September 22nd is going to be a very special day in Victoria, and for a good reason.
The deaf and hard of hearing community in BC is heading to downtown Victoria to hold a rally in front of the BC Parliament Building. Their goal is to raise awareness for supporting the effort to make American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language, and Indigenous Sign Language recognized officially as national languages by the Canadian government.
This is only a fraction of the country-wide ASL and LSQ Recognition Awareness Event, during which rallies will be held in different provinces and territories across Canada on the same day.
This is a highly-anticipated event for the community in BC, with people from all over the province heading to downtown Victoria in support of the movement.
A human rights issue
Lisa Anderson, a native of Victoria and a UVic alumni is one of the coordinators for 9 provincial rallies, including the one here in Victoria, and was asked to briefly explain the purpose of the event.
Anderson is a member of the Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC), which is in charge of the country-wide rallies that aim to encourage Canada to be more accessible to its Deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, as well as other residents living with disabilities.
“The recognition of Sign languages is a key element of human rights and equal opportunities for Deaf persons, as clearly outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities…,” stated the CAD-ASC, in a press release.
Around 43 countries so far have recognized their respective sign language as official languages, including New Zealand and Australia – and Canada isn’t among them.
The CAD-ASC and the deaf community in Canada would like that fact to change and to have accessibility improved for everyone in the country.
“This is for the removal of barriers and ensuring equal access, which is an important step towards becoming an Accessible Canada,” continues the press release.
The rally will be starting at 12 pm and running to 2 pm in front of the Parliament Building. Remember to come out on Saturday with your biggest smiles and hands waving high!
For more information concerning this event, you can contact Lindsay Carroll, Victoria Chairperson at [email protected].
- When: Saturday, September 22nd, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- Where: BC Legislative Building