Violation of cochlear implant rights: Children living in sign language
AmmanPeople with hearing impairments with “cochlear implants” suffer from the failure of the Ministry of Health and competent authorities to listen to their requests and complaints, in addition to suffering from a disability that follows them from birth, preventing them from hearing, which is why they need devices embedded in head that allow them to hear voices and respond to their interlocutors.
They wake up in a life without sound, and all around them there is only noise, they hear only the sound of their dreams, and they hope that people will listen to their silent sobs, they find God’s paradise in a device that allows them to hear, they are waiting for someone who will carry their rights in their comforts, so will the government hear their deaf pleas?
* The echo of their dreams.. is all they hear!
Every morning, three children yearn for the fulfillment of their dream of being given the care they need to hear their mothers’ voices, they want to endure the noise of passers-by and the cries of friends.
Ahmad Hamdan al-Jubour, who has three children from “cochlear implants”, complained about his misfortune and misfortune, the difficulty of caring for his children and the inability to pay off the debts that accumulated while he was treating his patients.
Al-Jabour said he owed about 22,000, after borrowing the amount of money on his personal salary; In order to save the money that allows him to periodically maintain the cochlear devices, given that his condition is no different from the condition of his peers from the family of cochlear implants who have borrowed from various service providers.
He explained that he needs batteries for each child every three days, except for wires, the price of which varies from company to company, from 50 dinars to 180 dinars per wire.
He revealed that due to the maintenance costs of the devices, which sometimes reach 4 thousand dinars, most people are in debt to maintenance companies or banks.
He noted that some parents, after tasting those two things, gave up on treating their children and preferred to leave them to live in sign language. Due to the lack of health insurance or financial means to carry out maintenance work, he called on the authorities to assume their responsibilities and strictly enforce the law.
The president and founder of the National Association of Cochlear Implants in Jordan, Ahmad Al-Sawafta, emphasized the hadith of Al-Jabour; As the monthly price of one cochlear implant is not less than 500 dinars, including auditory and speech rehabilitation classes, school fees and maintenance costs, with the explanation that it is necessary to change the batteries at most every two to three days.
Sawafta stated that the authorities do not have accurate data on the number of cochlear implants in Jordan, estimating their number at around 2,500 people, according to statistics he collected himself.
Hopes and requests on the official table. Any answers?
People with hearing impairments are “cochlear implants” that give officials various rights on the table.
Al-Sawafta, on the other hand, revealed its most prominent demands, which are the inclusion of audio devices in comprehensive health insurance, which takes care of maintenance, spare parts, batteries and updates of the device, in addition to providing an appropriate educational environment and applying the law within its limits, with their inclusion in the National Aid Fund.
The right to health care
Although Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Jordan ratified in 2008, includes the right to health, the Ministry of Health has delayed and failed to provide answers about its role in securing cochlear implants with health insurance and ensuring their treatment and care, while families with cochlear implants confirmed that the Ministry does not provide any free healthcare for their children.
Human rights adviser Riyad Sobh indicated that the Ministry of Health must ensure all requirements related to the right to health, including the provision of special equipment and devices, as well as health and logistics services.
He revealed the existence of indolence and insufficient interest for the Government, specifically the Ministry of Health, to provide these things and solve the problem or replace them with healthy and effective shells, explaining that it must be free so that these people can enjoy them. services.
About 79.5% of people with disabilities never went to school
Al-Sawafta emphasized the necessity of providing hearing and speech rehabilitation centers or providing a school environment that is actually qualified to work with cochlear implants, while the director of the program for students with disabilities, Department of Education in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Muhammad Rahamneh, revealed that there are 12 schools specialized for people with hearing impairments, of which 10 are state and two are private, which are distributed in seven provinces across the Kingdom.
Al-Rahamneh said that the number of hearing-impaired people being educated in all the Ministry’s schools has been reported
851 male and female students distributed among public and private schools, of which 189 male and female students had a cochlear implant.
Councilor Sobh explained that the state of education for people with disabilities is generally very poor. According to a report issued by the High Council for Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, there are about 79.5% of persons with disabilities of school age who have never gone to school, and this explains the large gap and systematic discrimination, so to speak; Due to the failure to provide sufficient logistical issues of reasonable accommodation for these groups, calling for the need to ensure sufficient and real budgets to prepare inclusive schools for them.
The Ministry of Education insisted on a high level of satisfaction with the readiness of its schools to accept children with cochlear implants. How hearing impaired students are admitted to schools specialized for them without any restrictions, based on the wishes of the guardians.
She indicated that her plans are to train administrative and educational staff on how to deal with students with disabilities, teach them and integrate them into classrooms, while providing the ministry with educational tools, materials and games according to specifications suitable for students with hearing impairments, while distributing hearing aids to students, and securing specialist.Pronunciation and language in specialized schools to teach students, and training administrative and educational staff in communicative and academic sign language to create a bridge of communication with students with hearing impairment.
It is important to note that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Jordan ratified, contains a condition for the provision of free primary education for all and general secondary education, in article no. 13 and Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stipulates the right to education.
Ink on paper.. a law that doesn’t apply
Al-Sawafta mentioned in his speech that cochlear implants have recently been recognized as a disability, but according to his speech, the law does not apply.
“On the ground, the empowerment of people with disabilities in Jordan is very weak in terms of rehabilitating work environments, transportation, roads or even institutions and buildings,” according to human rights consultant Riyad Sobh.
Sobh indicated that the Law on Persons with Disabilities is ambitious and excellent, but the main obstacles in its implementation are the failure of institutions and ministries to allocate the necessary budgets to provide reasonable facilitation services, technical and medical assistance and social empowerment in general, which requires material costs.
The High Council for Persons with Disabilities, which is responsible for setting policies and monitoring them in relation to matters concerning persons with disabilities, refused to make any statement to the media on the issue of “cochlear implants” without giving reasons.
About 10% of those who receive financial support
President and founder of the National Association of Cochlear Implants, Ahmed Sawafta, stated that one of the requirements of “cochlear implants” is to be included in the National Aid Fund, like all other disabled people.
He added that the cochlear implant does not receive any support from any government agency, apart from receiving 6 packs of batteries per year and wires every six months from the Hearing Without Borders initiative for people implanted through the initiative.
On the other hand, the National Aid Fund, according to its official spokesperson Najeh Sawalha, explained that the fund provides financial support to people with severe hearing impairment and neurological impairment, not specifically cochlear implants, which indicates that the number of beneficiaries is about 230 families who receive support as humanitarian cases.
Fund support comes through the physical rehabilitation program, which provides the possibility of cochlear maintenance under the item (maintenance of medical aids).
Counselor Sobh said that international law in the Convention on Persons with Disabilities does not talk about the idea of providing material assistance, but about providing an environment for people with disabilities in terms of education, work, health care, etc.
He added that if the figures for aid to beneficiary families are assumed to be correct, it indicates the depth of the large gap. Considering that only less than 10% of those who receive support, with the explanation that if the state decides that financial support is a form of empowerment, then it must provide this support to everyone or at least to people who have a social need.
The right to education is a basic requirement
Aladdin Amin Al-Smadi, father of two hearing-impaired children with “cochlear implants”, said his two children, aged 14 and 9, had “cochlear implants” through the Royal Court and a donor.
Al-Smadi stated that his only request is to teach his two children, who are educated in public schools, to read and write, and he does not ask for anything else.
Human rights violations against cochlear implants in Jordan
Councilor Sobh said cochlear implants are considered disabled because there is some sort of sustainability in their disability.
And indicated that the final result of their condition and what they are going through confirms the existence of a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by international and Jordanian law to people with hearing impairments, especially “cochlear implants” and people with disabilities. in general.
He explained that the Law on Persons with Disabilities is excellent and ambitious, but the main obstacles in this matter are the failure of institutions and ministries to determine the necessary budgetary resources in an effort to ensure reasonable facilitation services, technical and medical aids and social empowerment in General.
He added that financial costs are required for these budgets, clarifying that this part is not within the competence of the Supreme Council for Persons with Disabilities. Because the Council’s responsibility is limited to policy making and monitoring, but it is not an executive body.
He revealed that the problem lies in the line ministries that have to assume their responsibility to ensure what is needed, in terms of the implementation of the Law on Persons with Disabilities; Given that the law is for the state and everyone must work on its implementation in an effort to empower people with disabilities.
This report was prepared in cooperation with the Center for the Protection and Freedom of Journalists