International Federation of Hard Of Hearing Young People
What is IFHOHYP?
IFHOHYP is an international non-governmental federation for national and regional youth organizations that are dedicated to hard of hearing young people throughout the world and is independent of sex, race, religion, nationality and politics. First established as a Committee in 1968, it changed its name to a Federation. Our greatest priority is improving the quality of life of hard of hearing youth worldwide and advocating for their rights at all levels of society. The work of IFHOHYP is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
IFHOHYP works on advocacy, awareness-raising, and educational levels providing personal and professional development opportunities for members. We strive for empowerment of hard of hearing young people, for visibility and representation of youth with disabilities in European and international youth & disability rights work. We raise disability awareness on national and international level through activities run by, with and for hard of hearing young people aged from 18 to 35.
IFHOHYP was the first international youth and disability organization to actively cooperate with the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization that works toward human rights, democracy and promoting cultural dialogue. Often we have been the only voice of youth with disabilities in political and advocacy discussions on the global level. IFHOHYP works closely with an Advisory Council on Youth within the Council of Europe which is a statutory body comprised of 30 youth NGO representatives that can assist in developing the agenda of the youth sector and other sectors of the Council of Europe. IFHOHYP is an associate member of the European Disability Forum and an observer member of the European Youth Forum where it is was the first disability youth organisation. Since 1990s IFHOHYP is actively involved in the UN World Youth Forums, UN World Youth Conferences. It was represented at the UN High Level Meeting on Youth (2011) and received the UN Special ECOSOC Consultative status in 2013. We cooperate with Global Partnership on Disability and Development, IFHOH, EFHOH, and International Disability Alliance.
IFHOHYP started as a small international federation of a few member organisations, most of them in Europe. Today IFHOHYP constitutes more than 20 organisations from Europe, Canada, Asia and Africa; its focus shifted from social and peer support activities to international advocacy, non-formal education training and human rights work.
Since 2000s, thanks to its quality educational projects IFHOHYP started expanding its membership in Africa and Asia, and the amount of members is increasing.
Who is Hard of Hearing?
In IFHOHYP, there are young people with hearing loss, who mainly rely on hearing aids, assistive listening technologies and lip-reading to manage their communication. Those who have become totally deaf after acquisition of speech are also included in the definition. The verbal language is sometimes supported by signs (sign language), depending on the individual’s abilities.