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National Slovenian Sign Language Day

Slovenia celebrates its national sign language day on 14 November.

Approximately 1,500 deaf people in Slovenia use Slovenian sign language

Approximately 1,500 deaf people in Slovenia use Slovenian sign language | Author Tamino Petelinšek, STA

The date is no coincidence: on this day 17 years ago the Use of Slovenian Sign Language Act was adopted, giving deaf people the right to use sign language in proceedings before state authorities. Since 2018 the deaf community has been campaigning to have sign language included in the Constitution as an official minority language.

Approximately 1,500 deaf people in Slovenia use Slovenian sign language. Around 450 people have a cochlear implant. Approximately 100 deaf-blind individuals use tactile sign language and around 75,000 people use a hearing aid. The deaf and hearing impaired have been organised in Slovenia since 1931 and are one of the oldest disabled organisations in the country.

In September, coinciding with the International Day of Sign Languages, the Union of Associations of Deaf and Hearing Impaired of Slovenia presented the first grammar of Slovenian sign language. This publication will contribute to better knowledge of the language, easier learning and higher quality interpreting.

The use of live sign language interpreting during the press statement following yesterday’s regular session of the Government was aimed at drawing attention to Slovenia’s national sign language day. The Government has been providing sign language translations for all recordings of press conferences after regular sessions of the Government for a number of years.

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