Today is the International Day of Sign Languages! The International Day of Sign Languages takes place every year around the world on the Wednesday of International Week of the Deaf. The day raises awareness about how people who are deaf use Sign languages to communicate and contribute to their communities.
The International Day of Sign Languages
Sign languages are visual languages. Signers convey meaning through handshapes, movements, and facial expressions. Sign languages are complete languages with their own grammars. Many people who are deaf use sign languages. However, people who have other communication disabilities may also use sign languages.
Moreover, many people identify a Sign language as their first language and learn their country’s official spoken language as a second language. For example, the first language of many English-Canadian signers is American Sign Language (ASL). They later learn English as a second language. Likewise, the first language of many French-Canadian signers is Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ). They later learn French as a second language.
Sign Language Interpretation
People who sign may communicate with non-signers through Sign language interpretation. Sign Language interpreters are professionals who understand deaf and hearing cultures. They are trained to interpret between signed and spoken languages.
Video Relay Service
Interpretation often takes place in person. However, Video relay service (VRS) now allows people to communicate in Sign language remotely using smartphones or computers connected to the Internet. People can communicate with other Signers, or connect with an interpreter in order to communicate with non-signers.
More Sign Language Means More Independence
technology has made Sign Language and interpretation easier to access than ever before. In addition, Sign languages allow people who are deaf all over the world to succeed at school and at work. Moreover, Sign Language interpretation enhances the accessibility of live events, such as theatre. Furthermore, Sign languages help people to thrive by communicating naturally with their families, friends, and colleagues.
Happy International Day of Sign Languages to all our readers!