Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sign languages are important everywhere

When in 2005 the Austrian Sign language was constitutionally acknowledged, there was a curious second sentence added: "The Austrian Sign language is acknowledged. All details are determined by law". This sentence was a puzzle from the begin, because either it was trivial (then now one would add it because it should be found after every single point of the constitution) or there was some hidden intent behind it.

Now there is proof for the hidden intent by letters coming from "horrible jurists" of two ministries: They tell us that since there is no respective law, Austrian Sign Language cannot be established as a mother tongue in schools for deaf pupils. The jurists use the tardiness of the education ministry (this would have been obliged to develop realization laws for deaf people) as an argument that the Austrian government now dismisses the language rights of deaf people in the education process.

I read this news and, I am sure that these jurists have no clue why it is so important for children to learn to read and write in their mother tongue.. It is beneficial for all of their academic career. This is known to be true in the USA, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia ... it is also true for Austrians.

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