Sign Language is a pictorial rendition for the words of spoken language, a short cut.
Sign language is universal, the same in every country around the world.
Abstract concepts cannot be expressed in sign language.
People can learn sign language easily.
Education in sign language jeopardises the learning of the written language.
Sign languages have complex rules of grammar and expansive vocabularies, and are comfortably capable as vehicles everyday conversation, intellectual discourse, rhetoric, wit, and poetry!
Sign languages in each country are found to have dialects, just as spoken languages do.
Some studies reveal that children can learn sign language 2-3 months earlier than they can learn to speak.
Prior to the late 1800’s, sign language was commonly used to give a good education to Deaf pupils.
In 1880, at a conference in Milan, Italy, hearing authorities made the decision to eliminate sign language from the classroom and prevent Deaf teachers from teaching in European countries; at the same time, American schools saw a similar fate as the number of Deaf teachers (47% of all teachers in Deaf schools) went down to a single digit.
In place of using sign language, nearly all schools implemented the Oral Method, placing Deaf children’s education in the Dark Ages for 100 years.
To this day, in spite of numerous studies showing that Deaf children learn best through sign language, Deaf education has still not fully recovered from the blows dealt by the Milan Conference and by the reduction in numbers of Deaf teachers
Sign language is different from other minority languages, in that it is a visual language- facial expressions, body language and visual placements are all important components of sign language.
Although Deaf people consider themselves (and research supports this view) a linguistic minority group, governments and other institutions insist on labelling Deaf people as ‘disabled’.
There are currently about 4,000 recorded spoken/written languages in the world- if more countries recognise sign languages as well, this number would go up dramatically.