Welcome back to Organizational Spotlight! This week’s installment will focus on the European Federation of Parents of Hearing Impaired Children (FEPEDA) which is a non-governmental umbrella organization founded in 1990. The organization was set up to represent associations of parents and friends of deaf and hard of hearing children in Europe. It promotes the equal rights of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people across Europe in hopes of contributing to a fully inclusive European Society. The FEPEDA works in order to create a world where deaf and hard of hearing children, young people, and their families have equality of opportunity and participation. The founding members of the FEPEDA were the associations from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and the England. However, there are no longer associations in Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and England that are a part of the FEPEDA today. Currently, the FEPEDA is working with organizations in Belgium, Bosnia-Hertzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
As disclosed on their website, the FEPEDA’s mission is to “promote the equal rights of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people and those of their families, across Europe, by enhancing their life opportunities and by improving the quality of life of all deaf and hard of hearing children and young people and those of their families, irrespective of their social, cultural and financial status.” The organization operates to accomplish this mission by acting through the National Associations of parents and friends of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people across the continent. The FEPEDA is a member of the European Disability Forum, the European Platform of Deafness, Hard-of-Hearing and Deafblindness, and the Global Coalition of Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (GPOD). The FEPEDA works in collaboration with these other organizations to make a positive impact on the lives of European deaf and hard of hearing youth every day.
The FEPEDA is working to make Europe a better place for deaf and hard of hearing youth by promoting and contributing to research and ensuring the exchange of knowledge as well as encouraging access for deaf and hard of hearing children and young people to education, culture and employment. The organization is also facilitating full access to citizen’s rights for deaf and hard of hearing youth all across Europe in addition to informing and educating the general European public about the needs and achievements of the demographic. As if all of that was not enough, the FEPEDA is also working to enable communication within this demographic by encouraging friendships, mutual understanding, and cultural and recreational opportunities between deaf and hard of hearing children, young people and their families across Europe. By doing work in a large variety of sectors, the FEPEDA is providing plenty of care for European deaf and hard of hearing youth and their families which DOW commends them for.
At DOW, we believe that all deaf and hard of hearing children and young people are deserving of equality in terms of opportunity and participation. The FEPEDA shares this belief and promotes inclusion through their work in the sectors of communication, education, research and development, employment, and equal rights. Regarding academia, the FEPEDA is working to improve the schooling opportunities of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people by encouraging access to education for this demographic in Europe. By working to enable access to schooling for deaf and hard of hearing youth, the FEPEDA is allowing this demographic to obtain the knowledge they need to become self-sufficient and provide for themselves with little to no additional support. DOW is greatly appreciative of the FEPEDA’s efforts as the organization is bettering the lives of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people in Europe every day!
For more information about the FEPEDA, please refer to their website.