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Deaf People in Seychelles gets its first sign language dictionary

Two women talking in sign language

People with hearing disabilities in Seychelles has its own sign language dictionary for the first time. The dictionary was launched earlier this month after 10 years of work in a ceremony held at the Citizenship Engagement Platform (CEPS) in Victoria, the capital, Seychelles News Agency reports.

When presenting the dictionary, Annie Risler from the University of Lille, said that “it is intended to follow the local signs and thus promote their dissemination. It is also a valuable tool for young deaf people to meet sign language for the first time and a valuable tool for deaf students and their teachers.”

Risler said that the sign language in Seychelles is one of many around the world and results from repeated and varied interactions among deaf people belonging to the same community.“It develops and spreads among the deaf of Seychelles. The signatory population is very small. The deaf community of Seychelles has developed over generations a specific vocabulary representing a remarkable heritage. The dictionary is the culmination of a long process of documenting the signs used by the deaf people of Seychelles,” she added.

The publication was made possible through a partnership agreement between the National Institute for the Young Deaf in Paris (INJS), the Association of People with Hearing Impairment in Seychelles, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and the University of Lille.

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