Recently, the city of Barinas, Venezuela, became the focus of the deaf community in the country and the world on completion of a seminar/workshop entitled “Introduction to the history of deaf people”, under the auspices of the Bolivarian Hall Socialist Barinas Municipality.
This activity was attended by Venezuelan researcher, Dr. Alejandro Oviedo, who is an expert in linguistics and founding editor of the prestigious Website, http://www.cultura-sorda.eu, which for many years has specialized in sign language, serving the community of hearing impaired people. In addition, he serves as academic coordinator of the German team Sign Translation Project Library (Gebärdenfabrik, Berlin), which is a European Union project whose aim is to create a virtual library in sign languages literary classics.
The Seminar-Workshop attracted numerous participants from all over the country, drawing, both persons with disability and other interested attendants. “For three days everyone had the opportunity to learn in detail about the history of people with disabilities, the evolution of sign language; and drawing from this knowledge, discuss current problems of hearing impaired people in our country”, said Johnny Cova, communication and project manager at Sign Science Foundation Research Center of Astronomy “Francisco J. Duarte “(CIDA).
Participating in the Workshops were many hearings impaired people who belong to the Venezuelan Federation of the Deaf; students from many universities in the country; students of the Venezuelan Sign Language (LSV) and members of the Deaf community in the city of Barinas .
Also in attendance were special education students, interpreters, school principals and teachers from many universities in the country that develop programs for the recruitment and education of the deaf or hearing impaired
Among the public institutions represented were: the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (CONAPDIS) and the CIDA Foundation, A Venezuelan state scientific institution under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Industry Intermediate (MCTI) , which sponsors an ambitious project that advances “Science in Sign Language”. Its main objective is to bring science and technology to the Deaf and hearing impaired community through sign language.
The project became well known in the community of hearing impaired people in Barinas since late last year when the Eighth Workshop on Astronomy for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired was held at the same quarters; it was sponsored by the Government of Barinas state,
“Science and Technology is a world heritage, therefore, no person shall be barred from its access and knowledge, social ownership or disseminating its use. Handicapped people have the talent to contribute. Unfortunately, their ability has not been used because lack of access to scientific knowledge in sign language available to them”, said Cova.
This seminar-workshop taught by Professor Oviedo was the basis for encouraging everyone to continue working with people with hearing impairments to a renewed spirit of solidarity and recognition. “Significantly, today’s Venezuela is among the leading countries in the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities”, he ended