National Sign Language
Lietuvių gestų kalba (LGK)
In English: Lithuanian Sign Language
Language Status: 5 (Developing).
Recognized language (2011, Law on Education, No. XI-1281, Article 30(6), as amended).
"Sign Language Legislation in the European Union", Wheatley, M., A. Pabsch., Edition II. Brussels, EUD, 2012:
"sign language is mentioned in the Law of Social Integration of Disabled People (Nejgaliuju Socialines Integracijos). Article 4 recognises sign language as a language in its own right:
'Sign language is the native language of the deaf.' A second piece of legislation ad already recognised sign language as the mother tongue of Deaf people in 1995."
The status of sign languages in Europe", Nina Timmermans, ISBN 92-871-5720-0 © Council of Europe, April 2005:
"The Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania passed the Law of Social Integration of the Disabled in 1991 following the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, seeking to implement the rights of disabled people consolidated in international acts and acknowledging that the integration of disabled people into society and public life is one of the indicators of civilisation. It is stated in the law that sign language is a native language of the deaf."
Following the Law of the Social Integration of the Disabled and implementing the Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania during 1997-2000, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Lithuanian Union of the Deaf have elaborated the National Programme of Using Sign Language. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour is obliged to co-ordinate and administrate the implementation of the programme. The objective of the programme is to establish an effective sign language corresponding to the conditions of the Republic of Lithuania and international standards, adjusted to all living occasions.
Through implementing the programme it is planned to secure the services of sign language interpretation; to research the demand for using the services of sign language interpretation in state, public and communal institutions; to stimulate, support and allow research on Lithuanian Sign Language, to nourish it, to create and keep the traditions and the culture of the deaf. The programme was implemented for six years: from 1998 to 2003."
Sign language courses are also being organised for pedagogues of schools of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. With their help the implementation of the bilingual education method is stimulated in the institutions of the deaf; new signs such as religious, political, etc. are consolidated. Methodical support to educational institutions is provided."
Seeking to standardise the signs used in educational programmes videotape “The Primer of the Sign Language” for deaf children has been created. Deaf children and pedagogues in all education institutions of the deaf will use the same signs; this will facilitate teaching the sign language. Deaf students studying in different universities, colleges or art schools of the country are supported. It is sought to design as favourable conditions as possible for the deaf to reach a higher or special education."
Number of Deaf Sign Language Users
8.000 (EUD website, December 2016)
National Sign Language (Research) Centres
Work in progress...