Ljubljana, 25th of November 2022 – The Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN organised a round table at the premises of the Municipality of Ljubljana, with the president of the World Federation of The Deafblind, dr. Sanja Tarczay, and representatives of the government of the Republic of Slovenia, with the aim of regulating the status and rights of people with deafblindness as soon as possible. Speakers presented the daily difficulties faced by people with deafblindness and the need to regulate field of deafblindness as soon as possible. They emphasised that, with constructive cooperation between all stakeholders, the field of deafblindness can be regulated for the benefit of all people with deafblindness.
The participants were addressed by Aleš Čerin (Vice-Mayor of MOL), Vinko Trinkaus (person with deafblindness), Boštjan Dragan (person with deafblindness), dr. Sanja Tarczay (president of the World Federation of The Deafblind – WFDB), dr. Simona Gerenčer (secretary general of the Association DLAN), mag. Mateja Toman (president of NSIOS), Azra Herceg (state secretary of the Ministry of Health), Tanja Dular (Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities), Matevž Čelik Vidmar (state secretary of the Ministry of Culture), lawyer Matija Urankar (law firm Senica and Partners, which prepared the draft law).
Vinko Trinkaus presented the struggle and the needs of people with deafblindness with the help of a personal assistant. He said that in order to carry out his daily tasks he needs the help of a support person and a language of the deafblind interpreter, which is currently provided by Association DLAN. With the right support, he can live independently, as he does not want to live in institutional care.
Boštjan Dragan, with the help of a professional worker, said that he communicates in the language of the deafblind, which is based on touch. For him, this language is the most important, through this language he expresses himself and learns, becoming understood and understands. He wants to learn much more in life. Together with people with deafblindness, he helps to develop the language of the deafblind in the Association DLAN.
Dr. Sanja Tarczay introduced the World Federation of The Deafblind and pointed out that the Deafblind Association of Slovenia DLAN is the only legitimate member of this organisation from Slovenia. She told that she has been following the development of Associaton DLAN since its formation and is very happy and proud that Slovenia is one of the countries representing deafblindness at such high international level. She added that she was pleased that Slovenia had enlisted the language of the deafblind into the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, as it is an example to other countries, and at the same time she hopes that the rights of the deafblind would not remain a “dead letter on paper”. We often hear from politicians that there are few people with deafblindness, but this should not be an excuse for not regulating field of deafblindness. In the course of her speech, she handed out a Public Letter of Support for the regulation of the field of deafblindness.
Dr. Simona Gerenčer presented the urgency and necessity of regulating the field of deafblindness. At the same time, she emphasised that Slovenia has the knowledge, experience and all the international support to really regulate this field right for the benefit of all people with deafblindness. She called for this to happen as soon as possible.
Mag. Mateja Toman expressed her full support for Association DLAN’s efforts to regulate the status and rights of people with deafblindness. At the same time, she emphasised that the inclusion of language of the deafblind in the Constitution is only the first step towards achieving this goal.
Tanja Dular told that she had invited representatives of other ministries to participate in a working group being set up at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Human Resources.
Azra Herceg expressed her surprise at the work of Association DLAN, especially the Online Dictionary of Haptic Communication with People with Deafblindness. She expressed her full support for the regulation of this field.
Matevž Čelik Vidmar emphasised the need for cooperation, especially in the formulation of measures, with aim to make the language of the deafblind really come alive.
The event was moderated by Matija Urankar.
You are welcome to read the articles about the event in the links below: