Why sign language will be an official language

What happened?

Good news for deaf and hard of hearing, because the Dutch Sign Language (NGT) becomes an official language in our country. For this purpose, a law was passed in the House of Representatives. More than 15,000 people in the Netherlands use sign language. What this new law means to them, and why it is important for sign language to become an official language, we explain to you.

Why do I need to know this?

Since the governments press conferences on the coronameasures, more and more people have become familiar with sign language, perhaps you too. Naturally comes because sign interpreter Irma Sluis and her colleagues can be seen at every conference. Because sign language now becomes an official language, you may encounter it more often.

The sign language courses, for example, are now very popular by the press conferences. According to the Hogeschool Utrecht has corona ensured that a lot more students have applied for the training sign language and deaf studies.

What does this new law mean?

Deaf and hard of hearing have been fighting for the recognition of their language for more than thirty years. โ€œWe are equal to hearing people, but now it doesnt always feel that way,โ€ says Matthijs Wubbolts, who was born deaf. โ€œIf you are in the hospital, for example, there is often no sign interpreter to talk to,โ€ he says.

With Dutch and Frisian, the NGT becomes the third official language in the Netherlands. The language of deaf and hard of hearing in our country is thus recognized. This gives them the official right to use sign language and to obtain information in that language. For example, it will become easier for deaf and hard of hearing to get an interpreter when they have to go to the doctor.

According to this law, the government should use a sign interpreter more often, among other things at major news events and important press conferences. And there comes a Adviescollege Dutch Sign Language, which keeps track of how it goes with the language and gives advice on that.

What exactly the law will look like and when it will be, is not yet known.

What does this new law mean?

Deaf and hard of hearing have been fighting for the recognition of their language for more than thirty years. โ€œWe are equal to hearing people, but now it doesnt always feel that way,โ€ says Matthijs Wubbolts, who was born deaf. โ€œIf you are in the hospital, for example, there is often no sign interpreter to talk to,โ€ he says.

With Dutch and Frisian, the NGT becomes the third official language in the Netherlands. The language of deaf and hard of hearing in our country is thus recognized. This gives them the official right to use sign language and to obtain information in that language. For example, it will become easier for deaf and hard of hearing to get an interpreter when they have to go to the doctor.

According to this law, the government should use a sign interpreter more often, among other things at major news events and important press conferences. And there comes a Adviescollege Dutch Sign Language, which keeps track of how it goes with the language and gives advice on that.

What exactly the law will look like and when it will be, is not yet known.