There are hundreds of unique sign languages around the world! Learn about the countries that have formally recognized sign languages through legislation, ensuring protection for deaf and hard of hearing people globally.Less
Albania 🇦🇱: In Albania, Albanian Sign Language was recognized with the Disability Legislation through the Albanian Parliament, which passed in 2014.
Austria 🇦🇹: After a 15-year effort by the Deaf community in Austria, the Austrian Parliament legally recognized Austrian Sign Language (OGS) in 2005.
Bangladesh 🇧🇩: Bangla Sign Language was constitutionally recognized under the The Disabled People's Rights and Protection Act, which passed in Bangladesh in 2013.
Belgium 🇧🇪: The Parliament of the French Community in Belgium recognized French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) by decree in 2003.
Bolivia 🇧🇴: The country of Bolivia recognized Bolivian Sign Language under a Sign Language Act that passed in 2009.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦: In 2009, Bosnia recognized Yugoslav Sign Language, used both in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A sign language interpreter register was also established around the same time.
Brazil 🇧🇷: Brazilian Sign Language was legally recognized in 2002 by the National Congress of Brazil. Signwriting, a form of bilingual education, is also used in a deaf school in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul.
Bulgaria 🇧🇬: One of the most recent recognitions, Bulgaria officially recognized Bulgarian Sign Language under the Sign Language Law, which passed in 2021.
Canada 🇨🇦: Canada recognized three sign languages: American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language, and Indigenous Sign Languages under the Disability Legislation and Sign Language Law, which passed in 2019.
Chile 🇨🇱: Chile recognized Lengua de Senas Chilean, also known as Chilean Sign Language, through Law No. 20, 422, under the ratified Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) law, which passed in 2010.