The Assembly of the Republic of Serbia sat in parliament on the 28th of April, 2015 and adopted the ‘Law on the use of Sign Language’. Despite 30 amendments being made, 164 of the 166 members of parliament voted in favour of the law, while 2 abstained. The National Radio and Television of Serbia
provided a live broadcast, with sign language interpretation, of all the interventions and associated amendments discussed in chamber up until the vote took place.
This has been a 7 year undertaking for the working group established to work on a sign language law. The group comprised of representatives of the National Organisation of the Deaf.
The development of the draft law was no easy task, due to the rigorous debate and differing opinions mainly from representatives of the institutions that deal with education and rehabilitation of disabled persons. Their
views were that the law should be based on medical principles, while Deaf representatives pushed for the social and linguistic approach.
Finally, the Minister of Labour and Social and Veterans’ Affairs Mr Aleksandar Vulin and his assistant Mr Vladimir Pesic formed the view that the law should be based on the proposals put forward from Deaf people and their organisations. The result is that lawyers must adapt this law and insert it into the existing body of laws of the Republic of Serbia.
We would like to congratulate the Serbian Deaf Community and the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for Serbia for their work towards the Serbian Sign Language`s law.