Recognition of German Sign Language in Luxembourg? Shouldn't be a problem - says Viviane Reding in a meeting with Daaflux, the National Association of the Deaf in Luxembourg on 9 March 2011 in Brussels.
Viviane Reding is the Vice-President of the European Commission and also currently the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship (for more info see http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding/index_en.htm).
Thanks to EUD, Daaflux had the possibility to meet Viviane Reding at the ‘Implementation of Sign Language Legislation' conference last year at the European Parliament. This led to a personal meeting between the Commissioner and representatives from Daaflux,. They discussed the content of the Brussels Declaration and presented the current situation of Deaf people in Luxembourg. At the moment there are no sign language interpreters registered in Luxembourg, which means that sign language interpretation services from Germany have to be used. This is a situation that is by no means acceptable: German sign language interpreters near the border are reaching their limits and high travel costs make this solution very cost inefficient. Spontaneous appointments are nearly impossible and emergency services prove to be problematic.
The financing of sign language interpreters is another issue that was raised at the meeting. The main objective was to achieve recognition of German Sign Language, implementing it in legislation in Luxembourg. "This should not be a problem", Commissioner Reding said and was very positive about including German Sign Language in the language law of 1984 (Loi du 24 février 1984 sur le regime des langues). It could for example be added in article 3 on administrative and judicial languages, which already mentions French, German, and Luxembourgish.
Overall, the meeting proved very fruitful and the Deaf attendees were very positive about Commissioner Reding's suggestion to write an open letter to the government of Luxembourg.
Text adapted and translated from Daaflux. The full version (in German) can be downloaded here.
© Photo: Daaflux