In this paper we draw strong parallels between Sign Language Peoples (SLPs) and First Nation peoples. We argue that SLPs (communities defining themselves by shared membership in physical and metaphysical aspects of language, culture, epistemology, and ontology) can be considered indigenous groups in need of legal protection in respect of educational, linguistic, and cultural rights accorded to other First Nation indigenous communities. We challenge the assumption that SLPs should be primarily categorised within concepts of disability. The disability label denies the unique spatial culturolinguistic phenomenon of SLP collectivist identity by replicating traditional colonialist perspectives, and actively contributing to their ongoing oppression. Rather, SLPs are defined spatially as a locus for performing, building, and reproducing a collective topography expressed through a common language and a shared culture and history.
|Translated title of the contribution||Sign Language Peoples as indigenous minorities: implications for research and policy|
|Pages (from-to)||2899 - 2915|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Environment and Planning A|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|