The Importance of Digital Accessibility to Deaf People and Sign Language Users

3:30pm Thursday 14 November

Access to information and linguistic rights in all spheres of life for deaf people is now enshrined in global legislation and policy including with regard to digital accessibility.

In the dynamic space of digital access, ‘developments’ such as Sign Language avatars and Sign Language gloves have been heralded as breakthrough digital solutions for deaf people BUT from whose perspective??

This presentation will examine this question from the viewpoint of the Deaf Community and highlight initiatives of significance in regard to digital accessibility for Sign Language Users.

This will be achieved by outlining the vital work of the World Federation of the Deaf and its partners in working towards achieving equality for deaf people and Sign Language Users based on the international treaties; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and 2030 AGENDA – Sustainable Development Goals.

Discussion will include global initiatives which exemplify the intersection between technology and sign language in the interpreter accreditation process and the importance of sign language translation as well as the access needs of deaf communities at a more local level.

Colin Allen AM

International Deaf and Disability Consultant, CALLsign Training and Consultancy Services

Colin Allen AMColin Allen AM has advanced the human rights of deaf people and persons with disability for over 40 years by participating politically, professionally and socially in the Deaf Community and disability sector. Colin’s extensive contribution to the Deaf Community began initially at the local level, then more broadly nationally in Australia and for the past 20 years, he has been actively involved in the international realm.

Colin is immediate past President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) since 2011 having been involved since 2003 as a board member. Colin is also the immediate past Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). In these roles, he has guided and represented WFD and IDA in their engagement with the UN System and other international human rights and international development organisations.

Colin has designed and delivered training and presented workshops on issues related to human rights for both the Deaf Community and persons with disability in more than 70 countries in each of the major continents and has also addressed numerous international conferences as a keynote presenter.