of the XIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf
Brisbane, Australia, 25-31 July 1999
The World Federation of the Deaf reaffirms its commitment towards the attainment of human rights and self-determination for all Deaf people, in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. In order that Deaf people can fully attain these human rights the XIII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf presents the following resolution:
Reaffirming the position that Deaf people are a cultural and linguistic minority with a right to their native sign language as their mother tongue.
Reaffirming that Deaf children have a right to bilingual education in sign and written language.
Acknowledging that the technological and biological advances of the information age are creating dramatic changes in Deaf communities worldwide. Full and equal access to technology available to society at large is an important precondition for equality in all areas of life.
Reaffirming the abilities and rights of Deaf people to achieve a quality life and economic self-determination through equal access to employment opportunities.
Recognising the social, ethnic, religious, gender, economic and political diversity in the Deaf community.
Opposing the violation of the linguistic and human rights of Deaf people still common worldwide.
Strongly condemning genetic research which aims to eliminate Deaf people from the human race.
In order to ensure Deaf people are able to lead and shape the changes technology effects in their communities, further research into the central beliefs and values of the Deaf community as they evolve in accordance with the changes taking place is encouraged.
Research into the impact such technology has on sign language interpreting, education, health, and sign language is also essential. Developed countries should work in partnership with developing countries to assist with access to this technology and other resources to guarantee full human rights.
Note: The spirit of this Resolution takes into account all recognised human values and norms, such as but not limited to, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, language, ethnic or social origin, disability, religion, conscience, belief, economic status, and political affiliations.