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Welcome to the Sign Language Recognition site

April 20, 2010


This is a site dedicated to collecting and presenting information on SL recognition campaigns from around the world. Please see the ‘about’ page for more information about the site.

Here, you can read the most recent posts, browse the different ‘voices’ using the tabs along the top, or visit the evidence area for different SLs and regions by using the menus to the right.

If you have any questions, please post them as comments.

Many thanks,

The Sign Language Recognition Team


Dutch government constitutionalizing the Dutch language – an opportunity for NGT!

September 7, 2010

The Dutch government is going to embed the Dutch language in the Constitution. It will be constitutionalized that Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and that the government will promote the use of Dutch. Frisian will also get an explicit status in the Constitution.

Dutch is the official and common language for all people of the Netherlands. The proposition to amend the Constitution needs to guarantee that in the Netherlands, people can use Dutch in their communication with the government at all times. The regulation in the Constitution about Frisian safeguards the legal position to which Frisian is already entitled.

Point of view of the cabinet is that the main language in the Netherlands is Dutch. Beside that, other languages can have a guaranteed position in the law, like Frisian. A legal regulation is being prepared for the use of Papiamento and English on the Netherlands Antilles as well. A Flemish newspaper mentions that Limburgish and Low Saxon (two dialects of the Dutch language and recognized by the Netherlands as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages) will get an explicit status as well.

With this amendment of the Constitution, the Balkenende government aims to safeguard the position of Dutch, at a moment when more and more foreign languages are being spoken in the Netherlands, due to globalisation and an increasing multicultural population. The government states Dutch is an important part of the Dutch culture.

It is hoped the Deaf community in the Netherlands will seize this opportunity to attain constitutional status for NGT as well! Since 1997, the argument of the government has been that they can’t give NGT any official status since Dutch has no explicit legal status either.

Press release of the Dutch government here.

Scottish Proposal Bill document available

July 19, 2010

A new documents section has been created for Scotland, containing a .pdf of the Proposal for a Bill to make BSL and official language in Scotland document.

Public consultation on British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill

July 15, 2010

Cathie Craigie MSP has launched a public consultation on a Proposal for a Bill to make British Sign Language (BSL) an official language in Scotland.

The Bill aims:

1. To secure BSL as one of Scotland’s official languages, commanding equal respect with English and Gaelic;

2. To achieve better awareness of information needs and services for BSL users;

3. To protect the linguistic integrity of the language;

4. To promote the cultural aspects of BSL and the Deaf community as part of Scottish heritage

The consultation document further states: the UK Government recognised BSL as an official British language on 18th March 2003. However, since then, BSL has not been given any legal protection in either the UK as a whole or in Scotland, which means Deaf people do not have full access to information and services as hearing people do, especially in the areas of education, health and employment. Deaf people who use BSL, which is a language in its own right, must rely on disability discrimination legislation to secure access to information and services in their own language. This is why the BSL Bill is put forward to the Scottish Parliament.

BSL:UPTAKE has worked with SCoD (Scottish Council on Deafness) to translate this consultation paper into BSL. The text of the Proposal and a link to the BSL translation on the BSL:UPTAKE website can be found here:

The deadline for responses is 29 October 2010. See the document for more information on how to submit responses (in BSL or in English).

Academic Voices

July 8, 2010

This area will be set up when there is academic material available.

Catalan Sign Language officially recognised

May 28, 2010

The European Union of the Deaf mentioned that on May 26th, Catalan Sign Language was officially recognised in the Catalan Parliament.

Hungarian Sign Language Bill information available

April 22, 2010

Information on the Hungarian Sign Language Bill, passed on the 9th November 2009, has been posted to the documentation section.

You can reach it by following the link here