The German Deaf Youth (DGJ) is the youth organization of the German Deaf Federation (DGB). The DGJ consists of 16 regional deaf organizations, which offer youth work. In addition independent youth organizations are also member with us.

The beginning

Everything began with the 1.youth camp in 1997, before then there were youth movements in Germany, all in different forms and functions, e.g.: seminars for high-level personnel, meant for association and federation work, or youth leisure travels in different cities or countries.

All this achieved the same structure and operational sequence. Within the range of sport the German Deaf Sport Youth (DGSJ) is connected with German Deaf Sport (DGS). The need for a youth work within political range developed.

There was a group to the young person, who developed new concept for youth movement that it is connected everything together: education, stabilization and self identification of the identity and self-assurance of deaf person, as well as more activities in cultural ranges, since then German Sign Language (DGS) is scientifically proven to be an independent language.

Predecessor: Specialized committee youth

The youth camp were execution (see: www.gl-jugendcamp.de) in 1997. It brought fresh wind into the youth movement with new concept and aims, the German Deaf Association became aware of it. Soon thereafter the specialized committee establishment the “Youth” in 1999.

Establishment of DGJ:

The young people have still need to be independent, to do the thing their own way, not always to be supervised by older members. The political situation of the DGB, was such that there was the possibility to create a country wide youth association

Therefore the DGJ was establishment on 20.March.2004 in Hamburg.

Union of DGJ and DGB:

Since DGJ pursues own interest to be independent, whereby it was recognized on 03.January.05 as non-profit community. DGJ recognises the need for the stabilisation of the structures and finances and so welcomes the connection to the roof federation Therefore on 15.October.2005 at the general assembly by DGB in Bayreuth an official admission of DGJ was obtained, whereby DGJ is now a firm member of the DGB.

Goals and tasks of the DGJ:

  • represents interest of the deaf young person in Germany.
  • organises meetings as well as education and leisure activities, which serve the political, social and cultural education, e.g. child and youth camp, youth seminar, etc.
  • contacts and co-operation with European and International Youth Federations, e.g. European Union of Deaf Youth (EUDY), World Federation of Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS).
  • informs the general public about deaf person interest as well as their language and culture.

Purpose of DGJ:

  • supports of the social, cultural and political guidelines of the DGB.
  • creates and secures the basic conditions for an efficient Infrastructure of the child and youth work for deaf people in Germany.
  • executes of the meetings and supports education and leisure activities, which serve the political, social and cultural education.
  • offers a contribution for the self implementation and development of the personality of young deaf people.
  • representing that interest of deaf young people in relation to public and private places on federal level (those represents interest of the deaf young people in Germany).
  • informs the public over the effect of deafness and the language and culture of deaf people.
  • co-operates with other national and international federations, which likewise see the promotion and support of deaf and hearing handicapped young people as their goal.

Emphasis of the activities of DGJ:

  • organises of country wide child and youth camps.
  • organises board meetings for the DGJ and youth seminars for all.
  • organises of events, e.g. German youth festivals.
  • contact and co-operation with European and international youth federations, e.g. European Union of Deaf Youth (EUDY), World Federation of Deaf Youth (WFDY)

Philosophy of the DGJ:

  • the German Sign Language (DGS) recognised as means of communication.
  • assistance to the community and culture of the deaf person.
  • supports and promotes self confidence and self identification of the young deaf people.
  • basis of the young people and the DGJ stand on same level.
  • affiliation of the linguistic and cultural minority: the deaf accept their handicap, they do not feel disabled.
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