Services for Deaf People in a Rural Setting: Issues and Recommendations for Sign Language

Helpful Hints

1. What are Sign Languages?

Sign Languages are visual languages.
Sign Languages are the languages of deaf people

2. Sign Language and integration

* Sign Language helps deaf people break through their isolation and facilitates integration into society. * Sign Language helps deaf people to develop mentally and intellectually. * Sign Language helps deaf people to develop an identity both individually and as a group. * Deaf adults should be given the opportunity to participate fully in the activities of the local community. * Learning Sign Language and using it well is not an obstacle to learning spoken and written language. On the contrary, Sign Language facilitates learning other languages.

Sign Language facilitates communication
Sign Language does not hinder integration of deaf people into communities

3. Hearing people and Sign Language


Teachers should be encouraged to learn Sign Language and use it.
Teachers should encourage families of deaf children to use Sign Language.

Parents of Deaf children

4. Sign Language Development

We can all play a part

Deaf children and adults should be involved in the development of 'their' Sign Language.

The role of Hearing and Deaf people

arents of deaf children, local communities and schools and other professionals should encourage, support and be involved in Sign Language development.

Local NGOs (non-government organisations) could support the development of Sign Languages in poor, rural areas.

They can offer assistance by providing technical and educational materials.

5. Sign Language Dictionaries

Sign Language dictionaries are important for the language development process.

Data Collection

6. Conclusion

This short booklet is not designed to cover all topics relating to Sign Language. The aim is to encourage you, whether you are hearing or deaf, to assist the development and use of Sign Languages.


Sign Language should be accessible to everyone.
Sign Languages should cover the vocabulary of day-to-day needs.

Initiative for Deaf Education in the Third World, Egypt, 1997

Issues and Recommendations for Interpreters
Issues and Recommendations for Parents
Issues and Recommendations for Teachers


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