Deaf Unity and Oxford Model United Nations Conference Success

Published: Nov 28th, 2014

Deaf Unity and Oxford Model United Nations Society ran the first deaf-friendly MUN conference in the world which took place between 7 and 9 November 2014 in Oxford.

Deaf Unity is very grateful for the support of Oxford Model United Nations Association for opening up this opportunity for the deaf community. The Association had done an excellent job in running and organising the conference despite the challenges that it had faced.

It was an excellent opportunity for six deaf delegates to take part in debates on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities. The OxiMUN commented on how much diplomacy that members of the deaf committee had adopted in relation to the challenges that it had faced during the conferences. The true spirit of the UN was adopted throughout the conference. The OXIMUN Society and the deaf delegates at the conferences learnt a huge amount of information about how the United Nations operates.

All of the delegates very much enjoyed themselves: it was an excellent learning opportunity for all of us, both the delegates and the Oxford Model United Nations Association. OxiMUN has told us that other MUN Societies are thinking about running accessible MUN conferences for the deaf community and are using the OxiMUN as a model to adopt for other MUN conferences. The dinner at Somerville College was also an interesting experience, making us wonder whom, amongst the OxiMUN 2014 group would be a future Prime Minister, from either of the OxiMUN Deaf and Hearing Committees in the future. It was a good opportunity to encourage a future deaf Prime Minster.

The MUN is an excellent way forward to improve the chronic un and underemployment of the Deaf Community. We were delighted to hear that Suzi Rees, one of Deaf Unity’s Trustees won a outstanding delegate award for our committee. In addition, we would also like to extend our congratulations to Miraj Shah. One was a British Sign Language user and the other a user of Speech to Text. It is a demonstration that members of the deaf and hard of hearing community are able to succeed in high profile public debates alongside and working in partnership with their hearing peers when the right support is provided for them to succeed.

Deaf Unity and OxiMUN very much hope to continue our partnership to make next year’s conference another success.

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