Emancipation Processes in the Ugandan Deaf Community

Sustainable Development of Sign Language Communities

Sustainable Development of Sign Language Communities

Sign language communities, deaf worldviews, and sustainable human development: understanding patterns of connectivity within and between communities of change in Uganda, Flanders and the United Kingdom

Funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders October 2012 - September 2015

Sign languages, deaf communities, and deaf cultural practices have developed all over the world and have appeared to be diverse. Scientific research has contributed to the recognition and visibility of sign languages and the emancipation of deaf people. More non-deaf people are now using sign languages, and deaf communities are turning into sign language communities.

The communities’ sustainability and the intergenerational transmission of deaf knowledge/culture are challenged by recent developments such as the spread of the bionic ear, mainstreamed education, social mobility, and virtual and transnational interaction. Simultaneously, the creation of new spaces for sign language use indicates alternative development paths. Gaining insight into deaf epistemologies - worldviews of deaf people - is necessary for gaining further understanding of this process.

This study aims to explore and compare practices of sustainable human development and connectivity in and between sign language communities in Uganda, Flanders, and the United Kingdom and their societal contexts.

The project is developed in cooperation with the research group Social Research with Deaf People at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and the Faculty of Special Needs (Deaf Education section) at Kyambogo University in Uganda