PDF - The status of sign language in Europe (2005)
There are an estimated one million deaf people in the member states of the Council of Europe. Sign languages are the indigenous languages of deaf people. In addition, many of their family members and friends use sign language as a second or foreign language, as do some hearing-impaired people. Sign languages are languages in their own right, with their own grammar, lexicon, syntax, etc.There is no single, universal sign language and these differ from each other just like spoken languages.How are sign languages recognised in Europe?How are the rights of their users protected and promoted?The present report, based on information provided by member states' governments and by NGOs, gives an overview of the recognition of sign languages in twenty-six European states. It also summarises policies and programmes which have been developed by member states to ensure sign language users access to their political, social and cultural rights.
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Historical background
2.1. European Parliament resolutions
2.2. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992)
2.3. Flensburg Recommendations on the Implementation of Policy Measures for Regional or Minority Languages (2000)
2.4. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1492 (2001) on the rights of national minorities
2.5. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1598 (2003) on the protection of sign languages in the member states of the Council of Europe
Chapter 3 - The status of sign languages in member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Chapter 4 - The status of sign languages in Observer states to the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field
Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania
Chapter 5 - Positions of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD)
Chapter 6 - Conclusions: The recognition of sign languages in constitution and legislation
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