International Week of the Deaf: September 24, 2020
Today’s theme: Legal Recognition of Sign Languages
[Video Description: Ann Lynn, an African American female, is wearing a blue shirt and a head wrap. Behind her is a light blue background with the white curtain on the right side.]
Sign language recognition campaigns have been the core advocacy work of numerous deaf organizations and associations. Those organizations have worked in partnership with deaf activists and the academic community with the common goal of reaching the legal recognition of their national sign languages!
The legal recognition of national sign languages is the first step in the path toward achieving human rights for deaf people. This recognition can give instrumental rights to deaf people and compel obligations from national governments.
Through sign language legislation, deaf people can be entitled to claim access to all areas of life in their national sign language and benefit from equal opportunities. Therefore, governments have the legal obligation to ensure recognition as the first step to the inclusion of deaf people and sign languages into their societies. Sign language legislation can enable the realization of the most fundamental rights of deaf people, the rights to access all areas of society on an equal footing with others, through sign language.
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