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Sunday, 14 June 2015

No more silence: one ... two ... three ... .. it's your turn to stand out

We love stories, especially those with an happy ending. We hope that this will soon be.
Like all stories, this one started with the requests for help from some parents of deaf children & with the discovery of the competition "natiperproteggere" (born2protect) where you have to: identify a history of protection, build up a project, submit; between all the received projects, 8 will be selected for the final rush. For now, we hope to be a petal of the rose.
To find our project, just click directly on this title: "No more silence", shortened version of the original title "... one ... ... two ... three, it's your turn to stay out".
For the competition, we proposed a part of the recent activity of the association FIADDA Piedmont (Italian Families Associate for the Defense of the Rights of the hearing impaired): an association of parents, relatives & tutors of deaf children, & deaf adults aiming to ensure a full social inclusion for deaf people.
FIADDA is committed for over 15 years to foster the dignity of deaf people, to guarantee their rights of citizenship & equal opportunities all-along the course of life, to eliminate all forms of discrimination, raise awareness & address the public opinion on the problems of deafness through a widespread range of interventions with administrative & legislative bodies, local governments, schools, universities, press & media.
In recent years, along with many parents, FIADDA did many things:

  • support the possibility for deaf children to learn a language, go to school & learn like other students
  • increase the hours of school educational support with the Regional School Office
  • maintain educators to support communication at home with the City of Turin
  • work-group session to support parents to cope with the diagnosis, the process of rehabilitation & to overcome the confusion & difficulties within their family
  • informal group for deaf teenagers to help them in their difficult transition from knowing what deafness means, to build their identity of an adult deaf. 
FIADDA activities are online on Facebook & on this blog (hopefully soon on a renewed website): we like to share, as we believe that the most resources, the better for the rights of our children & the community as a whole.
This is the story of children who go to school, struggle to learn, just like all other children. Except for the fact that the children of our story are profound deaf individuals who use a cochlear implant. The cochlear implant is a small processor, powered by rechargeable batteries, enabling those who are profoundly deaf to hear. In Italy, the cochlear implant is also a right. 
2015 Caraglio (To): do not walk on dreams
It is the right to communicate, go to school, study hard & learn, play, grow, like all other children. It is also a right well set in the legislation, as cochlear implants are inserted in the list of essential levels of assistance, which includes all those prostheses that a person should receive in order to live a decent life.
The Essential Health Care Levels recognize the right to receive a complete cochlear implant, & to replace all the parts in case of malfunctioning, except for the batteries & the charger. Even a child would understand that without energy no processor can work, not even a miracle of technology as a bionic ear. Our leaders however have not yet understood this basic fact.
After being provided for some years, the Piedmont Region introduced the economic “ISEE” threshold in 2014, while since January 2015 all the practices for replacement of batteries & chargers have been totally blocked.
This means that a child has to give up its right to hear whenever parents are not able to provide for the entire cost by their own pockets.
To understand what this story might mean for a deaf boy or a girl, try to imagine it for yourself: you do not hear one single day of your life. That one & only day will remain etched in your mind: you would feel alone & isolated in everywhere, in a park full of children, in a class, at dinner with your beloved ones, in a supermarket at the rush hour. Wherever. Then you would closely understand what it means.
For 15 years FIADDA Piedmont keeps repeating its mantra: the defense of the right to the future of deaf children is an act of collective dignity as well as individual liberty.
To continue our work, we want to build a new chapter in this small, great story of collective rights & dignity: we want to buy those technical tools needed to run cochlear implants, & create an online platform to which all parents can refer in case of need.
Batteries, chargers & all the parts that will be purchased will feed into a shared online repository, following the principle of "collaborative consumption". Parents can lean on finding the available material in the "repository", using it for the time necessary to obtain from the Regional Health Care System that same material they are entitled by law.
After having their own, they will return what was borrowed to the association: it will be made available on the platform, and thus be redistributed to other children who will need it.
With our project, no parent will find themselves anymore explaining to their children why they should not hear for absurd bureaucratic reasons.

We are parents, & volunteers: we work to ensure our children the right to feel, to exist, to grow.
We hope you will listen to our proposal.
To help, you can visit our project at the following link: "No more silence"
You can share this post & our story by inviting others to listen & support

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