The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages
Today 24th September, is the 4th day of the International Week of the Deaf and today’s theme is ‘The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages’. This day highlights the importance of formally reco
Today 24th September is the 4th day of the International Week of the Deaf and today’s theme is ‘The Legal Recognition of National Sign Languages’. Uganda was the first country in the world to legally recognize it as the official national sign language in 1995. After that only approximately 50 countries have formally granted their national sign languages an equal status to their national spoken language(s). The main advocacy work of many National Associations of the Deaf across the world is national sign language recognition campaigns. These associations have worked in partnership with deaf activists, teachers, etc. with the common goal of getting legal recognition of their national sign languages. National sign languages are fully-fledged languages with the same grammar as spoken languages. They deserve full recognition by the government and equal status to the spoken languages used in that country.
Why is it important to grant legal recognition to national sign language(s)?
The legal recognition of national sign languages is the first step for achieving human rights for deaf people and including them in the society. If Sign Language is made official then Deaf People will get Human Rights and then the government will have to give them accessibility, interpreters, education, etc. Thus, they can get equal opportunities in society.