Deaf People Are Conquering Local Politics

Sign language is transforming local politics in the last months of 2019 and the first months of 2020. Since the publication of the infographic about Sign Language in Politics, we are seeing a lot of news in the media about Deaf people in the front row of local politics. Many Deaf people have run for local elections in several countries and these are some of the persons who have finally taken up a position doing their political work in Sign Language.

Daniela Olivar (photo: Girardot Extra)

Colombia: Daniela Olivar

Daniela was elected in 2019 to represent the Cambio Radical party (centre-right) in the Council of El Espinal, a Colombian municipality located in the department of Tolima, 153 km from Bogotá, with approximately 76,000 residents.

Already in 2017, Daniela had caught the attention of the media when she won the award at the Reinado Nacional del Bambuco Folklore Festival in Neiva, surprising everybody with her dancing skills.

Escocia: Grant Ferguson

Grant was elected in August 2019 to represent the East Kilbride Central North (Ward 8) in South Lanarkshire, a council in Scotland with approximately 320,000 residents.

When Grant gave his victory speech to the media, he did so with a Sign Language interpreter. Grant is a member of the Scottish National Party, usually positioned in the centre-left of the political sphere.

Grant Ferguson (photo: South Lanarkshire View)

España: Alberto Torres

The centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers' Party presented Alberto to the media in February 2020 as a councillor in the municipality of Santander, a city in northern Spain with approximately 180,000 residents. Alberto is the first Deaf councillor in Spain to use Sign Language in the exercise of his duties.

Alberto has a long career as an activist in social policies of the Deaf community, as he has actively participated in various positions within the Deaf youth as well as the presidency of the Association of Deaf People of Santander and Cantabria for five years. In addition, he has been a teacher of Spanish Sign Language for 15 years.

Alberto Torres (photo: Alberto Losa / El País)

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