Emancipation Processes in the Ugandan Deaf Community

Flemish Deaf Parliament

Flemish Deaf Parliament

From January to April 2014, over 350 Flemish deaf/sign language community members gathered in six local deaf clubs in Flanders to share their perspectives about the future and collectively formulate proposals for policy making. This initiative, known as Flemish Deaf Parliament, is a platform of deliberative democracy developed through cooperation between Ghent University and the Flemish Association of the Deaf (Fevlado) in response to a question from the Flemish deaf community about participation in decision making. The name Flemish Deaf Parliament also resulted from this cooperation. Experiences of a ‘clash’ between the community and its representation, between younger and older generations, and between deaf citizens from diverse backgrounds, had become a common topic of discussion in the community.

The Flemish Deaf Parliament aimed to provide opportunities for ‘voice’ and active participation in addressing concerns about current transitions and questions about the future and the collective well-being of the community. This resulted in the Flemish Deaf Parliament documentary (click on CC for subtitles in English).

The project was launched during the International Deaf Awareness Day, September 2013, by a two-minute trailer in Flemish Sign Language, produced by VisualBox, under the title “Flemish Deaf Parliament: Flemish deaf people speak out! (Visualbox, 2013) (click on CC for subtitles in English).