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Legal recognition of Sign Language: Path to Sign Language Rights?

Some advocates believe legal recognition of sign language protects sign language rights. But are they correct? Various authors discuss.
Cover for the book "The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages: Advocacy and Outcomes Around the World"

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The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages: Advocacy and Outcomes Around the World

Some advocates believe sign language rights are necessary for deaf people to access other human rights. They also believe legal recognition of sign language protects sign language rights. But are they correct? What has happened in countries that officially recognize sign language? Do deaf people have better access to sign language rights? In response to these questions, the book’s authors summarize national laws that recognize sign language. They also explain the advocacy campaigns that achieved these laws. 

The book describes 18 studies across Europe, the US, South America, Asia, and New Zealand. The editors are Maartje De Meulder, Joseph J. Murray, and Rachel McKee. They published the book via Multilingual Matters Limited in 2019. Meanwhile, the book is not available online for free. You can buy it from sellers such as Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Abe Books, and others. Or you also can learn if a library near you has The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages. Another option is to ask your favorite library to buy it.

For people who have print disabilities (for example, blind people or people with dyslexia), you can try looking for this book in an accessible format via an online service like Bookshare. Or, if you use a library service for people with print disabilities that participates in the ABC Global Book Service, you may wish to inquire whether this book is available.

Also explore other resources about deaf human rights. Or see this article on the history of sign language rights.

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