So your New Zealand, Flemish, or other government acknowledged your sign language? It’s a nice gesture but what does it mean? The hottest potato: Should important government information be accessible in sign language by law? The New Zealand bill says:
A government department should, when exercising its functions and powers, be guided, so far as reasonably practicable, by the following principles:
– NZSL should be used in the promotion to the public of government services and in the provision of information to the public:
– government services and information should be made accessible to the Deaf community through the use of appropriate means (including the use of NZSL).
I rather doubt many Kiwi government agencies went to pieces trying to get their info ASAP into NZSL with this bundle of escape clauses.
Is there hope? Yes, there are projects and intitiatives. Sign synthesis is investigated (eSign, VisiCast, SignSynth, VSigns) as a means to automatically output information that would otherwise not be considered worth translating.
In the Name of the Law: Tickle Me!
But if you are serious about being heard by the Deaf use good sign language video clips on your web site. Check out the fresh flash from Avon and Somerset Police (BBC news). The classic use of feed-forward mechanisms (see what you will get) make it much better than for example the Quicktime movies of Flemish politician Helga Stevens, which aren’t bad by themselves. Certainly nothing as clumsy as the Dutch NGC movies which seem to suffer down syndrome most of their online time.