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International Petition to Support Italy & UK Protest

Please sign this petition, against Italy's moves to downgrade sign language to being less than a language / mime and gesture. Petition text:

The Parlamento Italiano (the Parliament of Italy) is seeking to classify Lingua dei Segni Italiana (LIS) i.e. Italian Sign Language, with Linguaggio Mimico Gesturale (LMG). Mimico gesurale is mime and gestures, "Linguaggio" apparently doesn't have a direct translation into English but essentially it means 'less than a language'.

This ignores what linguists have researched and proven and it lowers the status of the sign language. Any such move would have social, economic and educational implications on those who use LIS; and set the Deaf community back decades.

You can see the law's passage here and the same page in English with translation. This legislative process only has one more stage to go, and will happen on Tuesday 24 May.

You can find more information in ASL (with English subtitles). If you are able to understand LIS or Italian, this is the video to watch.

Furthermore, Italy and the EU has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This convention has express mention of sign language (Articles 2, 9, 21, 24 and 30), which includes the duty to promote and recognise sign language plus the linguistic identity of the Deaf Community. The Convention also places an obligation on consultation with the group impacted, i.e Italian Deaf Community.

As the Bill passes through parliament, there appears to be little or no evidence of international obligations being adhered to. We call upon both the UN and the EU to take note plus any appropriate steps.

This petition is to show support from the international community, to the Italian Deaf Community and to urge the Italian government to listen to the Italian Deaf Community. Please show your support by signing.

Note: Italian nationals should sign this petition.

Also on Wednesday 25th May, John Walker and Marco Nardi will be at the Italian Embassy (14 Three Kings Yard, London W1K 4EH) at 12noon. They would love people to join them, in support.

Support Italy. No LMG, forza LIS!

See also:
Italy might as well say: Deaf People use Monkey Language!

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