Communication and Language

This page features disability news on Communication and Language from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.

Overview

United States

DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch. “Protactile began as a movement for autonomy and a system of tactile communication. Now, some linguists argue, it is becoming a language of its own” (May, New Yorker)

Sign Languages

International

Evidence for superior encoding of detailed visual memories in deaf signers. “Our findings add to evidence showing that deaf signers are at an advantage [... in the] retention of detailed visual memories over the longer term.” (May, Scientific Reports)

World Federation of the Deaf celebration of international mother language day: "by specifically recognizing the right of deaf people to have access in all areas of their lives to their Mother Language, sign language." (Feb)

The Global Digital Library has books available in three sign-languages, namely Cambodian, Kenyan and Rwandan.

Australia

The art of interpreting standup comedy in sign language. (Jun, the Guardian)

Canada

How Indigenous sign language is helping this woman connect with her culture (Jul, CBC)

Chile

In drafting of the new constitution sign-language has been recognised as an official language (Mar, UN Special Envoy on Twitter)

Egypt

Fingerspelling Systems in Egyptian Sign Language (Jun, North African Linguistics)

Israel

The Vulnerability of Emerging Sign Languages. An article on how Kufr Qassem Sign Language is merging with Israeli Sign Language as its users show a preference towards ISL. (link to pdf, Feb, MDPI)

Nepal

Nepal’s first PhD candidate from the deaf community campaigns to promote Sign language (May, Nepali Times)

The eye and the other: Language and ethics in deaf Nepal (Mar, American Anthropologist)

South Africa

South African Sign Language set to become official language (May, Disability Insider)

Uganda

Reasonable accommodation for Deaf persons on why provision of a sign language interpreter needs to be accompanied by further measures. (Mar, IDA)

United Arab Emirates

How to sing in sign language: meet the interpreter joining Mohammed Abdu on stage (Jun, The National News)

United Kingdom

A Sociolinguistic History of British Sign Language in Northern Ireland. "The study shows how the Protestant schools played an important role in the transmission of BSL in the island of Ireland." (Mar, Sign Language Studies)

Braille

International

The UN international World Braille Day (4 Jan, UN)

South Asia

Seeing with fingertips: essay on the history and variations in Braille, including how they are used to render different scripts and languages. (Mar, Himal Southasian)

United Kingdom

The Politics of Braille

"These days the argument for and against Braille continues in several arenas. Blind people are divided in regards to its usefulness, schools debate whether it is worth recruiting qualified teachers, and governments fail to set aside funding to either train those teachers or fund their employment in local authorities. ‘Has technology replaced Braille?’ is a question I hear thrown around by the media more often than I should, usually accompanied by an article about a technology that will revolutionise how blind people read, rendering Braille unnecessary. It has not failed to escape me that whilst I’ve seen countless such articles, Braille is still firmly in place as the writing system used by blind people globally." (Jan, Catch These Words)