International Day of Sign Language

September 23 is the International Day of Sign Languages ​​to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of the deaf, and in 2018 the first International Day of Sign Languages ​​is celebrated under the motto: “With sign language, everyone cares.”

There are 72 million deaf people around the world, according to the statistics of the World Federation of the Deaf, 80% of those deaf live in developing countries, and they use more than 300 sign languages. On the other hand, there is also an international sign language that the deaf use in international meetings and during their travels and social activities. This language is a simplified form of sign language with a limited linguistic lexicon, and is not characterized by complexity like natural sign languages.

Sign language is a term given to the non-vocal means of communication used by people with special needs (deaf) or acoustically (dumb), although there are other practices that can be classified within the levels of sign communication, such as the signals of divers and some special signs of some police or military forces or even Among gangsters and others they are used:

  • Hand movements: such as fingers to clarify numbers and letters.

  • Facial expressions: to convey feelings and inclinations. It is associated with the movements of the hands to give the structures of many meanings.

  • Lip movements: This is an advanced stage of the power of observation, as the deaf reads the words directly from the lips.

  • Body movement: such as placing some signs on the shoulders or the top and sides of the head or chest and abdomen in suggestive use to clarify desires and meanings, in general, for self-expression, which differ from one country to another.

The official recognition of sign language was, and still is, one of the most pressing demands of the deaf in the world, and one of the most prominent recommendations of scientific forums and conferences. In Qatar, the International Forum for Deaf Muslims was recently held at the beginning of 1435, and in Tunisia in 2013 the Regional Conference for Arab Deaf Persons was held. These forums indicated that the official recognition of sign language achieves the highest levels of communication, guarantees rights, and makes the deaf more interactive and productive in their societies. This is in addition to the International Convention on the Rights of the Disabled in 2008, which was signed by a number of countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where its provisions stipulate: Recognizing sign language and promoting the identity and culture of deaf people, which is also similar to the UNESCO statement in 2001 which states the importance and encouragement of cultural and linguistic pluralism.