Philippines attend World Disability Report Symposium in Australia

The Philippines, represented by Deaf Leaders\’ Filomena (Maffy) Gaya and Rowena (Weng) Rivera of Filipino Deaf Womens\’ Health and Crisis Center attended the UN World Report on Disability Symposium hosted by the University of Sydney and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) from December 2-8, 2011.

The World Report on Disability, jointly published by WHO and the World Bank and released on 9 June 2011, provides an extensive review of the situation of people with disabilities around the world and the inequalities they experience. It also offers recommendations that can be adopted by nation states, communities, organisations and individuals, to work toward the attainment of human rights and participation for all, in line with the moral and legal framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Philippine delegation was entirely sponsored by Australian Aid (AusAid) including interpreting service fee courtesy of Ms. Badette Cariaga.

MCCID Training Director Jojo Esposa acted as the official sign language interpreter together with Dean Maria Veronica Templo-Perez of DLS-College of St. Benilde School for Deaf Education and Applied Studies.

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The two were only tasked to interpret for Maffy and Weng. Newly elected World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen was invited to attend since it was held in his country.

He also brought with him two interpreters from Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA). Esposa and Perez were referred to AusAid by ASLIA\’s Philippine counterpart, the newly formed Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI). But since the two of us are signing alternately, we were sort of like, also interpreting for Colin.

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Later, the organizers congratulated the Philippine delegation for doing a swell yet tiring job of interpreting for the whole eight hours straight with only a few breaks. After that, the group enjoyed the tour of the beautiful city of Sydney including a trip to Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. Later on, the team were able to contact the Deaf Society of New South Wales and paid them a visit together with meeting with ASLIA officials.

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