Friday, September 22, 2023

September 23 is the International Day of Sign Languages

International Week of Deaf People 2023
International Day of Sign Languages 2023

There are more than 300 different sign languages around the world. According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are over 70 million deaf people worldwide. Over 80% of deaf people live in developing countries. 

Each sign language is a real language with its own vocabulary and syntax. It is not like the spoken language in the country where it is used. There is also an international sign language with a limited vocabulary and less complex grammar that is used informally when deaf people travel away from their home country.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has recognized sign languages as equal in status to spoken languages. It has made its information available in several sign languages, including international sign.

The United Nations has proclaimed September 23 as the International Day of Sign Languages. How can you celebrate? Shine a blue light. Read some of the resources in the links on this page. And learn a few basic phrases in your country’s sign language.

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