in 1905, the American newspaper New York Herald published the story of Luis Albaro, a deaf man of Talta l that aboard an Italian ship had made an involuntary trip around the world, falling asleep and not be noticed by the crew. He remained on the ship when it set sail from that port to Europe.
At the time of be written news, the man was in a California port, after 14 months of travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Knowledge of Spanish of Luis were limited to two things: know write their name and – suspected – reach senar one that another word, under a code improvised by himself, in a population then totalled 30,000 inhabitants (Oviedo, Alejandro. 2007). Although the previous reference known to far, exemplifies excellence communication fracture that even in our days, but with certain nuances, looks under the deaf in Chile.
Initially, it must be understood that the difference between a deaf and a listener is not cognitive, but linguistic. Specifically, the only differences between a deaf and a listener are (erroneously called language) language and identity.
The deaf population shares own language and identity, which have due necessarily be grown over time. Identity, through a custom of non – integration by the State and the constant struggle between the false interpreters and deaf community.
As an example of this forced identity, the deaf are not shown each other by name, but by a unique nickname and auto-otorgado by the deaf community. All members of the deaf community have one and use it always will signal instead of the name, both in formal and informal bodies, which is a clear sign, logically, the lack of a sense of belonging to the recognition mechanisms institutional citizens established by listeners.
The language, for his part, called sign Chilean (LSCh) language, had a belated recognition as official natural language in article 26 of the law Nº20.422, which came to be posted only in the year 2010. The question is: why it took both to recognize it? Unfortunately, behind this language barrier a much more negative diagnosis is: socio-cultural barrier.
Systematic and historical neglect that exercised over people who are deaf reached unexpected levels which deserve to be made known and worked as soon as possible: difficulty of accessing jobs, so much so that should create the Nº21.015 Act to force to the employers to hire people in situation of disability, provided that the companies of 100 or more workers must hire or keep engaged, as appropriate, at least 1% of persons with disabilities or who are handlers for a pension of invalidity of any social security scheme, in relation to the total of their workers (art. 157 bis).
1% which, if you think carefully, does not how to deal with hard figures for the recent and second study national’s disability, ENDISC II – 2015, which indicate that 16.7% of the population of 2 years and over is in situation of disability i.e. 2.836.818 people.
If this figure is facing total population thrown by the 2017 census, i.e. 17.574.003 of Chileans, it leaves us a margin unusually poorly calculated who certainly not be hired, because 1% of unjustifiably bass and a cultural barrier hard traspasable. Wield reasons to argue a percentage as wretched as this, as it would be difficult to find people with disabilities for hiring, must be thus disposed of mathematically.
Likewise, it should be noted the absence of interpreters in hospitals, schools, universities, clinics, clinics, medical centers, television stations, courts and even the Corporation’s legal assistance, public service whose purpose is, Ironically, sponsoring free and professional manner to those who does not have the resources to do so legally.
It is urgent, in this way, aware of the role of the deaf population in Chile, in order to generate mechanisms for integrating properly backed by laws that will effectively take practice, which is not the case of the Nº20.422 law, designed specifically for this purpose and that is even hardly accessible to the deaf community. The best proposal appears to be implementing measures at national level that are replicated locally, making also a concentrated study of the deaf population throughout all the communes of Chile, in order to establish a reasonable number of free interpreters and duly certified by commune, stepping up the sanctions in case of non-compliance. This is a crisis that should and deserve to be heard.
Poured in this op-ed content is the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial line nor the counter position.