ERIC Number: EJ1174118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Debating Futures in Flemish Deaf Parliament: Deaf Epistemologies, Participatory Citizenship, and Sustainable Development
De Clerck, Goedele A.M.
American Annals of the Deaf, v162 n4 p350-359 2017
More than 350 deaf/sign language community members gathered at six local deaf clubs in Flanders in 2014 to share perspectives about the future and formulate proposals for policymaking. This initiative, Flemish Deaf Parliament, serves as 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 deaf community about participation in decision making. The name "Flemish Deaf Parliament" also resulted from this cooperation. The topics discussed in the Flemish Deaf Parliament 2014 meetings covered the transition from deaf schools to mainstreamed education; the transmission of the community's cultural heritage and social and linguistic capital; equal opportunities in (lifelong) education; increased social mobility despite barriers to access and employment; political participation; and older deaf people advocating for a better quality of life, peer contact, and services in Flemish Sign Language. These issues invite a range of possible answers and perspectives. To make sense of them, deaf epistemologies have begun to be explored as analytical instruments for gaining insight into the diversity of deaf lives and into multiple ways of understanding the world. As a first experimental initiative, Flemish Deaf Parliament has illuminated much potential for research on democratic practice in minority communities.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Deafness, Futures (of Society), Citizenship, Citizen Participation, Democracy, Epistemology, Participative Decision Making, Debate, Sustainable Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium