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Mr Adam Kosa, the first deaf MEP

Mr Adam Kosa, the first deaf MEP

2011. 12. 16.

'An ageing society cannot get by without hiring physically challenged people and using their potential'.

In the Parliament of the 27-member European Union, sign language is used in simultaneous interpretation together with the 23 official languages, after Mr Kosa in 2009 became the first deaf MEP.
 
Born in Budapest, Hungary, his parents are both deaf and he has not been able to hear since birth. He wanted to become a lawyer 'to do away with discrimination', but there was no sign language interpretation for his university classes. He made efforts, borrowing the notes taken by classmates, and realised his dream in 2005.
 
Even if he was doing his best for his clients, he could not change the social realities where the arenas for such people to work and live were limited. So when he was unexpectedly given a chance to enter into politics, there was no hesitation.
 
Walking around in Tokyo, he felt that the hardware was in place to better accommodate physically challenged people, such as the Braille-like blocks along the city streets. Press conferences by the government are accompanied by sign language, and in July, a law was enacted to recognise sign language as a language. Because of all this, he was a bit disappointed that there are basically no deaf politicians in Japan. 'Those who are actually in this situation are the ones who know the challenges the best. We should not allow others to decide what should be done for us, without our participation'.