Celebrating International Day of Sign Languages

From the Perkins School for the Blind: For More Info, Go Here…

September 23rd is International Day of Sign Languages, a great start to the International Week of the Deaf!

Today The World Federation for the Deaf estimates that there are 72 million deaf people worldwide using over 300 different sign languages every day! The United Nations recognizes sign language as an equal to spoken languages within the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and worldwide 41 countries recognize sign language as an offical langauge. Sign language is complex, utilizing hand and arm movents, facial expressions, and body positions.

In the United States, it is approximated that 250,000-500,000 deaf Americans use American Sign Language (ASL). In addition to this number, deafblind individuals may also use ASL as a form of communication through an approach called Pro-Tactile American Sign Language or PTASL. Deafblind individuals may use a variety of methods to communicate (picture-symbols, object-symbols, braille, spoken word, etc.) based on their residual hearing and vision, cause of disability, educational background, and personal preferences.

However, PTASL can be a meaningful form of communication for some. In fact, Pro-Tactile American Sign Language was developed by individuals who are deafblind! As a celebration of the Interantional Day of Sign Languages, we are sharing 4 great resources regarding American Sign Language below:

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