The Netherlands (Holland)
Nederlandse Gebarentaal, NGT
In English: Sign language of the Netherlands, SLN
Language Status: 5 (Developing).
"The Dutch Parliament has unanimously approved a proposal to recognize Dutch Sign Language. The bill was proposed by the House and had a unanimous vote on September 22. The Senate unanimously voted for it on Tuesday, October 13.
Senator Boris Dittrich (D66) said it “is more than a legal recognition. It is also about dignity and identity, the recognition that the Dutch Sign Language is a fully-fledged language. For the large community of deaf and hard of hearing people in the Netherlands, the language is their mother tongue.”
The bill said the Dutch deaf community has tried for thirty years to have the language legally recognized.
"The Sign Language of the Netherlands has not been recognised officially by law. There is some public funding for sign language projects."
"Sign Language Legislation in the European Union", Wheatley, M., A. Pabsch., Edition II. Brussels, EUD, 2012:
"There have been a number of efforts to get NGT legally recognised. The recognition of NGT proves difficult, as not even spoken Dutch is enshrined in federal legislation. (..)
Despite a lack of official legal recognition, sign language is nonetheless mentioned in legislation a number of times. (..)
"The status of sign languages in Europe", Nina Timmermans, ISBN 92-871-5720-0 © Council of Europe, April 2005
"During the past twenty years, a fundamental change has taken place within Dutch society as regards the importance of the Dutch Sign Language. This change has influenced the government’s views regarding the status and the use of the Dutch Sign Language. The Cabinet acknowledges that the Dutch Sign Language is a vital communication element for many people who have a hearing disability. Materially speaking, this should result in an improved social position of those with a hearing disability.
The social recognition of a Dutch Sign Language is not under discussion. As such, several measures have been announced per sector. The Cabinet has also announced its opinion that there should be one standard Dutch Sign Language. Standardisation is essential for the implementation process, such as developing a curriculum for schooling, educational tools, activities and products provided by the Dutch Sign Language Centre, training courses for interpreters for the deaf, etc.
As regards a Dutch Sign Language being recognised, this reaction indicates that it will only be under discussion when one single Dutch Sign Language (with no variants) has been determined as the standard."
15,000 (EUD website, December 2016)
- Nederlands Gebarencentrum
- Hogeschool Utrecht, IGTD
- Gebarentaalwetenschap, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
- Gebarentaalwetenschap, Universiteit van Amsterdam