International Day of Sign Languages Importance and Quotes

International Sign Language Day promotes and protects the linguistic identity of people who are deaf along with other sign language users.

Every year, September 23 is celebrated as International Sign Language Day. The day promotes and protects the linguistic identity of people who are deaf along with other sign language users.

This year’s theme, announced by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) – “Signing Human Rights” – projects “how each of us – deaf and hearing people around the world – can work hand in hand to promote the recognition of our right to use sign language in all areas of life .”

What are sign languages?

Sign languages ​​are those that use a visual-manual modality to convey meaning.

The United Nations (UN) describes sign languages ​​as full-fledged natural languages, structurally different from spoken languages.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes and supports the use of sign languages. The Convention makes it clear that they have the same status as spoken languages. It also obliges states to facilitate the teaching of sign languages ​​and promote the linguistic identity of deaf people.

History of International Sign Language Day

According to the UN, International Sign Language Day was first celebrated in 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf. “The selection of 23 September commemorates the date on which the WFD was established in 1951,” the UN said on its website.

According to the WFD, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide and 80% of them are from developing countries. Altogether, over 300 different sign languages ​​are used.

Importance

International Sign Language Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of sign languages. The resolution that established the day recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages ​​as part of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Quotes

“Human eyes are the sign language of the brain. If you watch them carefully, you can see the truth played out, raw and unguarded”: Tarryn Fisher

“I come from a place where you don’t need to talk all the time. There are sign languages you learn”: Warwick Thornton

“Sign language is the equal of speech, lending itself equally to the rigorous and the poetic, to philosophical analysis or to making love”: Oliver Sacks

“Systems of morals are only a sign-language of the emotions”: Friedrich Nietzsche

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