Sign Language

Sign Language

1995: Lithuania, Legal Recognition of Lithuanian Sign Language

1995: Lithuania, Legal Recognition of Lithuanian Sign Language

On May 4, 1995, The Government of the Republic of Lithuania has officially recognized Lithuanian Sign Language as the native language of the deaf.

1995: Finland, Legal Recognition of Finnish Sign Language

1995: Finland, Legal Recognition of Finnish Sign Language

Finnish Sign Language was recognised in the constitution in August 1995:

Section 17 - Right to one's language and culture [...] The rights of persons using sign language and of persons in need of interpretation or translation aid owing to disability shall be guaranteed by an Act.

1995: Slovakia, Legal Recognition of Slovak Sign Language

1995: Slovakia, Legal Recognition of Slovak Sign Language

The National Council of the Slovak Republic passed a law recognizing "Sign Language as a language of communication of the Deaf"

Slovakia has a separate Law on the Sign Language of the Deaf. The Slovak Union of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was mainly involved in drafting this law. It took over three years of fighting until the law was passed in 1995. 
It recognises sign language as the language of the Deaf.

2000: Greece, Legal Recognition of Greek Sign Language

2000: Greece, Legal Recognition of Greek Sign Language

Greek Sign Language was legally recognised as the official language of the Deaf Community in Greece by Law 2817 in 2000.

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

The Official Language Law of 9 December 1999, which came into force on 1 September 2000, gave Latvian Sign Language a legal status in Section 3.3, which stipulates: 'The State shall ensure the development and use of the Latvian sign language for communication with people with impaired hearing."

2002, 2019: Slovenia, Legal Recognition of Slovenian Sign Language

2002, 2019: Slovenia, Legal Recognition of Slovenian Sign Language

The government endorsed the proposal to set down the Slovenian sign language as an official language in the constitution on Thursday, starting the procedure of enabling the Slovenian deaf and hearing-impaired community to fully exercise their basic human rights.

The law on the use of the Slovenian sign language from 2002 gives the children the right to have an interpreter to a limited extent, but it does not grant the language the necessary status.

2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

German Sign Language was first legally recognised in The Federal Disability Equality Act (2002) in May 2002. Since then, deaf people have a legal entitlement to Sign Language interpreters when communicating with federal authorities, free of charge.

2002: Romania, Legal Recognition of Romanian Sign Language

2002: Romania, Legal Recognition of Romanian Sign Language

Romanian Sign Language (Romanian: Limba semnelor române or LSR) is the sign language used by deaf people in Romania.

1997: Portugal, Legal Recognition of Portuguese Sign Language

1997: Portugal, Legal Recognition of Portuguese Sign Language

"The revised Constitution was published 20 September 1997, with PSL included in Article 74, Education:

In the implementation of its policy for education, it is the duty of the State:

  • To protect and value the Portuguese Sign Language as cultural expression and instrument of access to education and equality of opportunities."
1998: Czech Republic, Legal Recognition of Czech Sign Language

1998: Czech Republic, Legal Recognition of Czech Sign Language

In 1998, the Czech parliament passed a bill that Czech Sign Language was officially recognized as the first language of the Deaf people in Czech Republic.

2003: UK, Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

2003: UK, Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

British Sign Language (BSL) is an official minority language of the UK, recognised on 18th March 2003.

2003: Paddy Lad,

2003: Paddy Lad, "Deafhood"

Dr. Paddy Ladd is a Deaf scholar, author, activist and researcher of Deaf culture. His book "Understanding Deaf CultureIn Search of Deafhood" was published in 2003.