How Sign Language is Driving a Multi-Billion Dollar Inclusive Economy – Thrive Global

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How Sign Language is Driving a Multi-Billion Dollar Inclusive Economy

Our beautiful, inclusive sign language economy is here, its contributions – benefitting all of society – are undeniable.

Roberta J. Cordano

7 Min Read

Each year on September 23rd, the world celebrates the International Day of Sign Languages. This is an opportune time to highlight the thriving, but overlooked, sign language economy that delivers significant financial, social, and employment opportunities in cities and communities throughout the United States. This sign language economy has been built through human capital, entrepreneurialism, commerce, and innovation, and is worth billions of dollars.

What exactly is the sign language economy?

Like most economies, the sign language economy originally existed largely for the benefit of a specific population, in this case, deaf people. Its value, which is centered on economic, educational and social opportunities that involve or require the use of signed languages, including American Sign Language, Black American Sign Language, and Native American Sign Language, has been self-created by and for deaf people. The growth of this economy, alongside the advancement of civil rights for deaf people and people with disabilities through federal legislation, [...]

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