We are here today in the European Parliament having a conference ‘Multilingualism and equal rights in the EU: the role of sign languages’.
Our aim today is to show that sign languages are an equal part of our linguistic heritage and that Deaf people are members of our society. We want to show that sign languages are equal to their spoken language counterparts. There are 24 spoken languages within the EU, but we actually have 31 sign languages within the EU, even more sign languages than spoken!
So here, we are able to show the diversity within sign languages throughout the EU. At the same time we also want to show that there are a lot of spoken language interpreters that do their work here and we often forget about their sign language interpreting colleagues and the work that they do it just as professional as the spoken language interpreters and you can see that evidenced here today.
We have 1000 attendees from all over the European Union, as well as Japan, Nigeria and some other non-EU countries. We are very happy with the attendance - this is a wonderful event. Thank you.