JAN 1, 2013
By Ofer Tirosh
Over 50 hard of hearing and deaf people organized a protest outside governments offices in Tel Aviv on Sunday morning. Recently, the Israeli government intended to reduce the amount of available sign language translation services due to budget cuts. But about an hour before the event, they decided not to implement the cuts and instead allocated 2 million to services for the deaf and hard of hearing.
“We decided to hold the rally anyway and not cancel it,” director of the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons in Israel, Yael Kakon is quoted as saying, “Our budget is still very limited and we find ourselves fighting for basic things everyday.”
Thousands of deaf people in Israel feel like they are being left in the dark about the language services budget due to the upcoming elections in Israel. Without these translation services, over eight thousand deaf and hard of hearing people wouldn't be able to live their lives, as they are dependent on the services. Based on the current allocation, deaf and hard of hearing people in Israel are allowed up to 45 hours of translation services per year, which is minimal.
Kakon added, “Their right to an independent life and to interacting with their environment is unquestionable and the government must allocate an appropriate budget to this purpose.”
Protesters and rallyists from all over the country showed their support by holding up signs that read “Can someone hear me?” More information about this story can be found at http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=297857