Sign language is a critical prerequisite to ensure the full participation of deaf people in their communities and to ensure the full realisation of their human rights. Governments must provide support for early acquisition to sign language and provide inclusive quality bilingual education. In addition, governments must provide and fund professional and trained sign language interpreters to enable the participation of deaf people in society.

The legal recognition of national sign languages as official languages is critical for the inclusion of deaf people in their societies. This legal recognition will aid with the implementation and realization of the rights outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the 2030 Agenda, making the mottos “Nothing About Us Without Us” to “Leave No One Behind” a reality.

If you are campaigning for the legal recognition of your national sign language, prepare a lobbying campaign for this day and post it on social media! If your sign language has been recognised, tell us about it on social media with the hashtags #IDSL2019 #IWDeaf2019!

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