Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dr Paddy Ladd's lecture in Madrid

In Madrid, Spain where the 15th Congress of WFD was held, Paddy Ladd gave a lecture after Yerker Andersson and Kim Robinson gave theirs on Sign Languages as a Human Right. "Cultural Rights and Sign Language Peoples". The abstract of the paper as printed in the WFD convention book:

"Although Deaf communities have started to fight for their inguistic rights, there has been very little consideration of whether they have cultural rights. This is in part because the concept of Deaf culture itself is recently emerged and is not yet fully understood.... This paper examines the battles initiated by other minority cultures to achieve recognition and ownership of their cultural rights. It draws on the UNESCO Convention of the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions 2005 to illustrate how Sign Language Peoples may fight to protect and preserve their cultural heritage, including their Deaf schools, and illustrates how the recent UN Charter of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, being focused on mainstreaming/inclusion, does not offer such protection."

Paddy spoke about current trends like tribal tattoos (I'm guilty) as an example of how people graft other cultural identity onto their own, the ongoing spread of globalization and capitalism, people losing cultures and others gaining for right and wrong reasons. Few days ago, Ridor posted Maureen Klusza's cartoon strip of a deaf baby not signing and a hearing baby using signs. Whew. I didn't realize how easy it is to borrow others'.

Don Mackay, UN Ambassador to New Zealand, one of the UN Convention's architects, at WFD's invitation, opened the week with a plenary paper (just before Yerker and Paddy's) describing his experiences with WFD and other organizations and representatives hammering out the Convention into existence. Along with other plenary speakers including Deaf lawyers Howard Rosenblum and Alexis Kashar (who presented their analysis of the Convention and how it would or would not impact the lives of Deaf around the world) - their messages retained the same. Don't treat it as a piece of paper for protection - it must be actively embraced and supported, showing it can work or what flaws may appear.

Out of 100 countries that signed to the convention, promising to uphold it to include in their legislation or reflect their existing disability laws - US of A is not one of the 100 countries that signed to it (Quatar is number 100 as of July 18). The British with its disability law already in effect since mid to late 1990s signed to it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Phlegmy July


basically the story of my life right now. I'm trying to focus on getting better, forcing myself to worry less about work - and take care of myself and my apartment more. I went to Brein's wedding in Connecticut yesterday- despite being sick, I'm glad I went. Saw fellow MSSDers - 10-12 years after graduation I see them chasing their toddlers around the reception room, ensuring they navigate the staircases properly. You know how it is with little ones needing to scale them big and many steps.

I recently acquired a new and efficient assistant manager at work, after 5 months of holding down the fort on my own and informal help. Once the dynamics settled in, responsibilities shifted around - a small insignificant sore throat showed up. Before I knew it, my body told me "it's time!" so I've been walking sick since mid-june... faded in and out at work, shuffled through WFD in Madrid, and now back in town.. I'm now down to basic hay fever - nonstop sneezing in mornings and boxes of tissues ready to mop me up.

I want August to be a proper summer for me - I've yet to hit the beach, swimming even. Maybe rent a bike or kayak one day if I actually wrap my head around it. There's a rental few blocks from where I live - so that will be a tough one for me.

Harry Potter - finished the book. Won't say anything right now but I need to say the epilogue, is uh.. okay. well. the movie (order of phoenix) : kickass! Debra and I saw it in Madrid with Spanish subtitles - she knew enough Spanish to translate some significant points and I read the book loads of times to let her know of certain characters and situations. Very fun - I highly recommend the activity!

WFD - not bad, I wish I wasn't so sick to absorb it more.. the next WFD Congress for 2011 will be in Durban, South Africa. Even though it's white man's country in the African continent but first time the Congress been held outside the rich countries.

Bush II and his minions - just when you know their actions can't possibly be worse... this time it's the data mining of voters to weed out potential terrorists. Sure, other administrations have done the same at different points of history - I wish the US Government could retain the memory and mindset of the Bene Gesserit.

My jade tree - I bought the plant when it was a wee one sometime last fall or winter. It's not grown much and I did move it into a bigger pot in the spring. Few days ago, I finally moved it outside on the fire escape and boy did it perk up. The sunlight is pretty poor in the apartment - and the frosted windows doesn't help and not to mention recent gentrification in my neighborhood further reducing the sunlight.

I've a photo crisis - I took over 100 pictures in Spain and I wasn't paying attention and downloaded into a program which it's locked in. I can't move them out, duplicate them in a different folder. I tried to burn a few in the CD and it won't even come off the CD. Argh! I might have to make a new account with that program (adobe pictures) so I can share them at least. Then I'll delete that damned thing. Be careful when you're updating your adobe program and a separate program will sneak in. *sigh*

Will post info about my trip to Madrid and WFD shortly now that I'm finally on the mend and dealing with hay fever only.