In view of the small deaf population in Poland (approximately 50,000 people who use sign language in Poland according to CSO estimates) there is little representation of this group in the smaller towns. For this reason, the normal-hearing majority (government clerks, doctors, specialists) come into contact with deaf people and their needs less often, and there is less accessibility to services for deaf people. Deaf people experience exclusion due to the communication barrier practically at every stage, anywhere they wish to use public services.
The project addresses the problem of the inadequate measures taken by public authorities to fulfil effectively the obligations provided for in the Act on Sign Language and in the Act on Accessibility – giving deaf people access to public services.
We will train deaf people to act as self-advocates with respect to defending the right to accessibility (workshops conducted in Polish sign language). We will monitor to determine whether this right is respected in municipalities and local districts in the Łódź Voivodeship using questionnaires (200 institutions) and self-advocate visits (scenario devised during workshops) in 50 institutions. Along with the monitored institutions, with the self-advocates, we will draw up the solutions that are desirable and feasible in the institution. It will be possible to use the devised monitoring model in other municipalities and local districts in Poland.
Ten deaf self-advocates will take part in the measures.
Ten self-advocates will act to help their own group, and a minimum of 50 government clerks will learn the needs of deaf people at a personal meeting. We will release a brochure containing the findings of the questionnaire and monitoring, as well recommendations, and this will be distributed in local district and municipal institutions.