Sunday, February 22, 2009

International Deaf Perspective: Denmark

A vlog conversation with the Vice President of World Federation for the Deaf Lars Knudsen. I ask him about his country's political system, the governmental friendliness towards deaf people and accessibility, and his opinion on American political system.


Leah: (to audience) Hello, I am here to continue the series of International Deaf Perspective on politics. Now I’m interviewing him.

Leah: (to Lars) What is your name? Where are you from? What is your position in World Federation of Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS)?

Lars: My name is Lars. I am from Denmark. I am the vice president of WFDYS.

Leah: Good. That is nice. Welcome to America.

Lars: Thank you.

Leah: I am curious what is the political system in your country like?

Lars: In Denmark, there are around 15 parties, but there are two main parties. One is Socialism and another is Liberal. There are many smaller parties that give support to the two main parties.

Leah: That is interesting. Does the government support Deaf people? How much of support? What are the goals? What are the main parties’ perspectives on Deaf people?

Lars: Denmark is one of the most high-tax paying countries.

Leah: How much is the tax?

Lars: About 50%.

Leah: Wow!

Lars: Yes. So, with that much of money support, we have accessibilities for free. Because the money does support people including deaf, we have free interpreter services and other accessibilities in general. It is good.

Leah: So, the government pays all those, right?

Lars: Yes.

Leah: Does the government provide all accessibilities?

Lars: Yes.

Leah: Wow, that is good. What are the main parties’ opinions/perspectives on deaf people?

Lars: Yes. Socialism party gives more focus and support than Liberal party does.

Leah: Interesting. That is good. Now, I’m curious, since you are here in America, visiting, what do you think of the difference between American politics and Danish politics? What is your opinion?

Lars: I see American politics have strong media and more people are involved. Danish politics are much smaller, but in last few years, we have followed American political system more.

Leah: Good. Thank you for the different perspective.

Lars: Thank you.

Leah: (to audience) I want to say that it is interesting that Lars mentioned media and people can involve, can – no I mean, people are interested involving in America, but are the deaf people getting involved? I encourage more deaf people getting involved. We need more. Thank you.

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