Council backs passage of sign language bill
Cebu City councilors pledged their support to the deaf community by signing their position paper during last Wednesday’s regular session.
Members of the Cebu Association of the Deaf (CAD) attended the council’s session, seeking support for the passage of House Bill 450 or An Act Declaring Filipino Sign Language as the National Sign Language of the Deaf and the Official Language of Government in All Transactions Involving the Deaf.
The bill mandates its use in schools, broadcast media and workplaces.
As Councilor Alvin Dizon presented the CAD’s request and read their position paper, CAD president Janice Aparri translated it simultaneously through sign language.
The group is asking the Department of Education to make FSL the medium of instruction for deaf learners in all levels.
The government was also asked to enact barrier-free national policies to address the information and communication needs of the deaf people.
Access should also extend to the legal and judicial systems, public health facilities, the broadcast media and workplaces, said members.
The group invoked the basic human right to language, culture, participation and self-determination for all deaf Filipinos in line with the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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