Started in 2018, the International Day of Sign Languages recognizes the importance of language through signing. With approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide, we know early access to sign language is vital to the growth and development of deaf individuals. The UN recognizes that sign language is a human right for the deaf. Every deaf person in every country should have access to learning it.
You can observe today by learning more about sign language and Deaf culture, sharing your knowledge with friends and family and raising awareness through social media posts (#DayOfSignLanguages). You can even spend time learning the ASL alphabet or common phrases.
To get you started:
- There are more than 300 different sign languages. Some of the most common ones throughout the world include:
- British Sign Language (BSL)
- French Sign Language (FSL)
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Irish Sign Language (ISL)
- Chinese Sign Language (CSL or ZGS)
- Indo-Pakistani Sign Language
- Sign languages – just like all natural spoken languages – are developed by the people who use them. American Sign Language (ASL) shares more syntax with spoken Japanese than it does with English. ASL is not related to British Sign Language (BSL), as English speakers might assume, but is derived from French Sign Language (LSF).
- Tactile signing is used by Deaf-blind and includes touching hands to read the signing.
- Use online videos to learn the ASL alphabet and common phrases.
Be sure to also check out NTC I-Sign, a student club open to all students. They host regular Deaf Social evenings creating opportunities to connect with our local Deaf Community while playing games.