Inclusive SL Environments


3.1.We emphasise quality inclusive education for deaf children which can only be achieved through the provision of bilingual education in the national sign language and national written language. Bilingual schools must follow the official national educational curriculum and include the teaching of sign languages and deaf culture. Teachers must master sign language with native-level fluency and deaf children must be surrounded by their signing peers and deaf adult role models.

3.2.We reinforce the importance of providing government funded sign language training to families of deaf children. Sign languages are the only languages that deaf children can learn naturally and effortlessly for which reason families must be supported in the learning of these languages to communicate with their deaf children. The acquisition of a language from an early age is crucial to develop literacy and the cognitive capacities of children and in the case of deaf children, this is sign language.

3.3.We highlight the necessity of providing sign language training to the wide range of persons who may directly interact with deaf people. Those persons include but are not limited to health workers, social workers, employers, citizens, teachers and civil servants.

3.4.We encourage the development of Information, Communication and Technology as a means of accessibility and the availability of relay services that include video relay to facilitate the participation of deaf people in society. Signing avatars may be used in limited situations such as pre-recorded static customer information but must not replace professional and qualified sign languages interpreters and translators.

WFD Charter on Sign Language Rights for All