Between November 30 and December 2, the city of Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil, hosted the II Brazilian Congress on Health in Brazilian Sign Language (CBSL), ten years after its first edition. The event had the participation of 700 registered people from all five regions of the country, who gathered at the Multi-Event Complex of the Federal University of São Francisco Valley (UNIVASF) to resume the agenda for the inclusion of Brazilian Sign Language (LSB) in society.
Throughout the Congress, the presence of two sign language interpreters alternated at each event, ensuring accessibility and inclusion of deaf participants in the information. Another notable presence during the three days was that of children, who had special activities in the “Libras Kids” area.
On the first day, six mini-courses were offered, including the mini-course “Understanding, Accessing, and Using DeCS (Health Sciences Descriptors)” taught by Ana Cristina Campos, Information Analyst at BIREME/PAHO/WHO. Participants were introduced to the DeCS controlled vocabulary, with an emphasis on how to search for descriptors on the website and documents on the Virtual Health Library (VHL) portal using the descriptors found. It also taught how to contact the DeCS team to suggest terms, corrections, and offline data. The DeCS session was attended by six congress participants, four deaf and two hearing.
The panel session involved professionals, students, and teachers with the presentation of 100 scientific dissemination banners, competing for prizes at the event. Each panelist had ten minutes to present their work(s) to an evaluator chosen by the congress’s scientific committee. Ana Cristina Campos, representing BIREME, was an evaluator for six presentations in the panel sessions.
On the last day of the Congress, in the morning, a series of lectures were held on the perspective of having Brazilian Sign Language throughout society, with the aim of providing access to topics that are generally not accessible in the language of the deaf community. In the afternoon, during the general closing session, BIREME presented new descriptors related to deaf topics that will be included in DeCS starting with the 2024 edition, as a result of the collaboration between BIREME and the Accessibility and Inclusion Center (NAI) of UNIVASF.
Ana Cristina Campos celebrates the initiative: “The inclusion of descriptors in this linguistic specificity will facilitate the search and retrieval of literature on topics of interest, increasing the visibility of the scientific production of the Deaf community in the academic contexto, with the potential to promote actions for the implementation of public policies of inclusion and accessibility”.
Also participating in the plenary were Professor Markus J. Weininger (Federal University of Santa Catarina), Professor Daniel Tenório (UNIVASF), and Professor Fabiano Souto (Federal University of Pelotas), who discussed linguistic accessibility in postgraduate programs for the Brazilian deaf community.
The II CBSL closed with the excitement of announcing the winning panelists and live music provided by the percussion group Baque Opará, which brought joy to all present as the last activity of the Congress.
At the end of the day, children attending the congress were able to cool off with a hose provided by the region’s fire department.
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