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The Impact of Legal Recognition of Sign Languages on Sign Language Users and Deaf Communities


The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages project (LRSL) aims to interrogate whether legal recognition of Sign Languages (SLs) actually provides Deaf people and SL users with realisable and enforceable rights. Using a socio-legal approach, LRSL investigates both the laws and the experiences of SL recognition in three European jurisdictions: Finland; Ireland and the United Kingdom. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with Deaf representatives from Deaf Organisations to investigate how legal recognition is actually impacting Deaf people and Deaf Communities. In combining legal research and qualitative research, LRSL will provide an understanding of the necessary steps for implementation of rights that are meaningful and effective for Deaf people and SL users. LRSL will provide valuable insight into effective and ineffective mechanisms used to give agency and rights to Deaf Communities over their languages and culture. The research will provide unique and vital analysis and understanding of best-practices for the implementation of legal recognition of SLs, or the amendment of pre-existing legal recognition. LRSL will provide a roadmap for future efforts to recognise SLs in law within other jurisdictions. This roadmap will be made available to Deaf people and Organisations, activist groups, policymakers and legislators to aid in the implementation or amendment of legal recognition for SLs.

Call for proposal

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B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 212 933,76