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6th Study Session - European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, France from 23-30 April, 2006

Safeguarding Human Rights of youth with hearing disability - how to cope with violence and discrimination in education and employment?

The background to the study session theme
IFHOHYP’s long-term goals are to provide continuous support and training to hard of hearing young people in order to empower them to work towards their full participation in society. IFHOHYP aims to stay up to date in addressing the needs of hard of hearing young people.
Communication is one of the major problems facing hard of hearing youth in their education, employment, volunteer work and their participation in society at all levels. As a result of the lack of knowledge regarding the rights and needs of hard of hearing people, hard of hearing people often face discrimination. In situations where the productivity and initiative of a hard of hearing student or employee is held back by a lack of sensitivity on the part of the hearing majority, frustration, intolerance and conflict on both sides are common.
Many hard of hearing people turn out to be outsiders in social life because they find it impossible to communicate, study and work in a society that is not sensitive to their needs. Without sufficient support and recognition of their rights hard-of-hearing people cannot achieve on educational, personal and professional levels as much as the rest of the society. As a result, they are not able to contribute their skills, knowledge and experience to the mainstream world.
Some tend to think that the hard of hearing minority is complacent with life in their own secluded environment, that sign language and a number of benefits compensate for their disability at work place or at school - this stereotype is equally common in countries of different levels of economic, cultural and social development.

In light of this, aim of the study session is: To empower and train young hard of hearing activists to develop, implement and multiply assistance tools and associative strategies aimed at combating discrimination and violence in mainstream education and employment.

Objectives through which the aim shall be achieved
  • To identify and review specific problems and discriminatory practices hard of hearing young people across Europe face in education and employment
  • To enable participants to understand and explore the concepts of discrimination, Human Rights Education, minority youth participation, social inclusion, non-formal education as tools to increasing employability and integration
  • To inform participants about relevant activities of the Council of Europe Youth Directorate and about the European Youth Campaign « Diversity, Human Rights and Participation»
  • To provide participants with an opportunity to design policy recommendations, create tools of assistance and strategies for coping with discriminatory practices
  • To build partnerships and motivate participants to take concrete action against discrimination on local, regional, national and international levels
  • To multiply these tools and strategies in local communities and educational institutions, NGOs and in the workplace

How many participants: 28 from 19 countries, mainly from member states of the Council of Europe. Two participants came from Israel and the USA.

Methods: Training workshops, discussions, debates, work in small groups, brainstorming, theatre, ‘role games’ and simulation exercises in non-formal education methodology, study visits to the European Court of Human Rights, inputs by guest speakers from the European Disability Forum/ Council of Europe / other institutions, and other.

Adobe Acrobat document Report (size: 1.92 MB)