Earlier I got an e mail via Paddy, which was in Italian. Deaf people in Italy were asking for support, over a Bill that was currently going through parliament. I had seen some mention of this online recently but I hadn't taken much notice. Mainly due to other commitments, there was a language barrier and it wasn't exactly my territory (although I take an interest in international affairs).
I was presented with e-mail text, this video:
a link which looked like something parliament related and a petition which said that only Italians could sign. The lawyer in me was quickly frustrated as to what was going on, and wanted to get beyond the language barrier. This is what I have subsequently found out (apologies for errors).
Italy passed a law Riconoscimento della lingua dei segni italiana (LIS) or the Recognition of Italian Sign Language (LIS) and is now being revised before the Parlamento Italiano (Parliament of Italy). As the Bill passed through the parliament, members were influenced by an organisation representing parents of deaf children and medics. They were concerned that money that would be needed to implement the Bill, would be taken away from medical funding (read: cochlear implants, speech therapy, etc).
Instead of doing the obvious thing, ringfence funding (if you want to maintain the choice stance!), as a result they have influenced law makers:
1. to replace Lingua dei Segni Italiana (LIS) i.e. Italian Sign Language
2. 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', or communication methods.
Deaf people use monkey language then! That's essentially what the Italian parliament is now saying, your language ain't worthy folks. Lets ignore every single thing that linguists have researched and proved. Two fingers up at you. All to save face for hearing parents and medics, because OMG! Deaf children must be made to look normal. Doesn't matter how absurd the principle is. How you just cannot get over it, and you take it out on your child to fit your expectations. Ignore people around you, who are supposed to be role models for your child(!) And as for medics, you're even more irresponsible (I can understand confused parents). Why don't they just inject Black people whilst they're at it to make them white, and give all LGBTQ some operation to fit them into some perfect box? You think I'm being absurd? Perhaps, but that's exactly how some of this crap looks like from here. It happens worldwide. Deaf crap pays no attention to border control.
I copied the text from the subtitles of the video, and ran it through Google Translate. So keep in mind it is computer generated but the gist is there (if someone wants to offer a better translation please feel free):
TUTELMIAMO THE LIS!
The LIS is not just to communicate with the hearing world, but also between us Deaf. Need for our future, to tackle the world of work, to communicate to the hospital and in many other cases. For example, we speak with our employer, and it seems that we are not able to do certain things, whereas if we use the LIS and we have an interpreter who translates for us the employer understands that we are intelligent and we could even become the leaders in workplace. Ok? LIS Force!
Without LIS? A big problem. The high school, college, elementary school, the doctor and on many other occasions. Without the interpreter for sure we would understand everything! And the Deaf when they become heroes? Never.
are Deaf, Deaf daughter, with many deaf friends who use sign language. But what they use sign language and gestures or sign language? Which one? You tell me.
LIS, Italian, bilingualism ... gestualte in the sign language is part of bilingualism? No! Thanks.
Long ago in North America, Indians vivervano throughout. The British them exterminated, and now the Indians are a small community. I'm thinking, the LIS in Italy and spread throughout the territory and destroy the sign language gestures. That you allow it? The LIS and to throw away to make room for the sign language gesture? No, we must continue to fight for the LIS. I'm pregnant, and if my son was deaf and LIS there were more? What future evrebbe my son?
At school the children and the teacher, 'interpreter. If the LIS there were children not to reuse the teacher to understand and grow without clear information and safe, and lagging in scuala everyone would think that the deaf can not understand. Once there was the LIS, the LIS is.
You agree to destroy the LIS? We do not. We have fought and suffered, we have made so many savrfici for the LIS, we have been injured and now they cut off his legs. But you know that the LIS has great value, and our language, that which gives life to all the Deaf Italians. In work, family, school, we can live alone. Think about it, the sign language gesture that would give us what? Think about it. This is our language, we must follow, it is important not to blame, and we will be forever.
Eliminate the impossible and LIS, and how to ask a black to become white. It 's like asking the community to change. It 's impossible to change a community and unable to delete the LIS.
What Belio, children who score goals, that mark with you, learning, communicating, growing signs are de signers! And then? The LIS is not a language? And then I grew up with and what language?
Mark is a human right, so why remove it?
In 2006, a group of five deaf people have made between Turin and Rome on foot, eating pocca sacrifice in the sun and rain. We arrived in Rome and we joined many others in the Deaf, for the LIS! And at the end of the LIS is trashed, along with the story of five of us. And what's the result? The darkness.
I am the mother of these two bamine. The two of them are deaf, like many other deaf children. The law Suil LIS has been trashed, and I as I will explain to them? Whose fault is it?
On 25 May we meet there, in Rome. No tear ever LIS! No tear ever LIS! Do not let someone else go in your place, come on you!
Here, you have seen all these movies. The LIS is very important, and it is very precious to us. Please try to understand what it means to be a deaf person. What is our identity and who is this language. E 'of the Deaf, and Deaf and people. You can NOT Buttaro on. The sign language and gestures that so? It is part of another world. The world of LIS and our world, your world. Pocci ago, May 3, 2011, the Chamber of the Deputies decided to discard the LIS and chiamarai LMG vualo say that language or communication technology. But so is this? It 's like
if you gave the sop to the Deaf. You agree? lo no.
Throw away the LIS do you mean to repeat history. Let's go back before 1880 there was talk of LIS in the documents. After 1880, and was thrown away, and the deaf have lost the word. After 100 years the Deaf have recovered the word. and now we want Buttaro away again? This
meaning to our throw away our rights to say that the school support in LIS does not make it even more, it means that the LIS courses are no longer necessary at all, and many other examples. You are you?
LIS and LMG, what's the difference? The LIS has its rules, its structure, its expressions, and a real form of communication. It 's a bit like the language spoken or written in Italian. The LMG is instead a mime, a mime who use hearing is not part of the LIS. Here's why Delia event. The goal is to show how important for us and sign language. Can participate not only deaf, but the elderly, young children, teenagers, teachers, researchers, students of sign language courses, support teachers. Everyone can participate, friends and colleagues of work, plu more people you can think of avvisarie try to support us, and we will support you. Force LIS.
Friday, May 13, 2011, last Friday, the National President Ida Collu and came to tell us why you're doing all this to the LIS in speransa to replace it with the LMG, some Members have desciso in three sessions, cestinaria. We were all amazed, we decided to organize something, we asked if we could organize an event for the LIS and they said "yes, absolutely yes." Our goal there is to do a sit-in until the end, until we get the approval of the law. From morning to night, sleeping bag, tent. Now I do as a first aggiomamento, May 25 as appunyamento, this week will give you a second aggiomamento, to see who will organize it, to understand when, where, to understand the strategies of action of the event. See ya. These videos that we did not see the video that are to be seen and nothing else, we ask you to do word of mouth of these movies, and more, please do not remain only these, but be joined by many others. The goal is to support the LIS, to go to a lot in Rome. Thanks.
Anyhow, as you can see from the progress bar here this Deaf People Use Monkey Language only has one more stage to go. That happens on Tuesday 24 May. I have been told Dr. Elena Radutzky will be speaking in front of the legislature on Tuesday. However, I guess Italians could do with some international support, which they have asked for.
In the meantime, you can support the Italian Deaf Community by:
UPDATE: see this post
(And if I've got any of the above wrong or there's more information out there, that's what the comment box is for).
Facebook, LIS: SI - LMG: NO - La nostra preziosa Lingua dei Segni Italiana
Information on the bilingual school at Cossato
Tizanna Gulli, Italian national, former Fulbright scholar (in ASL)
Austin Andrews Part 1 and Part 2 (American currently working/living in Italy)