Sign Language

Sign Language

2003: Walloon - Belgium, Legal Recognition of French Belgian Sign Language

2003: Walloon - Belgium, Legal Recognition of French Belgian Sign Language

Belgium's Parliament of the French Community recognised French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) by decree in October 2003. The recognition entails:

  • cultural (symbolic) recognition
  • the formation of a commission to advise the Government of the French Communityin all LSFB-related matters
2004: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

2004: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

Icelandic Sign Language was recognised by law in education in 2004.

2005: Austria, Legal Recognition of Austrian Sign Language

2005: Austria, Legal Recognition of Austrian Sign Language

Austrian Sign Language (Österreichische Gebärdensprache, or ÖGS) was recognised by the Austrian Parliament in 2005.

2006: Cyprus, Legal Recognition of Cypriot Sign Language

2006: Cyprus, Legal Recognition of Cypriot Sign Language

Cyprus or Cypriot Sign Language (Greek: Κυπριακή Νοηματική Γλώσσα) is an incipient sign language of Cyprus.

Explanation in VGT (Flemish Sign Language)

2006: Flanders - Belgium: Legal Recognition of Flemish Sign Language

Flemish Sign Language (Dutch: Vlaamse Gebarentaal or VGT) was recognised on 24 April 2006 by the Flemish Parliament.

Cultural recognition entails that the Flemish Government recognises the Flemish Sign Language as the language of the Deaf Community in Flanders.

2007: Spain, Legal Recognition of Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages

2007: Spain, Legal Recognition of Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages

On June 28, 2007, Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages were recognised by the Spanish Parliament to be official languages in Spain.

2007: Estonia, Legal Recognition of Estonian Sign Language

2007: Estonia, Legal Recognition of Estonian Sign Language

Estonian Sign Language was officially recognised on 1 March 2007.

The Language Act recognises Estonian Sign Language (eesti viipekeel, EVK) as an independent language: not using 'sign language' as a generic term.

Par. 2 "Scope of Application" mentions Estonian Sign Language again, explicitly stating that the Act regulates the Estonian language and the use of Estonian Sign Language, along with 'foreign languages', i.e. minority languages.

2009: Macedonia, Legal Recognition of Macedonian Sign Language

2009: Macedonia, Legal Recognition of Macedonian Sign Language

"The Macedonian sign language (Macedonian: македонски знаковен јазикromanized: makedonski znakoven jazik or македонски гестовен јазикmakedonski gestoven jazik) is the sign language of the deaf community in North Macedonia.

The Macedonian Sign language is regulated by a national law on 21 August 2009.  

2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

In November 2009 the Hungarian Parliament unanimously passed an act on Hungarian Sign Language and the protection of Hungarian Sign Language.

2009: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Legal Recognition of Sign Language

2009: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Legal Recognition of Sign Language

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the deaf have the same language rights with sign language as the hearing do with oral language. Interpreters must be provided between sign and Serbo-Croatian for deaf people dealing with government bodies, and government television broadcasts must be translated into sign language.

2011: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

2011: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

In June 2011, Icelandic Sign Language was officially recognized as a first language. The law now states that Icelandic Sign Language is the first language of those who must rely on it for expression and communication, and of their children. The government authorities shall nurture and support it.

Article 5 of the Act also ensures that the government must promote all aspects of education and awareness in regards to Icelandic Sign Language.

2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

In 2012, under the "Sign Language Act", Polish Sign Language ("Polski Język Migowy", PJM) received official status in Poland and can be chosen as the language of instruction by those who require it.