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Finland-Swedish Sign Language recognition aided by our mapping project

30 March, 2015
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We would like to congratulate the Finnish sign language community for achieving the long-awaited recognition of Finland-Swedish Sign Language (FinSSL), a minority sign language that was included in our project on the mapping of endangered sign languages. The iSLanDS Institute is thrilled to have played a part in the cataloguing of FinSSL’s level of endangerment.

A weblog article by Maartje De Meulder discusses this momentous accomplishment, resulting from the approval of the Sign Language Act by the Finnish Parliament earlier this month, on 12 March. The meaning of this is that the Act recognises Finland’s majority sign language (FinSL) as well as its minority sign language (FinSSL).

Karin Hoyer, special advisor to the Finnish Association of the Deaf and valued contributor to iSLanDS’s mapping project, commented: “When we lobbied for FinSSL, we hugely benefited from the status (severely endangered) given by iSLanDS according to the UNESCO criteria. The endangered status of the language is now something many parliament members are very aware of. Within the state budget of Finland there is a funding allocation for starting revitalisation activities in 2015 for FinSSL. We’d like to offer a huge thank you for being part of this process leading to an official recognition of this endangered sign language.”

Karin Hoyer and Janne Kankkonen, Board member of Finlandssvenska teckenspråkiga rf (Finland-Swedish Sign Language Users), celebrate the legal recognition of FinSSL this month

Karin Hoyer and Janne Kankkonen, Board member of Finlandssvenska teckenspråkiga rf (Finland-Swedish Sign Language Users), celebrate the legal recognition of FinSSL this month

Karin and Janne (FinSSL)5

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