WFD has sent a support letter to its Italian member, Ente Nazionale Sordi – Onlus (ENS), in which it encourages the Italian legislators to cease immediately all the measures aiming at decreasing the status of the Italian sign language (LIS).
According to the information WFD has received if the law passes the Italian sign language would be recognised as “Language of Mime and Gesture” instead of a sign language. In its letter WFD states that non-recognition of the Italian sign language would have serious impact on the whole deaf community in Italy and it would reject
all the principles and goals of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified also by Italy on 15 May 2009.
In its letter WFD reminds that sign languages are equal to spoken languages and highlights the importance of sign language also for children who have a cochlear implant. Likewise, WFD brings out the five articles especially relevant for deaf human and linguistic rights (articles 2, 9, 21, 24 and 30) and the need to respect them in all legislation and policies.
Worsening the status of the Italian sign language would have consequences such as reduced government funding for all deaf and sign language related issues, including a serious threat to the Italian schools for the Deaf.
WFD supports in all ways ENS in the protection of the human and linguistic rights of Italian deaf people.
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