27th JUNE 2020

 “The COVID-19 does not stop the Deafblind People neither their professionals”.

Today 27th June 2020, we celebrate the International Deafblind People Day by raising awareness about our existence among the society and the public and private bodies, in order to make ourselves visible and to explain the complexity of our needs as well as our skills.

Currently, due to the COVID-19 crisis we state again the vulnerability which the collective suffers.

In order to improve the full social inclusion of the deafblind people in general, to promote a greater involvement in all areas and to reduce as much as possible the negative impact which the security and hygiene measures cause in this new situation regarding communication and social integration after the lockdown due to the COVID-19; FASOCIDE, Spanish Federation of Associations of Deafblind People, FOAPS and Foundation ONCE for the Attention to People with deafblindness, we all demand to consider the following points for achieving this aim: 

  1. To assure an accessible public health for the deafblind people counting with communication support and resources which allow the access to health services on equal basis.
  • To consider the adaptability that deafblind people and the rest of the society must take in order to enable the communicative interaction between both, keeping in mind the specific qualities as shorter distance, body contact and other needs of the deafblind people to being able of communicating, assuring safety of our collective as well as the general citizens. 
  • To consider the accessibility means needed so the deafblind people can access to the television content: sign language interpreting adapted with a dark background and bigger size of the subtitles with colour contrast, because this period is crucial due to the information about health. Furthermore, it is important to enable the accessibility to information and written press on the digital media, promoting the access to the official information about the rules that the different Authorities settle regarding public health on the different media. 
  • We demand to the Public Authorities and private bodies to prioritise the economic support to the organisations which bolster people with disability, in our specific case, the deafblind people, by giving them a direct grant to carry out the attention programs of these collectives. We are totally aware about the crisis that the COVID-19 has triggered off and the impact that will blight the country, but the services we provide to the deafblind people from our organisation do not stop. 
  • To set an emergency deafblind interpreting service 24h, integrating as well a specific service which allows to meet the demands of the deafblind women and girls collective on equal basis as the other women with or without disability. During the lockdown period, the number of inquiries to the Attention Service to Women Victims of Gender-based Violence has increased.
  • To elaborate and enforce measures for deafblind people in emergency situations.  
  • To demand to the Authorities and public or private bodies to ensure that their work teams have the training and information needed in order to know to whom they should contact in order to ask for a deafblind interpreting service. 
  • To provide precautionary and health care material to deafblind people and professionals, because the communication process with the deafblind people, due to their diversity, requires physical presence, closeness and continued use of the hands.
  • To prioritise throughout the country to establish health tests regarding the COVID-19 in our entities in order to know who is infected, regardless deafblind person or professional, to make possible to the collective to be connected with their surroundings and reality. To have social contact is important to break the isolation they are living. 

“Finally, to remind to society that the red and white cane is an identifying symbol of the deafblind people”. 

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