The Sign Language Act entered into force in 2015. The Act obliges authorities to promote sign language users’ opportunities to use their own language and receive information in their own language. The Sign Language Act aims to raise the authorities’ awareness of the sign languages and of sign language users as a linguistic and cultural group. The Sign Language Act applies to both of the national sign languages of Finland, the Finnish sign language and the Finnish-Swedish sign language. There are very few users of the Finnish-Swedish sign language, which makes it a seriously endangered language. Further provisions concerning e.g. sign language users’ right to interpretation services are still scattered across a number of different pieces of legislation in various administrative branches.
Senior Officer Maria Soininen, tel. +358 29 5150 067