Signed Joint Statement |World Federation of the Deaf and Sign Language Linguistics Society

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the Sign Language Linguistics Society (SLLS) have signed a Joint Statement at the SLLS Business Meeting during the 12th International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR12) in Melbourne, Australia.

The Joint Statement signed on 5th January 2016 recognises that strengthening the cooperation between the two organisations will bring mutual benefit to both parties and the national, regional and international organisations of deaf people. It aims to develop cooperation between the two organisations with the view of further providing support to train sign language researchers wherever they work around the world included the importance of increasing training opportunities to grow the number of deaf people working in sign language linguistics research and teaching and to promote the leadership of deaf people in sign language research projects and compliance with, ethical standards for the appropriate conduct of research on communities of sign language users.

Article 21e of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities points out that deaf people have a right to recognize and promote the use of sign languages.

State Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages which is of great significance and shall have a great impact in the future. It means that sign language should be recognised either in legislation or in public policies and programs. Promotion also covers support for sign language publications, education, research and general usage. It is hoped that this agreement will enable professional and academic research into sign languages, leading to an increase in the number of sign languages that are recognised in legislation by governments.

The Presidents and the respective boards of both the WFD and the SLLS are committed to ensuring that this agreement will lead to a new era of cooperation between deaf people and sign language researchers around the world.

The WFD – SLLS Joint Statement is available via and also available in International Sign via