NO ONE LEFT BENIND: GLOBAL REPORT ABOUT PEOPLE WITH DEAFBLINDNESS

This report considers the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations and the presentation of the 2030 Agenda and the Objectives of Sustainable development, in which the relevance of an inclusive development is declared, leaving no one behind.

Deafblindness represents between the 0.2% and the 2% of the world population. It has not the relevance it actually has due to the lack of knowledge of it which produces greater barriers.

Deafblind people needs support in communication, mobility and the visual description about their surroundings. To this effect, the professional profile of the interpreters for Deafblind is crucial.

OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE CONVENTION ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

In its article 24 deafblindness is expressly related in which this disability is recognized officially an international level.

The General Comment No. 2 of the article 9 of this Convention reads as follow: “the accessibility of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities gives precision enough about the obligations of the Governments in order to provide the access to information, communication and other services to people with deafblindness for the purpose of achieving independent life and effective participation in society”. Wherefore, the Governments must enable this accessibility to Deafblind people to improve the access to the different areas of life, as for example, healthcare and education.

This report takes two different indicators into consideration in order to identify if the Governments has taken the right steps to apply the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

1. OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF THE DEAFBLINDNESS AS UNIQUE DISABILITY

In 2017, the World Federation of Deafblind along with Sense International surveyed to their members about this fact. From the 50 countries that participated, just 19 (37%) already had the official recognition of deafblindness.

2. ACCESS TO SPECIFIC SUPPORT SERVICES

It was confirmed that these services were more common in high development countries. However, it is important to stress that among these high development countries, just the 58% has services of interpreting for deafblind and the 42% of the countries the government supports these services. In low or medium developed countries, only the 10% have these services and only in one country the government finances these services.

PEOPLE WITH DEAFBLINDNESS AND INEQUALITY

 

It is difficult to “count” the number of Deafblind persons, because the definition of deafblindness is not common in all the analyzed countries but the outcome is between the 0.01% and 0.85% of the population, and the average is 0.21%

Less than 0.1% of the population younger than 40 years old has deafblindness and it increases to 6% in people older than 75 years old. It is slightly higher in women.

Deafblind people are much prone to suffer poverty in most analyzed countries than the persons that have another kind of disability or a person without disability.

People with deafblindness have less chances to get a job than people with a different disability or without any disability in 7 of 11 analysed countries. In addition, in countries with social welfare and economic aid from the state, employability goes down even more.

Children with deafblindness have less chances to go to the school than children with other disabilities.

Between the 20% – 75% have other disabilities. They suffer lower levels of health than people without disability and they face access barriers to health care services. Furthermore, it is a collective susceptible to suffer depression and other mental problems in comparison to people without sensory disabilities or just with visual or hearing disability

Deafblind women are less likely to get married than Deafblind men and also in relation to women with other disabilities.

The social isolation of people with this disability is quite common.

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