See the Same Sentence in 17 Different Sign Languages

Arika Okrent

More Is Possible - InternationalFor 40 years, CSD has championed communication accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. This week, as we celebrate #IWD2015, we honor the diverse, vibrant sign languages and cultures that make up our world; recognize their unique contributions and achievements to their local communities; and recommit to working together for a brighter future. Share if you agree that no matter our background, culture or accomplishments, you believe that #MoreIsPossible! Posted by Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It’s International Week of the Deaf, an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), and this year’s theme is “With Sign Language Rights, Our Children Can!” For deaf children all over the world, the opportunity to acquire a full, natural sign language is the first step to education, literacy, and participation in the wider world. There are many different sign languages in the world, because sign languages, like spoken languages, developed organically within communities of users. (It was not invented and “given” to deaf people.)

In this video by Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc., filmed at the most recent World Congress of the WFD, you can see signers from 17 different countries signing the sentence “More is possible” in their own national sign languages (starting at 1:20). It’s a very cool look at the sign languages of the world and how they communicate this simple but powerful statement.