About DLS 95 (get into the French sign language)


    First of all, DLS 95 is an organisation which stands up for  the rights of deaf or partially deaf people. Volunteer administrators organise sign language lessons and activities such as sports, meetings, trips to facilitate the integration of deaf persons in our society.  


    Magalie came to our school with Tessa, her interpreter student. The first part of the conference was about the history of sign language and how its evolution over the centuries. Then, Magalie showed us some basic signs and answered our questions. 


     Indeed, we learned that deaf people have been present since prehistoric times but not always accepted. Nowadays, in France, there are 500000 deaf by birth, including 100000 who know how to sign and 4 million people who are partially deaf. Their integration into society has been complicated. As a matter of fact, for a long time deaf people have been excluded. After the Milan’s congress in 1860, sign language was forbidden. Thus, for 100 years, deaf people have been submitted to silence. However, since 1990, sign language began to receive more attention from the media and was only recognised as an official language in the 2000s. Nevertheless, we can still remember the famous abbott named "Abbé de L’Epée" (XVIIIs) who is one of the precursors of specialised education for deaf persons in France. 


    In the present day, there is a sign language with all of its complexity. It has its own grammar and syntax. Every country has its own rules, even though a universal sign language exists.


    On top of that, in everyday life, being deaf is definitely not easy. There are very few interpreters (around 500 in France) which makes communication with companies, administrations and telephone services very difficult. 


    Therefore, it is important for us, hearing citizens to help as much as possible our deaf peers. Consequently, it is within our reach to learn basic words like “hello”, “thank you”, “goodbye” by watching videos. Moreover, we can also take sign language classes ( level A1, A2, B1, B2…).


    Finally, to improve the integration of deaf people in our society, it is important to support them on the international deaf people day (beginning of September) and at the Deaflympics which take place every 4 years.

    It was decided that the 2021 Summer Deaflympics should take place between the 01 and 15 May 2022 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.


    To go further/ for your general knowledge : 

    -Ridicule by Patrice Leconte (great movie, the French court during the reign of king Louis XV)

    - L’oeil et la main et Média Pi (TV show), 

    -Festival Clin d’oeil in Reims


    Report written by Philomène Larsonneur, translated in English by Rachel Siffleur, June 2021.