The first European Parliament resolution on signed languages was passed twenty one years ago: it recommended that each European nation recognise their national signed language (1988, and again in 1998), but to date, only a handful of countries have responded. Some of these responses have been non-legislative in nature (UK) while others have taken constitutional or legal steps to the recognition of their native signed language(s) (e.g. Finland).
The promotion of signed languages in education, social and employment contexts (UN 2007) has been stagnated by a lack of access to information which could empower policy makers, professionals and employers in their work. Signall II responds to this information deficit by providing learning resources to explore 'international perspective on deafness', which in turn can influence and inform national situations.
Signall II is a Leonardo da Vinci funded project led by Interesource Group (Ireland) Ltd, with partners from a range of countries including Ireland, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Trinity College Dublin will provide a 10 ECTSs accredited (Bologna agreement) course, which is localised for partner countires and delivered in 5 unrelated signed languages: Irish Sign Language, British Sign Language, Czech Sign Language, Finnish Sign Language and Polish Sign Language. The course content will be available on-line, The course will be accompanied by a multi-modal text which will contextualise Deaf studies, Deaf history and the experience of being a culturally Deaf signed language user in each of the partner countries, New data from a snapshot survey on the status of signed languages in each of the five countries will provide indicators of how Deaf people and their languages fare today, twenty-one years after the European Parliament first recongised them. SIGNALL II will also inform current thinking in Deaf studies, and provide case studies on the lives of signed language users, as Deaf people see it.