On September 24, 2023, marking World Deaf Day, the Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf People (FIAPAS) celebrated its 45th anniversary by unveiling the FIAPAS Manifesto. This powerful declaration from COFACE member organisation serves as a testament to the enduring commitment of FIAPAS and its network of family associations in creating social change that empowers deaf individuals and their families.
Long before the concept of “civil dialogue” gained prominence, FIAPAS was actively and constructively collaborating with public administrations. As pioneers in their field, they opened new horizons and set ambitious goals for the inclusion of people with deafness. They have supported families by addressing their needs and demands, advocating for early detection of deafness, speech therapy rehabilitation, improved health and educational care, and promoting technological advancements and accessibility in communication.
Over the past five decades, FIAPAS has played a pivotal role in advancing the rights of the deaf community. They have not merely observed progress but have actively shaped it through political and social advocacy. Today we are facing a new generation of deaf people who, thanks to having received hearing and language stimulation, thanks to school and family support, having also taken advantage of the benefits of technology and thanks to their personal endeavours, are adequately trained, socially competent and prepared to live independently and autonomously, actively engaging in society. In this new generation, we also find families empowered with the capacity to promote awareness and pursue the exercise of their rights.
However, despite the great progress made, there are still shortcomings in the full exercise of rights, inadequate support resources, lack of accessibility and lack of adequate responses to the needs of families. The FIAPAS Family Association Movement assumes its role as a catalyst for positive social transformation.
Read the full Manifesto here.