Book – we thought we had won
    • Changing contexts: 2003 in history
    • The limits to ‘BSL Recognition’
    • Research Interviews: 2004-2006
  • 21. DVD/Book – a quote Citizenship in any society has to be understood in the context of the power relationships that exist in that society, and the political, economic and cultural changes that affect that society (Faulks, K. 1998. Citizenship in Modern Britain , p4.)
  • 22. DVD/Book – why in BSL?
    • The DVD has been produced to be accessible to research group participants, whose language is British Sign Language
    • This philosophy is in line with action or empowering research principles
    • It’s production, however, means it is also accessible to the BSL population and a number of other groups
    • A caveat: the meaning of ‘access’ in academic terms
  • 23. DVD/Book – thanks to production
    • MPH Productions (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
    • Tessa Padden
    • Bob Duncan
    • Nicholas Padden
    • BSL Uptake Clips: http://www.bsluptake.org.uk/2010/citizenship-and-the-deaf-community-chapter-2-%e2%80%93-the-literature-review-2-1-introduction/
    • Ishara Press
    • Ulrike Zeshan
    • The Book as well as the DVD
    • No profits or royalties are made from the book/DVD
  • 24. DVD/Book – the production
    • PhD was submitted October 2006
    • Viva was passed February 2007
    • Production of DVD began at end of 2007 and was complete by 2009
    • Therefore it may be slightly dated, but there are some key and critical concepts, ideas and empirical findings within the PhD that I hope the reader will find helpful and valid
  • 25. DVD/Book – post production
    • ‘ A Deaf Perestroika’ – necessary real changes in how social policy relates to Deaf people and their community (because of audism, phonocentrism, oralism and the group and transnational nature of the community)
    • Think of the current times: transitions in the Middle East and how people are making it happen
    • Transition in Deaf worlds – from individual citizenship rights, to multicultural citizenship as social justice; from assimilation to accommodation.
  • 26. DVD/Book – post production
    • It is what Deaf people want, so, how can it be achieved?
    • The DVD/Book has dual sides: (a) it shows the reality of lived second-class citizenship; and (b) dares the reader to dream
  • 27. Further thanks
    • Far too many to mention! I have named many in the acknowledgements; but some special mentions here:
    • Annie Murphy
    • Claire Haddon
    • The UCLan Deaf society: 2002-2005
    • Staff at the University of Central Lancashire: 2002-2005
    • With the support of a LOT of people, the DVD/Book has become a reality
  • 28. So… A massive THANK YOU to every single person who has made the DVD and book possible!
  • 29. And so we come to Group Rights…
    • … but before that:
    • Nick from Ishara Press on buying the DVD
    • Short Break: then…a presentation on recent research findings
  • 30. Group Rights – the findings Dr Steven D. Emery
  • 31. Structure of the Group Rights part
    • Opening and thanks
    • A Paradox / Puzzle / Question
    • Research Evidence
    • Future Plans
  • 32. Opening and Thanks
  • 33. Opening Thanks
    • Some major thanks to begin:
    • The Leverhulme Trust: ECF, taking a risk
    • Dr Paddy Ladd - mentoring
    • Some ‘hidden players’
      • Mr Roger Deeks
      • Dr Sarah Batterbury
      • Professor Rachel Murray (early input)
    • University of Bristol
  • 34. A Paradox / Puzzle / Question
  • 35. The Paradox 1
    • Making transitions in social policy: initial group rights findings in the PhD
    • In Theory: Cultural Linguistic Minority Group
    • In Practice: Under the umbrella of disability
  • 36. The Paradox 2
    • In Reality
      • Only legitimate under disability law
      • Official minority language acts tend to include sign languages on paper, but exclude them in practice
    • Rigorous pursuit of Rights from the State ( individual rights)
    • Almost total neglect of Group Rights (rights of a groups’ peoples, or natural justice )
  • 37. The research of the paradox
    • An exploration , not a quest
    • An exercise in debate , not dogma
    • An opportunity to imagine , reject current norms
  • 38. Some very big thanks due
    • To all 14 participants who took part in the group and individual meetings
    • Deaf Ex-Mainstreamers and those who attended Deaf Schools; with special thanks to:
      • Lorna Allsop
      • Jill Jones and the Deaf ex-mainstreamers group
    • Those who assisted with filming the proceedings
  • 39. Examples of group rights…
    • Let’s look at some examples of group rights; but first of all, they are not often labelled as ‘group rights’:
    • Ensuring places are reserved for minority representation in government or on councils;
    • Respecting the cultural practices of a groups peoples;
    • Allowing exemptions of minorities from majority practices;
    • Conceding separate territory or allowing territorial minority group secession.
  • 40. Research Evidence
  • 41. Initial research meetings
    • The need to distinguish between: the right to form a group or the rights of members of the group (individual rights); and the rights held by all a group’s peoples (collective rights).
    • There are fundamental differences: the collective nature (culture) of the Deaf community is well covered in the literature, but their ‘rights’ are all too often assumed to be held by members individually, rather than collectively.
    • There is nothing mistaken or ‘wrong’ with individual rights; but there has been little research into the collective rights of the Deaf community.
  • 42. Further questions
    • Sign language peoples group rights are complex because:
      • Deaf people are not territorial – there are no separatist Deaf movements, for example (though genetics might change that);
      • They are a small minority of the general population;
      • They are not passed down from parents, 90% of whom are hearing;
      • That doesn’t mean they are ultra-unique:
        • Roma people have no fixed territory and also no written language;
        • Sami people in Scandinavia are not fixed to one country;
        • Farsi people in India are a very tiny minority but have minority group rights (and there are countless other examples across Europe);
        • Cornish people are even fewer than BSL people yet their language and cultural rights are being increasingly recognised;
        • The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights recognises group rights, in a way unlike European or American Human Rights laws.
  • 43. Some very surprising recent examples
    • Special Educational Needs review
    • The example of representation in South African parliament used as an example of how it might work in UK parliament
  • 44. Some critical points
    • Group rights do not necessarily mean that these groups have complete and total freedom or self-determination;
    • Many language and minority groups remain ‘at risk’: lesser used spoken languages are dying out, as are tribes of the Amazon or other indigenous peoples, for example;
    • Group rights, however, are a way of enabling minority groups to assert some degree of ‘self-determination’;
    • Sign language people have many similarities with these cultural groups.
  • 45. The critical questions:
    • What rights do Deaf people have in common
    • What is necessary, legally, to enable Deaf people the right to self-determination
    • [Imagine Deaf Awareness Week was a group right]
  • 46. To ensure protection and promotion
    • A Board or Boards led by Sign Language peoples (the example of Gaelic)
    • This is not a ‘Charter’ (these are symbolic)
    • It is not a ‘quango’ (these are little more than ‘advisory’)
    • It is not a ‘Sign Language Act’ (these are very important strategically , but experience demonstrates they are often left exposed by compromising too heavily on ‘individual choice’; dependent on non-core funding; and are not immune from intervention by disruptive powerful medical advances, as the Swedish example demonstrates)
    • So what is it…
  • 47. Gaelic Language Board (Scotland)
    • Gaelic Language Board
    • Budget of £24m annually (2008-2009)
    • 60,000 speakers
    • Alliances: Northern Ireland, Scotland, Republic of Ireland
    • Collaboration with Gaelic Language Speakers:
      • Increase lobby power
      • Online dictionary
      • National Plan to support Language Planning
      • Gaelic Arts Fund
      • Gaelic Language TV Channel/Gaelic College
  • 48. It is to… - promote natural justice; - enable sign language people to be leaders, in: - promoting and protecting their language and cultural heritage - not [necessarily] ‘ask’ the State ‘for’ anything.
  • 49. 5 rights identified that could be under the jurisdiction of sign language ‘board(s)’
    • Sign Language usage in education
    • English (or native written language) literacy in education
    • Tutors/Role Models who are native to sign language
    • Resources in all regions to promote and advance the Deaf community (Centres, Sports, Television Channel, Cultural events)
    • Ensuring deaf children are educated together in large numbers
  • 50. Finally…
    • The necessity of a period of ‘repair’ and ‘restructuring’ following years of damages: similar to Maori, Northern Ireland, South Africa, for example
    • The role of ‘Deafhood consciousness raising’
    • The role and involvement of hearing allies
    • The urgency following genetic advances
  • 51. Future Plans
  • 52. The next steps…
    • Further exploration, debate and vision-planning
      • CDS (research-focused)
        • Social Justice frameworks (Dr Sarah Batterbury)
        • Deafhood and Group Rights (Dr Paddy Ladd)
        • Deaf Community (Research)
    • Via: publication of the findings
      • Journal(s)
      • In BSL via CDS and/or conferences
      • The Web
  • 53. To summarise the evening
    • A big thank you to everyone for coming
    • The development of the DVD
    • Findings from the Group Rights research
    • Time for questions