The protection and promotion of sign languages and the rights of their users in Council of Europe member states: needs analysis

Autor/a: KRAUSNEKER, Verena
Año: 2008
Editorial: Vienna: Council of Europe, 2008
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Legislación, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This paper describes the needs of sign language users in Europe and offers practical and concrete recommendations which aim to grant this linguistic minority full access to and participation in society based on equal rights. It starts with a description of the idea of Linguistic Human Rights which serves as basis for the perspective of Deaf  sign language users taken in this paper. An insight into the discussion of defining and understanding Deafness is provided. Four chapters describe central aspects of language acquisition, of Deaf education, of Deaf sign language users as citizens and of free access through technology. In conclusion twenty-five recommendations regarding language policy, education, democratic participation and self-determination of sign language users are presented.

In summary, it is necessary to take measures to protect, promote and support the fields of research, use, teaching and learning of the national sign language/s of every country. Furthermore, it should be secured that education for Deaf/hard of hearing sign language users is offered in a bilingual mode with the national spoken language and the national signed language as both the subject and means of communication. The focus of policy concerning Deaf/hard of hearing sign language should lie on securing equal opportunities by providing equal educational options, primarily by training fully bilingual teachers, preferably native sign language users. Finally, it will be necessary that states come up with specific action plans to secure civil and human rights for users of sign languages.