National Association of the Deaf

NAD Elated with ICED Rejection of 1880 Milan Congress Resolutions

On Monday, July 19, 2010 the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) opened its 21st Congress with a historic announcement that it formally rejects the resolutions passed at its 2nd Congress (commonly known as the 1880 Milan Congress) which discouraged the use of sign language in the education of the deaf.  This move follows a recent letter by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and numerous advocacy organizations and leaders throughout the world urging the ICED to formally reject their previous resolutions and embrace signed languages and deaf cultures.  Links for the ICED press release, introduction, and statement of principle and accord for the future are listed below.

The original resolutions passed at the 1880 Milan Congress did irreparable damage to deaf individuals, educators, professionals, schools and communities around the world. Established in the same year as the 1880 Milan Congress, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.

"We are elated to see that, for the first time in 130 years, the ICED has joined us in rejecting the actions of its predecessors and moving forward to improve educational systems for the global deaf and hard of hearing community. We are grateful and proud to see the ICED take this important and very appropriate step towards reconciliation," said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. "The formal rejection of the 1880 resolutions made in Milan by the ICED realizes a dream that we have had for 130 years. Together with the ICED we have taken the first steps towards a beautiful, bilingual future of cooperation and mutual respect."

ICED Press Release

ICED Statement of Principle and Accord for the Future

ICED Closing Press Release

ICED Closing Ceremony: WFD President Markku Jokinen’s Remarks

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