Raising Social Awareness of Sign Language

Photo of a teacher and his students using sign language

Based on the view that “sign language is the mother language of the deaf,” The Nippon Foundation is engaged in the development and spread of sign language and the use of sign language for education. In the Asia-Pacific Region, we are providing opportunities so that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals can acquire knowledge in sign-language linguistics, and creating dictionaries and educational materials to serve as a base for the increased use of sign language. Another of our initiatives cultivates leaders among deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals by focusing on bilingual deaf education at the high-school and university levels. In Japan, we are continuing activities aimed at making sign language an official language, to promote the use of Japanese sign language in education and expand services like sign-language interpretation.