DEAFBLINDNESS RECOGNIZED AS A "UNIQUE DISABILITY" IN CHILE
Carolyn Sanchez, an alumna of the Perkins ELP program, pushed for a new law in Chile that recognizes deafblindness as a unique disability. After earning the sponsorship of a congressman who presented the bill, Sanchez defended the proposal herself before Congress.
Sanchez was joined by CIDEVI (Centro para Invidentes y Débiles Visuales), an organization dedicated to the integration of all visually impaired people into sighted society.
Not only does the law officially recognize deafblindness, but it also demands the full social inclusion of the DeafBlind; after a deafblindness diagnosis, access to sign language interpreters and interpreter guides (who interpret specifically for the DeafBlind) must be available in public and private institutions. The law also aims to train interpreter guides in all forms of communication that the DeafBlind may require.
The law was passed on January 3, 2022 after unanimous approval in both chambers of Congress.