There are approximately 300 different sign languages around the world, from the statistics of World Federation of Deaf, there are 72 million people who use different sign languages for communication. Most of this population is concentrated in developing countries.
Sing languages are fully fledged natural language, structurally distinct from the spoken language. Early humans in the periods of evolution were more comfortable with sign language rather than spoken as the speech construction cortex was not fully developed in the early phases. Today these languages are mostly used by the deaf people. There is also an international sign language used by deaf people in the international meeting and informally when travelling.
The Convention on the Right of Person with a disability has recognised the importance of this language and promotes its use globally. To future support this notion UN General Assembly as declared yesterday, 23rd September as International Day of sign languages. This year it was celebrated under the theme ‘With Sign Language, Everyone is included’.
In 1981, Royal Post issued a commemorative 18p stamp depicting ‘Deaf’ in hand spelling by using sign language. It was issued to spread awareness about sign language and further commemorated the International Year of Disabled People.
Image Courtesy: www.collectgbstamps.co.uk